Be smart at the dog park and avoid the cold shoulder

Bring me the ball!

We’ve given you guidance on the best dogs for apartment living, but all of them will  appreciate some time off the leash at a dog park. There are links later in this piece for parks near you in your capital city but for now, it’s worth just giving the dog park newbies out there a few pointers, or remind a few regulars about good etiquette.  Our dogs can’t be expected to behave well if we set them a bad example.

1. Clean up the poo

That’s just good manners and it stops spread of germs and disease and parasites and need I go on! Bring extra plastic bags and don’t be precious if you see some unattributed poop, scoop it up and buy yourself some good canine karma.

2. Give your pooch a walk first

If you take your dog along with no exercise before hand, he or she will cannon off other dogs in excitement, annoy them and start fights through being boisterous. Take the edge off with a decent walk or training session beforehand.

3. Don’t let your dog be a doofus.

Help your dog develop social skills and cues just like you learned.  Too much bum sniffing is not good, mounting another dog is downright rude, charging into others and biting ears is as annoying to the other dog as it would be to you.

4. Don’t keeping the leash on in an off-leash area.

If every other dog is off the leash and yours is on, you’re asking for trouble. It’s a trip hazard, your dog will feel insecure as it can’t get away from the aggression of other dogs and may bite others which are just coming up being friendly.  Don’t do it.

5. Don’t bring a pregnant or in heat female in heat. 

Dogs will be dogs and the scent of a female in heat will cause chaos and your bitch will be mobbed. Don’t bring her till she’s through it and the pregnancy which follows if you’ve decided to breed her.

6. Don’t bring unvaccinated dogs or puppies

Most vets won’t vaccinate puppies until they’re 12 weeks old so they shouldn’t be exposed to other dogs’ diseases. Nor should grown dogs, your animals should be up to date on all their vaccinations and medications so nothing gets spread.

There are more tips and links to dog parks near you on the next two pages.

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