The (Scary) Truth About Dog Parks + Alternatives | Pupford

March 2nd, 2023

Filed under Podcasts

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The 'dog park debate' is truly one of the most divisive aspects of being a pup parent. While dog parks can be a powerful tool for giving your pup physical exercise, they can also quickly turn into a dangerous trap.

In this episode, we break down some of the pros and cons of dog parks and how they can benefit your pup. We also explore the dangers, negatives, and scary parts of taking your pup to a dog park.

Plus, we look at some alternatives to dog parks! Let's get right into it. 👇

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OVERVIEW OF THE TRUTH ABOUT DOG PARKS

Dog parks can be a divisive topic.

While many pup parents love them, others have had terrifyingly bad experiences at dog parks... Let's look at some pros and cons!

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for the 100% free onlien training course 30 Day Perfect Pup taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 🐶

POSITIVES & PROS OF DOG PARKS

two dogs playing at a dog park | Pupford

Dog parks can be a powerful tool for getting your dog's energy out and helping them socialize with other pups!

Here are some main benefits of dogs parks:

  • Interaction with new dogs and dogs of different sizes
  • Ability to run freely off leash
  • Typically more space than your yard or another exercise area (at least off leash)
  • Fenced in so you don’t have to worry about your dog running off
  • Get their exercise out

The main reason dog parents go to the dog park is for their dogs to have the freedom to run and play in a fenced-in area!

But there can be drawbacks... ⤵️

NEGATIVES & CONS OF DOG PARKS

dog being attacked at a dog park | Pupford

To be frank, many of the worst experiences I've had with my dogs have happened at dog parks. Yikes!

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for the 100% free onlien training course 30 Day Perfect Pup taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 🐶

Here are some commons drawbacks to dog parks:

  • Pup parents who don’t pay attention to their dog and the subsequent cues and body language their dog is giving off
  • Too many dogs with ‘pent-up’ energy in one confined space
  • The potential for very bad dog-dog interactions (dog fights, attacks, etc.)
  • You do not know the other dogs' and humans' backgrounds, training methods, beliefs about training, etc.
  • You can create negative experiences for your dog if they have bad interactions with other dogs

The number of times I've seen dogs attack other dog parks AND THEN the dog stays in the park is too high to count. It's terrifying and can be a serious problem.

If you're gonna go to a dog park, express caution!

ALTERNATIVES TO DOG PARKS

So if you're not wanting to go to a dog park, what can you do?!

Here are some common dog park alternatives:

dogs having a play date as an alternative to a dog park | Pupford

Here are some more resources for dog park alternatives:

Learn how to exercise your dog indoors here.

Learn all about the power and benefits of mental exercise for dogs here.

Struggling with a high-energy dog? Learn how to calm down a hyper dog here.

WHAT DO PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT DOG PARKS?

Erika Gonzalez: "I have a lot I can say about dog parks, but I’ll just say this, you probably won’t see me at any."

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Amber Aquart: "When going to a dog park, sit outside for a while and observe the dogs inside, their body language, and how their owners handle situations to best determine if it’s a good idea or not for you and your dog to enter."

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Britt Erickson: "Dog parks are a great exercise outlet but not a place you take your puppy to be socialized."

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Richard Gonzalez: "I believe that dog parks are unpredictable and I feel that there are better options to get our dogs the physical activity they need. There’s just too many unpredictable variables that could cause physical, emotional, or mental harm to my dog, and it’s not worth it to me."

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RECAP OF DOG PARKS

two dogs about to wrestle at a dog park | Pupford

Multiple dog trainers are apprehensive about dog parks. Figure out for yourself what is best for you and your dog.

Everyone’s situation is different, and it can seem like your only option at times. Weigh the pros and cons, and look at what you are getting yourself into.

If you feel uncomfortable and you can sense your dog’s discomfort, leave. It is much harder to overcome mental and emotional challenges your dog can experience if being attacked/had other poor experiences, than cutting their playtime a little short.

What has been your experience with dog parks? Tell me in the comments!

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for the 100% free onlien training course 30 Day Perfect Pup taught by Zak George. Sign up here! 🐶

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