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Pets 101

Today’s Tip from Expert Dog Trainer Jamie Damato Migdal!

November 17, 2010 by Tails Magazine in Behavior, Training with 0 Comments

So you’re thinking of hitting your local dog park?

Jamie Damato MigdalWell, let’s talk about how to make it the best experience for everyone! Dog parks can benefit dogs and their owners in numerous important ways. But like anything worth having, they come with a price. That price is responsible ownership. By following common sense guidelines, a dog park has the potential to create healthier and happier dogs, bring you and your dog closer together and introduce you to people who share your sense of the human-canine bond. –Jaime

Some Very Basic Guidelines:

– Dogs under 16 weeks and older dogs which are not current on their full compliment of vaccinations should not come into the dog park area. Same goes for dogs who may be feeling ill.
– Any dog that has a history of aggression towards other dogs should not come into the dog park area.
– If the park seems overcrowded, then it probably is! Overcrowding stresses the animals and may ultimately lead to altercations. You and your dog will both be happier if you come back after the crowd has thinned out. The bigger the park, the better – always.
– Always use your best judgment and instincts when it comes to other dogs. If you or your dog does not feel comfortable with another dog in the park, leave. Do not allow another owner to talk you into believing their dog is not a threat.
– Consider infrequent use, such as 1 – 2 visits per week, lasting no more than 30 minutes in length. Dogs, just like kids, can behave inappropriately after extended playtime.

Recommendations for Dogs:

– Dogs entering the park should have a reliable recall (come).
Dogs at the park should have no history of dog to dog or dog to human
aggression (We can’t stress this enough!).
– Wear a regular collar, as choker-style collars can get tangled during play and cause serious injury; however dogs have been known to get tangled even with regular collars.
– In pursuit of setting everyone up for successful use of the park, your dog should be spayed or neutered.

Recommendations for Humans:

– Treats are not a great idea for the park, as some dogs don’t share very well.
– Always have poop bags.
– Have a cell phone with you in case of emergency.
– Realize that not everyone may agree with your ideas about dog training and behavior. Be prepared to agree to disagree!
– Consider taking a class or reading some information to best educate yourself about canine language and communication.

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