5 Tips to Help Fido Behave at the Dog Park

• 5 min read

behavioral dog training

For dogs that spent extra time hanging out with us indoors during the quarantine, dog parks are clutch!

Not only are they great for exercise, but they're also pawsome for helping Fido get reacquainted with other people, pups, and public spaces. 

Whether it's your pup's first time at a dog park or their big post-quarantine comeback, we're here to help you and your pet have some safe, social, and silly fun!

So, here are five tips for dog park etiquette to make sure you're both prepared! 

1. Leave Dog Treats at Home

Wait, what? No treats?!

It's true. We're sure your dog loves chomping away on their treats, but you might want to think twice before bringing their snacks to the park.

You see, the other dogs in the park might get a little... jealous. How jealous? Jealous enough to 'voice' their concerns or lunge at your pup to take their treat. No bueno. 

"But, what if I bring enough treats for all the dogs?" 

Hey, we get it! Sharing is caring. But, keep in mind that some of those dogs might not be allowed to eat certain treats due to their own unique health and dietary needs. Plus, your act of kindness might make the dogs stop playing so that they can stare at you to get more treats. Uh-oh!

Better to save their tasty treats for home.

dog treats

2. Is Your Dog a Little TOO Excited

Remember when your parents finally let you go play outside with your friends after an eternity of begging? Do you also remember how crazy excited you were? Talk about an adrenaline rush!

In some ways, your pup's just like us when we were kids. 

Don't be surprised if your dog goes on a frenzy as soon as their paws touch the ground. Instead, be prepared!

First, make sure your dog is responsive to basic cues so you can get control of them if necessary and prevent any issues at the dog park – especially if your dog has a history of being hyperactive, aggressive, or easily distracted. 

Secondly, you can try helping Fido mellow out before playtime with a calming supplement for dogs. Give it to your dog 30-60 minutes before it's go-time to help them keep their cool in front of their fellow four-legged friends. You might be glad you did!

dog parks

3. Meet the Other Pet Parents

Who says that only dogs can have fun at the dog park?

As we continue readjusting to life after the quarantine, it's just as good for us to socialize with new faces as it is for our dogs. So, don't be afraid to mingle! After all, you might just make a new friend or two... or even a date! 

Socializing isn't the only reason why chatting with other pet parents is a good idea, though.

It's also helpful to know which dogs belong to which dog parents. That way, if you notice another dog acting strange or in a bind, you'll know which person to notify at the park so they can intervene. The same goes for your dog, too!

best wingman dog

4. Spay-day! Neutered Your Commuter?

Speaking of interventions, let's just say some dogs aren't exactly good at keeping things PG-13 at the dog park. So, don't be surprised if another dog tries to get a little too cozy with yours... or vice-versa!

If your dog is less than six months old and/or hasn't been spayed or neutered, you might want to rethink your trip to the dog park!

Even if you manage to catch them in the act, there's no telling whether you or the other dog parent will reach them in time. Uh-oh!

Our suggestion is to hold off on introducing your pup to a new crowd until you've made a decision about spaying or neutering first. You should also make sure Fido's up-to-date on their vaccinations as well. 

Better safe than sorry!

spayed dog

5. How to Handle a Scuffle

What should you do if your dog is aggressive at the dog park?

If you notice some tension brewing between some of the dogs at the park, that's your cue to be on the lookout for a scuffle. 

Raised hair, growling, aggressive barking, and teeth-flashing are signs of a disagreement going on. Just don't take it lightly! 

If you have time, approach the other dog's parent to notify them of the issue at hand. Just be sure not to be combative by blaming their dog. That may spark an unnecessary argument if that dog parent is particularly defensive about their little "angel."

Instead, calmly mention that your dogs aren't getting along quite well, and offer to remove your dog from the equation. 

But, what if a tussle ensues before you can diffuse? Try distracting them with a loud whistle, clap, or verbal command to stop while you grab their leash. Spray bottles are another option to disorient both dogs enough to cool down. 

If you must physically intervene to remove your dog from the showdown, try your best not to touch or interact with the other dog. After all, you're not familiar with the other dog's temperament with strangers, so just focus on bailing your pup out as swiftly as possible.

aggressive dog training

That's all for now, but check in with us or share photos of your furry friend on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or Pinterest using #ZestyPaws.

If you have any comments, questions, or tips of your own, feel free to tell us below. If you would like to learn more about our collection of products, you can also reach out to us directly at 1-800-738-0661 or bark@zestypaws.com.

As always, we’ll be here to Keep Your Bestie Feeling Zesty!

Comments

Leave a Comment