Posted on November 16th, 2022.
Everyone seems to get excited at the prospect of a new dog park arriving nearby. I get it! Our mind’s eye pictures the many dogs running, chasing and having a great time! We catch ourselves with a gleeful smile at the happiness this visit will bring for our own four-legged loved one.
Dog Park Perceptions vs. Reality
The first dog park was opened in 1979 in Berkeley California. Since then they have continued to pop up across the country with a call from human dog lovers that these locations are important so that our dogs can have a place ” to just be a dog”! When asked, most humans agree that it is, or conceivably will be, when it arrives, the very best part of our dog’s day!
As a behavior consultant I can tell you that my colleagues and I discuss this very topic often. We have classes about dog parks at conferences! The reality is that though dogs are indeed social animals, the dog park can be challenging and not always the right version of “being social.”
Being thrown together in a fenced in area with strangers can sometimes not go as planned and is quite different than getting together and happily socializing with known friends for a walk or a hangout playdate.
If You Are Headed to the Dog Park
If you are headed to the dog park in your area or when visiting another, keep a few things in mind:
Remember too that they, like us, are all different. Some of us may do fine with an invitation to a party where we don’t know a soul, others of us may rather pass on that party.
Please send me a message with your inquiries; I will get back to you as soon as possible.