From the archive: Why We Advise Against Dog Parks
A fenced in place to run and play. Socialization. Convenience. Seems like good idea, right? As dog owners we have to look at every angle of the activities we decide to engage in. Consider these points:Not all dog owners are as diligent about supervision as we are. This means that while we are busy supervising our dogs to ensure a safe, fun, and successful experience, others may be sitting on the sidelines with their attention focused elsewhere.
It only takes a second for rough play to escalate into a disagreement between dogs and result in tragedy. Even if every dog owner is diligent in supervising their dog, signs of trouble can be missed. What starts out as a spat between two dogs can turn into a brawl that includes every dog in the park.
Dog parks can be a breeding ground for diseases. Even if the area appears to be well maintained, germs, spores, and parasites have an opportunity to seep into the ground and infect your dog.
It’s the responsibility of every pit bull owner to ensure that our dogs are good breed ambassadors. Setting up an opportunity for failure at the dog park not only reflects on your own dog, it is seen as a reflection on ALL of our dogs. So what can you do instead, even if you don’t have a yard?Go for walks. The longer, the better. Add some nature trails and uphill climbs and you’re sure to burn off excess energy.
Work on training. Engaging your dog’s mind is a great way to channel excess energy. It may not tire him out but it will satisfy his need to work.
Set up play dates. Socialize your dog with other dogs you know well. While your dogs are happily playing with each other, you and the other dog owners can relax a little and be a little social yourselves.
Remember, the best way to keep your dog well socialized is to set him up for success and prevent a fight from ever happening.