Dog Care: Why City Parks
Dog Care: A Dog's Favorite Place.
Parks are the most popular spots in the city for owners to take their dogs. It's the one place where owners can let their dogs run loose and play with other dogs. Many dog owners like going to the parks because it gives them a chance to meet and chat with other dog owners. Most dog owners are amused by the fact that they remember the names of the different dogs but not the names of the owners.
Dog Care: Are there problems?
Though I have no problem with dogs playing with each other in the parks, I do have a problem with owners who just congregate together and don't play with their dogs. Dog owners often forget that they should be the main focus of their dog, not other dogs. The park is such a great environment to train a dog and owners who do no more than just stand together talking do their dogs a disservice. This also gives a dog a false sense of total freedom - your dog blocks you out while playing with other dogs. You must accept that the city park needs to satisfy your dog’s bonding and that means quality time for both owner and man’s best friend.
Dog Care: problems to resolve.
You can alleviate this problem by occasionally whistling for your dog to come to you while standing with the other owners. When he comes to you, praise him and then let him play with the other dogs once again. By doing this, your dog learns that even though he is coming to your call, it doesn't mean you are going to leash him and take him home. You don't want your dog to associate coming to you with killing his good time. That is why owners have a hard time calling their dogs back to them in the park. Dogs know that the only time they are called by their owners is when it's time to leave.
Instead of just standing there with the other owners, move quietly away from them and stand off to the side. When your dog looks for you among the group of owners, he will be alarmed that you are not there. You are preying on his sense of insecurity - he is going to panic as he looks for you. This is good - you want to be your dog's main focus, not other dogs in the park. He will come to you full of excitement at having found you.
Dog Care: Don’t believe everything you hear.
Another problem with groups of owners getting together in the park is that you can get some bad advice. When you get your dog, you will quickly discover how many owners act like experts about dogs, and you will get a lot of free advice. You will get all kinds of training and medical opinions - some of it good and some just a lot of old myths.
Dog Care: Puppy’s vulnerability.
Puppy owners need to understand the pack mentality of dogs. Any group of dogs playing in a park forms a pack mentality within ten minutes of being together. Now if a puppy runs into the pack, the dynamic is thrown off balance and tension can easily develop. The dogs tower over the puppy to investigate. Some dogs don't like puppies, especially if the puppy is hyper or cocky. There's a good chance such pups can get bit. Pups also tend to get trampled on and can physically get hurt when playing with mature dogs. That is why I don't like owners taking their puppies to parks to play with big dogs. Puppies need to play with puppies in their own peer group. You wouldn't let your five-year-old child play football with thirteen-year-old kids, so why have your pup play with mature dogs?
Dog Care: Why City Parks
City parks have some wonderful challenges for training if you use your imagination.
For example, look and find an empty trash bin in the park, tip it over on its side and teach your pup to jump over it. Start a few feet from the trash bin and run toward it while holding the motivator close to his nose so he will follow it. When he approaches the bin, use the hand in collar technique (place your fingers between his neck and collar with your fingers pointing up), lift him forward and say "Hup," as he climbs over the bin. After he has gone over the garbage bin, circle around and make him climb over from the other side and place him in a sit. Do this a few times so he is comfortable with this maneuver. With continued practice, he will eventually make a clean jump over the bin. Smaller or less agile dogs will only be able to climb over it.
Dog Care: Another possible problem.
If he is shy about going over the bin, then place him on top of it so he will feel comfortable touching the garbage bin with his paws. With your right hand holding the motivator, lead him downward to come off the garbage bin. Repeat this pattern a few times to build his confidence level. After a few repetitions, your pup will feel comfortable climbing over the garbage bin.
Dog Care: The advantages of interaction with four-legged friend.
Large boulder-like rocks can often be found in many parks. While walking your dog, teach him to jump on the rock. Again, you will need a motivator to get him to jump up there. Put him in a Sit-Stay or Stand-Stay position. This is a good exercise because it gives him a job to do - it keeps him from moving any further during a walk, especially through congested cross paths.
Park benches are also a great training tool. Teach your dog to jump over a bench using the same method as making him jump over a garbage bin. You can also teach him to crawl under a park bench. And you can train him to sit every time you approach a park bench with someone sitting on it. This teaches him not to pull toward strangers in the park.
Dog Care: Maintain quality time for your four-legged friend.
A park is a good place to practice the hide and seek game with a whistle. Have your friend hold your puppy back while you run and hide behind a tree or some bushes and whistle for your dog. This exercise will get your puppy to pay more attention to you as he panics and tries to find you. This game is great because you are setting the foundation for him to come to you whenever you whistle. In all of these exercises, you are using the natural environment of the park as an agility course for your dog. Dog Care is your commitment to maintaining a strong bond between yourself and your four-legged friend, then these trips to the city park will always be memorable for you and your puppy/dog.
To Your Success
Dog Training >