Dog Parks – A Tired Dog Is A Happy Dog

Baylie Playing Frisbee

One dilemma I faced with being a new dog owner was where to find dog-friendly parks in my area.  What I discovered was there were not many options for my Baylie to romp and experience new sights and sounds.   Baylie gets plenty of exercise in her huge back yard, goes on walks each day, socializes with other dogs on a regular basis, goes to the two-pet-friendly parks we have in the area and is enrolled in puppy classes. All are key to having a well-adjusted dog.  Socialization prevents a dog from being skittish or aggressive when they are placed in unfamiliar situations. Puppy classes are great for socialization as is doggie daycare.

I’m fortunate in that my Baylie is a lover.  She has a very passive demeanor; showing no aggressive behavior towards people or other dogs.  Just recently, we attended a local “Bark in the Park” fundraiser where there were dogs of every shape and size; from the smallest tea-cup size Chihuahua to a very large Great Dane. As a new dog owner, it was a little unnerving seeing dogs rush up to Baylie.  I was not antsy about her reaction but more concerned with the demeanor of other dogs. All went well except for one minor incident in which a small breed dog let Baylie know right away she didn’t appreciate her stepping into her space by means of a little nip at the face. Baylie turned the other cheek and walked away.  She wanted no part of it. I was glad to see she had the flight rather than fight response.

Off-Leash Dog Park

Off-leash parks are becoming the craze.  These parks are a great way to socialize your dog with other dogs.  However, if you have a timid dog who is nervous around other dogs, this may not be the right option for you.  We were just made aware, through a post from DogTipper.com, of an-off leash dog park unveiled near us in Alabaster, Alabama.  According to DogTipper.com, the $500,000 park was created after local resident Jenny Wilson was named Grand Prize Winner of the 2011 Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest. The park is packed with dog-friendly (and eco-friendly) elements including custom-designed splash pads, a football field for fido, a senior dog hill for hanging out and watching pups play, a rubberized mulch path, agility hoops, and dog wash station, shaded rest area and more.  You can can register to win the  The 2012 Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest  now underway.

My Baylie, part border collie, is a herding dog by breed.  She was born to work for a living. And, since we have no sheep to herd in the back yard, she requires loads of stimulation, both mentally and physically.  One activity we’ve discovered to burn off some of that excess energy is chasing a laser around the yard at night.  This has become one of her favorite things to do.   Who said laser pointers were for cats only.    The best way to provide enrichment for her is with plenty of socialization and exercise. Lack of purpose leaves dogs no outlet for their naturally active tendencies and could contribute to the development of behaviorial problems. A tired dog after a day in the dog park, is a happy and content dog and owner.

 

DogTipper.com July 14, 2012 by Paris Permenter and John Bigley