Are dog parks good for dogs?

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Mike Tanaka


One misconception that some dog owners have is that dog parks can be a great place for dogs to get exercise and socialize.

In this article, we’ll discuss why dog parks are a bad idea, and what dog owners can do to safely socialize their dogs.

Rather watch a video? We got you covered!

Dog fights

If your dog is running around with other dogs with no structure and leadership, there is a high chance that a dog fight will occur. Chasing each other, wrestling, tumbling around with a strange new dog can easily escalate into aggression and end up in a dog fight. Dog fights in dog parks are very common and many dog owners are injured every year trying to break it up. Some dogs even bite their own owner during a dog fight and you risk your relationship with your dog.

Dogs do not need to socialize with other strange dogs

Many people believe that since dogs are social animals, socializing their dogs with other new dogs is a good idea. This is not true and as a matter of fact, dogs are pack animals that prefer to socialize with their own pack with familiar dogs and people.

Irresponsible dog owners

See that new dog owner at the park? How do you know that he or she is a responsible dog owner that exercises their dog daily and has socialized their dogs correctly? Does that dog have any history of aggression? Is that person keeping their eye on their dog for any signs of aggression or fear or are they texting on their phone? Factors like these are a recipe for disaster waiting to happen and it’s best to avoid this type of environment.

Check out this video of a an irresponsible dog owner at a dog park that has zero control of her dog that has attacked other dogs and cannot take any responsibility for her actions.

It only takes one traumatic experience like this to scar your dog for life.

Correct way to socialize your dogs

Instead of taking your dog to a dog park, socialize your dog the right way by following these steps.

  1. Let your dog get used to a friend, neighbor or family member’s dogs that you are familiar with
  2. Let them get to know each other in a recognizable environment such as your backyard
  3. Provide a structured and safe environment by keeping your eye on both dogs until they get used to each other

While socialization is crucial for every dog, dog parks are not a good place to take your dog. High chances of dog fights, meeting strange dogs and irresponsible dog owners can all put you and your dog at risk.

It’s much safer and better to socialize your dog in a controlled setting with familiar dogs so they always have a positive experience.

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