Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dog Park Etiquette

Hello blog world! Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. Life has been hectic!

First let me start by saying that Cody finally met the girl who is playing Annie in TIV's production of (you guessed it) Annie. Things went really well between the two, and I'm looking forward to more visits. While at the dog park, though, there was a little confrontation between two owners (I wasn't involved). It has prompted me to write a little dog park etiquette.

1) Keep track of your dog. If your dog poops you should know it without someone else having to tell you. If you watch your dog, you can also see if he's about to get in a fight or cause other problems and can stop him before something actually happens.

2) Clean up after your dog!!!! There's nothing worse than going to a dog park and stepping in poop every other step. If you don't like to step in poop, don't leave your dog's poop for other people to step in.

3) Worry about your own dog and, unless things get violent, don't worry about anyone else's. Of course, feel free to pet other dogs and play with them, but don't flip out because a dog stole a dog from another dog. You don't know how the dogs typically interact and you shouldn't stress their owners out over things so little.

4) The same goes for children. Children at dog parks can get bored really fast and just try to find something to do. As long as they aren't hurting your dog, leave them be. If they are hurting a dog, that dog's owner can do something. But, again, the kid and the dog may already be friends and you may be interrupting their play time. Also, dogs play rough, so what may look like violence may just be a fun play time. That being said, if a dog hurts a child, and you know medical assistance, feel free to step in.

5) Don't take food or treats to the dog park. Actually, I break this rule al the time, but I need to stop. There are two reasons why this rule is important. 1. Some dogs can become aggressive around food and you don't want to be the cause of a fight. 2. Certain dogs have weak stomachs and an unfamiliar food can cause major problems. You really don't want to be responsible for making a dog sick.

6) HAVE FUN! The dog park is a good time for you to play with your dog and watch him have fun. You should enjoy it and make the most of your time there. I always work on obedience with Cody, just so I know the time is wasted.

That's all I have right now, but if you have anything else, feel free to comment. Really, the dog park should be a fun place, and as long as you're being respectful of everyone you should have a great time!

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