Excerpted with permission from: At the Dog Park
Dog parks are where you'll find hordes of happy dogs. Dogs playing with their canine friends, dogs racing through the grass, just happy to have a chance to really stretch their legs, and even dogs taking a swim if they're lucky enough to have a park with water available.
Pet owners and their dogs obviously love the dog parks, but they can cause controversy at times. Dog parks are great to have around - if they're used in a responsible manner.
Dog parks let dogs socialize with other dogs and get some exercise while they're at it. Dogs that are well- socialized tend to show less aggression and are more relaxed. Plus fresh air and exercise are key to keeping your dog healthy. You know the old saying, "A tired dog is a happy dog!".
But dog parks don't just benefit the dogs themselves. Pet owners will tell you that it's a great place to meet other "pet people" and to develop friendships and bonds. It also helps people to get outside and encourages them to get some exercise with their dogs. Plus watching the dogs play together is fun! Well- exercised dogs also tend to be better pets and more easily handled since they're more relaxed.
Communities also benefit from dog parks. Well-exercised dogs are unlikely to nuisance bark, as some dogs do when they're bored and have no stimulation. Having a designated dog park also helps to encourage pet owners to use it, thus reducing or minimizing conflicts with other recreational park users. Finally, a dog park gives pet owners an opportunity to meet each other over a common interest. Getting to know your neighbors helps to build a sense of community, which in turn encourages pet owners to pick up after their dogs and keep their community clean.
Dog parks are a privilege. Having one close by can be a great joy for pet owners - but keeping the park means following the rules! Rules for the park are typically posted at the entrance to the parks or in prominent locations. In addition to following the posted rules, remember to follow these etiquette rules.