Dog parks can be a fun & exciting way to spend a sunny day with your precious Australian Labradoodle. However, they can also be a place of concern and chaos. Here are some tips to consider before going to one:
- Study up on canine body language. Understanding your dogs body language as well as common stances for other dogs is important to encourage or defuse a situation. A fun moment of play can quickly turn into aggression with other dogs so understanding the signs is important so you can step in before an issue arises.
- Leave any toy at home that your dog is unwilling to share or possessive over. Even if it is a favorite, it is not worth the attempt unless you keep your pup on a leash so you can redirect.
- Do not attempt a dog park if your dog is not good on recall. This is a key skill to learn prior to going.
- Teach your dogs spatial boundaries. They should not stand at the front gate and create an overwhelming situation by greeting every human and dog at the gate. Teach them recall when called so you can help them be socially approachable and not overwhelming.
- Ensure your dog understands it body and size. Australian Labradoodles can grow quickly & go through “awkward stages” as they grow into their body. When the excitement of a game of tug-o-war takes off for instance, ensure they understand their strength and power. There is nothing worse then having your dog fling another small dog accidentally across the park.
- Do not take your dog to the dog park if they are not fully vaccinated or sick at all (sneezing, coughing, fleas/ticks, etc).
- Be present as the human! A visit to the dog park is not your time to shut off and answer texts, phone calls, and emails. Watch your dog and offer assistance when needed. Many humans are distracted at dog parks and treat it as daycare. Sometimes you will need to step in for someone else’s dog to protect your dog. Be proactive, alert, and assertive.
- Have fun! Your pup will love to run. If they are nervous do not baby them. Show excitement and do your best to get them to engage. This should be an exciting time and they will gauge your body language as a guide for how they should act. Be happy, be fun, and be engaged. This is a great bonding time for you and your precious Australian Labradoodle!
We do not take our dogs to dog parks out of safety concerns. That does not mean that they can’t be fantastic in your area. However, taking the proper precautions can make all of the difference in the world. A prepared dog is a happy and successful dog. Put in the work before going and they will thrive!