The baby birds on my front porch woke me up earlier than normal this morning so I decided to take my dogs to Emerson Dog Park and beat the heat (and crowds).
I hurriedly grabbed my shoes, leashes and picked up Sonny, my little 2-legged fella and loaded everyone up in the car.
I didn’t tell them where we were going and didn’t say, “You wanna go for a ride?” because that would’ve caused more excitement. In these situations, it’s best to just lead them where I want versus asking or telling them ahead of time.
As I pulled up at the entrance, I scanned around to see if other people and dogs were present, they weren’t – thank goodness – so I rolled up the windows, grabbed my phone and waited for the dogs to calm down before opening the door.
Upon approaching the entry gate, again, I waited for them to calm down then I slowly led them inside, still on leash. Why not just let them go immediately you might ask? Simple. Because I want them to be in the right frame of mind when I release them; not amped up, nervous, scared or agitated.
Once I could tell they were relaxed I let them go and they meandered around smelling the grass for a bit then Berkley started running, grabbed a tennis ball she found and brought it to me. Tyson just wandered around like he usually does and Sonny, well Sonny hopped around briefly then just for a patch of grass and planted himself.
Days like this are perfect at the dog park, particularly for Sonny since we were the only ones in the park. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very dog-friendly and social but he’s small, kinda frail and need to be watched closely so he doesn’t get trampled or tossled around by rambunctious dogs.
2-legged and 3-legged dogs can – and should – have opportunities to be around other dogs and play, it just has to be moderated at all times. Just like all the other dogs. Don’t just let them loose, open a book and let them act crazy, monitor the dogs and stop bad behaviors when they start or at least before they escalate.
Bring yummy treats or a special toy so when you’re ready to leave you can gather your dog(s) up with ease.
When leaving, be sure to stay calm, only leash your dogs up when they’re calm, exit when they’re calm and enter the car, again, only when they’re calm. If you practice this method consistently your dogs will learn to be patient and calm and that bouncing around, barking and jumping won’t get them anywhere.
Have fun with your dogs, engage, practice training or agility while you’re at the dog park. It’s a perfect place to practice good doggy manners, too.
Side note: Emerson Dog Park is on the grounds of my old elementary school. The place Tyson is standing was the entrance to the playground. It’s weird to look up at him and see the old brick building, windows, shiny floors and stairs. Where I used to play kickball at recess, dogs now gather to play and run. I used to stare out of the classroom window facing down at the swings and monkey bars, watching the clock, waiting for recess and lunch. We could take our lunch outside and eat, which I did on many occasions.
If you want to take your dog to this dog park, or maybe even Heekin Dog Park but are afraid to, we can help and show you how to do it calmly so it’s a good experience. Call us at 765-755-5688 if you’d like to learn more or book an appointment.
Visit our website to learn more about our pet care services in Muncie, Albany, Yorktown and Anderson.
Have a good day,
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists! “