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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Practice Park Propriety With Your Pooch!

Practice Park Propriety With Your Pooch!

Summer is a time to go on vacation, pick up a new hobby or two, and enjoy other leisurely activities. However, what about all us pet owners out there? For those who don’t have a spacious backyard, there are not very many places to take our pets. Dog parks are great places to go with the whole family, including our pets, on a nice summer’s day. Areas like this are great for walking about and playing a game with man’s (and woman’s) best friend. But, did you know that there are certain precautions to take in order to enjoy this leisurely activity? In fact, what many don’t realize is there are certain things we all must do in order to ensure the safety of our pets, ourselves, and everyone else around us. Dog parks are not for everyone, and heeding the advice listed below can protect us and our pets from potentially tricky situations.

Be Prepared
To ensure the safety of our pets and ourselves, it is a good idea to assess whether your pet is right for such an environment. This means knowing the temperament of your pet and the park area you are going to. Knowing the area means checking out the site before taking your pet there. During your initial site visit, look around and take note of the other pets and people there. Are there too many aggressive dogs playing around? If so, is your pet one to pick a fight or be afraid of such a busy environment? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then taking your pet to the park could be more stressful than a good idea.

Supervise
Supervision is essential when arriving at the dog park. Even if you think that your pooch is the most behaved dog in the world, anything could happen. Knowing your dog is one thing, but there is always the possibility that you do not know your pet as well as you think. Dogs can interact in a variety of ways. If a dog is feeling threatened, a fight could ensue even if that dog has never attacked anyone before. The fact is you just don’t know how your dog, or other dogs, is going to act. You may have an idea of how your pet will behave, but there is no telling what another dog’s history may be. Some dogs are more prone to aggression. This means some dogs might have a tendency to not play so well with others. If an interaction between two dogs seems way too aggressive, the important rule to remember is supervising your pet frequently will prevent such a situation from happening.

Not All Dogs Play Well Together
Owners should be avid watchers of their pet(s) and recognize the signs of potentially violent behavior. To control your dog, using a loud, deep voice can pull him/her back. When the situation becomes escalated, taking the necessary steps to seek protection is crucial. Timing is important in looking for a way to pull apart such a fight. You may be alone or with someone else, but looking for the right moment to grab the aggressive dog by the back legs or ribcage is vital in controlling that dog. This may be a high intense moment because the dog may start to attack you. In some situations a person will be approached by an aggressive dog. When an adult is attacked, then it is important to be as calm as you can be. The flight or fight response that all humans have will not serve well in these types of situations. Instead, a motionless state is best for the aggressive animal to move on. Rescuing a young child is a bit different because that child may not understand what is going on or what to do. In this case, distracting the dog is best. This can be done by throwing something and trying to scare the dog off. The number one goal is to protect the child.

Protect Yourself
When going to the dog park we not only have to supervise our pets, but ourselves as well. In the United States alone, aggressive dogs have been responsible for as many as 35 deaths in people each year. There are at least 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs every year. Children are perhaps the most susceptible to such attacks because of their size and structure. This is why children should not be left unattended; especially when around bigger breeds of dogs. Some parks have leash laws where dogs must be leashed at all times. However, there are parks where all dogs can roam free. If your pet is not familiar with, or uncomfortable around such parks that are places of high traffic, then it is important to not put yourself and your pet in such a stressful situation.

As many of us pet owners know, dogs are quite beneficial for our mental and physical health. Taking them to the park can be enjoyable for many individuals looking for a place to socialize and get some fresh air. However, owners must be responsible individuals who have taken the time to know the possible dangers of going to the park with their pet. This website (http://www.dog-training-usa.com/) can help you find a local dog training school where professionals can advise you on safety procedures. Owning a pet is a big responsibility that requires intelligent owners to know how to handle such situations.

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