Why The Dog Park Is Not The Right Place To Socialize A Dog?


For some people dog parks are an excellent way to exercise their dog and allow it to play with other dogs. For other people dog parks are a nightmare because things happen to people and to the dogs usually because of owners that can’t follow the rules or that will not show common courtesy.

At least once a month I get a call from a dog owner that would like to know if I can help their dog that is showing aggression. When I inquire about the aggression where it happened, how it happened and so on quite often the owner will respond by telling me that their dog has attacked several dogs at the dog park.

Usually the next thing out of my mouth is what do you mean several dogs was this all in one incident? The answer is always the same, no, my dog is aggressive with dogs so I’ve been taking it to the dog park to try to socialize it.

So then I go into my speech about how dog parks are not the proper place to socialize an aggressive dog. I always explain to the dog owner how the period of socialization was from birth to 20 weeks old and if their dog did not get socialized with other dogs during that period it may never be socialized. They never like that answer.

I explain that if their dog wasn’t socialized during that period then there are other ways to exercise their dog without having it interact and hurt somebody else’s dog. I really think that for some of these people the dog park is the lazy man’s way to exercise a dog. I’ve actually seen where some people will drop their dog off, leave and come back 30 minutes to an hour later. At most dog parks this is not allowed but it happens anyway.

Recently at one of our local parks, not a dog park, I ran into a gentleman whose Labrador retrievers head was all bandaged up with vet wrap. I asked him what happened to his dog and he responded by telling me that three days earlier he had taken his dog to a dog park and another dog came up and bit his dogs ear completely off.

Wow!, That’s enough to get your attention about the problems that can happen at dog parks. Incidents like this are also reasons I’ve never taken one of my dogs to a dog park. Even though I’m not a dog park person I have a bunch of clients who love the experience and have never had a difficulty.

If you want your dog to interact with other dogs considering playtime with friends or families trusted dogs. You might also want to consider a doggie daycare where the dogs are carefully screened before being admitted to make sure that they have been socialized well. For a puppy consider attending a puppy training class if for nothing more than the socialization that your puppy will get.

I hope this information helped and will give you some things to think about when it comes to dog parks and socialization.

Do you need help socializing your dog?  If so visit us at Canine Behavior Specialists and give us a call, or for our out of town readers  .

Until next time,


P.S. Do you need some advice from a Canine Behavior Specialist?  If so CLICK HERE now!

About the Author: Wayne Booth is owner of Canine Behavior Specialists in Nashville, TN.  Wayne has been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director ofCanine Behavior Specialists Network.

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