Designing a Dream Dog Park for Reactive Dogs has been compensated by the Friends of Beneful program. All opinions are mine alone. #FriendsofBeneful #PurinaPartner #DreamDogPark
After we adopted Glory we wanted to make sure we could take her out to do things with us that she would enjoy. Obviously dog park visits were on the list. We wanted a big open space for her to run for exercise and fun. Not to mention getting social with other dogs in the community.
Safety is always the number one goal with dogs. A key safety practice for introducing dogs to new parks is to go when it’s not busy. This way the dog isn’t stressed and can get familiar with the sights and sounds. It’s also a great way for the owners to get familiar with the local dog park rules. When we took Glory, she did great. She mostly hung out around the fenceline sniffing out the other dogs who had visited the park.
Our first visit was somewhat boring for us, but Glory did great. A few other dogs were there, who she ignored and kept to herself instead. For us that was a win as we got to know her better so we decided to take her again. The second visit wasn’t as successful.
We quickly learned that Glory is a reactive dog. After a minor brawl with another dog we removed her immediately. At that point we noticed she was increasingly more reactive toward other dogs. It was almost like the more she got used to being part of our family and finding her place, the more likely she was to be reactive toward other dogs. Was she accepting us into her pack and trying to defend us? Was she reactive before we adopted her (we don’t know her history)? Whatever the reason, we now had a reactive dog as part of our family and we had to learn how to work with her for everyone’s safety.
A few weeks ago I announced my brand ambassadorship with Beneful. Now I’m excited to tell you about the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project because I believe every dog should have a safe, fun place to play. As I mentioned earlier safety is the number one priority at a dog park. This means reactive dogs, like Glory, aren’t able to enjoy the dog park.
Sure we have other options for fun and exercise. An open area at a park to give Glory some extra playtime and exercise while on the leash is what we do.
The park is a great alternative, however I would love to have a place outside our home for Glory to enjoy unleashed activities. Practicing her voice commands on leash is decent practice for her. Practicing off leash at home is great too, but off leash practice in a different safe environment would be fantastic too. Another place where she can practice her game of fetch or feel the freedom of running around without a human dictating her boundaries with a leash.
This is my dream dog park. A place where reactive dogs can enjoy off leash activities at their very own safe dog park space.
Our dream dog park has space with separate entrances where reactive dogs and owners can play in an open space without the leash, away from other dogs. It would have the fence boundaries blacked out so reactive dogs can’t see the other dogs in the area. Extra space to run around a bit, smell the smells, practice commands, and play some games is a must. We don’t need a lot of extras, though I’d have to admit since this is a dream dog park why not add in some embellishments. There could be running water spaces for drinks, some treat dispensers, and maybe even some doggie playground equipment! I would love to see a few of these separate areas so multiple reactive dogs can play in a safe way in their own space.
For now I’d be happy with just a reactive dog space. We can bring our own water.
If you’d like to know more about dog park safety, the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project has several great articles. Everything from dog park etiquette to finding out if an off leash dog park is right for your dog. There are several fantastic tips to make sure your dog park visit is safe and enjoyable for everyone.
What does your dream dog park look like? Make sure to check out the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project and learn how you can start creating your dream dog park. Tell me your ideas in the comments below.