Published: November 30th, 2016

New York City is known as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the world. One of the reasons for this accolade is the plethora of dog parks scattered over the five boroughs with generous off leash hours and lot’s of space for doggies to play. New York City dog parks are a great place to socialize and exercise your dog. Every dog owner loves the idea of their dog romping through the park with their doggie friends while they watch from the sidelines.

The unfortunate truth is that not all dogs are a great fit for all dog parks and as an owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you and your dog are on the same page before a fun experience becomes an unfortunate one. For an example, a fun outing to a dog park can come to a tragic end.

If you’re in the city and plan on taking your pooch on an adventure that includes a visit to one of our city’s great dog parks we suggest you follow these four tips to have to ensure you and your canine buddy stay safe and have a great time.

  1. Practice your recall. Having the ability to recall your dog from a potentially dangerous situation is crucial for your dog’s safety and your peace of mind. The confidence you will feel knowing you have control of your dog will make you less anxious, and that will translate into a more confident dog. There are some great tips for training the perfect recall here.
  2. Learn dog park body language. Like a parent at the playground, it is up to you to monitor who your dog is playing with and to be aware of signs of stress or aggression in your dog or the dogs around him. Being able to flag and nip a potentially escalating situation in the bud is a crucial skill that you will find yourself using often. To learn all about dog park body language check out The Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
  3. Learn about the dog parks in your area. Each dog park has its unique personality that will either play off your dog’s’ strengths or his weaknesses. The size, shape, type of dogs and even time of day will all be determining factors on how your dog enjoys his visit. Learn how your dog likes to play and try to find a dog park in your area that best represents those needs. Read this excellent article with more tips on picking the right dog park.
  4. Your dog might not love the dog park, and that’s ok. Lots of dogs don’t do well at the dog park. Some have PTSD from experience others find them too overwhelming and some just don’t play well with others. If your dog falls into one of these categories, all is not lost here are some great alternatives that you can do to keep your dog fit, socialized and active.

Whether you and your dog end up at the dog park or on another exciting New York City adventure, spending quality time outdoor time with your dog promotes a happy and healthy relationship that will benefit the both of you.