Are Dog Parks a Good Place to Socialize Your Buddy?

While most people love all dogs, puppies are always a bit more popular. With puppies comes extreme responsibility however. Once your puppy gets to a certain age you will really want to start socializing your dog. How do you do this properly though? Another question that is also asked in terms of socialization is if a dog park is a good place to socialize your dog. These are just some of the questions that we will cover today in our piece. We will also cover some basic tips and tricks on how to socialize your dog as well as when it is the right time to start going to the dog park.

Overall when it comes to teaching your dog exactly how to be a dog there is no greater teacher than another canine. It can really be a good idea to have a wide variety of dogs around your puppy to help them learn the basics of being a dog. Most dogs welcome this and have no issue teaching others, but some dogs are not as tolerant of others. Dog parks can be great, but it is usually not the best place to begin your dog socialization process. Dog parks do, (unfortunately), have a history of fighting and bites from dogs that are not so friendly towards others. I would highly recommend waiting on the dog park until your pup is socialized.

It is recommended that you first begin your puppy socialization process by bringing friend’s and family member’s dogs over for play dates. By starting with dogs that you know personally, this can really limit the chances for anything bad to happen. Having your friend’s dogs around also helps your pup get use to new people as well as different people coming and going from your home. This is the best way to start your dog socialization process. The best part about this method is that you can do this from the comfort of your own home or you can even go over to a friend’s house or family member’s house instead.

Another good option to help socialize your puppy is to walk him or her regularly around your neighborhood. Not only will this get your dog use to his or her area, but it gives them a chance to burn off some energy as well. Puppies love new smells, sights, and sensations so going on walks regularly can really help with this. If you have other dogs in your neighborhood you could even possibly run into them. This can give your pup a chance to take things slow with just one new dog around. Just make sure that it is not too cold or too hot out for them.

You could also consider enrolling your puppy in training classes. There are many classes out there that also help with socialization. Being around new humans and dogs can also be good for him or her. Not only is everything happening in a controlled area, but your dog also learns new commands and even tricks. Training classes or obedience school can both be good options especially if you have a stubborn puppy. The one downside to this option can be the cost of these classes. Sometimes obedience classes or training classes can be very expensive. You also need to make sure that you can get your pup back and forth to these classes.

The last option that is recommended for puppy owners that want to start socializing their dog is puppy daycare. Some doggy daycare places actually have a screening process which really helps with the safety of every person and animal in the facility. You always should do as much research as you can on the daycare places in your area and always read the reviews. This can help your puppy socialize while you are not around. One of the bonuses to daycare is that your dog is supervised while learning how to be a regular dog. Be aware that this can be expensive as well.

After much research and what we have talked about today, I think it is safe to say that taking your puppy to the dog park to socialize them for the first time is not a good idea. The only time this is really okay is after your puppy has learned the basics of socialization. There is just too much that can go wrong with having in unsocialized dog at the dog park. Not only is it not safe for other dogs, but it is not safe for you and your puppy either. Remember that you can always ask your veterinarian for advice on ways to help socialize your furry friend.