A few simple rules can make your dog park experience more enjoyable and stress free.
· Keep an eye on your dog: PPM is all about fun and socializing and we meet some of the best people while with our dogs. It is still important to keep an eye on your dog and the dogs around you and your dog in order to ensure peace and tranquility.
· Treats or No Treats? There is a debate about if treats are acceptable in a dog-friendly area. We know that they are important for training and as a reward for good behavior, but we also know that dogs have an amazing sense of smell and that they all know you have treats. This can lead to getting jumped on and some aggressive behavior when one dog gets a treat and another does not. Ultimately, you know best, but be prepared for dogs being dogs and manage the situation. Ask before you give someone else’s dog a treat.
· Be Proactive: We spend a lot of time with our dogs and have learned to know their behaviors. Not all dogs get along. Some dogs do not like bigger or smaller dogs, un-neutered dogs can pose problems, and sometimes two dogs just have issues. Since we know this and that it takes two to tango, be aware of the triggers and try to go out of your way avoid them.
· Toys: As you know, all dogs have different personalities. It's seldom as evident when it comes to toys. A squeaky toy can send a dog into frenzy. Other dogs could just care less. My dog will only play with a tennis ball. He doesn't care which one, while other dogs will only play with one particular ball. If you bring a fancy, expensive, or just sentimental toy along, it may become another dog’s passion. Be prepared and if you do not want to lose it, do not bring it. A dog park is a shared space and most dogs give up the idea of being territorial. When in a shared space, that does not always apply to whose toy is whose. Monitor the pack when bringing out a toy to avoid any unpleasant interactions. And if you think there may be an issue, just put it away.
· Clean Up After Your Dog: Planned Property Management provides free poop bags at its three dog parks. Cleaning up after your pooch makes everyone’s experience better.
· Keep Your Dog's Vaccinations Current: There is the great debate these days about kids and vaccinations. It also applies to pets. Dogs are required to have certain vaccinations each year and it is best for the dog population that they are current. It is suggested that you wait until your puppy is 4 months old before you bring them to a public dog area. Chicago requires a dog license and all that license requires is a rabies vaccination. Check with your vet for other shots to protect your pet.