I've wrote about dog parks and why I'm not a fan of them before, so I'm not even going to get into that one.
It seems though, that a lot of dog owners use dog parks as the only option for off leash freedom for their dogs and they do so with the best intentions.
The problem though in that case is, that it is used as a crutch for dogs that can't be let off leash otherwise because they don't have the listening skills.
So this post is for those dog owners who wish they could let their dogs off leash outside of a dog park without having to worry and stress about the outcome and want to be able to provide their dog with freedom without boundaries.
Now if your dog does not come when called, obviously the dog park is a safer option for letting your dog off leash so they get at least something.
But I'd like to explain to you why dog park off leash freedom is not quite enough to have a truly happy and fulfilled dog which I know is what you strive for because you don't take dog ownership lightly.
Your dog deserves the best and you know you owe it to him to try everything in your power.
So here it is....
👉 Many dogs naturally move and explore within much larger areas than a dog park can provide so being confined by a fence restricts them from exploring to where their instincts naturally would take them.
Many dogs have a desire to cover ground. To go on a mission that takes them a far distance (hence so many dogs enjoy biking or similar cause we humans are able to go further and faster).
👉 The environment within a dog park stays pretty much the same. The smells do change as different dogs enter and exit, but the overall environment doesn't change.
So there is a limited amount of visual stimulation, environmental stimulation such as change in the ground and limited diversity in smells to explore.
👉 Also, the boundaries of the dog park doesn't let dogs always escape stimulation or exposure to other beings that they may not want to be around and would like to create more space to...and if they can't it causes unnecessary stress and frustration.
A dog park (just as any back yard) simply offers restrictions that won't allow your dog to biologically fulfill his senses to the fullest and behave in his most natural way.
As dog owners, we want to give our dogs the best life possible and I think one of the most important parts of that life is to be able to be safely off leash in different environment on a regular basis.
🐕 I've met owners either with dogs they thought could be never let off leash because the dog would bolt anytime and run for his life whenever they've attempted to do so.
But with the right training that gave the owners a feel of safety and control, and regular off leash opportunities for the dog, these dogs had absolutely no desire to bolt anymore which made a tremendous shift on the possibilities the owners and the dogs have together.
🐕 At the same time I've met owners with dog's being incredibly frustrated and under stimulated despite being offered a large amount of exercise on leash and other activities.... but once these dogs were able to experience true off leash freedom, their demeanor drastically changed to be much more balanced and more connected to their owners.
True off leash freedom without boundaries is medicine to your dog's mental health and your relationship.
About the author:
Simone Krebser - CPDT: Owner and head dog trainer of K9 Possible Dog Training. Certified dog trainer, certified pet first aid instructor, member of the IACP, dog crazy and chocolate/cheese addict. “My life revolves around dog’s day in and out and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is my goal to help enhance the lives of all the adventurous and outdoorsy dog owners that crave no limits”