When dogs dont go to dog parks, they get less friendly and sickRecently a dog that used to go to the park regularly has had to cut back its walks to only a few times per fortnight. Its owners still take the dog for local on lead walks near their home, but trouble is brewing.
Not all dogs are naturally confident. Puppy raising issues, breed or other factors can have dogs either be too timid or too aggressive. Both of these things can lead to fight or flight actions by dogs.
And even dogs that have become confident because of their off lead dog walks will often quickly lose that confidence when restricted to their yard or only a few walks per week.
If you have never taken your dog to a dog park, you will not know the difference it makes, or how hard it can sometimes be the first few times, but its always worth it.
The trouble I have recently seen with one previous dog park regular is that the lack of walks has now returned the dog to its original anxious and aggressive state. Not being around dogs regularly can make the first few times and older dog is exposed somewhat a jarring experience. And the same happens for a social dog that is drastically reduced in its dog contacts.
In this case the option for the owner to try and keep the low contact days is to put the dog on lead and muzzle the dog, which most owners dont want to do, so they will soon stop going to the park altogether.
This has the opposite effect on their original intentions.
So why don't owners take their dogs to parks more regularly?
Because its easier to turn a blind eye and not know why dogs need regular dog contact and save all that precious time, than do the right thing.
Un-walked dogs become:
- Less social ( less friendly to all dogs and humans they know and dont know
- less recall (because you dont practice it)
- bored and depressed - potentially developing mental issues
- Gain weight and harm joints and reduce life
- anxious with increased chance of separation anxiety
- More likely to defecate in their yard (regularly walked dogs dont poo in their yard)
- Keeping toxins in their bodies (because they dont run it out) has them live shorter lives
- change in work schedule
- loss of employment
- birth in the family
- New mortgage changing disposable income
- Poor health
- Fear of dogs in the dog park
If you have never been to a dog park, you dont know what you are missing, but if you have been and hate it, just make sure you find a way for your dogs sake that it makes it to the park regularly. Dogs are one of the biggest pack animals species on earth, they deserve, crave and need regular contact - preferably daily.