Dog Parks Season
Now that the winter is over andmost of the spring melt has dried up, the leash free dog parks season is finally open (not that they were ever closed during the winter but area sparesly attended). I’m taking my Lhasa Apso dogs Chester and Roxie to visit a local dog park here in Mississauga usually once per weekend. We like to rotate among 2 or 3 different leash free zones here.
Not only do dog parks allow dogs to roam free, they get to meet all sorts of different dogs and I think this is important for dog socialization. They learn how to properly socialize with each other.
Chester and Roxie are use to a few local small dogs who live in our townhouse complex but I would like them to socialize with more dogs as it’s good for their well being.
Having said that, my boy Chester is still uneasy with larger dogs and my trainer thinks this will always be the case. Chester barks at any large dogs that get too close and the big dogs usually get the idea as they move away. The big dogs obviously don’t want trouble!
Roxie on the other hand, although not that chummy with other dogs too, at least doesn’t mind going through the initial sniff the other dog routine. Then she just walks away.
But even though both of my dogs don’t seem to play with other dogs, at least the exposure they getat the dog park enables them to gain some comfort with the idea of having lots of other dogs of all different sizes in the same area. Unlike some of our other unfriendly dogs in the neighbourhood, Chester and Roxie don’t turn into nervous (and potentially dangerous) wrecks just because other dogs are around.
Potential Dog Friends
Sometimes, usually with other smaller dogs, the interactions develop into a bit of play especially when there is another little dog that is very friendly and can encourage my two dogs to run around with him or her. We’ve had a few of these interactions where another little dog could turn into a good potential friend for my Lhasa Apsos.
We’ve already met a few small dogs who we see on a semi-regular basis and it becomes quite obvious that Chester and Roxie has already met them before as there is a sense of familiarity among them. I’m going to be more proactive and suggest to these dog owners that we plan to meet up at the dog parks more often so that our dogs can develop more friendships when the initial vibes are good.
And since my two Lhasa Apsos, especially Chester, tend to prefer to be in the company of only small dogs (as shown in the photo just above), it would be nice to be at the leash free dog parks when there are quite a few other little dogs around. It’s quite funny but the little ones tend to find each other and the big dogs do the same. We always see the larger ones off playing together on their own while the small breeds have their own little groups.
It’s very much like parents driving their kids to the playground so that the kids can play together while we watch on. So I’m looking forward to a great leash free dog parks season this summer and fall. Dogs are naturally social creatures and when proper dog socialization is encouraged, it only adds to their emotional well being.
If you are planning to bring your dog to leash free dog parks, make sure that they are vaccinated against bordetella (dog kennel cough) first.