Going to the dog park is highly beneficial for your puppy in many ways. One of the most important reasons to go is that puppies need to be socialised as early as possible and dog parks are the perfect location to introduce your puppy to a diverse variety of other dogs and people. In addition, dog parks are a pleasant and safe location for you and your pet to bond while training and doing exercise. Remember to choose a park that has a secure fence while your puppy is still being trained to come when called.
Before you go
Before you take them to the park, make sure your puppy has had all their vaccinations so they are protected from any diseases that other dogs at the park may carry. If your puppy is too young to go outside but you would like to begin their socialisation, our Puppy School program is a great way to allow your puppy to interact with other puppies and people in a fun and safe environment.
For those who haven’t attended puppy school, the dog park may be your puppy’s first introduction to other dogs. If you aren’t sure of how your puppy will react to other dogs, introduce them one-on-one to a friend or neighbour’s dog first and only take them to the park if you are comfortable with their interaction.
Recommended essentials when heading to the park
Take it slow
Your puppy is still young and hasn’t explored much of the world yet so remember to take their introduction to the dog park slowly. We recommend that you first bring them to the park at a relatively quiet time of day so they can become familiar with the surroundings at their own pace. Try to take them on a walk or play with them before the visit so they’ve used up some energy and are more relaxed. Keep the visit short and sweet – no more than 30 minutes, and gradually increase this time as your puppy’s confidence grows.
Training skills at the park
There will be many more distractions at the park than there are in your backyard, so this is a great opportunity for you to improve your dog’s ability to listen to your cues and not lose focus. A basic puppy cue that you can work on together at the dog park is ‘come’. Once you’re satisfied that your puppy will return to you on cue, you can reward them but letting them off the leash as soon as you get to the park, so they are free to run off and interact with their canine friends.
Exercising at the park
All puppies need frequent exercise in order to remain healthy and the dog park provides plenty of outdoor space for your puppy to run around and be active. Teach your puppy how to play fetch with our wide range of chase toys including balls and launchers, frisbees and other items that will help you and your puppy to bond.
Recommended Toys for the Park
Visit your local Petbarn store where our friendly team members can point you towards your local dog parks and provide you with more advice on the best activities to do with your puppy there.