A Dog Park, in order to be enjoyable for both pet and owner needs to have rules as indicated in your Examiner’s last article about our local Dog Park, Statler Maloof. Why? Well, it’s a sociological concept: To have no rules would be a deviation from the norm. “To ‘deviate’ means to typically do something out of the norm but that which could potentially put you in harm’s way. How? Because the problem with deviation from the norm is that there are no rules. The problem with no rules is that proper boundaries are neither set nor maintained . . . “ Corinne E. Isaacs-Frontiero, Moving Forward, A Handbook Designed for the Divorced Individual. Forever the psychology major!
In addition to there being general rules in place, there is also a need to have etiquette rules in play. At Statler Maloof, the protocol regarding preparation for your pet to come to the park is as follows:
“Before your Visit:
Do not take an overexcited dog to the park. Walk your dog first or play fetch to drain some excess energy.
Prong collars, choke collars, dangling leads or loose fitted coats or sweaters are not proper equipment for inside the dog park.
Train your dog with the following commands for a more enjoyable visit: Come, Stay, Wait, and Leave it.”
In addition to offering constructive lists regarding “General Tips”, “Canine Greetings And Play Signals”, the Park also informs of the various “warning” signals to look for in your dog to determine if your dog is feeling anxious, aggressive, or overall “displaced” in his or her visit:
Holding paw over shoulder of other dog.
Aggressive Offensive Signals
Stiff, tip toes, appears larger
Tail Stiff/Straight Up
Defensive Fearful Signs
Lowering head and body
Lowering tails between legs
All insightful tips. If you are feeling that perhaps at this juncture, your dog may not quite “pass muster”, fear not, the Park also offers a class in Etiquette. For more information, simply contact the Park at (586) 445-5350 to inquire.
Sharing a Dog Park is like attending a social event. Everyone should be able to enjoy themselves and though it’s not laid out for us, but rather engrained in us, the social events we attend also have an etiquette agenda. It’s just whether we choose to roll with it or not!
“Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude.” – Maurice Baring.
All articles are © of Corinne Isaacs-Frontiero, 2010 and all Rights are Reserved.
Corinne writes, also, as the National Divorce Support Examiner. See her articles under Divorce Support Examiner @ Google, or follow both of Corinne’s columns on Twitter.