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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dog Park Days

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

This Adorable Bulldog has just

One Spot Centered on his Back

My closest dog park is also my favorite. It has beautiful trees to provide welcome shade in Summer. My dogs love the grass--acres of it that gives them good purchase when they're playing a tag game.

We enjoy seeing our regular dog park friends, both human and canine, each weekend. This weekend, one of our regulars decided to start a list of all the folks in the park, including their dog's names and email addresses. I guess she officially became our secretary, but this may help us address any problems that come up and need the attention of others. She and I seem to have become the official caretakers of the park, making our rounds with poop bags to collect unproductive piles around the park. No worries!

Occasionally, just like children on a playground, squabbles end up causing friction among "parents." Thinking about one such event made me realize that these squabbles are fleeting and we all need to learn to let go. After all, it is dogs we're dealing with. We can't reason with them. It is really the owners who need to figure out ways to get along when our dogs disagree over a ball or a stick or a habit of dominating that becomes unacceptable. Addressing these issues head on is usually the best method. Something like " I'm sorry Tanner likes to jump on you. He is a bit too friendly for his size. I put my knee up to stop him, and then ask him to sit for petting. Would you like to try this?"

Yeah. I know it isn't a cure all, but Tanner is enthusiastic about socializing with humans, almost as much as the dogs. I talked with another trainer this weekend who merely suggested that I keep that up...not give up when Tanner doesn't understand that the same rules apply for other humans. He is generally pretty good about not jumping on me; it's other people who really get his engine going. So, I'll keep on plugging. According to this trainer, it could take a while for Tanner to transfer the lesson that jumping is not acceptable on anyone. We'll see.

Do you have a cure all for jumping? My excitable Golden Retriever could really use your suggestions. He's a lovable oaf, but sometimes too lovable.

I remembered the camera this weekend, so I took a few pictures of the gang. Here are a few of Tanner, Oliver and Xena's playmates:

Oops! My software won't let me put any more photos in. I'll continue this photo album on the next post; just scroll down.


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