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Is Your Dog Ready for the Park?

by Joyce Clark

DalmationWith the opening of Longmont’s second off-leash dog park, more area pooches can now enjoy the freedom and socialization these parks have to offer.
If you’re wondering if your dog would benefit from a romp in the park with other dogs, here are some questions to ask yourself.

1. Is your dog more than 4 months of age?
Puppies under 4 months should not attend a dog park because it exposes them to infectious disease before their immune system is completely ready. Also, adult and adolescent dogs often treat puppies too roughly, which can cause puppies to become defensive and possibly fearful and aggressive around other dogs in the future.

Puppies under 4 months should attend puppy kindergarten class, where they can learn appropriate social skills and you can learn how to read and understand your dog’s behavior. Contact the Longmont Humane Society for information about upcoming puppy classes.

2. Does your dog generally enjoy meeting new dogs and people?  Check whether your dog is social
Dogs that are fearful and/or reactive around dogs and people should not attend a dog park because it can make your dog more reactive and more fearful. And it can put your dog at increased risk of injuring another dog or person, because a fearful or reactive dog is likely to become aggressive to defend itself when overwhelmed by a group of rambunctious dogs or unfamiliar people.

Consider contacting our Training & Behavior Dept for helping assessing if your dog is an appropriate candidate for the dog park.  We also offer supervised play time here at LHS.

3. Is your dog a small breed? Dogs generally under 25 pounds should use the designated small-dog area for their safety. Large dogs may not know how to play safely with a small dog.

Both dog parks (at 21st Avenue and Francis Street, and off Airport Road at St. Vrain Road near the utility plant) are now open, with the Airport Road facility having water fountains for both humans and canines. Click Here for information about the City Dog Parks.