At the park we’d ideally like to avoid any forms of dog-to-dog aggression. Teaching your puppy how to socialise and behave with other dogs is the key to achieving this. Puppy pre-school provides an environment early on in a puppy’s life where they learn how to play appropriately. They will meet dogs of all different shapes and sizes, similar to what they will encounter at the park. They also learn to get used to other people and most especially children.
If your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, never allow if off the lead to terrorise other dogs. Instead, seek help through your vet clinic or veterinary behavioural specialist. Initially, the park and contact with other dogs should be avoided. Ensure however that adequate stimulation is provided at home in the form of toys, scattered food or a treat ball.
Here are a few tips to help you acclimatise your dog to the park:
- teach your dog basic skills – to sit and stay on command – use rewards to enforce good behaviour
- start to desensitise your dog to other dogs by walking another dog on a lead from afar – treat good behaviour
- Progressively move the other dog closer to your dog, always treating good behaviour
- Harnesses and head collars are useful to get good control of your dog’s head
Your dog’s anxiety should gradually decrease over time and hopefully, after adequate introductions to other dogs, you will be able to re-introduce your dog to the joys of the park.