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Things to do with your dog that does not include the dog park

People are often a bit taken aback when they ask me, the dog trainer (really I'm a people trainer) about dog parks. They are a really bad idea. Period. I mean, some could be okay when there aren't a whole lot of dogs there and you've got a dog that actually listens to you when you need them to. But for the most part, dog parks are full of dogs that have absolutely no recall, don't understand boundaries and often times you'll get the person who shows up with a reactive dog and after the dog goes off on your dog, you'll hear something like, "My dog's never done that before." I can tell you from two decades of experience with dog training, when you hear someone say that statement, 97% of the time, it's lie. It's a cover up for embarrassment. They hoped their dog wouldn't do it again would be a more truthful statement.

Here are some things to do with your dog that don't include going to a dog park. Make sure to be in "training" mode. Don't go to some of these places and let your dog run wild. Instead of a boring training session of sit, stay and walk by me in the same old place, these ideas will challenge you and your dog and you'll end up with a well trained dog while having some fun doing it.


    1. Teach your dog to jog with you

    2. Teach your dog to bike with you

    3. Take your dog on a hike

    4. Take your dog to home depot

    5. Find painted murals and take pictures in front of them

    6. Recall work in a park

    Take a long line and practice letting your dog roam on the long line, then recall your dog to you. This is the best way to teach a solid recall no matter where you are.

    7. Take you dog paddle boarding

    8. Get a mini agility course and set it up in your backyard or an enclosed park

    9. Play hide and seek with a favorite toy

    10. Get a book, a blanket and some dog chews and chill together

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