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Encyclopedia > Dog Park
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These standard poodles are playing at a dog park. Note the watering hydrant.
This article is about the exercise area for dogs; there is also a Dog Park (movie).

A dog park is a facility set aside for dogs and their owners to exercise and play off-leash in a controlled environment. Parks vary in accoutrements, but a typical dog park is fenced; has separate, double-gated entry and exit points; a pond for swimming; hydrants for watering dogs; and tools to pick up and dispose of animal waste. In Australia, dog parks have water taps rather than hydrants, garden benches and mature trees for shade. Some (e.g. Pymble, New South Wales) have solar lampposts for after dark use. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Standard Poodles at Dog Park Josie and Jackson, Standard Poodles, playing at OKC PAW Park. ... Standard Poodles at Dog Park Josie and Jackson, Standard Poodles, playing at OKC PAW Park. ... Dog Park is a 1998 American/Canadian comedy/romance film movie directed by Bruce McCulloch. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... This page may meet Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... Feces, faeces, or fæces (see spelling differences) In humans, defecation may occur (depending on the individual and the circumstances) from once every two or three days to several times a day. ... Pymble is a suburb in the North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. ...


Benefits of off-leash dog parks

Pet ownership in the United States increased by over 1 million households between 1990 and 1992, up to 54 million, or 58% of all U.S. households. Of the pet-owning households, 38% included dogs. The number of dogs per dog-household was 1.5, totally 53.3 million dogs[1].

While suburban and rural zones have traditionally been areas containing most of the pet-owning population, the urban environment has been undergoing an increase in pet population since the 1970s. This, combined with the fact that over the past 15 years urbanization has been taking over what was formerly considered to be suburban and rural areas, has resulted in a phenomenon called "urbananimalization." This, first of all, encompasses the recognition that animals are and will continue to be a "quality of life" aspect of urban society. Secondly, it recognizes that development must specifically provide for the inclusion of domestic animals in its growth plans. The well-being or quality of life of a population is an important concern in economics and political science. ...

As the dog companion population increases along with development, regulations need to be in place to promote responsible pet ownership, and facilities need to be provided to allow pet owners and their canine companions to exercise and play together. The provision of ample quality space for the human/dog companion recreation promotes the physical and mental well being of both dog and human.

Dogs playing "catch"
Dogs playing "catch"

Off-leash dog areas provide a social setting in which people can gather and interact in friendship. Off-leash dog areas are places where dog owners and nondog owners can delight in the entertaining and interesting interaction of dogs at play. Scientific studies have shown that people somehow find it easier to talk to each other with dogs as the initial focus, breaking down the usual social barriers that make people in our society perceive others as "strangers." Research has also shown that companion dogs improve people's health and increase resistance to disease by providing companionship, by giving people something to care for, by providing pleasurable activity, by providing a source of constancy in our changing lives, by stimulating people to exercise, by providing comfort with touch, and being a pleasure to watch[2]. The unconditional love of a companion animal is very beneficial. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ...

The benefits to dogs is also well documented. Dogs that are highly socialized and exercised are healthier and happier. They make better neighbors because they bark and dig out of their enclosure less often. If they do escape, they are far less likely to be aggressive.

Problems with off-leash dog parks

Like all recreation activities, certain safeguards need to be put in place before an off-leash dog park should be established. The first objective is to ensure that the location of the off-leash park is appropriate. The park should not be placed in environmentally sensitive areas, and it must be free of poisonous plants and dangerous topography such as steep cliffs. The second objective is to ensure that the park itself is safe for dogs, people, and wildlife. This generally will require the park to be a safe distance away from traffic, and always requires the park to have some sort of fence or barrier to ensure that dogs do not end up in precarious situations. A third objective is to make sure the size of the dog park is appropriate. Generally dog parks that are too big result in opportunities for dogs to learn and demonstrate anti-social, dominant behavior without swift intervention by their guardians. The Stanley R. Mickelson Safeguard complex in Nekoma, North Dakota, with the separate long-range detection radar located further north at Concrete, North Dakota, was the only operational anti-ballistic missile system ever deployed by the United States. ... This article is about the dangerous substance. ... For discussion of land surfaces themselves, see Terrain. ...

Allowing dogs off-leash in the safety of a dog park is an excellent way to socialize dogs. Dogs who are shy or aggressive can learn to interact safely with other dogs if their owners take the time to learn about dog behavior and acclimate them at the dog park. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Flag of Coronado Coronado is a city in San Diego County, California, United States. ...

Modern dog parks usually have separate play spaces for large and small dogs to protect small dogs from rough play with bigger dogs. Separating the big from the small prevents"predatory drift, a situation in which dogs who are not normally predatory enter prey (attack) mode. Even highly socialized dogs can "drift" into a predatory attack mode, particularly when smaller dogs appear injured or yelp during off-leash exercises. When a dog enters a "predatory drift" mode, it attempts to kill the smaller dog that triggers the event. Some adoption agencies such as the San Francisco SPCA refuse to place dogs into homes with existing dogs if the dogs differ substantially in size (they offer a pamphlet about predatory drift on their website). The subject of this article may not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ...

Dog owners must watch their dogs carefully and stay within a reasonable distance of their dogs so that they can intervene if the dog acts violently or anti-socially. Some people think a smaller dog park makes it easier for dog owners to protect their dogs because they can see the activity n the whole park. Others favor a larger dog park where there is plenty of room for dogs to play without crowding or "packing up".

Dog owners can find suitable off-leash space in many fenced dog parks and in a few unfenced areas where dogs are permitted off-leash. Prospect Park in Brooklyn is a national model for incorporating off-leash space without fencing, into a large multi-use park.


  1. ^ "1992 National Pet Owners Study", Pet Business, August 1992
  2. ^ "Pets and People: The Bonds Grow Stronger", Pet Business, February 1990

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Dog Park Design (2522 words)
The new dog park in Burlingame is a mix of DG and grass.
At Mitchell the dog park is next to the Stevenson House, a low income retirement facility and the barking led to a showdown at city hall in Palo Alto in 1995 from complaints.
Dog parks are not safe areas for children under 8 or the elderly as both can be seriously injured by spontaneous high levels of dog activity.
  More results at FactBites »



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