Cesar Millan Gets Bitten While Giving An Aggressive Terrier An Emergency Lesson In Dog Park Etiquette
Dog Trainer Cesar Millan intervenes to correct a terrier’s aggressive behavior before she and her owner are banned from the dog park forever!
Trips to the dog park can be a great way to enjoy some time outdoors with your dog and to let them play away excess energy! For Tami, the fellow dog owners at her local park have become family to her, and her daily trips with her 2 rescue dogs feel like coming home. Unfortunately, Tami is at risk of being kicked out of her local dog park community because her terrier-mix, Isaboo, has transformed into a terror. Seemingly overnight, Isaboo has started aggressively attacking other people and dogs at the dog park, drawing blood many times. As a last ditch effort to save Tami’s reputation in her local dog community, her friend, Patty, calls in Dog Expert Cesar Millan to intervene. Watch as Cesar Millan gives Tami and Isaboo an emergency lesson in dog park etiquette on this episode of “Cesar 911.”
Cesar 911 is on Sundays 10:00AM Eastern | 9:00AM Central!
After observing Tami and Isaboo, Cesar quickly understands why Patty asked him to intervene. As soon as Cesar introduces himself to Tami, Isaboo lunges to bite Cesar’s ankles! Luckily, Isaboo responds well to Cesar’s corrections. However, Cesar’s bigger challenge will be teaching Tami to take control of her terrier without him there.
If you are planning to start taking your dog to the dog park soon, here is some basic etiquette to remember to ensure you have a successful trip:
Make sure your dog knows his commands.
Before visiting your first dog park, make sure your dog is well trained and understands essential commands, such as “stay” and “come.” The dog park will have lots of new smells, furry friends, and stimulation to excite and distract your dog. In the event of an emergency, such as a dog fight, you should be confident that your dog will come back to you. Plus, when it’s time to go home, you want your dog to come back to you rather than you chasing him all over the park.
Keep your dog’s collar on.
No matter how well your dog listens, always make sure he is wearing his collar and that you have the leash on hand. In the best case scenario, you won’t lose the leash and no other dog owners will pick it up accidentally. In the worst case scenario, you can always grab your dog’s collar quickly to pull him away from danger, and he will have a collar with identification on if he somehow escapes the designated dog park area.
Only bring healthy dogs over 4 months old.
Depending on where you live, you may not be allowed to bring your dog to your local dog park until they are fully vaccinated, which typically happens around 4 months of age for puppies. These vaccinations are extremely important for protecting your dog from life threatening diseases, such as rabies, distemper, and canine influenza. Similarly, don’t bring your dog to the park if they are showing signs of illness, as he may be contagious and could spread the sickness to other dogs. The dog park will still be there when your pup feels better!
While this isn’t an illness per say, don’t bring unspayed female dogs to the dog park while they are in heat. When a female dog is in heat or close to coming in season, she releases pheromones that could distract other dogs. Her presence could cause fights between other dogs and might even lead to an unplanned litter of puppies.
This should go without saying, but always stay alert while at the dog park. This doesn’t mean you have to be a helicopter pet parent and hover, but be aware of your surroundings and look out for any of your dog’s triggers. Pay close attention to your dog’s body language and the body language of the dogs around him to prevent any dog fights or altercations before they even begin.
Pick up after your dog.
All pet parents are expected to pick up after their dogs while at the dog park. Typically, the dog park will provide bags and trash cans for your convenience. Leaving pet waste behind is gross, unsanitary, and will irritate other dog owners.
Stay on the right side of the fence.
Some dog parks will divide their unleashed areas into a small dog area and big dog area. The idea behind this is to encourage safe and congenial mingling. Smaller dogs may be intimidated or injured by rambunctious bigger dogs, even when there is no malicious intent. It’s safer for everyone when pet parents obey the size rules. That said, there may be some exceptions. For example, a large senior dog that doesn’t like to play much may ultimately be safer on the small dog side of the fence.
Don’t bring food into the dog park.
While your dog may have good manners around food, the dog park isn’t the right place to have a picnic or give your dog his favorite treat. The presence of food may distract other dogs, especially those with resource guarding issues. Dogs could act aggressively toward you in order to get what you’re eating, or may become jealous and lash out at you and your dog if they see him getting a treat they can’t have. If your dog normally receives a treat as praise for doing a command, such as going to the bathroom, give them praise through love and pets while at the dog park.
That said, you may be able to safely bring a toy to play with at the dog park, such as a ball or a frisbee. Many times, multiple dogs will chase the ball or frisbee together peacefully. However, be on the lookout for resource guarders and untrained dogs who may throw tantrums if they are forced to share a favorite toy.
Don’t smoke in the dog park.
Not only will smoking distract you from watching your dog, it can bother the other dog owners trying to enjoy the park around you. It can also be dangerous for the dogs to breath in the second hand smoke while they are exerting themselves, or could aggravate health conditions of other pet parents, such as asthma. Plus, dogs that ingest discarded cigarette butts can become very sick.
Exercise caution when bringing small children.
While there is no rule in place that says children can or can’t come to the dog park, be careful when bringing small children or toddlers along. This is because strange dogs may be unfamiliar or scared of kids, which puts the child at risk for injuries or bad experiences. In addition, rambunctious dogs may accidentally knock children over while playing.
Want more pet parenting tips? Check out some of our related stories below: