The Sighthound Underground is not a big fan of dog parks. In fact, we're officially against taking your Sighthound to a public dog park.
All too often we've seen unfamiliar dogs get aggressive or small dogs get frisky and try to “run with the big dogs.” Either way, someone gets hurt. And while it’s usually the dog owner who is to blame when things go awry, it’s almost always the dog that pays the price.
So SHUG endorses private dog parks--with screening policies--and “play dates” with familiar dogs. We also encourage Sighthound owners to consider using basket racing muzzles. They won't hurt your dog and may save you--and your fellow dog owners--the pain and expense of an injury.
Yes, we know that muzzles aren't always popular--but we think they're a great way to introduce new dogs to each other . . . and they come in such pretty colors!
Whether at a dog park or on a play date or in your own living room, always pay attention when your dogs play and take note of these signs. When dogs display one or more of these behaviors it can mean that it's time for a break (credit to Petfinder.com):
•A dog repeatedly pins another down, with no reciprocation
•A dog repeatedly chases another, with no reciprocation
•A dog does not back off when the other dog gives a high-pitched yelp
•A dog continues to pursue another who is trying to end the play session by hiding.
Making sure play stays fun for everyone is the dog owner’s responsibility. If you’re not sure, take your dog for a walk instead. That’s always a good thing!