When you hear the phrase “dog park” you probably have a simple picture in mind. However, a dog park can be made up of a variety of things beyond the fenced-in walking space. Why shouldn’t a dog park have more stimulating play features? Why shouldn’t it be nice for human visitors to look at them?
The Vancouver Park Board recently sought public feedback for their updates to the dog section in Coopers’ Park in North False Creek. The off-leash area there is currently lacking amenities and well-maintained facilities. From the proposals available, it is clear that in addition to refurbishment, they are also aiming for an ambitious redesign.
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The survey asked which playgrounds residents would prefer for their dogs. Areas considered include open fetch and run areas, a designated sand digging area, and covered outdoor areas. They are also considering designating separate areas for shy dogs, which could help those who tend to stay away from dog parks to avoid social interactions.
The park could also include agility featuressuch as tunnels, ramps, boulders, masts, and other custom equipment. Also, water features are likely to be included in the new design. Most puppies can’t resist a sprinkler!
Image via Vancouver Park Board
Regardless of what the park ultimately looks like, it’s nice to ask dog parents what they’d actually want. The Vancouver Park Board website sums up its mission:
“OLA improvements are led by the People Parks & Dogs Strategy (2017)with the aim of creating a safe and attractive parking space for people with and without a dog. “
The online survey ends April 6, 2021, so Vancouver residents should fill it out as soon as possible. The feedback that the Park Board receives informs about the revision of the summer design and, ideally, construction will start as early as winter.
Is the dog park suitable for your dog?
No matter how beautiful the characteristics of a dog park, some dogs are less suited to these play environments than others. If you have an anxiety-aggressive dog or one who doesn’t get along with other dogs, you should probably be playing somewhere else. Your dog should also know basic commands for obedience, especially when the park is off a leash.
Some dog parks have separate areas for dogs of different sizes, but many do not. You should still stay with your dog and keep an eye on him at all times, but consider whether the size of the other dogs in the park is an issue for you.
There are also many ways you can make sure the dog park is safe and fun for your dog. Lisa Marino, director of Class Dog Training LLC in Winchester, Virginia, says:
“One way for dog owners to make the dog park a better experience is to not allow their dogs to congregate at entrances and exits. Often times, owners excitedly let their dogs rush to meet each new dog that walks in. If everyone calls their dogs back for the new man to come in and be released, they can say hello more naturally than in a mob scene. “
Check out our guide to dog park etiquette here.
H / T: Daily beehive