What's Wrong with the Dog Park? - Dog Training Tips

Pets & Animals 

What’s Wrong with the Dog Park? – Dog Training Tips

People are always asking me why I don’t like dog parks. And I always give the same answer. “It’s not if you’d go is gonna get in a fight at the dog park, it’s when!” There are so many horror stories about dog parks, I could make hundreds of videos about it. But please take my advice and avoid the dog park if you really love dogs!

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47 Thoughts to “What’s Wrong with the Dog Park? – Dog Training Tips”

  1. Bruno Lomeli

    Most of the dogs at the dog park are stupid as hell for dumb reasons or not properly trained cause my dog punks these dudes and I really don’t recommend the dog park

  2. Laura's Life Dog Training & Dog Vlogs

    Totally agree with you Robert. The best toy and friend to a dog must be it’s owner/handler.

  3. Vince King

    People keep telling me to take my dog to let my dog off with other dogs to socalise with dogs in our local fields. I have told these random dog owners that this is how I end up adopting my dog because of the previous owner had two dog walkers who had my dog out with random dogs and he ended up in the vets where the owner had his bit done because my dog had little dogs attacking him so he bit one.
    I am trying so hard to turn my dog’s life around and gain the knowledge I need to do my best very best by him.

    I am working so hard and I am making progress but training a dog takes time and patience time I have loads of time to improve myself and give my dog the chance he needs to succeed.

    Just need to get this training right for my dog and if it was for professional dog trainer like your good self Robert I would be lost so thank you so much for your time and advice.


    Dog parks are disgusting. Nothing but disease and fleas

  5. terry H

    I used to visit dog parks(in Japan, we say “dog run”) when I was in Japan. Whenever I visited, I was cautious and checked before I got into the area, what kind of dogs there were (I mean not breeds but behaviour), what type of the owners they were and so on. There was a guy who often showed up with his two white shepherds at the dog park. I found out later that his two dogs attacked a small dog at the park and killed him. It was devastating news for everybody who used the park.

  6. Flores Flores

    Agreed 💕

  7. Paula Hildebrandt

    I’d never take my pack to a dog park. They are all rescues from terrible areas and had lots of ptsd when they arrived. I’m fortunate to have two fenced acres, so they run as much as they want and socialize with each other, which is fine by me. More is not necessarily better. They are so calm and sweet now, you’d hardly believe what they were like in the beginning. One looks and acts like she has a lot of fawn Maninoise, super smart but not a spaz, thank goodness. It is super fun teaching her new things. Thanks for all the good advice Robert! I, for one, am listening.

  8. Billy Mitchell

    I used to go to dog parks frequently only for the socialization with other dogs however, you get people who can’t control their dogs and it’s infuriating because my dog has been attacked two times and it really is a mood killer. My dog showed submission each time even though he’s a big dog with high test. I will only go now when there is none or couple low to medium driven dogs for this reason now.

  9. Terry Di Leone

    Not everyone can run with their dog or have a backyard. I do agree with the ring dog. Backyard agility tools are good too.

  10. Amanda East

    Agree, I don’t take my dog to dog parks. I think it sets them up for potentially ugly experiences, when I want to set my dog up for good experiences and good behaviors. Also, you just never know the health and well being of other dogs, not everyone takes great care of the pets.

  11. N A

    Can you please elaborate when /how you would suggest owners to let their dogs socialize w other dogs? Is that not very important, esp for puppies? Thank u

  12. Peks

    Dog parks are for lazy dog owners that don’t walk their dogs (at least where I live) and the people I meet that actually walk their dogs in our neighborhood are the anti dog park people 👍🏼

  13. chipotleman

    I’ve never bothered with dog parks. My chihuahua terrier mix already doesn’t care for other dogs in the first place so I think it would be counterproductive and uncomfortable for him. I think people should be spending more time with their dogs as well and playing with them.

  14. Shana Abell

    I’ve had to fire a few dogs this year. I luckily have access to a private dog park and I’m very selective with my crew. Dog parks aren’t for every dog. Dogs having friends is wonderful, but not every dog is safe at a dog park and people need to get a grip and keep everyone safe by not bringing dogs that can’t handle the parks.

  15. Take Kerkhof

    Hi Robert, love your videos. Thanks a lot. I feel you’re trying to say that ideally you would want this high octane release in a controlled environment (with dogs you know). With a dog park comes risk. The risk of losing control and getting a dog hurt. You alone can assess this risk in your situation best. Im from the Netherlands so I don’t know the dog parks situation, however we have off leash nature trails. Having raised 5 dogs, walking in these areas for 15+ years the times I have seen a dog pin another dog is once and never a serious dog bite. So for me, in these areas the pro’s outweigh the cons. Can it happen..? Sure. What I get in return is a ton of socialization, mental stimulus and social contact with other dog owners. Robert could it be that your vision is a bit clouded by all the screwed up dogs you’ve seen? Ask a criminal detective how safe the world is you will get a different answer than a kindergarten teacher. And what’s the science on dog happiness on this one? When my dog is running/wrestling and having reciprocal play with another dog it seems like pure joy. Sure my dog likes to play tug with me, run, etc, but it seems like a lot different. Because in theory you could be doing all those things (obedience, running, dog sports) and interaction with other dogs still adds something to the mix those things don’t. Would like to hear your thoughts on this. Regards!

  16. Liam Manning

    I honestly thought that if two dogs with good obedience and training would be fine to play 1 on 1 with their own kind.
    When you see this, the dogs look so happy and content and play the only way two dogs can play. I couldn’t imitate that play as a human.

    Would you say this would be a different situation and an allowable situation than a stranger-free for all dog park????

  17. 12 34

    This comment section is so refreshing for someone that avoids dog parks.

  18. Bic narok

    A typical “black and white” total control video. Dog parks and owners are different in different states and countries. I have been too many including a dog beach full of dogs in Vienna. If people are responsible, know their dogs and have good obedience, and the dogs who regulary go there know each other then what’s the problem? The danger of one dog flipping out? That can happen anywhere like in the attack video Robert analyzed. For example in Germany dog owners have to do a dog “driving license” for example, before getting a dog, you can’t compare that situation with other countries who don’t have that. Or a small village with a small population, why can’t they meet up if the dogs know each other?

  19. Justin Hilse

    I stopped taking my dog to dog parks. There’s too many owners who goes there they have no idea what they are doing with dogs. My dog has been attacked several times by owners who doesn’t know what they are doing on how to handle a dog. They just keep making the same excuses. It’s got to the point where my dog has trust issues with other dogs.

  20. Mystic Meadow

    We do go to dog parks and it’s truly a fun experience with the new installation of obstacles HOWEVER we wait or return another time if we observe aggressive/dominant k9’s. We have service dogs and PPD’s that have tons of invested hours and prefer to socialize within our own pack in our fenced homestead.

  21. Doug Garrett

    Robert, you mentioned the possibility of a dog getting pinned or pinning another dog. Can you explain the significance of this ? It sounds like something I need to know. Thanks

  22. PaPa's Woodshop

    Sir you are spot on! That is why I do not take my dogs to dog parks Any time my dogs have interaction with other dogs I use it to teach my dogs self control, while they under my control.

  23. bruce peterson

    I do dog parks.BUT ONLY TO PRACTICE OBEDIANCE. Never to let my dog play with unknown dogs.

  24. William Sladek

    Dog Park? No.

  25. Mark Davich

    I agree with this 100% – Over the years I’ve found that with any dog I’ve ever had, we had the most fun and our best bonding/training experiences on our own on or off leash though I have to admit, the dogs I’ve trusted/bonded with the closest were the dogs I’ve had since they were puppies.
    On occasion, I’ve taken these dogs to dog parks – a place where most of the owners you encounter do NOT have that personal bonded relationship with their animals. You are relying 100 percent on not only your dogs behavior, but someone else’s – If you want to be helpless and out of control, the dog park is the best place to do that.

  26. Tanner Libert

    Its like having two kids…

    One is 19 in a frat/sorority, the other is 16.

    Would you let the 16 year old learn from his siblings peers?

  27. Liesbeth Robison

    I pre-liked this video!! Seattle is full of the most crap dog-parks and I’ve never used them. Labs are great Northwest dogs. They love cold, wet, and get plenty of action with me. They still have their neighborhood buddies etc and don’t need a fenced area full of crap to have fun. Thank you for your videos Robert. Hard to find authentic voices these days.

  28. BedRock

    This video totally took me by surprise I’ve been taking my Rottweiler/ Doberman mix to dog park since he was 3 months old to socialize and thought was the right thing… I do stay vigilant and use a e collar going over all obedience commands there as it provides so many distractions…. there have been a couple small fights when my wife took him so she’s not comfortable taking him anymore but I still do it a few times a week but I do have a much “firmer” or better choice of word would be diligent….. is this counter productive to his development….I’m really confused

  29. oldsagerat

    Local group wanted to make a perfectly good park into a dog park.
    Thankfully it got squashed by the city attorney.
    Dog fights, liability, nobody cleans up after their dogs anyway.
    My Aussie won’t go looking for a fight but he won’t suffer a fool either.

  30. Macedonian GangsteR

    You are right Robert Cabral, maybe his dog is trained and socialized, but other dogs in the dog park aren’tt socialized and trained. Because dog owners who goes to the dog parks don’t exercise their dogs by their self and letting their dogs exercise for them self, and 99% dogs there are not right socialized with other dogs, don’t know how to play with other dogs and their owners aren’t controling them right. Keep going, i love your videos.

  31. Rico4you

    I work and train so that my Mal girl of 14 months best for times for both of us are with me and not other dogs. We are bounding as a new team! So well said Robert your response! 👋👋👋

  32. Julie Crowe

    My very high energy dog gets on fine with other dogs but hates to be in a large group of dogs

  33. john mortison

    Bingo!! My Amstaff is well trained and well mannered and I will not take her to a dog park even though she enjoys socializing with other dogs. In my experience, most dog parks are full of untrained and unsupervised dogs which are just a disaster waiting to happen. The few times I’ve taken her in is during a time when there are few dogs and I can see that they are well behaved and are playing nicely. Even then, I keep a close eye on her and remove her if things get too rough. As you say, there are much better ways to let your dog have a fun outing.

  34. Charles

    This needs to be amplified much more than it is.

  35. Kevin Bailey

    My back yard is the only dog park for us.
    It’s not just that we won’t be able to control our dogs in this atmosphere because SOME can.
    It’s everyone else’s dogs I worry about.
    I spend all this time training my dogs to trust me and then I dump them in the bullpen where I have no control over all the other dogs.
    For me this is no nonsense thinking.
    I still need my dogs trust and this can interfere with it. 🐕❤️

  36. Joop

    Here (The Netherlands) we have so-called “off-leash areas”.
    I avoid these areas with my very active and social GSD-mix.
    Dogs get bitten there, people get bitten there. Dogs get scared, people get scared and angry, dogs are running around there, totally uncontrolled.
    If you or your dog get involved in a serious incident, you have a lot of trouble at hand.
    I prefer to walk in the woods with my dog on the (long) leash.

  37. Lee Grass

    It is frustrating to me how Pet dog owners consistently have the wrong idea about dog exercise. They think the dog park is the answer to burning their dog’s excess energy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

  38. bladethorn

    I hadn’t been to a dog park in over a year, but ended up driving by one we used to frequent and said, sure let’s go. My dog is galloping around with the pack and one dog joins and is snappy, anxious, and under socialized. I called my dogs name and she peeled off and came right back. Honestly, though she has perfect recall and I shouldn’t have been, I was shocked by the instant response since she hadn’t been at a dog park in so long. It is incredible how much the bond has grown since we do off leash walks every morning and apparently she’s crystal clear on her boundaries. It was nice to know and she got lotsa praise

  39. Soli Deo Music

    “A high energy dog has no better friend than an Ebike.” – me

  40. Theodore Hyatt

    Dog parks are great places, to pick up really bad habits . Like letting your kids run the streets nothing good is going to happen. I toss a ball or frisbee . Until my arm falls off while building the bond

  41. ELIAKIM Joseph Sophia

    My dog loves the dog park, we are often there on our own doing recall training. He also likes meeting up with other dogs to have some fun. At least at the dog park, he’s safe.

  42. Swope

    The only thing I will use a dog park for is to test a dog’s ability to maintain compliance under the heavy distraction of being in the presence of dogs that are out of control. Even then I never actually go inside of the dog park because test is unfair if another dog can run up and lunge at them. Dog parks are for poorly trained dogs for the most part.

  43. Robin Rutherford Cost

    Same thing with doggy daycare. Let you be your dog’s reinforcement, not dogs that may not be well adjusted. None of the dog club members go to dog parks or doggy daycare. Half the time dog owners are on their phones, not even watching their dog. One of the dog parks by us the guy had wolf dogs he would bring in. They killed a Chihuahua and a few years later killed a kid. The park is now shut down. Wouldn’t want to be anyone in that situation. Such a shame and it can be difficult to find well adjusted dogs and owners that are on their dogs to correct when necessary or redirect and/or to get their dogs to even listen to them. And then there’s getting people to pick up after their dogs even with clean up equipment available…

  44. Mario Ortiz

    Hello, Robert. I love your videos and overall info. Lots of dog owners think that a dog needs to run full throttle to be excercised and underestimate that power of running alongside your dog at your speed. Dogs love it!!

  45. Lydia V

    I stopped taking my mal to dog parks after her 2nd period. She was always socialized byt things changed after that and now I focus on running her beside my bike and hiking daily. She started putting dogs in their place when she didnt like something and now I think I miss it more because it made it easier to tire her out but I think she likes our time better. I worry I started getting nervous and she might sence it. Idl.
    Has anyone experienced this?

  46. Enrique Santiago

    Running with my gsd every day in the mtn. His and mine fav experience. He only plays with his sister which my best friend owns. They both have a special relation. He used to be able to hang with his dad. Not anymore.

  47. Jannell Meagher

    Dog Parks= Breeding ground for disaster

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