Dog Park: Is it helping or hurting?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/i57p9s/dog_park_is_it_helping_or_hurting/

Here`s another great article:

We adopted our 18ish month old pup six weeks ago; she is a 45lb hound terrier mix who was found as a stray. She came to us crate-trained, house-trained, and knowing "sit", and we are working with a trainer in a group class on basic commands. Our dog also has some attention demand issues, some impulsivity issues, and doesn't walk well on the leash (She doesn't pull – she actually just sits in the street.) We're dealing with all of these through training.

Thanks to this thread from yesterday (the behavior described applies to my dog, too) I now know what we call her "witching hours" are Frenetic Random Activity Periods. She used to have them in the morning and evening, but since I started taking her to the dog park in the morning, she is relatively calm until about 5pm. Then FRAP lasts until about 9pm. During that time I am walking her, engaging her in training activities, etc, but the minute I stop she's barking for attention, testing my limits (she'll tug at my clothes or mask) and then finally snap at me. Her "nipping" is getting more and more like biting. She also started to become destructive, chewing baseboards and one kitchen cabinet. So even though I'm supposed to ignore her and/or separate from her to deal with the attention demand, she now needs to be watched at all times.

Her first dog park visit was just over a week ago, so she'd been with us five weeks at the time. I did the two-week shut-down with her (actually it was more like three) and we have opened our house up to her room by room. I don't have a fenced yard so I started playing with her at a very small dog park at which we were always the only ones there. One day we were joined by two other dogs and after I saw how well she did, I started taking her to a more populated dog park. At first she was ambivalent about it, but now she seems to enjoy it. She barks at the other dogs for attention, but that that improves every day; the other dogs mostly ignore it thankfully.

Trips to the dog park are clearly making her calmer in the mornings, but could they be making her more naughty at night? Did I rush this? Since leash-walking is not for exercise at this time, the park seemed like the way to have that need met. But if it's contributing to her difficult behavior at night, I obviously need to discontinue. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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