Successful dog park experiences!

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I have a freshly-turned-1yo black lab mix named Lyla. We've had her since April. We've had some less than positive experiences at her doggy daycare recently, so I hesitantly decided to try out a dog park despite the fact that I know there are a lot of negatives that can come from bad behavior and bad owners at dog parks. I really just wanted to be there myself so I could step in if Lyla was being too assertive and not picking up on other dog's "back off" cues. She just loves playing with other dogs so much I feel like she really needs the socialization and practice with impulse control while still getting to have fun in a way that a walk or training or playing with me just can't match up to.

But, to my surprise, she did SO WELL!!! We've gone to the park the last three days and she had zeroooo issues. She was friendly to all the dogs, but not really overly in their face to the point where I had to step in. There were two puppies (husky and GSD) who were terrified and being bullied by some of the other dogs, and Lyla played very gently with them and just laid down next to the husky in the grass. I think the huge open space and only having about 5-10 dogs vs the 30 dogs in a small space at daycare is way better for her so she can just run full speed and burn off her energy. Today she even played with a little pug puppy and was so nice to her.

I honestly don't think this is because of anything I've done, she's just a sweet-natured dog and loves to be outside running in the open space. It made me feel better because both daycares we've been to have said she has a very rambunctious play style, but at the dog park she wasn't like that at all. I'm just happy we've found somewhere that she can run and just be a dog, instead of always being on the leash or cooped up in my small townhome. I love seeing her happy. Thanks so much for all the helpful advice in this sub. I realize she's now not technically a "puppy" but she certainly still acts like one haha!

My whole life I've wanted a dog who loved other dogs and I finally have one, and it makes me so happy. My two previous dogs were not well-socialized, and one was attacked multiple times, so they could not be around other dogs at all without being aggressive and starting a fight. I loved them both dearly, but it was definitely a challenge. Lyla definitely has A LONG way to go when it comes to certain behaviors (separation anxiety UGH) but this was definitely cause for a wag. Thanks if you made it this far in the post.

Puppy tax 🙂

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