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How to control your dog in the park

How to control your dog in the park

Q: My dog always barks at other dogs in the park. He's never attacked a dog, but he doesn't sound friendly. When we walk somewhere new, he doesn't bark, and even plays with other dogs. Why?

A: As your dog is friendly towards other dogs when he's walked in a new area, I don't think his behaviour is related to a fear of dogs. If you walk him in the same park frequently, it's possible your dog may regard that park as part of his territory. He is probably barking to tell the other dogs to keep out. He behaves differently when he's somewhere new as he doesn't see that as part of his territory. If possible, try to walk him in lots of different places so that he doesn't become accustomed to just one area. Always have some balls or toys with you and encourage him to play on walks, so that he concentrates on you rather than worrying about other dogs.

Inga Mackellar, behaviourist

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