She never saw him coming. Hit from behind, hard, by a playing dog she was knocked clear off her feet before landing on the concrete-like ground of the dog park. It happened in seconds, as such things do, and she was hurt, as people often are when taken down that way. This could have been avoided, if she had known this four simple dog park rules:
Back Against the Wall
The safest place you can stand in a park is with your back against a tree, fence, bench or other stationary object. Dogs don’t tend to slam into those and, even if you do get bumped, you can’t get taken out from behind by surprise.
Bend Your Knees
Keep your knees unlocked and slightly bent when around any group of dogs. This way, if you do get clipped, your legs will fold as they were intended to and not in some new and painful way.
Dress for the Occasion
My uniform is jeans, socks and close-toed, lace-up shoes like sneakers all year round in any group of dogs. I know that’s over the top for many but please, no flip-flops, clogs or heels. It’s just too easy to stumble in those when bumped or if you have to get out of the way quickly.
I know chatting is great fun but face the gate and watch who is joining the party. If a dog comes in who makes you nervous, if a dog walker comes in with a group of dogs, if someone enters with a small child—leave. Keep an eye on people throwing toys, as that can excite the group and get all dogs moving faster.
Dogs park time is social time for both species involved. Following these four dog park safety tips will make it safer social time for you, and that’s my goal.
Now you know.