Some people love the opportunity to
socialize their dogs and other people get fed up with (some) rude people who
let their dogs terrorize others, don't clean up after them, etc. When taking
your dog(s) to one of these parks, the most important thing is to pay
attention to your dog. It's great to chat with others, but everyone needs to
mindful of safety and to clean up after their own. And dogs do get rowdy and
can get hurt or bitten. Not to be negative about it, but you do have to be
Directory of Dog Parks
I prefer smaller dog parks that are securely fenced and have double gated
entries. There are some that have separate fenced areas for big and small
dogs- which is a great idea.
I have been to huge parks where fencing is not secure (and Beags could dig
out), and (mostly) larger breed dogs run in huge packs and intimidate the
little guys. Some adventurous Beags may join in, but that isn't much fun for
most of them.
One of our Beags, Virginia, is less social, and spends most of her time
doing "perimeter patrol" or hanging with a couple of familiar 2 or 4-legged
friends, so a wild bunch of large dogs would be the last thing that would
If you have a dog who is on the shy side and you want to take him/her to a
dog park to encourage socialization, you might try what we've done with
Virginia. Pick a time of day when there is less likely to be lots of dogs.
Before you enter, make sure that you size up who the dogs are and the level
of play going on. I let her find her own comfort level- generally she needs
to sniff every square inch before relaxing. I bring treats and maybe do a
few minutes of obedience
drills, and then encourage her to socialize if the other dogs seem friendly.
If she isn't comfortable, we leave.
No dog parks yet in your community? Get together with
your neighbors and see if you can convince your local planning board to
re-purpose an abandoned tennis court or ball field.
Not a fan of dog parks or don't have
one nearby? Try these fun alternatives:
Hiking and Wilderness Trails
Beagle Meetup groups
Also, you can check out the website of
your local Beagle Rescue for news on upcoming Beaglefests.