Growing Your Family Means Making Adjustments That Satisfies Everyone

My immediate family has grown. At one time, it was just myself (Alex), my husband (whose name is Alex as well), and our fur baby girl, Frankenstein. We loved our little family but noticed that little Frankie needed a companion. She is an incredibly social little girl who loves to be around other dogs and humans. However, taking her to the dog park wasn’t enough. We saw how needy she was so we made the decision the adopt a little furry sister for her.

Luna, Our Shy Fur Baby

A lot of changes came with our new family member, especially with our daily ritual to take Frankie to the dog park. We had to modify and work around Luna as she is the complete opposite of her sister. Luna is calm, introverted, reserved, and only likes to be around a small number of dogs. Sometimes she can barely handle being around her sister Frankie. We have the dog park several tries as we know how much all of us benefited from it. After several tries, we began to see how unhappy and anxious Luna would get. We needed to find a dog park alternative.

How To Find Dog Park Alternatives

Below are some of the solutions we came up with so Luna can enjoy her daily exercises, Frankie can socialize, and my husband and I can enjoy all the benefits of dog parks.

  • Observe A Dog’s Comfort Level – We closely observed when Luna felt her happiest. This was when she was only around us and Frankie (and sometimes a small number of dogs in an open environment). We began to see she loved going to the beach, hikes and open fields and found them to be a great dog park alternative.
  • Observe When The Dog Park Is Less Busy – Once we nailed down what worked best for Luna, we began incorporating the parks that Frankie craved at dog parks and found a time that was less busy. Not really a dog park alternative, but we found Luna can enjoy the dog park when less activity is there.
  • Teachable Moments – Luna isn’t as social as Frankie, however, there are still opportunities to correct her behaviors and learn how to approach walkers with their dogs or hikers in the hills. She’s able to receive the interactions she needs, even if she’s not a fan. Additionally, this allowed my husband and I to meet new people in our neighborhood and get our own dose of social interaction like we do at the dog park.
  • Relaxed Learning Environment – Shy dogs can still be trained to be around other dogs and humans. A comfortable setting relieves social anxiety and allows a dog to be disciplined around other dogs. This worked well with Luna, as an enclosed dog park was distracting for her in the past. With a little patience and time, we were able to continue our normal lives and take the girls with us everywhere. Not just to the dog park.

Happiness Comes From Family

It’s best to find what works best for each individual in your family. Some thrive on a lot of socialization and others do not. It’s important to come up with a plan that benefits all. Of course, everyone will not always be completely happy with the result but as long as everyone is happy together, your doggie outing is a win!

Thanks for taking the time to read. I’d love to hear your thoughts on dog parks and the benefits you’ve seen in your dog. If you’d like to have a discussion, reach out to us on FacebookTwitter, or leave a comment below.

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