Take off the leash and have some fun with your pet!

With summer right around the corner and the fact that I dwell in a Townhouse, I am looking for a place to let my dog run free!

My dog Olive is 11 years old and has always had a fenced in yard to play in but since relocating to Southwest Michigan she spends almost every day leased. So this summer I want to take her to a dog park were she can have some fun and I think I found the perfect park located in Vicksburg. It's the Prairie View County Park. Yahoo.com describes the park...

Prairie View County Park features 210 acres located on the shores of Gourdneck and Hogsett Lakes. With five picnic areas and a premier swimming beach, Prairie View is popular for group picnics and relaxing days spent at the beach. Prairie View also offers outstanding hiking and wildlife viewing in a unique, natural setting with a friendly and helpful staff. Prairie View is also home to the County's first dog park perfect for dogs to exercize and socialize off lease.

That all sounds great, but I am really interested in hearing personal experiences that fellow dog owners have had so I turned to yelp.com

Thom P. reported his thoughts on Yelp.com...

What a great leash free dog park. There are plenty of benches to sit if you get tired walking around or playing with your dog.

Olivia F. enjoyed the park as well, she noted on Yelp.com that...

This is a great dog park. I LOVE that they have an enclosed wooded area, I've never been to a dog park like that before! It's a good place to practice off-leash hiking. There's a cool water spicket too.

Now that I know where to take my girl, I need to figure out some rules for going to a dog park. I found some great tips at Thefuntimesguide.com.

Tips For Visiting The Dog Park:

  1. Leave your dog’s own toys and treats at home. The toys could cause fights and/or possessiveness.
  2. Keep one of your pups favorite treats hidden in your pocket.  Should your dog not want to leave the dog park or if he becomes fixated on someone or some thing, that one item could be used to regain your dog’s attention.
  3. It is not recommended that you take kids to dog parks. Children simply add another variable of uncertainty to the whole mix where strange dogs are interacting with one another.  Plus, you never know how a dog is going to react to a certain child and/or how a certain child is going to react in the presence of a certain dog.
  4. Pick up your dog’s poop.  Play it safe by bringing your own dog poop bags, even though many modern dog parks have poop bag stations and waste cans for your convenience.
  5.  Do your part to make the dog park a pleasant place to visit.  Some ideas: fill up empty dog water bowls (if there are any), gather random dog toys (if there’s a bin to keep them in), and walk by occasionally to make sure the gate stays properly locked at all times (so no dogs can escape).

I think I am ready to venture out and take Olive off her lease. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!


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