What are some of your dog's favorite place to visit? Dogs are very social and benefit from interactions with both humans and other dogs. But sadly, misconceptions about dogs and the countless myths about their behavior has lead to an over abundance of these:
For dogs to be upstanding canine citizens they first need to be social and accepted as members of the community. This includes park trails for dogs to walk on-leash. On-leash walking trails give dogs to opportunity to meet and greet other dogs and humans while maintaining their own controlled space. In addition, with the help of the leash, they have the opportunity to learn boundaries, get exercise to release energy, and experience the world around them in a controlled environment.
Dog parks allow dogs to run off leash is a safe area as they learn to interact with other dogs of a variety of personalities and temperaments. They allow dogs to find companionship and learn life lessons that they can only learn from other dogs.
Experience eliminates fear - Dogs who are involved and accepted in the community are better behaved. Through social events they learn and understand what is expected of them in society.
It's not only the dogs need to learn. Humans need to learn how to properly interact with their canine companions. Quite often, this requires the willingness and ability to think like a dog. It's important to respect a dog's space, treat them with respect, and understand that a dog can't respond with words. When bullied or intentionally, or unintentionally, provoked they may react with a growl or a nip. It's important to know that these reactions do not make the dog viscous, they are simply be communicating pain or fear.
It's time to let "man's best friend" be given every opportunity to to be part of the community and bring the joy and companionship that will enhance the lives of all they meet.