Do you have trouble standing out at the dog run? Are fluffy Bichon Frises and smiley palm-sized Pomeranians getting all the love? When Stella and I decide it's our time to shine and make new friends, we like to put on our COSTUMES.
Woof! That's right! You'll be so fetching in your unicorn costume that everyone will want to play with you. The humans can't resist costumes either, so you'll get lots of treats and belly scratches!
While you wait for your costume to arrive, here are some ways to have fun, stay safe, and make friends at the park:
- Remember our manners. Stella and I love to bark and jump and run around uncontrollably when we’re at home (just ask the UPS guy…) but we know that we have to behave puperly at the park if we want to be popular. So, our humans make sure we have our commands memorized (sit, look here, come, leave it), even when we’re off-leash or farther away.
- Take small steps. Some of us are so used to our human pack we forget what it’s like to be in a dog pack, and no dog likes meanies. So, it’s important we have lots of one-on-one play dates, and walks with one or two dogs, or even go to school so we can practice socializing before we go to the show!
- Sniff things out. Some of us are too shy to dash right in and need a little encouragement – a wing dog. One time I didn't know anyone at the dog park so my human let me sniff a spot near the fence. I met another dog sniffing the spot next to mine and we started playing and became friends. He knew all the other dogs and was happy to introduce me so I wasn’t shy anymore. Stella was a fraidy dog so she kept her leash on until she couldn’t miss any more fun and just had to chase the ball.
- Include your humans. People are the best, and they can help you make friends. They can throw sticks for you and show you and your friends how to play tug-o-war, and make sure you're playing safe. And if the beagle in the corner is giving you a cold shoulder, get their human to play too! You'll be friends in no time.
- Don't wear yourself out. Playing with new friends is hard work and you can get pretty thirsty! Train your human to bring you plenty of water and to make sure you're not getting too tired. Maybe get them bring treats to bribe your new friends with too....oh and make sure they clean up after you if you make a you know what, or you’ll be super unpopular with everybody.
With these great tips from me, even the shyest pooch will be a social butterfly in no time!
And remember, with a costume you'll be the belle of the ball... BALL! Where’s the ball? We'll be right back!
Peace & Paws,
Your preoccupied pal Blanche.