On day 16 of my 30-day challenge to take my dog to 30 places, Ace and I visited another new dog park in our area. This park was a lot better than the first one we visited, partly because there were actually dogs at this dog park!

I did have an issue with Ace at the park, however. He refused to sit before we entered because his excitement level was too high. I had to put him into a sit position after he ignored my command. And right away he popped up again. He did not listen to me at all, and I made the same mistake I’ve made before: I let him into the park anyway. This was a bad idea on my part, because Ace did not learn anything from this. He learned that if he doesn’t listen to me, he gets his way anyway.

What I was thinking at the time was I need to go to this park to get it out of the way as another place to visit. I was not thinking about what was best for my dog. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

So, next time I will walk Ace before we go to the park. Then after we drive there I will walk him for another five or ten minutes. If he does not sit calmly before we enter the park, then we simply will not go in. We will walk back a few yards and try to approach the gate again until he gets it right and enters the park calmly, even if it takes four or five times. That was the whole point of this challenge, and that is what Ace (and I) need to work on.

How is your dog when you take him or her to a dog park?

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