Try stuffing a kong with peanut butter when putting your dog in the crate.
| by Robin Kovary|
Dog Runs and Dog Parks
Many communities throughout the United States now have safe, legal and enclosed
dog runs (and dog parks) where friendly, well-behaved puppies and dogs can play
together off-leash. As a founding member of The New York City Coalition For
Dogs (a group which was formed in 1989 to address a variety of dog-related
issues or concern to dog owners), I have for years been actively involved in
establishing official, city-recognized dog runs throughout New York City. When
I first became involved in campaigning for dog runs and dog play areas, I was
the Vice President of the only legal, city-recognized dog run in Manhattan (New
York City): the Mercer Houston Dog Run Association.
There are now at least twelve such places throughout Manhattan (as of the
time of this writing). In some states, there are actually entire Dog Parks
where dog owners can go to exercise their dogs off leash!
Benefits Of A Dog Run
Some of the many benefits of enclosed dog runs/dog parks include:
Puppies and adult dogs have a safe(r), enclosed place to play.
Enclosed play areas prevent off-leash dogs from infringing on the rights
of other community residents and park users such as joggers, small children,
and those who may be fearful of dogs.
By their mere presence, groups of dog owners (and their dogs) help deter crime,
and frequently act as the eyes and ears for the police.
A well-exercised dog is a happier and healthier dog.
An exercised dog makes a better next door neighbor than an under-exercised dog.
Puppies and dogs which get enough excersize by playing in a dog run, are less
likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively, destroy property, jump on
In an era where people are often reluctant or afraid to approach or converse
with a complete stranger, dog runs bring people together and create a greater
sense of community. Dogs help shy people "break the ice". People's love for
dogs often creates an important common ground, which as if by magic, serves to
break down otherwise impenetrable social and ecconomic barriers. Dogs (and dog
runs) are in fact responsible for many a lasting friendship between those who
might never otherwise have met.
Recommended Dog Run Rules
Members of the dog run and/or community representatives should establish and
enforce reasonable health and safety rules for the dog run, such as the
Puppies and dogs must be properly innoculated, be healthy (have no contageous
conditions or diseases), and be parasite-free (both internally and externally).
To help prevent dog fights, owners are encouraged to inquire about any dogs
already in the run which are unfamiliar to them, prior
to entering the run. Observing dogs' body language is also recommended
No dogs known to be aggressive towards other dogs or people (or exhibiting any
threatening behavior) may enter the run.
No bitches in heat may enter the run at any time.
Owners must clean up after their dogs.
Owners are asked to closely supervise
their dogs, and at no time should an owner leave the run without their dog(s).
If the dog run is located near local residences, hospitals, schools or
libraries, owners should discourage their dogs from barking excessively. This
is especially important prior to 10AM and after 9PM.
Parents must refrain from bringing toddlers and small children into the run.
Parents are strongly discouraged from bringing children under 12 years of age.
Children should at no time be allowed to run with or chase after dogs in the
Do not bring rawhide or food into the dog run as dogfights may result.
For safety reasons, please remove pinch (prong) and spike collars from your
dog prior to entering the dog run. Many dogs and puppies have been
injured by playing with another dog who was wearing a pinch collar. A
basic flat buckle collar (with city lisense, Rabies and identification
tags) is recommended.
How To Establish A Successful Dog Run In Your Community
If you are interested in establishing a dog run or dog park in your community,
here are some of the recommended steps:
Begin by contacting neighborhood dog owners and dog-related clubs,
associations, and organizations in your area.
Post, mail and distribute notices with relevant dog run
information. (Recommended destinations include: neighborhood bulletin
boards, pet supply stores, animal hospitals & clinics, groomers,
Organize community residents to contact (write letters, sign
petitions, e-mail, and telephone)your community representatives,
parks department officials and media, favoring the idea of establishing
dog runs in your area, and asking for their support. Letters should
be brief, polite and articulate.
Write and e-mail all local newspapers, including weekly "freebies".
List several reasons that a dog run will benefit your community
(including the non-dog-owning public). Include information about already
existing dog runs in other communities/states.
Seek out endorsements from local veterinarians, community leaders,
and celebrities who support your cause.
Encourage dog owners and other dog run supporters to attend and
speak up at community board and community affairs meetings. Pro dogrun
buttons and flyers are recommended.
Don't give up! It took us (The NYC Coalition for Dogs) more than
three years of active compaigning to get the Washington Square Park
Dog Run approved by community board members, park department
officials and other relevant community representatives! When I first
began petitioning for a dog run in Washington Square Park (in Greenwich
Village, downtown Manhattan) I was told by a prominent community board
member that I was wasting my time, and that I would NEVER succeed in
getting a dog run in Washington Square Park. Famous last words! ©
copyright Robin Kovary, 1996
For more information, see Dog Runs/Dog Parks
DOG RUN LINKS
Dog Parks, Dog Runs and Off Leash
(Diane Blackman, Dog Play)
Great page (as are all of Diane Blackman's pages!) Answers: "What is a Dog
Park?", "How Do I Start A Dog Park?", "Where Do I Get More Information?" and
"How Can I Find a Dog Park Near Me?".
FreePlay -- Dog Runs and Dog Parks
(Jan de Leeuw)
DOG RUN & DOG PARK GROUPS
FIDO / NYC
Contact: Stacy Shub
Floral / Riverside Park Fund
475 Riverside Drive #249
New York, NY 10115
P.O. Box 330
New York, NY 10024
Friends of Museum Park Dog Run
Contacts: Peter Wright (Co-Founder) /
Linda Sue Alexander (Co-Chair)
New York, NY
NYC Coalition for Dogs (defunct)
Robin Kovary (Co-Founder)
(212)243-5460 (after 1 PM)
(105th St. Dog Run)
Contact: John Herrold (Vice President)
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