“Puppies require a lot of exercise.” When you get a puppy, it’s a warning you’ll hear repeatedly. As a previous dog owner, I thought I was fully prepared for my four-months old black lab mutt. Another truth I learned, not all puppies are created the same. An hour-long walk that would exhaust my Shiba puppy when he was the same age is barely just a warm-up lap to Cuevo. To a dog owner in the city, the local dog park is a necessary godsend.
For a medium to large-sized breed puppy, most walks simply aren’t strenuous enough to fulfill all its exercise needs. Dog parks provide the space to actually run around and play, and more importantly find other dog friends to play with. Fortunately for me, the nearest park is just right around the corner, a mere five-minute walk. If you’re thinking about adopting a puppy, I would highly recommend that you take the time to find the nearest dog park, you’ll thank yourself later.
Dog parks also play another extremely important role in a new puppy’s life, they’re a contained space for interacting with other dogs and owners. Early socialization is a major stage of a dog’s life. As I learned, dog’s actually have a very brief window in their life when they are most receptive to learning. The most amazing part is that it lasts for so short, it begins around 3 weeks of age and ends between 16-20 weeks.
Something else I didn’t really consider before Cuevo is that like humans, dogs like some dogs but dislike others. Cuevo doesn’t really enjoy catch or many games, instead his absolute favorite activity is wrestling with other dogs. Unfortunately, not all dogs love to be pushed around, bitten all-over, and slobbered on. For that reason, when I do find a dog that Cuevo gets along well with, I try to make an attempt to befriend the owner for future playdates. The unpredictability of the dog park-it can go from being packed to completely empty-makes the reliability of a doggy buddy invaluable.