Caring for a pet well doesn't just mean feeding it and cleaning up after it and occasionally taking it to the vet. It also means making sure it gets enough exercise, socialization, and stimulation to be a happy pet. This is especially difficult to do when you own a dog in a big city. Living in a small apartment and being surrounded by office towers doesn't lend itself well to outdoor adventures with a dog, especially when there are bylaws which state you mustn't let your dog off its leash. This is why many cities have set up off leash parks. Read on to learn more.
The problem with taking your dog to a regular public park is that there are usually rules in place that prevent you from taking your dog off its leash to run around. People don't want to have to go running back to their homes when a loose dog snatches their Frisbee in the middle of a game or comes bounding after their child. But a lot of dog training requires off-leash activity, so these leash rules can be very frustrating to dogs and dog owners. Luckily there are usually enough of them to lobby the city for a park where dogs can be themselves: an off leash park.
Off leash parks are parks that are specifically set aside as a place where owners can take their dogs and let them run around without being afraid of how parents will react. You might have to travel a considerable distance from your home to find one, but it's worth it to have the freedom. You can let your dog off its leash to run around, to play with the other dogs, and to do some training that you can't do with a leash on. There is usually at least one off leash park in the bigger cities, with other parks setting aside special off leash hours.
Off leash parks sound idyllic at first, but just like anything else, there are bound to be problems. Sometimes you don't get along with the people who own the homes on either side of you, and your dog won't always get along with every other dog in the park, either. Most dogs will establish their own hierarchy safely within minutes without help from owners just through posturing and butt sniffing, but other fearful or aggressive dogs may cause problems by attacking other dogs, so you need to be vigilant.
There are also bound to be problems with the other owners, too. If you had a waterfront property where you and your dog could work off leash without interference, but in a park you have to share the space. There may be other owners who refused to control their animals, other owners who discipline their animals in an overly harsh or abusive way, or other owners who try to butt in when you're working with your dog.