Do you feel uncomfortable letting your dog off the lead at the park? Want to learn how to read your dog’s body language and know what they’re trying to tell them?

The Lost Dogs’ Home and the City of Melbourne have partnered to offer Dogs in the Park – free sessions aimed to improve important dog park basics. 

Run by experienced dog trainers from The Lost Dogs’ Home, the one-hour sessions teach you how to read your dog’s body language, and empathise with how they’re feeling. 

Behaviour trainer Loral Franklin says park etiquette is essential.

“It’s important to be aware of other people’s dogs – if you see a dog who is fearful or not enjoying an interaction, it’s up to you to be in control of your dog or put it on lead,” she says.

“A lady told me about her dog who gets scared at dog parks – sometimes, they are just not ready. Parks won’t suit all dogs.”

Mrs Franklin recommends these tips for learning how to understand your dog:

– Keep your dog in a quieter area of the park, if it’s their first time at a dog park.
– Be aware of your dog’s body language to see if your dog is actually enjoying the experience.
– If you start talking with another owner at the park, try to keep moving and walking with your dogs.

While parks are good for exercising your dog, many people may not realise the park’s potential to mentally stimulate dogs.

“It goes beyond just throwing a ball. Your dog will love and benefit more from sniffing around and exploring all the smells in the park,” says Mrs Franklin.

Dogs In The Park is free and open to the general public. Dogs must be on a lead, and owners are encouraged to bring some of their dog’s favourite training treats.


When: Sunday, 31 March
Time: 10am-1pm.
Where: JJ Holland Reserve, Childers Street, Kensington

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