By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
As pack animals, dogs enjoy each other’s company. Most dogs would also enjoy more exercise. At any of the region’s dog parks, they can burn off some energy off-leash and make a few dog friends. Most parks provide a “small dog” side and a “big dog” side for safety.
At Wegmans Good Dog Park (2500 Cold Springs Road, Liverpool), pooches explore an acre filled with obstacles and doggy play equipment as they get to know each other. As part of Onondaga Lake Park, the adjoining five miles of lakeside walking paths offers leash-on walking.
If your dog is under voice command, consider Jamesville Beach Off-leash Dog Park (4110 Westshore Manor Road, Syracuse). Since the park isn’t fenced, you should make sure you dog will come when called and isn’t prone to straying. Water-loving dogs can take a swim but since the park doesn’t have any obstacles, bring a ball for fetching to keep your dog occupied.
Lakeside Dog Park at Emerson Park (6914 E. Lake Road, Auburn) offers a fenced-in play area for large dogs and another for little dogs covering an acre near Owasco Lake.
At the 6-acre Tompkins County Dog Park (805 Taughannock Blvd. / Route 89, Ithaca) is near Allan H. Treman State Marine Park. Dogged walkers can enjoy leashed walks at the latter park after their romp at the dog park.
A few area dog parks require annual registration to use. They might not be as helpful if you’re just visiting the area, but a worthwhile investment if you live in the area. One registration offers unlimited use of Greece Canal Dog Park (241 Elmgrove Road, Rochester) and Ellison Park (395 Rich’s Dugway, Rochester). Canandaigua Canine Campus (97 Buffalo St.), Henrietta Dog Park (Lookup Park, 3850 E. Henrietta Road) and Geneva Bark Park (666 Exchange Street) also require paid registration.
For a Great Dog Park Outing
• Read over the rules of the dog park before going.
• Don’t take a dog that’s younger than 4 months, sick, has any parasites, behind on vaccination, without a lead and collar or harness, aggressive, in heat or unaltered. Any of these circumstances can cause danger to the dog, other dogs or people visiting the park.
• Stay in the “small dog” section if yours is a little doggy, and in the “large dog” section if yours is a bigger animal.
• Remove your dog if it begins acting aggressive or fearful.
• Watch your dog! While it’s fun to chat with other dog people, you must keep your eyes on your dog at all times.
• Promptly remove your dog’s waste. Bring along a few plastic bags, as the park may not provide them.
• Repair any damage caused by your dog.
• Bring along a bowl and water for your dog to offer it a drink outside the park’s fences. Any water, food or treats given inside the fence may cause problems with the other dogs.
• Anything you bring into the park, carry out of the park.
• In case of a bite, the victim and the owner of the biting dog should stay until the police arrive.
Photo: Wegman Good Dog Parl in Liverpool.