New Horizons Veterinary Behavior Solutions

300 Somonauk St.
Park Forest, IL 60466


Bear & Avery

    Photo used under Creative Commons from pacdog   THESE DOGS WANNA KNOW... ARE YOU READY TO GO TO THE DOG PARK?!Did you know there is an App for this?!  Learn about Dog Park Safety with the Dog Park Assistant iPhone App 
Dog parks can be wonderful places and can provide great experiences for both you and your dog!
But caution must be advised. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) warns there are both Pros and Cons of Dog Parks.  This webpage is to help you be aware of the behavior and health risks before you go. Should I take my dog to the Dog Park?We recommend reading the article Dog Parks: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly before deciding if visiting the dog park is right for you and your dog. At the Dog Park:  The Importance of Participating  a great video that explains how dog owner's can participate to keep visits safe!DEER RUN ANIMAL HOSPITAL has an educational program we are happy to present to individuals or groups who want to learn if Dog Parks are right for their dogs.  If you are interested, give us a call!  We offer this as a free community service to anyone interested!With proper preparation and protection these risks can be minimized and a dog park can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.  BEFORE GOING TO THE DOG PARK IT IS IMPORTANT TO  LEARN DOG BODY LANGUAGE!

Zoom Room's Dog Body Language Video  Learn to differentiate the signs of friendliness vs stress & anxiety

Zoom Room's Dog Play Gestures Body Language Video Learn to recognize appropriate play in your dog and others.

   What Is Your Dog Desperately Trying To Tell You?!

   Dog Body Language Collection from Eileenanddogs

   Whole Dog Journal Dog Body Language Dictionary of Stress

   ASPCA Canine Communiction Webinar Slides
   What is my Dog Trying to Tell Me?

  Understanding Dogs:  Canine Body Language

  Dog Decoder App Helps you to learn to read your dog!

  Dog as a Second Language: A primer for humans

  Video:  Understanding Dog Body Language Part 1

  Video: Understanding Dog Body Language Part 2

 When is it Play? Reading body language can help to tell play behavior from dangerous behavior

Recognize problems early by learning about Kendal Shepherd's Ladder of Aggression

Learn to Recognize Appropriate Play with  Bonnie & Porter 

   How My Dogs Play

  WGN News Story: Socializing at the Dog Park--When Play Turns Unfriendly
  Is Your Dog a Bully? Why (and how) you should intervene if your dog picks on others. 

 Sue Sternberg--Dog Park Behavior Expert Red Alert Behavior Videos  

  Video: At the dog park--the importance of participating

  Video:  Red Alert Behaviors at the Dog Park--Tail Tucked and Risks to Small Dogs

  Video:  Red Alert Behaviors at the Dog Park--Rolling

The most important skill that you should teach your dog before a Dog Park Visit is a RELIABLE RECALL!


For some tips view the Karen Pryor Library on Reliable Recalls


Dr. Sophia Yin’s Come When Called Away From Squirrels 


YouTube Video on the “Bacon Recall”


Dog Star Daily Blog: Why Training a recall is so difficult for dog owners

 Be aware of of dog park etiquette.  Before visiting the park make sure that your dog is well mannered and responsive to your commands.  15 Things Humans Do Wrong at Dog Parks!  Read ahead before you go to the park, don't make this common mistakes!Do's and Don'ts at the Dog ParkAt the Dog Park:  Well Socialized?  Or Traumatized!Can Big & Little Dogs Play at the Dog Park Safely?  The main factor dictating whether there is trouble at the park is the ability of humans to recognize inappropriate or rude interactions and ability of the humans to call their dogs away in a come when called immediately (not after 5 calls). Read Dr. Sophia Yin's Blog entry and watch her videos to learn to recognize the signs of trouble.The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) has compiled and excellent collection of Dog Park Information including What Makes A Good Dog Park, and offering more great Dog Park Tips, Dog Park Rules of Etiquetteand information on how to read Dog Body Language.  This is all highly recommended reading BEFORE you head out to the park.Remember Common Sense and Civility Must Prevail at the Dog Park, click these links for some more great information and Dog Park Tips for Dogs and Owners .Veterinarian and Behaviorist, Dr. Sophia Yin, offers her expert advice on Dog Park Etiquette on her website blog.  And if you are looking for even more in depth preparation, purchase and read the book Visting The Dog Park-Having Fun, Staying Safe by Cheryl Smith.For some quick tips from author Cheryl Smith read Behavior: Dog Park TipsWorst Case Scenario:  What do you do if a serious dog fight breaks out? There are some things you can try but always realize that the person at most serious risk of injury is YOU!         How To Prevent & Break Up Dog Fights Good advice from the behaviorists at the ASPCA       How to Break Up Dog Fights   A handout from The Pet Professional Guild
To keep you and your dog safe and free of infectious diseases when enjoying dog parks follow the recommendations below:

  • For flea and tick prevention we recommend the use of  VECTRA 3D or K9 Advantix.  These products not only will kill fleas and ticks but also repel them along with mosquitoes.  Frontline Plus  is another option but does not repel these parasites. 
  • To prevent heartworms, as well as the contagious intestinal parasites (Roundworms and Hookworms) we recommend year round monthly administration of  HEARTGARD PLUS  or TriHeart Plus.  For even broader intestinal parasite protection you may want to consider Trifexis which adds additional protection for fleas and against the intestinal parasite called the Whipworm.
  • Be sure to have your pet's blood tested for heartworm yearly and a microscopic fecal exam done every 6-12 months by your veterinarian.
  • Up to date vaccinations are required by most dog parks.  Protection against Rabies and Parvo and Distemper virus are always important.  Since wildlife will also frequent the dog parks additional vaccination against Leptospirosis is also recommended.

 DOG PARKS IN OUR AREA:Schererville's Perry Ferrini Dog Park.  Dyer Dog ParkOther dog parks in our area include Munster's Centennial Park Dog Park and Lemon Lake-Dogwood Run Dog Park.