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Danny Jackson Dog Park (Westpark): Where the Pet PTA Meets

Dog parks are a blessing to the city dog, and Houston really puts pride in ours. For a long time, Oliver and I were regulars at Danny Jackson Dog Park on Westpark, near the intersection of 59 and 610.

Location of Danny Jackson Dog Park

In 2008, Oliver and I walked the Memorial Park loop, and then we headed to Westpark. We were regulars, but that particular day changed us. A beagle jumped in my lap while her sister and dad were nearby. Nearly four years later, those beagles are now my sweet little girls, and their dad is my boyfriend. We have great memories of the Westpark dog park because of that, but we do not enjoy going there anymore.

Many dog parents refer to this particular dog park as the one with a Pet PTA. A group arrives at nearly the same time, sets up chairs, and loudly chats and laughs while their dogs cause all sorts of trouble. We’re all glad they’re having a great time together, but the cost is their dogs’, and our dogs’, safety. This group is rarely involved in what their dogs are doing, and the PTA’s presence changes the dynamic of the small dog section.

The large dog section, however, is full of life and dogs flying into the water after tennis balls. If you have an athletic pup and don’t mind getting muddy, the large dog section is worth a visit. Grab your rain boots, a Chuck It!, and head over to Westpark!

Fun in the large dog section

The small dog section leads me to the importance of being a good pet parent at the dog park. When you take your two-legged kids to the playground, you watch everything they do, who they talk to, and play with them. Why not do the same with your four-legged kids?

Good dog park behavior is an article itself, but here is a list of ways to be a responsible pet parent while your pup is interacting with others:

1. Exercise your dog before  arriving. This allows him to be less energetic, aggressive, and nervous. He will have plenty of play energy left, but it will allow him to be a good buddy for others.

2. Stay within 20 feet of your dog. If a fight starts, you are not too far away to get your dog’s attention.

3. Toss the ball with your dog and his new friends.

4. Pick up your dog’s poop!

5. Every so often, call your dog so he knows you are still present and paying attention. It will help his energy level and training, too.

Please feel free to share any experiences at either the large or small sections at Danny Jackson Dog Park, and watch for reviews of all of Houston’s dog parks.

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6 thoughts on “Danny Jackson Dog Park (Westpark): Where the Pet PTA Meets

  1. My person likes the story of how you met your boyfriend. She hasn’t taken me to the dog park where we live because we have trails so close to our house.

  2. Shannon Osburn on said:

    The piece about exercising your dog before going to the park! So important! I wish I didn’t have to count the time me and my kids have had to leave the park because people bring their energetic Pointer or Weimaraner in for their exercise. They are so wound up that my normaly calm Golden gets very aggitated and becomes aggressive when these hyper dogs come near me. It’s usually too much for him and our visit is cut short. Always disappointing. The dog park is a place for socialization and calm fun. Not to let your apartment-cooped up dog have his only hour outside for exercise.

    • Thanks, Shannon. The calmest dog can become agitated or aggressive due too much energy when thrown in an area with tons of dogs. A 30 minute walk beforehand will really allow your dog, and others, to enjoy themselves. The dog park is meant for socialization, not exercise. Of course, knowing what a great puppy mom you are, you already knew that!

  3. Jennifer H. on said:

    Glad I found your blog! I too agree so much about the exercise before going into the park. We are lucky to live right by the TC Jester dog park. We make it a rule to walk our dogs around the trail before going into the dog park, so its really convenient for us to integrate walks and a dog park “reward”. Good for them and the dogs they encounter, but also good for us! 🙂 Two of our 3 pups are Bostons too btw 🙂

    • Bostons are the BEST! My pet care business, Ollie and Friends Pet Care, named after my oldest Boston.

      I love that you labeled the dog park a “reward.” We get much better training results and stronger companionship with our dogs when we use the rewards they love.

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