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.
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!
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.