@giza1 said in How to introduce a 2 year old to a dog park:
A dog park sounds great, but in reality...
I think this largely depends on (both) the owners and dogs that are there. Many people are responsible and just want their dogs to have fun. Plenty of people aren't. Get to know who goes there and you can avoid many of the problems that give "dog parks" a bad name.
The first time I took doodle, she started shaking -- too many dogs and she was the "new" one. So we left. I took her back when it was empty and allowed her to roam the area, smell, and get a feel for it. Then she understood. Lots of different dog smells. This wasn't anyone's yard or territory -- it clicked. The next time we went there were just a couple of dogs and her reaction was totally different. She loved it! And still does!
Are there "bad dogs" there? Some, but in general this has been a very positive socializing treat for doodle. We don't go every day, but 3-4 trips a month seems like a good balance (to keep it fun and not let her think she's in charge there).
I always try to make sure doodle gets to do something special. A (really long) walk, off-leash time in the woods, the dog park, or down to the water (we live near the ocean)... something random so she never really knows what's going to happen, even if it's a day when we just chill.