Doggie Dilemma: Training a dog takes time and patience, but parks can help


Photo by Braden Dennis

One of the adoptees from Rescue One patiently waits for its new loving and caring home.

Kenzie Wiegert, Staff Writer

Dog owners know that a new puppy requires lots of time and dedication, let the expenses. Sadly, puppies do not usually come pre-trained, that is something that is all up to the owner.
Dog groomer and personal dog owner Charlene Smith said there are easy ways to handle a new dog.
“It all depends on the breed really, but some of the best ways are simply through positive reinforcement and socialization with other dogs,” Smith said.
There are many ways to get ready for a new dog in the family, Smith advises that owners do their research before buying or adopting.
“It is good to speak to other owners before getting a new dog, as well as looking for what breed best fits with your lifestyle,” Smith said.
Every dog breed is going to meet a different set of needs. For instance, a big dog needs lots of outdoor space, and a smaller dog might be better indoors. Instead of getting a dog due to appearance or look, get a dog that will be happy and comfortable within one’s personal living conditions.
New dog owner, senior Jada Ullrich has been working hard to keep her new pup happy and healthy.
“He is an 11-week-old pitbull mix, I take him out as often as I can outside of school and he has not really had any problems with training or behaving,” Ullrich said. “On the few occasions he is bad I just talk to him sternly, but I think I give him enough attention and affection to make him want to behave.”
Patience is a huge factor when it comes to raising a puppy. Puppies also need to be able to socialize with other dogs, they cannot be isolated with only people forever.
“Dogs are pack animals, so they have that natural need for other dogs,” Smith said. “Even if it is just once a week or so, play dates and dog parks are great places for dogs to socialize.”
Nixa has several dog-friendly parks available around town. McCauley Park and Nixa Parks and Recreation are both great places for dogs.
However, some feel like Nixa’s community would be a lot better if there were a dog park of its own.
“If Nixa had a dog park I would definitely use it”, Ullrich said. “One with more pet amenities than the parks we already have.”
During spring of last year, there was talk about Nixa having its own dog park. However, this talk soon came to a halt after complications came into play.
Public Information Officer Drew Douglas has several reasons why the dog park was not created on time.
“Construction was delayed due to the rainy spring in 2019,” Douglas said. “Then because contractors had lots of other work to catch up on, the prices they quoted us for the construction of our project were more than we had budgeted. So we decided to hold off until the local contractors had caught up with their workload and could quote us a more reasonable price that would fit within our budget.”
While the dog park is still planned, it is not currently clear when work for it will be able to start again. Until then though, Nixa still has several other dog-friendly areas for you and your pup to play.