Adventuring in Maryland :: Cabin John Regional Park

at Cabin John Regional Park

Another dog owner at our neighborhood park suggested to Rupert that we try the dog park at Cabin John Regional Park. He recognized that Slinky was a rescue and it might benefit him to have more exposure to other dogs. His own dog, also a rescue, doesn't like certain breeds and finding that out about Slinky would be helpful.

I was pretty nervous about taking him to an enclosed area with lots of dogs. He barks and lunges at other dogs when we go on walks (but doesn't try to bite), and even if he gets a chance to sniff another dog and stops barking, he's timid and seems on edge.

at Cabin John Regional Park at Cabin John Regional Park
[Look -- he's not freaking out around the other dogs!]

He barked off-and-on at the various dogs we saw from the parking lot through the park until we got to the dog park. But once we went inside the small dog area, he didn't bark at all. He wasn't super welcoming of other dogs sniffing him, but he didn't object and even sniffed some of them back. But, for the most part, he stayed away from most of the dogs and he wouldn't play with them. That said, it was a huge step forward for him that he even let them approach him without barking like crazy. He randomly barked at a woman on the other side of the fence who was in the big dog area, and he warily watched the large dogs, but he was surprisingly calm. (We saw a giant Irish Wolfhound in the other area and -- poor thing -- it looked like he was getting a bit bullied by the other dogs.)

It's clear that Slinky has issues with large dogs so it's highly possible that he had a bad experience with a big dog before we got him. Figuring things out bit by bit will, hopefully, help us figure out how to make things easier for him (and us!) when we go on walks. 

at Cabin John Regional Park at Cabin John Regional Park

After a bit of time at the dog park, we hit the trail and followed Cabin John Stream for all of 10 minutes or so (each way). Slinky seemed to enjoy sniffing all the plants and exploring the stream bed. If it wasn't getting hot and humid, we probably could've stayed a bit longer. On the way back, though, he barked at several people. His barking is so unpredictable: he could be totally fine walking past one dad and little kid, and 30 seconds later, he would bark like crazy at another dad and kid.

at Cabin John Regional Park

All in all, it was a successful first trip to the dog park, and I'm sure we'll be back relatively soon. Let's hope Slinky had a good time and is willing to refrain from barking at everydog/one!

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