Which Dog Breeds Do the Best at Dog Parks?

While all dogs love a romp at the park, some are better suited for social situations than others.

By | Posted: October 10, 2014, 6 a.m. PST

Individual dogs may like or dislike dog parks, but if you’re a fan (yep, it’s a great place to pick up a date)), which breeds are most likely to share your passion? Let’s go straight to our canine sources for the answer to the question: Want to go to a dog park?


Dog Park 

Golden Retriever: Of course. Can’t believe you even asked. I was developed in 19th century Scotland for hunting and retrieving fowl for hunters, but I’ve always been rather friendly with dogs as well as people. My motto is to enjoy life to the fullest. So what kind of a dog park is it? Did you know Lord Tweedmouth fine-tuned me for a love of water? So the question on my mind is: does this park have a swimming hole? Learn about he Golden Retriever>>

Labrador Retriever: Race you to the entrance. But wait, are they really called dog parks? Bummer. I thought they were called Lab Parks? I’m friendly and athletic: the perfect dog park combination. After all, my predecessors worked with fisherman off the Labrador Sea shores, and even after long work days, had energy left for playtime. The Brits further developed me for hunting and retrieving, so if hunting is your sport, we can hunt all day and then head to the dog park to make friends. I’m so affable and charming, I (and hopefully you!) will surely score a date. Learn about the Lab>>

English Springer Spaniel:  Sure, let me spring into action! I’m an athletic hunter, bred to flush and spring game on land. Hunting for a park sounds fun.  I’ve got a ton of energy and I’ll play with anything with a heartbeat (well, probably not that pigeon over there…). I was bred to work occasionally in pairs, so yep, I’m dog friendly. Now this park idea rather appeals to me, but I hope it has more birds than beagles. Learn about the Springer>>

Chihuahua: Estás bromeando? Well, it could be fun, but keep in mind I don’t weigh more than 6 pounds. I could break a bone if a big dog rough-housed with me. So for one thing, make sure I have a small dog area. And remember that I was developed as a companion but also for important religious purposes, so I take myself rather seriously. And (clearly for no fault of my own), I sometimes get into trouble with bigger dogs since I boss them around. Who you calling shorty, anyway? Learn about the Chihuahua>>

Irish Setter: What a grand idea. The luck of the Irish! Socializing comes naturally to me. I was bred in Ireland as a bird dog, but I’ll take any opportunity to run. I bet few dogs can keep up with me in that dog park. My family calls me tireless, although I’m not quite sure if that’s a compliment. But yes, I’ve got the energy and enthusiasm to play with any dog in the park, and when he’s worn out I’ll start playing with the next one. Learn about the Irish Setter>>

Havanese: Off we go. Although I’m small, I’m actually rather sturdy. If the park has a small dog section, I would probably be safer there, but I have nice manners around just about any dog. At least if you socialized me (did you? I forgot…), my social skills will show up nicely; after all, I was bred as a companion. Heck, I was super popular with the Cuban and European aristocracy. Mainly I enjoy adventures and meeting new friends. Play and fun matter most, right? Learn about the Havanese>>

And a few dog breeds who might not be as excited to go. 

Bullmastiffs: Hmm. Well, that’s not exactly my idea of a good time. Well, unless you mean we’re going to chase poachers off the park? You see, I was bred in mid-19th century England to help gamekeepers chase thieves off estates. These days I don’t encounter many poachers, but I do watch over my territory carefully. And now here’s a question about that dog park you mentioned: who’s in charge? Do the dogs follow the rules? I’m not a big troublemaker, but I certainly won’t run crying if a dog picks a fight. Learn about the Bullmastiff>>

Rottweiler:  nein danke. Let’s just walk by the dog park. I’m a tad too dignified for that frivolity. I have an ancient Roman lineage and I was developed for work and devotion. The Germans bred me as a drover, draft, and all-around farm dog. Today I’m still interested in a job well done, so I’d rather do some weight pulling or obedience work than hang out with strange dogs. I’m loyal to my whole family but I take my time making friends outside the home. I also prefer a leadership role. If the entire dog park population votes me president, I may step in for a few minutes. Learn about the Rottweiler>>

Cane Corso: No grazie. Surely you know I descended from ancient warrior dogs? Does that sound like a dog park devotee to you? I was bred to be a versatile guardian, hunter, and all-around farm dog. I’m loyal to my family so I don’t want to disappoint you about this park idea. But truthfully, I’m far too much of a jock to play in a dog park. I’d get benched for knocking all those other dogs down. I’m up for any other challenge you have, though. Can we try some agility or flyball instead? Learn about the Cane Corso>>

Tell us what your dog thinks about going to the dog park in the comment below! 

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Leslie - 233329   Lakeside, AZ

10/28/2014 8:20:45 PM

We have a female Rhodesian Ridgeback who loves to go and play at the dog park.

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Lynn Hayner   Waco, Texas

10/21/2014 10:27:29 AM

John, it's always fun to hear about the exceptions!! I always smile most at the one German Shepherd who doesn't try to protect his house, or the one Golden that dons the yard guard hat! These stories remind us that dogs -- even within a breed -- are individuals. I hope you'll see the Cane Corso profile I'm writing for Dog Fancy -- out early in 2015. What a fascinating breed. --

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John   Toronto, International

10/14/2014 12:58:43 PM

My wife and I are proud owners of a one and half yr old female Cane Corso. Our dog walker takes her on group walks to local dog parks 3-4 times a week, and she loves it! According to our dog walker she is very popular with the other dogs (of all sizes and breeds) and their owners. Also, our Cane Corso gets along great with our cat.

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

10/11/2014 6:31:57 AM

Provided the dog has some manners!

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