Recently my daycare dogs were getting a little rambunctious in the yard. Ripping around, barking, generally out of control. I gave a whistle, had everybody come to me, sit, stay for a minute, passed out some small treats, then let them go again. General rowdiness was reduced when they went back to playing, and it was yet one more lesson that when I call, you have to come, no matter what you're doing. The great news, though, is that in a minute, you'll be able to go back to what you were doing! That's why, when I ask, they come to me. Because they just don't know if it's going to be a short break in play (maybe with a little treat), or something else. Odds are in their favor that it'll be a treat, so they comply.
For many reasons, this is an important thing to do with your dog if you choose to take him to a dog park to burn off some of that pent up energy. Think about it. Snoopy's out there playing with the other dogs, having the time of his life. You've been there for an hour, and you want to go home, make dinner, and sit down for some R & R. So you call Snoopy, who acts like he's never heard the word. Finally, you end up chasing Snoopy around the park for half an hour, feeling like an idiot when you snatch for Snoopy and he dances out of your way, maybe enlisting the aid of other dog park "parents", who've been there, done that. Finally you corner Snoopy, snap on the lead, and march him to the car, wondering why you thought coming to the park was ever a good idea in the first place.
Amazingly, this is really a problem that's pretty easy to correct. Before you go to the park, arm yourself with a couple of things: some treats to reward Snoopy for coming when you call, and either an extra special treat, or a kong with some peanut butter in it, for the ride home. When you get to the park, let Snoopy get going, then call him to come. Go to him, if you have to, and cheerfully entice him to come to you. Take hold of his collar (this is important, so he doesn't get into the habit of running up, grabbing the treat, and taking off), and give him the treat, with lots of praise. Then let him go. Do this a couple of times before you finally snap on the lead, tell him what a stellar dog he is, and take him to the car. When you get there - Oh Joy! - there's an extra special tasty treat waiting, a bit of a fair trade to take the edge off of having to leave the greatest dog place on earth!
Do this every time you go to the park, even after Snoopy races to you with a happy look on his face when you call. We want to keep this good behavior, so reward it. It lets him know in no uncertain terms that you are happy with him. That you think he's the greatest dog ever. And, the best part, it makes all the other owner's who are still making fools of themselves chasing after their dog just a little bit jealous of your incredible dog!