Hopefully this clarifies things, since I was also confused. Slaat af is a form of the afslaan verb http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?T1=afslaan&Submit=Go&D1=24&H1=124, so now it's understandable to have "slaat rechts/links af".
Also, do not forget that afslaan is the infinitive, which is necessary when using kunnen/hoeven/moeten e.g. Hier moet ik rechts afslaan (I think it's how you write it...).
"the dog turns right to the park" isn't accepted? I was under the impression "bij" can mean "at" or "to" I understand it completely changes the meaning of the sentence but any help here would be appreciated.
Anyone believe "takes a right at" should also be a valid solution? (Asking for a friend...)
Reasonable. If you're picky, not excellent.
I tend to treat "taking a right" as limited to an intentional turn in a grid (or otherwise controlled) set up, such that the turn exists, before you "take" it.
Maybe it's a traffic lane, maybe it's a sidewalk, maybe it's a hiking path, maybe it's the entrance to the park--but it's "a right." As in, "take the next right."
But we don't know that the dog is turning right from one street / sidewalk to another, or onto a path. Maybe it's turning a meter right-ish, across the grass, to pee on a bush.
If I were making the decisions (I'm clearly...not) I'd accept "takes a right at," but still prefer the other.
Why does the separable verb afslaan behave differently from the others? Ie, is the sentence "De hond slaat rechts bij het park af." correct?
No, I think because the two times "af" ( AFslaan en rechtsAF) comes together in one "af". In my opinion you could say : "Ik sla rechts af" and "Ik sla rechtsaf"
Put the one-word adverb (rechtsaf) before the multi-word prepositional phrase (bij het park).
Also, consider the English. Would you say "The dog turns at the park to the right?" Probably not.
In both languages, you do not usually insert a prepositional phrase in between a verb and an adverb closely associated with that verb.
Bij het park/ at the park - what does geographically exactly mean? He is in the park and turns right inside tge park or he is not in the park but directly next to tge park and turns right tgere(so outside of the park)? Or both can be? - English is not my native language as you probably have found it out already from my question:) thaanx for answer!
The dog is walking down the street. When he gets to the park (gets near the park), he turns right.
When he turns right, maybe he enters the park. Or maybe he just continues to walk on a new street outside the park. We do not know.