The dog park is a great way to socialize your dog and potentially meet some new friends (both for you and your dog). Most people generally know how to handle themselves and their dog in the dog park, but as a reminder and for new dog owners, here are some of the “dos and don’ts”. If you have some to add – please let us know or write in the comments section at the end of the article.
Dog Park Dos:
- Be a happy, friendly person in the dog park. Say hello and don’t be afraid of a little light neighborly chat. That said, please don’t over-share or be that annoying chatter mouth.
- If you want to feed another dog (i.e. not your dog) some treats, please ask their owner first. You never know what kind of diet or allergies a dog has.
- If there is separation between small and large dogs, please put your dog in the right area. Some large dogs seem to think small dogs are snacks. Let’s spare those small dogs the stress of becoming a potential meal.
Dog Park Don’ts:
- Don’t let your dog bully, harass or hump another dog in the park. It’s not polite. If your dog is the bully, it’s your responsibility to stop it.
- Don’t ignore your dog in the dog park. This is time for you and your dog. You need to watch their behavior with the other dogs. Not to mention, if your dog poops, you need to go pick it up. Don’t be a jerk on your phone texting/gaming/emailing and generally ignoring your dog.
- Don’t let your dog steal other dog’s toys. Often owners bring in a ball to play with their dog at the dog park. Which generally leads to a few dogs playing fetch with the owner that brought the ball – all generally acceptable. However, if your dog steals another dog’s ball and doesn’t let anyone (including the owner of the ball) play with the ball that is not cool! Control your pooch and give back the ball.
Typical Dog Park Rules:
- All dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations prior to entering the dog park.
- Puppies under four months of age should not enter a dog park as they have not received all of their vaccinations. It’s for their own protection.
- Infants or small children should not enter the dog park. Small children, especially running children, may be regarded as prey animals by strange dogs. Dogs may also feel the urge to protect children they know. This tends to cause aggressive behavior.
- Unneutered/unspayed dogs should not visit a dog park as it might cause aggression. Especially, female dogs in heat should not visit a dog park. It’s safer to keep them at home to prevent unwanted puppies.
- Aggressive dogs should not enter the dog park. Aggressive dogs tend to engage in fighting behavior and typically cannot be stopped by voice command does not belong in the dog park.