Dog Park Etiquette

Dog parks.  You either love them or hate them.  The ideal; dogs having enough room to run, to play, to fetch balls and play frisbee.  While you get to socialize with other dog lovers. 
The not so ideal; dogs getting into fights, people get knocked over by running dogs, your dog gets sick after being at the park, owners who ignore their dog while it bullies the other dogs, stepping in…..you get it.
If everyone steps up and follows a few simple guidelines we can all have a fun and safe time.
  • Follow the rules.  Most dog parks have posted rules.
  • Healthy dogs only.  Kennel cough, mange and other health problems can spread like wild fire in an open dog community.
  • Be sure your dog is current on their vaccinations.
  • No puppies under 4 months of age.  They aren’t fully immunized and are at a higher risk of contracting diseases.
  • Don’t bring small children.  Dogs running fast have been known to knock over an adult, imagine what could happen to a child.
  • Remove the leash as soon as you enter the off leash area.  Mixing  leashed and unleashed dogs can cause aggression.
  • Limit your use of toys or food treats to avoid dog on dog conflict.
  • NO female dogs in heat, that combined with unneutered males is asking for trouble.
  • Bring only as many dogs as you can manage.  The typical ratio is one human to 2-3 dogs.
  • Do not allow dogs to form loose packs.  There is a potential for serious problems including ganging up on weaker dogs and possibly attacking them.
  • Be realistic about your dogs play potential.  Not all dogs enjoy playing with others, some dogs prefer to sniff every blade of grass.  If your dog is not having a good time it’s time to go.
  • Supervise your dog, be prepared to interrupt inappropriate play.
  • Clean up after your dog.
Stay aware of your surrounding and your dog and everyone will have a enjoyable experience.
Suzanne Golden
Calling All Dogs