At first glance, dog parks seem like a dream come true for dogs and their owners alike. One place where they can run free and make new friends? What could be better? However, as many dog owners know, not all is always fun and games at the local dog park. In fact, there are some issues that can come up if you don’t follow proper etiquette. At the end of this guide, we’ll share our top 10 tips for making sure your doggo has a great time while staying safe.
If a dog is off leash, muzzle or choke chain and it makes you uncomfortable, do not take your dog to the park.
If a dog is off leash, muzzle or choke chain and it makes you uncomfortable, do not take your dog to the park. Dogs must be on a leash or under voice control of their owner at all times while in the park.
If you are concerned about a dog who is off leash, ask his owner if they can put him on-leash. If the person refuses to do so, simply leave and contact Animal Control for assistance.
Many aggressive dogs are provoked by friendly overtures from another dog or human, so if you’re going to approach an unfamiliar dog that is loose in the park:
- make sure your own pet is on-leash; and
- do not make direct eye contact with this animal; instead look down at their feet (if possible) until they go away again
Ask the owner before you pet any dog, even if they appear friendly.
Before petting any dog, ask the owner if it’s okay. Even friendly dogs may not want to be petted by strangers or other dogs. This is especially true of dogs whose owners are not present to supervise them.
Always use caution when approaching unfamiliar dogs and be aware of their body language. Some signs that a dog might be aggressive include:
- Raised hackles (the hair along his spine standing on end)
- Growling or barking (or both)
- Snapping teeth
Retractable leashes are a hazard at a park because of the distance they can create between you and your dog.
A retractable leash is a hazard at a park because of the distance they can create between you and your dog. While it may seem like an ideal way to keep your dog safe while wandering around, the retractable leash can actually create more problems than it solves. The longer length of these leashes means that if your dog decides to run into another person or dog without warning, you have no control over what happens next. Additionally, if you’re in an area with large crowds and other people are using leashes of various lengths, there’s nothing standing between these two groups but one thin piece of cord. And lastly, if something does happen on that busy day at the park (and something probably will), it’s much easier for someone to trip over the cord than it would be if everyone was walking with dogs on regular leashes.
Dogs like to have personal space.
One of the most important things to remember at the dog park is that dogs like to have a lot of personal space. They need room to run around, explore, and interact with other dogs. This means that it’s not okay for you or anyone else to crowd them. If your dog starts barking or trying to get away from another dog, do not go after him! Give him some space and give the other dog some space too. You should also make sure there are no children in your immediate area as they will likely scare most dogs away from where they are playing because children can be very loud and unpredictable when compared to adults who know how to behave around animals (and vice versa).
Sudden movements, loud noises and unknown objects can scare dogs in a park.
If you are visiting a dog park for the first time, it’s important to remember that dogs can be scared of things that you might not recognize as frightening.
Sudden movements, loud noises and unknown objects can cause a dog to react with fear or aggression. Many dogs have had bad experiences with children’s balls due to painful encounters when they were puppies. They may also be afraid of skateboards, skates or vacuum cleaners because these items are unfamiliar shapes moving rapidly in unexpected directions.
Never approach an aggressive dog or a dog that is acting scared under any circumstances.
If a dog is acting aggressive, it is often because they are scared. If you approach an aggressive dog, the dog will think that you want to hurt them and could react by biting or attacking. Never approach a dog that is growling, barking or snapping at you. This can be interpreted as aggression by the owner and may lead to a complaint against you if they feel their dog has been threatened by your actions.
If your dog is playing with another, make sure the other owner knows it is okay for his/her dog to play with yours.
- If your dog is playing with another, make sure the other owner knows it is okay for his/her dog to play with yours.
- Make sure the other owner knows your dog’s name and temperament.
- Be prepared to ask the other owner to pick up any toys or waste left by your pets in their area of the park.
Keep children under close supervision at all times.
Keep children under close supervision at all times. Children should not be allowed to run or play near dogs. Dogs may view the child as prey and react aggressively toward them. No child under the age of 12 should be allowed to approach a dog without permission from their parent or guardian. No child under the age of 16 should be allowed to pet a dog without permission from their parent or guardian, unless they are being supervised by an adult with experience handling dogs in public settings and who is aware of this policy.
Do not bring toys into the park unless you allow them to be shared with other dogs, and know you may lose them during play time.
When you arrive at the dog park, it’s important to keep in mind that toys and other items are not allowed unless they are intended for individual use by your dog. You should only bring a toy if your dog is familiar with it and comfortable playing with it. If they’re not familiar or comfortable using an item, leave it at home!
If you do decide to bring a toy or other object into the park with you, make sure that it’s durable enough for rough play time. Again: Dogs aren’t always gentle when playing together!
Clean up after your dog, even if it was an accident.
It is the right thing to do. It’s a good way to show respect for the park and for other people. If you see someone standing by their dog, holding out a bag for you, then stop and clean up after your dog. Sure, accidents happen—but if you don’t clean up after yourself, it can be an eyesore for everyone else who visits that park.
Use common sense when taking your dog to a park.
- Be aware of other dogs and people.
- Bring water and toys to keep your dog happy.
- Clean up after your dog, especially if you’re in a park with a fenced-in area for dogs–otherwise, it’s not fair to the owners who have taken pains not to let their pets roam free when they aren’t on leash.
- Bring a leash just in case another dog gets too friendly or gets loose from its owner; some parks require leashes for all dogs no matter how well behaved they are!
- Ask permission before petting other people’s animals; this way, you can avoid making anyone nervous (especially if the owner is afraid of being bitten).
- Keep your dog under control at all times–this means on a leash unless otherwise specified by signs posted around the park or rules set forth by staff members who run it. While it may seem like common sense, many people forget this step when taking their furry friends out into public places where strangers pass by every day without fail.”
It’s important to remember that your dog is not the only one at the park. Observe and respect other dogs as well as their owners. If you or your dog have an issue with another dog, take care of it peacefully and quickly. Always keep your dog under control, but allow them to have fun while being watched by you at all times. If you take these simple guidelines into consideration, both you and your canine friend will enjoy many happy hours at the local dog park.