As a new dog parent or a first-timer at dog parks, you could be wondering about dog park etiquette. Following are some of the top rules of dog park etiquette to help you be sure to get along with other parents and dogs:
Pay close attention to your dog. Make sure your dog has all its shots and treatments before exposing them to other dogs and people. Always, always, pick up your dog’s feces. Make sure your dog isn’t actively searching for “intimacy. If your dog doesn’t know how to play well with other dogs, you may want to avoid bringing them there until they have been trained.
- Pay close attention to your dog. When you go to a dog park, you are there for your dog, so be sure to pay attention to them. A dog park is a place full of threats and possible problems, so to avoid problems, keep an eye on your four-legged friend.
- Make sure your dog has all its shots and treatments before exposing them to other dogs and people. There are all types of sicknesses that your dog can pick up or transmit. It’s the responsible thing to do as a dog parent. Just as a parent would feel bad about bringing their sick child to a park with other kids, a dog parent should avoid this type of behavior.
- Always, always, pick up your dog’s feces. It’s highly disrespectful to leave your dog’s feces on the ground, especially in a dog park where other people can step in it.
- Make sure your dog isn’t actively searching for “intimacy. A dog in heat should not be taken to the dog park. It can be annoying for other dog parents and isn’t responsible.
- If your dog doesn’t know how to play well with other dogs, you may want to avoid bringing them there until they have been trained. Most dog parents avoid bringing their puppies to dog parks until they have been trained, as untrained dogs may start fights or wreak havoc in a dog park.
How to Avoid and Prevent the Spread of Illness
Dog parks can be great fun, but they can also be disease-spreading places. To avoid and prevent your dog from catching or spreading sickness, you should keep these following tips in mind:
Make sure that your dog doesn’t hang around or lick other dog’s fecal matter.Bring your own water dish for your dog.Confirm they have all their shots with your vet.
- Make sure that your dog doesn’t hang around or lick other dog’s fecal matter. Dog feces can be a big cause of the spread of illness. If you see your dog spending too much time sniffing one area, make sure that they aren’t getting to know some other dog’s feces too closely.
- Bring your own water dish for your dog. Don’t worry about appearing to be a snob. Just as a human parent will bring their child’s own bottle-as obviously, they aren’t going to use another child’s-bring your dog’s water dish and water for him. This can help to avoid them transmitting any disease they may have or prevent them from picking one up.
- Confirm they have all their shots with your vet. If your dog has all their shots against any type of disease that you can think of, then you can rest assured that they won’t pick up something at the dog park.
How a Dog Should Behave
Have you ever been to a dog park where a dog was on the loose, running around trying to mate with other dogs, getting into fights, perhaps even getting violent with humans? This type of behavior is exactly what you don’t want your dog doing.
It is important to observe your dog’s behavior closely while at the dog park. If you see their ears standing up straight and tail high, you will want to watch the behavior of the other dogs near them. Your dog may be preparing for a fight to assert its dominance, which is most definitely something that you want to avoid.
Your dog may not be ready yet to play with other dogs if they get nervous around dogs or overly excited. You may want to consider training them before taking them to a dog park to make sure that you have a drama-free experience.
If your dog is well-trained and the dog park is open, you can allow them off the leash. A dog that has yet to be trained may need to stay on the leash when the dog park is open, as some dogs will happily run into nearby traffic without any thought.
Help With Training
How Humans Should Behave
It’s one thing to be concerned about how your dog behaves, but it is also important to watch how you behave. It can be easy to blame other dog parents for mishaps, but make sure that you are also following good etiquette as a human at a dog park.
- Make sure that you bring bags for picking up your dog’s poop. While most dog parks have bags available, it’s always good to make sure you have them. This will help to prevent other humans from walking in it, other dogs sniffing or licking it, and is basic dog park etiquette.
- You may want to walk your dog beforehand so that they aren’t too hyper upon arrival.
- Make sure to pay attention to your dog. Many mishaps happen at dog parks due to a distracted dog parent.
- Don’t let your dog mate with other dogs. It’s a very important part of being a responsible dog parent.
- Be polite and respectful to other dog parents. Don’t put them down and if you have to say anything, be positive in your comment.
How to Avoid Fights at a Dog Park
Dog fights can happen at dog parks. With several dogs in one area and many of them trying to assert their dominance, it is important to pay attention and avoid allowing your dog to get into a fight. Some ways to avoid dog fights are:
- Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior. Watch those ears and tail and if you see any type of hostile behavior taking place, immediately remove your dog from the scene.
- If you know that your dog is intent on asserting their dominance, keep them on the leash in the dog park. Yes, you want them to run wild and enjoy some freedom, but a dog park may not be the place if they always want to be the macho alfa.
- Fights may start off looking like play. If you see your dog is playing a little too closely or getting rowdy in their play, remove them from the scene. The harmless play could turn into a violent fight.
Official Rules or Laws That Regulate Dog Parks
It’s best you reach out to your local government, city council or parks department for any ordinances and laws. Here are a few sites that list the rules of the dog parks in their cities or counties.
- New York City, NY
- Los Angeles, CA
- Houston, TX
- San Francisco, CA
- Chicago, IL
- San Diego, CA
- Dallas, TX
- Portland, OR
- Seattle, WA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Boise, ID
- Billings, MT
- Denver, CO
- Phoenix, AZ
- Tucson, AZ
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Albuquerque, NM
- Clark County, NV
- Wichita, KS
- Fargo, ND
- Souix Falls, SD
- Des Moines, IA
- Omaha, NE
- New Orleans, LA
- Mecklenburg, NC
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Boone County, KY
- Arlington, VA
- Milwaukee, WI
- Nashville, TN
- Orange County, FL
- Miami Dade County, FL
- Tampa Bay, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Atlanta, GA
- Louisville, KY
- Columbus, OH
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Philladelphia, PA
- Washington DC
- Baltimore, MD
- Gatson County, NC
- Charleston, SC
- Montgomery Parks, MD
- Grants Pass, OR
- Mapplewood, MO
- San Dimas, CA
- Boston, MA
- Ankeny, IA
- Schererville, IN