4 Rules for Dog Park Etiquette

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The dog park is the local playground for your fur-child to run, meet up with friends and make new friends.  It Is up to their Pet Parent (or dog walker) to make this an enjoyable experience.  Just like a human child, you have to watch over your pup and their interactions the entire time you’re there. 

With our event, Walk & Roll for Rescue, coming up in a month, we felt it only made sense to share some dog park etiquette.  Here are some unwritten rules, with most parks, to remember:

Know Before You Go

Is your dog ready to socialize with other dogs?  Truthfully, not all dogs don’t want to be around other dogs especially if those dogs are too aggressive for your pup’s taste.  If this is the case, go to a different park that has less fur-kids playing in it or go at a different time when there are less dogs to interact with socially.  Just changing that small detail can make all the difference for your fur child and the amount of enjoyment they have at the park.

Stay on Alert

It’s important to remember that you can’t let your dog out of your sight.  It only takes a second for a situation to become aggressive and violent.  Whether it is your dog protecting themselves or another dog attacking, you have to notice the danger signs before something happens.

Recognize a Bully

Yes, dogs can be a bully too.  These overly aggressive dogs have not been properly socialized and can quickly take over the park with their aggressive behavior.  As the parent of an aggressive dog, recognize this behavior and remove your dog from the park.  They are better to play with other aggressive dogs or just with their human family. 

If your dog is being bullied, you have the right to stand up for your fur-child and ask the other Pet Parent to get their dog.  Protect your fur child from this situation by removing them from the situation.  It is this reason why some parks have 2 separate parks for big dogs and small dogs.  Small dogs are easily intimidated.

 

 

 

Common Sense Goes a Long Way

Don’t take your dog to the park at a time that can set them up for torment.  This means that as the Pet Parent, know where you are taking your dog and when is the best time for them.  That takes a bit of research into finding out when is the park the busiest, is there more than one park and knowing your dog’s personality.  Additionally, here are some things that you never want to do because it is asking for trouble:

  1. Never take a dog that is “in heat”- the smell can work up a frenzy that can get you and your dog in a bigger mess than you can imagine.
  2. Never take puppies that are too young- they are too small to protect themselves and there are too many things that can go wrong.  They could get stepped on, picked up and taken away (by man or another animal) but most importantly, they can become afraid of everything because it all seems too big and scary.
  3. Never bring an unvaccinated dog to any social setting- They are the ones who will get sick if they are bitten or scraped by another animal that has something harmful.  All dogs should have their shots to protect them from dangers we can’t see.
  4. Never bring your dog’s favorite toys to the park- Dogs, just like humans, are possessive and bringing their favorite toy to the park is just asking for trouble.  They might not want to share it with other dogs and when another dog tries to play with it, now your dog will become protective over it.  Leave the toy at home where your dog can keep it safe.

These are just a handful of dog park etiquette tips.  Check out these articles to learn more:

 

 

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