11 Dog Park Etiquette Tips
It’s marvelous to have a spot where your dog can run leash-less and play unfettered with other four-legged friends. But many people have pet peeves about those who don’t follow the rules in this animal arena. So here are a few doggie park do’s and don’ts.
1. Do Pick Up the Doo Doo!
For some unfathomable reason, some dog owners think that the dog park is also a public pet toilet. But can you imagine the state of the grounds if no one picked up after their dogs? Yech! And always dispose of your "doggie bags" properly.
2. Don't Bring a Sick Pet
When pets are under the weather with things like kennel cough, fleas, or mange, they can be really grumpy and overly aggressive. Not to mention your dog could pass something on to someone else's pet. And don't bring unvaccinated dogs or very young puppies to a dog park.
3. Do Control Your Dog
Your dog should know and respect the basic commands of come, sit, and stop before you take it to a dog park so you can prevent it from harassing folks. No one likes dogs that jump up or hop into laps uninvited. Worse are dogs that try to mark their territory on someone's leg-and worse yet, dogs that hump people's legs!
Don't let your dog bully other dogs. Also avoid correcting other people's dog behaviours without receiving permission from the owner first-or the scrap might end up being between humans and not canines!
4. Don't Bring a Favourite Toy
By all means bring a toy, but only something you know your dog can part with. Leave the absolute favourite toy at home because chances are good that it won't make it out of the park unscathed.
5. Do Repair Any Damage Your Dog Causes
Besides stepping in doggie droppings, there's nothing worse than twisting your ankle in a hidden hole in the ground. If your dog is a chronic digger, take the time to fill the holes back up!
6. Don't Bring Food and Treats
You cannot blame dogs for ganging up on a dog that has a treat or food of any kind. Unless you want a pack of scavenging mutts descending upon you and your pet, leave the food at home.
7. Do Keep Moving Around
Dog parks can be great spots to socialize with other owners, but you are there to be with your dog. When owners remain chatting in one spot for too long, dogs can become territorial and act aggressively if other dogs come sniffing around you. Remember, when you're not moving, you become territory!
8. Don't Bring Dogs in Heat
Dogs in heat are a recipe for disaster in a dog park. Beyond the potential for your dog to become pregnant, the mere presence of a hot-to-trot female can send normally well-behaved males into a frenzy-which can be traumatic for your pooch.
9. Do Bring a Leash
Though the idea of the dog park is to let dogs run free, there'll be times you need to tether your dog, even if only to take time out to correct bad behaviour like excessive barking or over- aggressiveness with other dogs.
10. Don't Bring Small Children
A dog park is no place for small children. They run and yell, and dogs will instinctively chase them because that's what dogs do! Let children play in kid parks and let the dogs enjoy dog parks.
11. Do Have Fun!
If everyone obeys all the park rules posted and exercises proper etiquette and common sense, a dog park can be a fabulous spot for you and your pet.