12 Commandments For Visiting Dog Parks
When you take your dog to the local dog park there are a few rules you need to abide by. There is an unspoken etiquette that most owners try to be respectful of. In general you just need to be in control of your dog and be courteous to other dogs and their owners. Here are 12 commandments for visiting a dog park.
1. My dog shall not approach dogs on the lead
If a dog is on a the owner has probably done it for a good reason. It might simply be that their dog doesn’t have very good recall but it could also be that their dog doesn’t particularly enjoy interacting with other dogs. If you see a dog on the lead then don’t let your dog charge up to it and pester it.
2. I will keep control of your dog
If you are going to take your dog to a public place such as a dog park then you need to be confident you can keep them under control. If you are nervous that they won’t respond to your commands then don’t take them or keep them on the lead and do some further training. Don’t allow your dog to sprint up to dogs they don’t know, they might not want to be approached.
3. I will do my best to ensure they have good recall
If you want to be able to let your dog off the lead and have a good run in the park then make sure they have good recall. You may need to call your dog away from a dangerous dog or stop them from running close to a busy road. Recall is very important for safety reasons. Browse our now if your dog needs help with recall training.
4. I will clean up after your dog
If you don’t clean up after your dog then not only are you breaking the law but you are spoiling everyone else’s experience. No one wants to go to a dog park that is full of dog mess. Be responsible and pick up after your dog, no excuses. Remember to take plenty of with you every time you leave the house with your dog.
5. I will recognise when my dog gets too boisterous
If your dog is overly energetic then you need to make sure they don’t get too boisterous with other dogs. Some dogs will tolerate being jumped on and pestered but others won't, and it can cause unnecessary aggression.
6. I will be aware of children
Remember that children often go to dog parks. Make sure your dog is comfortable being around children and that they don’t accidentally knock them over.
7. I will not give other dogs treats without permission
It’s not wise to give another dog a treat without asking the owner first. They may be on a special diet or worse, they might be really allergic to certain foods. You can give treats to other dogs but make sure you ask first. Although if there are lots of dogs around you may want to avoid getting too many out as it may cause problems.
8. I will not allow my dog to steal other dog’s toys
Some dogs are very possessive of their and will not let other dogs go near them. Do not allow your dog to go around stealing other dog’s toys or they could get themselves into trouble. Equally, if your dog gets overly protective of a particular toy do not bring it to the dog park.
9. I will stop play if it gets too rough
When some dogs play they can look quite aggressive but they mean no harm, they are simply having fun. However, when dogs play it can sometimes get out of control. You need to learn to recognise when your dog gets too rough when they are playing with other dogs and step in and separate them if necessary.
10. I will not allow my dog to jump up at people
Some people feel really intimidated when a big dog jumps up at them. Your dog can also knock people over and injure them if they jump up with force. Train your dog not to jump up at strangers before you take them to the dog park.
11. I will keep my dog in view at all times
It’s best to keep an eye on your dog at all times so that you know what they are up to. You might need to call them away from another dog. If you aren’t watching your dog when an issue occurs then you won’t know and can’t prove what happened.
12. I will make sure your dog has up to date vaccinations
It’s not fair to take your dog out to the dog park and let them interact with other dogs if they aren’t up to date with their vaccinations.