Off Leash Dog Park Etiquette For You and Your Dog
Taking your pooch for an afternoon at the local off leash dog park can be a lot of fun….but there’s always the chance that someone will come, not only bringing their dog, but also bringing bad habits, inconsideration for others, and just plain bad dog park etiquette. Sometimes these condition can even lead to injuries.
There isn’t much you can do about the behaviors of some people and their dogs, but you don’t want that person or that dog to be you or yours.
How you and your dog should act at the dog park…
The responsibility for practicing good etiquette and behavior isn’t just your dog’s, the real responsibility rests on your shoulders. Many of these are common sense considerations, but we’ll list them for the sake of reminder:
- Dog park etiquette begins at home –
- Make sure your dog has had all of his immunizations.
- Make sure your dog has been either spayed or neutered. Female dogs in heat can cause real chaos, and unneutered males can become aggressive or bossy.
- Make sure they are wearing their identification.
- Have Fido trained well enough that he will obey basic commands, but most importantly, “come” when you call him.
- If your dog is younger than 4 months old and has not had socialization training, he should be left home. Off leash parks are not the place to give him this, or any other, type of training.
- Be prepared with pooper scooper supplies…some parks, not all, will provide the things you need, so it’s a good idea to come with your own.
- It’s acceptable to take water with you to the park, but leave food, especially treats, at home. Dogs aren’t necessarily the best at sharing, food could cause some problems. Definitely don’t give food to someone else’s dog.
- If you’re bringing children with you, make sure they are old enough to understand how to behave:
- No screaming and running around
- No throwing things
- Don’t touch or go after strange dogs
- Leave your electronic devices stowed away. While at the dog park, it’s important that you focus on, play with, and give attention to your dog.
- Avoid leaving pronged collars or choke chains on Fido at the park, these could lead to injuries during play. (I would advise against choke chains altogether)
- Do not allow your dog to jump up on people, mount other dogs, sniff another dog or person too long or get over excited when a new dog enters the park.
- Remember, dog parks aren’t intended as places to exercise your dog, they are places to play, enjoy the outside and to enjoy a change of environment and activity. It’s a good idea, if possible, to give your dog a little exercise before heading to the park so any excess energy is used up and your dog won’t feel the need to “go crazy”.
At BowWow Fun Towne, we are experts in dog day care. We are dedicated to assisting you and providing the best care for your dog while you’re away.