Dog Park

The Dos and Don’ts of Dog Park Etiquette Making Dirt Angels is a Definitely a Don’t

Almost every day that the dog park is open in my town, I’m there.  I live across the street and the dogs I board love going and have a great time.   Not only is the park good for socializing the dogs, it’s also a social meet up for the pet owners.  I’ve met so many great people and love getting to know them.  I’ve learned about dog breeds that I never knew  existed.

Before the dog park was open, I was in the organization that was responsible for raising funds and actually building the park.  A group of us were the grunts and worked on Saturdays digging and shoveling dirt and helping to pour concrete.  Our little construction group laughed a lot and had a wonderful time even though we were doing hard manual labor.

One of our task was to develop a list of guidelines for the pet owners to use while they were visiting the park.  Since then, some of them have been observed, and some haven’t.

As some of you know, when dogs get running around, they don’t always see who or what they’re going to run into.  I’ve been knocked off my feet once and hit square in the knee a couple of times.

I’ve come up with my own dos and don’ts when visiting your local dog park

Do take off your dogs pinch/prong collar.  You know the ones that work really well, but look like a Medieval torture device.  The dog’s rough house a lot and they could catch a nail or tooth on them.

Don’t let your child make dirt angels at the park.  I actually saw a little boy lay down in the middle of the park and starting waving his arms and legs to make angels.  Do you know how many times the dogs go potty on the ground?  The mother was standing right by him and didn’t say anything.  The dog park is a cesspool of germs.

Do take your dog (after they’ve had all their shots).  It’s a wonderful way to socialize them early, besides puppies have a lot of energy and they can get out their energy by playing much better than by just walking.

Don’t bring a stroller into the park.  If you absolutely have to, stay close to the fence so the dogs won’t knock it down.  The same goes with small children, please don’t let them wander in the middle of the dog park.  Some dogs can be unpredictable around children, and you just never know.

Do keep your leash with you at all times in case you have to pull your dog away from fight or some other unwanted behavior.

Don’t bring food into the park.  I know that some pet parents need to entice their dogs with treats and that’s OK, but a full fledge picnic at the tables is a no-no.  The other day I saw a little girl with a zip lock bag full of kibble.  It’s a good way to get knocked over or have to deal with food aggressive dogs.

Don’t bring your dog to the dog park if they have aggressive behavior.  You’re not doing anyone any favors and you’re just looking for vet bills.  If your dog is exhibiting bad behavior, please leave the park.

Do make sure your dog is fully vaccinated before going to the park.  They play and exchange saliva all the time.  I’ve been slimed many, many times!

Do expect your dog to get pounced on when they first arrive.  The dogs love new meat and have to give them the dog park initiation.  They’ll sniff and bark and see what your dog is made out of.  It usually doesn’t last very long and soon another dog will come in and lose interest in your dog

Do have your dog’s licenses and all other tags on him.  Animal control sometimes comes by our park to inspect the dogs.

If you follow these rules, a good time is had by all!   If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

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