4 Simple Rules for Dog Park Etiquette

Taking your dog to the dog park is an excellent idea. As a matter of fact, it’s the equivalent of
more than a dozen walks on a leash for your fur baby when it comes to all of the physical and
mental benefits it provides.”They get the chance to get off-leash and run around and play with other dogs,” says Rebecca
Ruch-Gallie, DVM, of Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins.
“It keeps their weight down, their muscle tone up. It keeps them social. It’s huge.” Although taking your dog to the dog park is a great idea, there are some rules for dog park etiquette you should keep in mind to ensure that both you and your dog are not the source of
unintended troublemaking.

4 Simples for Dog Park Etiquette

Rule #1:

Take Charge.

When you take your dog to the dog park, there will be other dogs there
too. This means that your role as a dog owner is crucial to ensuring that your dog’s behavior is in
line. The best way to do this is to remind your dog that you’re in charge, that you are the alpha
animal at all times. Teach your dog to come back when called and give your dog a nice reward
for following your commands.

Rule: 2:

Take a Minute to Observe Before You Enter The Park.

The sign of a great dog park is one that has a double entrance and two gates. Most well-designed dog parks have these. Since
there will be other dogs there too, don’t dash right in there. Enter the first gate with your dog on a leash; then take a moment to observe your surroundings. The reason for this is that if there are 10-25 other dogs running around with scuffles breaking out here and there, it’s not a good idea to come right in. Take a few moments to let the other dogs get used to your dog’s presence and then
come in. This will keep other dogs from getting too hyper when your dog comes in.

Rule #3:

Pay Close Attention.

A day at the dog park can be an amazing time for your dog, but be sure to keep your eyes on your dog at all times and pay close attention to not only your dog, but the other dogs at the park. You’ll also want to become comfortable reading canine behavior,

Here’s what we mean: Dogs at play have relaxed ears, wagging tails, and may “play bow” with their front end down to the ground. Upset hounds hold their tails at half-mast or between their legs. Their ears are pinned back, and their pupils shrink so you can see the whites of the eyes. Reading canine behavior lets you know ahead of time when everything is cool and collected and
when conflicts are brewing.

Rule #4:

Leave Puppies at Home:

If you have a puppy(s) less than four months old, it is never a good idea to him or her to a dog park. The reason is that puppies can be hard to control and older dogs tend to find puppies annoying and can result in a lot of ruckus. In addition, puppies this young have not had all of their shots and could be exposed to diseases.


These are four simple rules to be aware of whether it’s you who is taking your dog or a
professional pet sitting company.


Written by Nicholas Cole

Image by Sebastian Coman Travel