Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dog Park Etiquette

Lowcountry Dog Magazine
by Anonymous on Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Often we get asked at Planet Bark about how we feel about dog parks and our opinions about how other people’s dogs behave at them. We feel that Dog Parks allow dogs a place to exercise and socialize safely, they allow owners to meet people with similar interests, and can be instrumental in promoting responsible dog ownership.

Dogs that are accustomed to playing with other animals and people other than their owners are more likely to be well-socialized and behave appropriately toward strangers. With some basic guidelines to follow, dog parks can be a safe and fun place for both dogs and owners alike.

Guidelines to consider as you make your way to the nearest dog park

Know and understand your dog’s temperament and never assume that they are having a good time- watch your dog’s demeanor and look for behaviors that would be a cause for concern.
Some dogs will have no desire to play, but will enjoy being outside content with nature; other dogs will be excited to meet new friends and will play until it is time to go home. Both types of dogs can benefit from the dog park – they just enjoy it in different ways.


Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s overall health before going to a dog park and make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations

Observe the dogs in the dog park to see if there are any potential health or behavior problems

Clean up after your dog

Supervise dogs when they are playing and interrupt any rough play

Be willing to leave if you feel that your dog is being a bully, the play is getting too rough, or your dog is just not having fun

Make sure your young dog is not learning bad manners from the other dogs

Be cautious about taking advice from other park patrons who are not dog professionals


Take your dog to a dog park if they are uncomfortable - take them to a place that they enjoy

Bring or use treats and toys when other dogs are nearby

Allow dogs to form packs and to bully one another

Ever let your dog off-leash in an un-fenced dog park if they are not responsive to your verbal commands

Worry if some dogs don’t play with other dogs in a dog park

Association of Pet Dog Trainers. © 2010 APDT, http://www.apdt.com/

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