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Dog Park Etiquette

Dog parks can be an excellent way for you and your pet to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. It is very important to know some basic facts and rules about dog park etiquette before bringing your dog into the local bark park.

Most importantly, it is absolutely essential to be aware of canine body language to ensure the safety and enjoyment of your dog and the dogs around you!

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Make sure your dog enjoys the dog park! If it looks like he’s overwhelmed or won’t leave your side, maybe the dog park just isn’t for him. And that’s ok!

  1. Know your dog… and your dog’s limitations. You may think he’s having a blast, but make sure he isn’t ruining the fun for everyone else! Some dogs just don’t play well with others.
  2. Survey the crowd first! Even if the park is usually fine, there might be different dogs that aren’t the best playmates. If it looks like your pup won’t get along with the others, it’s safest to just leave.
  3. Only bring your dog in the appropriate designated size areas.
  4. If you see behavior you don’t like from other people’s pets, just leave. It’s not worth arguing with a stranger.
  5. Don’t try to break up a dog fight by yourself. If you can, spray the dogs with water.
  6. Never grab a riled up dog by the collar —that’s the fastest way to get bit! Even your own dog can get caught up in the moment and bite you.
  7. Keep a copy of your dog’s current vaccination records on hand, and always keep current rabies tags and registrations on your dog’s collar.
  8. Children under the age of 16 should ALWAYS be accompanied by an adult, and it is generally frowned upon to bring babies and toddlers into a park full of sharp claws and teeth.
  9. Leave food, treats and toys at home. These can cause competition and fights over resources.
  10. SCOOP THE POOP! Every single time! Keep a vigilant eye on Fido so you don’t miss a mess!
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