Dog park etiquette is something that we don’t automatically think of when we take our dogs out on an adventure. Dog parks are a great way for you and your pooch to get out and enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment, but there are some rules of the doggy road everyone should follow to make sure everyone has a great time.
I finally decided to write this, because I see so many questions from dog owners about how to keep other people from giving their dogs treats or rushing up to them or a dozen other things. It’s a hazard of going to a place densely populated with adorable, fuzzy creatures.
Dog Park 101
Just like any other social situation, there are some unspoken codes of conduct that go with taking our dogs to the park. Unfortunately, dogs are so cute and often so willing to see other people that many times these rules go right out the window. Let’s face it, no one can say no to a wiggly, wagging tail. I get it. I’m totally guilty of it. In fact, whenever I go tot the dog park, I have to actively remind myself that not everyone is as interested in a love fest as I am.
I’m fairly certain most of us know not to give another person’s dog any treats we may have brought along for our dogs. Unfortunately, not all people follow that rule. As cute as it is to watch a dog scarf down treats, that’s one of the big no nos.
This is one of the rules of dog park etiquette that I have such a hard time with. Not everyone wants to have a pow wow with strangers. Whenever I go to the dog park, I’m like a kid just waiting to hear, “Do you want to say hello to my dog?” LOL
Say Hello Slowly
Speaking of meeting dogs. If a dog does come over to you or if an owner gives you the go ahead, approach slowly and calmly. Always remember that fast movements and getting close to a dog’s face are considered aggressive movements.
Keep Your Dog Under Control
This is a big one. This is THE big one. Even if your dog loves everyone and everything, the other owner’s dog might not. And although a dog park generally means dogs off of their leashes, you still want to keep your dog decently in line. It just helps make the entire experience better for everyone.
This one cannot be over stated. Vaccines are the absolute most important thing to remember when going to a dog park. Your dog should be up to date on all his vaccines to protect both him and the other dogs at the park.
Make the Dog Park Fun for Everyone
A trip to the dog park is a ton of fun for owners and for their pets. But only if everyone’s on the same page. As responsible owners, we’re not only in charge of our pets, we’re in charge of ourselves. The fur babies may be nearly impossible to resist, but we must! I say this from experience. 😉 So just remember (the way I have to) that although there are tons of adorable puppies at the dog park, they aren’t yours. LOL Respect people’s personal space and keep your guy reasonably well behaved, and everyone should have a fantastic time.