May 28, 2013 Leave a comment
There should be written and enforcable rules for the dog park. Then again, these might just be my pet peeves.
- A collar and tag will be worn at all times by the dog. On the tag it will have dogs name and a phone number of the human responsible for said dog. I can’t tell you how many times I see a dog without a tag let alone a collar at my unfenced dog park! This drives me nuts! Why would you allow your dog to wonder and play without having a tag on them or even a collar? As another dog parent if my dog were to get into a fight (has never happened knock on wood) with yours that collar is a great grab point with which to restrain your dog till you get there and control them.
- Dog poop bags will be carried and used at all times! I hate to see people stand, watch their dog poop, and then walk away. Seriously? Do you like stepping in dog poop or something? Pick it up so that I don’t have to watch my feet all the time and don’t you dare complain about stepping in dog poop at a later date.
- You will have vocal control over your dog at most times. I would say all but lets be honest, when do we have vocal control over anything at all times? It frustrates me when I go to the park and there is that one or two dogs that probable aren’t ready to be there because they just don’t listen to their owner. Typically they aren’t coming when called aka yelled at to do so. The sub portion of this rule is that if you see a dog having a problem stop helping to distract it. Take your dog and just walk away at nice even pace, don’t throw your ball for your dog, and if the dog is with you stop and stay put till it goes back to its owner.
- Only bring dogs that are ready! I have seen people bring out their recently rescued dog, and think that the dog is ready for the unfenced off-leash dog park. Okay, so maybe some are, but most are not. I have seen newly rescued dogs get scared and run off because their person isn’t their safety zone, yet. Also, there are people out there with dogs that need to take a few canine body language classes. This also goes out to puppies and their parents. Don’t bring your puppy out till they come 90% of the time when called, and don’t bring them out till have had all the shots they need.
- Let the other dogs teach! This may sound harsh but allowing an older dog to reprimand a younger dog is okay. Now, don’t them get into a dog fight! If the younger dog is being rude to the older dog it will let it know (growl, snap, ect) at least once before it escalates from there. The younger dog needs this so it can improve it’s off-leash behavior.
- Be your dogs safety zone! If your puppy comes hi-tailing it into your body with tail down make them feel safe and loved. They are scared or worried about something and ignoring them will only make the matter worse! If other dogs are chasing them send them away. You want your dog to come to you when they are unsure of something especially at the dog park. The only way to reinforce that behavior is to make sure you are a place where they feel safe.
- Be ready! You never know what might happen at the dog park. You may need to step in and stop a dog fight between other peoples dogs. You may need to help find a lost dog. You may need to the shoulder for a parent that came out to de-stress. Just be ready and willing to help where you can.
- Relax, Smile, and have Fun! This is the doggy playground. If you don’t want them to play then don’t bring them. I have a person that I walk with at the dog park. That is the only place I know her but we have a great friendship! Let your dog be your introduction to new people. Where they do you go. If they want to meet new dogs go and follow them (you should anyway) and start talking to the other doggy parents. You never know how many people you will become friends with if you never talk to anyone.