Dog Park Etiquette

What you need to know about good manners and your dog’s well-being.


If you own a dog who enjoys playing with her own kind, a dog park presents a wonderful canine playground. To help keep everyone safe, parks usually post detailed rules, but expect owners to fill in the blanks with common sense and courtesy.

Basic etiquette begins with taking only fully vaccinated puppies or dogs to a dog park to avoid spreading disease. Clean up your dog’s waste inside or outside the play area. Most parks use a two-gate entry to prevent dogs from escaping, so carefully close the first gate before opening the second.

Watch your dog’s reactions to assure she seems comfortable joining the group. Stay attentive, keep a leash handy, and remove her if she acts aggressive, bullying, frightened, or stressed.

Always be polite with other owners, and soon you’ll enjoy the dog park as much as your dog does!


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Tommy   pocatello, ID

11/23/2009 8:33:13 AM

good. i try and have my dogs act nice evben not when in a dog park

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Sarah   Montrose, CO

11/17/2009 5:25:37 PM

I agree it is some one eles's dog that is causing tension and I have leave too. One of the reasons I have to leave is cause I have 2 Pitbulls and they are friendly and I don't want a pesky dog trying to sniff them or hump them every minute cause if my dogs even snap at the other dog,there may be a fight or who's knows, but I would be the one to get balmed. Other than that it's fun and my dogs love to swim at the one's that have ponds.

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michelle   rockford, IL

11/16/2009 6:38:05 PM

Good to know.

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S   Three Oaks, MI

11/16/2009 2:21:31 PM

It's frustrating when a dog owner sees their dog bothering other dogs repeatedly & does not leave the park. All the dogs in the park should be there with a comfort level--the purpose is for the dog to have fun. I've had to take my dog & leave because another dog was being wild & somewhat aggressive toward several dogs in the park, & THEY should have left, not us! Days later I saw other dog owners at the park complaining about the same dog. Please, ONLY keep your dog at the park if he's behaving!!

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