Dog Park Etiquette and Safety Tips

Dog parks can be wonderful places for dogs to run, play and interact with other canines in a secure area. Unfortunately, not all dogs play well together and not all owners take responsibility for their dogs. If you decide to take your dog to the park, have realistic expectations. Be prepared to watch your dog at all times and protect him if needed. Ultimately, your dog’s safety at these parks depends on you.

Dog Park Etiquette and Safety Tips

Spend a few minutes observing the dogs from outside the fence if you’re visiting a dog park for the first time. If they seem aggressive or unattended by their owners, don’t bring your dog inside.

Be careful at the front gate. Dogs tend to rush to the gate to greet a new dog which could intimidate your dog or lead to a fight.

Supervise your dog. You should keep an eye on your dog at all times to make sure that she is behaving well and that other dogs are behaving well toward her.

Don’t let your dog stay if she seems frightened or other dogs threaten her. Some owners think that dogs should “work it out themselves” when there’s a conflict. Not removing your dog from an aggressive dog will just make her fear worse.

Speak up if an owner needs to pay attention to his dog.  Don’t be afraid to ask an owner to control his dog if there’s a problem.

Remove your dog from the park if he is aggressive or bullying other dogs. Make the safety of other dogs as important as the safety of your own.

Learn to read dogs’ body signals and postures. Dogs communicate with us when they are scared, threatened, aggressive, stressed and happy. Learn to recognize the difference between rough play, which can look and sound violent, and actual threats.

Leave small children and babies in strollers at home. Some dogs are frightened of small children and vice versa.

Don’t take toys to the park unless your dog is willing to share.

Use caution when rewarding your dog with a treat at the park. If your dog doesn’t like other dogs crowding around, treats can be a problem.

Signs a Dog Might Bite

In addition to keeping your dog safe, you need to watch out for yourself. Use caution if you see a dog:

•  standing stiff and still with its hair up

•  staring at you

•  holding its tail stiff and up in the air. Friendly dogs wag their tails in a relaxed way. A dog with a stiff tail up, wagging fast is sending a danger signal.

•  growling, snarling, showing its teeth or barking

Keep in mind that some dogs may not give any signs before biting. When in doubt, be careful, stay calm and slowly back away.


Dog Park Goodies

Stop by Dawg Gone Good for the latest products to enhance your time together with your dog.

Planet Dog Wood Chuck, an ergonomic bamboo chucker that works with Orbee Tough balls






Vibram Disc, a durable fun flyer made from dog-friendly rubber









EZY Dog Mongrel, a shock-absorbing stretch leash that’s perfect for pullers


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