Dog Park Etiquette: Off-Leash Obedience, Dog Park Rules, and More

"Simply having a dog does not entitle you to going to the dog park. Some people just go into the dog park, go sit somewhere and read a book, and pay no regard to what their pup is up to. It can be a big problem sometimes. If you want to take your dog to socialize, be sure he knows how to. And that you know how to.Dog Park Etiquette: Off-Leash Obedience, Dog Park Rules, and More

Know who started itPay attention to your dog so that if he gets into a fight, you know who started it. If it was your dog, he needs to be reprimanded. First of all, pull him off immediately. The other owner will not respect you if you just stand and wait for the fight to end. Not to mention, if something bad happens to the other dog that yours is attacking, you could be sued or at least be responsible for some expensive medical treatment. Second, put your dog in the time out area. There is usually one in every dog park. Yell at him immediately and shut him into the time out area for ten minutes. You must do this every time he attacks a dog so the he learns the association between getting cut off from socializing and attacking other dogs.

Clean up after your dogIt's a dog park. Not a bathroom. Watch your dog to see if he does his business and pick it up immediately. Most parks have a trash can and scoopers to help you do this. For extra brownie points, pick up some leftovers from other dogs. People will appreciate that and everyone should do their part to keep the park pretty.

Let others pet your dog Some people become territorial about having other people interact with their dog. My friend used to be that way, but I went with her to the park one day and I told her, ""People are going to start keeping their dogs from socializing with yours if you become so noticeably irritated when they so much as pet your dog."" After that she started to be more and more social with the other owners. She thanks me for giving her that little slap on the wrist because, she is actually a voice coach and through her conversations with people, found a lot who wanted to learn to sing better, or knew someone who wanted singing lessons, and she got a lot of business through it. Moral of the story, be nice to everyone you meet. And let them pet your dog!

Share your water If you bring a water bowl for your dog, know that other dogs are going to drink out of it. Don't become territorial about it. Honestly, there is only so much room for dog bowls in the park. If everyone brought one, it would be a disaster. So be grateful everyone isn't cluttering the place with bowls, and share yours."

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