What is a dog park?

Petiquette

Benefits of a Dog Park

 

 

What is a Dog Park                                                  top

   Off-leash dog parks are different than regular public parks. Typically, they are fenced in and have:

  • Double gated entrance

  • Rules and regulations

  • Ample parking

  •  Small dog section

  •  Clean and safe water supply

  •  Shelter for the owners

  •  Appropriate signage

  •  Environmentally friendly disposal 

In addition, most successful dog parks have a strong volunteer base and community support to keep the dog park clean, secure, and safe.

 

 Petiquette                                                               top

Do

 Here are some simple things that you can do to make your dog a good canine citizen.

  • Make sure your dog is healthy and has up to date vaccinations and is dewormed.
  •  Pick up and dispose of dog poop.
  • Keep your dog in sight at all times. Be aware of what he or she is doing. Anticipate potential problems. It’s easier to stop a problem from happening than deal with it after it’s occurred.
  •  Ask if it’s okay for your dog to approach before letting it go up to leashed dogs or strangers, especially children. Call your dog when you see strangers coming. This eliminates the possibility your dog will jump on someone who will then complain about it. Be considerate of people who are afraid of dogs and ask them if they want to interact with your dog.
  •  Control excessive barking.
  •  Prevent digging and destructive behavior.
  • Control aggressive dogs. If you know your dog growls at people or other dogs, keep it on leash or under tight control so it doesn’t ruin the park experience for others.
  • Be considerate of other park users. Share the parks and we’ll all be able to use them. Don’t let your dog bother others enjoying the park. If you know your dog steals balls, keep it away from kids playing ball games.
  • Carry a leash. That way, if you need it, you’ve got it.
  • Always carry a poop bag, a spare, and one to share.
  • Make sure your dog is well trained and under your verbal control. 

  Don’t                                                                                          top

  • Take a first timer to a park which is full of other dogs: Introduce your dog to other animals slowly.  Start by taking your dog during a quiet time to allow them to become familiar with the park.
  • Ever bring a dog that is under 4 months of age:It is less likely that you will be able to control an exuberant, untrained puppy if anything goes wrong and they are much more likely to be in harms way from fully grown dogs.
  • Bring Human Children at Off-Leash Dog Parks: There are many good reasons to keep children out of off-leash dog parks, and no good reasons to bring them in. The possibilities for accidents are staggering. Be a responsible parent, and keep your small children in the parks designed for them.
  • Bring Female Dogs in Heat or Intact Males: Taking a female dog in heat out in public is unbelievably irresponsible, especially out somewhere where there are dozens of dogs running loose, with many possibly intact (not desexed) males.  You shouldn’t bring an intact male dog to the park either.  The potential for aggressive and anti-social behaviour in this situation is very high.  Never allow your dog to mount other dogs.
  • Don't Bring Other Animals That Are Not Dogs: For the safety of all concerned, dogs, the other animal, and the people in the park, do not bring animals other than dogs to a dog park.
  • Don’t offer treats to other people’s dogs:The dogs will become protective of their new food source and defend it aggressively.

 

Benefits of a Dog Park                                                    top

An enclosed dog park where dogs can play together off-leash is a tremendous community enhancement.

  • The dogs have a safe environment to play (no more off-leash maneuvers on the streets or the dodging of vehicles).
  • By having dogs in an enclosed play area, this prevents off-leash dogs from chasing community residents and park users such as joggers, small children, and those who may be fearful of dogs.
  • Dogs, by their nature, help deter crime.
  • A well-exercised dog is a happier and healthier dog, making it less likely that the dog will be a nuisance to neighbors by barking or destroying property.
  • Dogs create a sense of community. People are brought together in a dog park and conversations begin, much like people with children are brought together in school and through other related activities.
  • Many public parks and public schools prohibit dog owners from exercising their dogs on private property - - - thus necessitating that citizens break the law to find a nice recreational setting for their dogs.

Dogs Need Rules and Regulations Too

Just as the members of the community have restrictions, so should the dog and dog owner who use the dog park:

  • Owners should make sure that puppies and dogs are properly inoculated, are healthy (have no contagious conditions or diseases), and are parasite-free (both internally and externally).
  • It's important to encourage pleasurable time for the dogs, but dog fighting prevention is key to a favorable visit to the dog park. Owners should discuss with other owners if there is potential for discord between animals. Aggressive dogs (or people) should not enter the dog park.
  • No female dogs in heat should enter the park at any time.
  • Owners must always clean up after their dogs.
  • The community must maintain open and closing hours for the dog park so that nearby residents are not disturbed by any noise.
  • Toddlers and small children should not be permitted inside the dog park.
  • Food must be left outside the dog park, as doing otherwise may encourage  dogfights.

      For safety reasons, pet owners should remove any collars or restraints that may become hazardous to dogs while they play with other dogs. 

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