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Dog Park Etiquette

Summer is here! That means enjoying the warm weather and getting more exercise and playtime! Dog parks tend to become the popular hangout for pets and people, but also can become a common place for dogfights to occur.

A few rules to follow for proper dog park etiquette:

1. It is great to connect with your fellow human while the dogs play, but remember to watch and monitor your pets. Make sure that he/she is not being too rough with another dog, or vice versa. We can help prevent fights by watching the communication between our pets.

This can also be a great time to practice training while there are distractions present.

2. Remember that dogs communicate with posture, ear, eye, and tail placement. These can be subtle so we must pay close attention! For example; ears back, barred teeth means “I am aggressive and may bite”, low body position with ears back may mean “I’m scared”.

3. If your dog wears a choke or prong collar, please take them off before entering the dog park!

    • Another dog can injure their teeth by biting the collars in play. (The teeth can become stuck or break.)
    • This can injure the pet wearing the collar if another dog got trapped in their collar.
    • This can also cause a fight if one of the dogs is injured and in pain.

4. Do not bring treats or toys to the dog park. If others are possessive or have resource guarding issues this can cause a fight.

5. If you have a small dog please avoid taking your pet to play with all the big dogs. Even if your dog is great with them!

    • Your small dog can be toppled and injured by the big dogs running around.
    • Some big dogs may get along great with others, but might have a high prey drive to little dogs (ie. They may attack them).
    • Some dog parks have “small dog hours” or a separate area for the little guys.

6. Please protect your pet and others at the dog park with proper vaccinations, and protect your pet against the transmission of fleas and mites with one of the many protective medications available.

7. Typically there is signage posted, but please do not bring your unvaccinated or mature intact pets to a dog park. Females in heat, or unneutered males will change the dynamics between pets in a hurry.

And please remember, NEVER GET BETWEEN A DOG FIGHT! You will get injured or bitten. If there are dogs fighting you can try:

    • Spraying water in the face.
    • Can take the tip an umbrella place it near the fighting dogs face and pop it open quickly.
    • A bullhorn or metal dog bowls to create a loud noise that may startle them.

Enjoy the warm weather, and the wonderful socialization that the dog park can provide. By following some of the points above your pet can enjoy the experience.



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