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Etiquette in the dog park. Will your dog behave once his dog leash is removed?

Monday, April 12, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dogs-greetingDogs parks are a double edge sword. On one hand, it’s a great place to exercise your dog but on the other hand, it can traumatize your dog and make him reactive and perhaps even get him killed. Now which one the these extremes is the correct one?  Actually they both are. You dog park can be a terrific place to take your dog, provided that it is well monitored, well constructed and well maintained.  It can also be a nightmare for both you and your dog. If you understand the rules of the park and other dog owners understand the rules, it could be a wonderful place for your dog.  When people don’t follow the rules, that’s when disaster happens. The best dog parks are those in which the users band together and create a community environment.  One of the early dog parks that was in Sausalito, California actually held informal wine and cheese parties every Friday to develop a sense of community. They all worked together and kept any problems at the park to a minimum.

Not all dogs will do well in a dog park. If the dog has serious behavior problems, he needs to be socialized and trained before even attempting to bring him to a dog park.

Consider the following before walking through the gate of a dog park and removing Rovers dog leash.

  • Dog parks should be friendly places without being overbearing or bullying places.
  • Your dog should be confident and social in the park. Those dogs that are aggressive, fearful or reactive are not god candidates for dog parks.
  • Basic good manners are a must in the park. Your dog should not slam other dogs, jump on kids or other dogs or jump on the laps of humans sitting on a bench.
  • Your dog should be responsive to certain rules. He should come when called and sit when he is told.
  • Barking should be kept at a reasonable level.
  • Only healthy dogs should visit the park.

Follow these rules and hopefully others in the park are following the same rules and you and your dog will have a great experience!



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