The Do’s and Don’ts of The Dog Park

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As the weather improves and restrictions are lifted, more and more pet owners are returning to their local dog parks. While dog parks are a great place for your dog to socialize and exercise, they only function when all pets and owners follow some basic rules so that everyone can continue to enjoy them. Refusing to follow some basic rules has the potential to ruin the experience for everyone involved. 


  1. Basic training

    1. It is important before taking your dog to the dog park that they are comfortable with a few basic commands. For example, they need to know their name, “come,” be comfortable on a leash and the process of putting their leash on. Not knowing these basic commands can pose a danger to you, your pet, and others. While the dog park is usually a safe and uneventful place, you never know when a large dog will become out of control or even your pet becomes aggressive towards other pets or pet owners.

  2. Bring a leash

    1. This is related to the previous “do,” but it is important to always have a leash on hand incase anything were to happen. Maybe you have to evacuate the dog park or another dog attacks your pup, etc. 

  3. Bring Water

    1. You are most likely bringing your dog to the dog park to socialize and exercise, so it is very important to make sure they stay hydrated and healthy. Even if your pet does not run around much, having water on hand is part of being a responsible pet owner. 

  4. Keep an eye on your dog

    1. You do not have to follow them around the whole time, but it is important to keep your eye on them. You never know if there is a hole in the fence that they could escape through or another dog poses a danger to them. 

  5. Bring poop bags

    1. This should be a given anytime you leave the house with your dog, but you should have a couple poop bags on you at all times. You never know when your dog might poop and it is your job as their owner to clean up after them. And this way you can share if anyone else forgets. 


  1. Do not bring your dog if they are sick

    1. This does not require much explanation, but just as you stay home from work or school when you are sick, the same goes for dogs at the dog park. 

  2. Do not bring puppies under four months 

    1. Make sure your dog has all of their required vaccines before going to the dog park. Additionally, you need to make sure your male dogs are neutered before going to the dog park, it could result in fights!

  3. Do not bring food or treats

    1. You might have other dogs following you around all day trying to get a snack, or worse it could cause dogs to get upset and lash out towards you. 

  4. Do not let your dog mount other dogs

    1. If mounting starts to happen, Dog Savy says, “Intervene quickly and body-block your dog by stepping in between your dog and the object of its affection to let your dog know they should stop. Repeat as many times as necessary until your dog gets the message (maybe even taking your dog outside the park to calm down, and then coming back in to give them another chance to do something else). The other dog parent will appreciate this greatly!”

Works Cited

Bassett, Alexandra. “Dog Park Etiquette: Do's & Don'ts.” Private Dog & Puppy Training Los Angeles, Private Dog & Puppy Training Los Angeles, 13 Oct. 2019,

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