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Dog Park Etiquette

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#1
crestedcrazy

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Dog Park EtiquetteFollowing are some basic guidelines that should be taken into consideration when bringing your dog to a dog park. An ideal park will have all the desirable items and none of the undesirable items. However, just because a park doesn’t have everything or does have an undesirable item doesn’t mean it is not a good dog park. These guidelines are for dog park patrons to use as a guide – different items will be important to different people.Be sure to take your dog’s temperament into consideration and don’t assume s/he’s having a good time – watch your dog’s demeanor and make an informed judgment about how happy s/he is to be there. Some dogs will have no desire to play, yet will love to sniff all the bushes and trees; other dogs will be thrilled to race another dog from one end of the park to the other. Both of these dogs can benefit from the dog park – they just enjoy it in different ways.If you take the time to be an informed dog owner, you will be able to judge for yourself if the situation you and your dog are in is a good situation – so, have fun at the dog park and get yourself a pooper scooper!Don’tever bring a dog that is under 4 months of age take sensitive dogs to an enclosed dog park where there are more than 2 dogs per every 20 square yards of space take your dog to a dog park if s/he is uncomfortable -- take your dog to a place that s/he enjoys bring or use treats and toys when other dogs are nearby allow dogs to form loose packs allow a dog to bully another ever let your dog off-leash in an un-fenced dog park if he/she is not responsive to your verbal commands worry if some dogs don’t play with other dogs in a dog park bring intact males or females in estrus to a dog park Doconsult your veterinarian about your dog’s overall health before going to a dog park Make sure your dog is up-to-date on his/her vaccinations observe the dogs in the dog park to see if there are any potential health or behavior problems clean up after your dog supervise dogs when they are playing and interrupt any rough play be willing to leave a dog park if you feel that your dog is either being abully, the play is getting too rough or your dog is just not having fun check to be sure there aren’t a large number of intact males at the park make sure your young dog is not being bullied or learning bad manners from the other dogs be cautious about taking advice from other park patrons who are not dog professionals check to see if there is a knowledgeable human on staff to supervise the park – most parks will not have this, but if there is someone, it is a bonus

#2
crestedcrazy

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Dog Park Pros and ConsDog Park Pros and Cons The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is an organization that was created to educate its members, the public, and other pet-care related industries in the proper management of pet dogs. A dog park can be an asset or a detriment to a community. The goal of this document is to provide, in outline format, a compilation of the advantages, disadvantages, and things to think about for communities and/or the individuals to consider regarding dog park development. Advantages:Dog Socialization Advantages Excellent source of dog-dog social interaction Excellent source of dog-people social interaction People Socialization Advantages Excellent source of people-people social interaction Dog-oriented people can meet and interact Doggy play dates can be arranged Physical and Mental Stimulation Advantages Excellent source of off-leash exercise for active dogs Dog parks allow dogs to get adequate physical and mental exercise, thereby lessening destructive and annoying behaviors in general which can benefit society as a whole Educational Advantages Good opportunity for owners to learn about dogs through observation and provides the opportunity to learn from more experienced owners Opportunity for well-mannered-dog advocates to demonstrate how they turned their dog into a well-mannered dog Community Advantages Dog parks which are designed for dogs only, lessen the chance of owners letting their dogs off-leash in on-leash parks No cars, rollerbladers, skateboarders, bikes, etc. likely to be encountered More likely to encounter people who enjoy dogs Could provide location for community dog activities Disadvantages:For People Potential of danger from aggressive dogs Potential of danger of physical injury from dog-related hazards Potential of lawsuits arising from dog fights Potential for parasites For Dogs Potential of danger from aggressive dogs Intact dogs may create problems Potential for parasites and disease Potential for lack of impulse control and over-excitement Not appropriate for small and large dogs at the same time Potential for injury For the Community Some people will not understand the concept and will abuse the park Won’t pick up after their dog May leave dog unattended Allow their dog to indulge in inappropriate behavior Some people will not be educated enough about their dogs to know if a dog park is appropriate for their dog Potential for noise Potential liability issues Things to consider:City, County or Municipality Sponsored Park Responsible Pet Ownership – Who will maintain the park? Will maintenance cost more than for other community parks? Will there be rules and regulations? Will there be any type of overseer or park personnel to enforce regulations Is there the possibility of a core group of volunteers who will maintain the park and enforce rules & regulations? Private Park Knowledgeable person/business could charge for admission and establish rules and regulations Small Dogs Separate hours exclusively for dogs under 20 lbs. A separate, fenced area of the park for dogs under 20 lbs Costs A city, county or municipality sponsored park could have special interest areas dedicated to dogs as is now done with soccer fields, swimming pools or tennis courts The park could charge a nominal fee to take care of maintenance costs Consider having parks monitored by a core group of park goers to save the city funds Physical design also plays a big part. Separating big dogs from little and providing several gathering spots for humans (tables, shelters etc) and visual barriers helps direct the flow of the dogs. A written and posted set of rules with an 'if....then you must leave' clause is important Bringing treats or toys into a park can result in problems (Some dogs will attempt to protect valued resources. An owner with treats or toys can be a very valuable resource so fights could occur over such objects of desire) A park with several long fenced runs where owners could practice obedience, play frisbee, throw a ball etc undisturbed might be a practical idea. The owner could take all of their dogs or one and if they wanted a play date with others they would meet there or mutually agree. This park would have timers on the runs and each person or group would get 15 minutes and then it would be the next persons turn if there was someone waiting. The timer might require money to unlock the gate.

#3
posh_pup

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I thought I would add something here from a mistake I made that I did not see mentioned in the etiquette list, but probably should be added. I had a horrific experience last fall when I took Lizzie to a dog park.I had never been to one before and thought it would be nice to take Lizzie for a nice outing.I made sure there was a seperate area for small dogs before going, but when I got there I discovered that you had to walk through the large dog area to get to it. I picked Lizzie up to carry her to the small dog area, as I could see how scared she was from all the large dogs. As soon as we entered the park, about 12 large dogs ran up to us barking like mad and jumping all over me trying to get to Lizzie. Lizzie freaked out and somehow jumped out of my arms screaming. It sent all the dogs into a frenzy and the all piled on top of her.I was in shock not knowing what to do (except screaming to STOP)...Then a woman came over to help me, and snacthed lizzie up by her leash(I hadnt even had the chance to take it off of her yet). She lifted lizzie up from under the pile of dogs, I looked like Lizzie was being choked, but thankfully it got her out from under the pile.Poor Lizzie lost control of her bladder and pee'd all over herself and the woman. She went limp in my arms from the shock. She had no scratches or wounds on her, just slobery and soaked in her own urine. I rushed her home and gave her a bath, she was fine.I did some research later to find out what went wrong, and found out that you NEVER should carry a dog into a dogpark. The set up at this park was all wrong, because you had to walk through the Large dog area to get to the small dog arein the back. Also I read that before entering the park you should hang out for a bit outside the gate and let the dogs get somewhat familiar before going in.Now that I dont have a fenced in yard anymore, a dog park sounds Ideal, but I dount think I could ever work up the nerve again.

#4
Ace

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Great info, Sheri!Posh, wow, that is awful!! My heart was beating out of my chest just reading about your's and Lizzie's ordeal!!!!!!! Thank God she's ok, physically at least. wow. What an incredibly STUPID set-up that is. Must have been set up by a non-dog person, imo.

#5
posh_pup

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[quote name='Ace]Great info' date=' Sheri!Posh, wow, that is awful!! My heart was beating out of my chest just reading about your's and Lizzie's ordeal!!!!!!! Thank God she's ok, physically at least. wow. What an incredibly STUPID set-up that is. Must have been set up by a non-dog person, imo.[/quote']My heart does the same thing recalling the event, it took me days to calm my nerves. This is the one in Lakewood I think we may have discussed a while ago. It sure wasnt anything like the wide open grassy field I had imagined. It was a small chain-linked gravel lot :(

#6
Indiana's mom

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The closest dog park to us is also set up like this which is why I would only take the girls during the week when there are few other dogs there that way if there is a big dog that doesn't like little ones we just go to the small dog area walking on leash. Otherwise the girls get the run of the park. I know Davinia and Indiana are going to miss going this summer :( but Davinia just isn't as strong as she would like to believe and would likely topple over.

#7
fur baby Mama

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I will be checking out a new dog park soon as I have moved. Will take my older female beagle terrier first to asses. She loved the last park but too far now. She will sniff things out and run a bit...




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