Wondering what dog park etiquette is? It refers to the general rules that are part and parcel of being a responsible pet owner. Adhering to these rules will help prevent you from getting lynched!

Heading to your local dog park? Sounds like a heap of fun for you and Fido. Providing you stick to the guidelines of dog park etiquette, that is!

Sure, it all sounds like fun and games but people can get pretty angry if you don’t adhere to the acceptable rules when walking your dog. Practicing proper dog park etiquette will help ensure the safety of your pooch and the happiness of fellow humans.

9 rules of dog park etiquette

Just like it is bad etiquette to walk into someone’s house wearing muddy boots, there’s an acceptable protocol at the dog park.

It’s all about sticking to a code of behaviour deemed acceptable by fellow dog owners and the like. Certainly, as a responsible pet owner, it pays to clue up on what is acceptable dog park etiquette and what isn’t! Here are nine rules to abide by.

1. If your pooch is poorly, forgo your trip to the dog park

Dog park etiquette isn’t just a matter of a social faux pas, it’s about avoiding putting other dogs at risk.

2. Keep watch — at all times

Dog parks are great for human socialisation and having an in-depth conversation with Betty. Yet, don’t forget to keep a close eye on Fido.

3. Pick up at ALL times

This rule is non-negotiable. You must pick up after your dog, no matter what. Don’t have a poo bag handy? Wait and ask a fellow dog owner if they happen to have a spare one. I’m sure they will.

dog with ball at dog park

4. Sharing is caring

If you bring a ball for your dog, you must accept that other pooches are going to want to play. Part of dog park etiquette is being prepared to lose a ball or too to other playful pups.

5. Don’t bring a dog in heat

It’s common sense, but worth a mention. Bringing a dog in heat to the local dog park is a big no, no. Particularly if you’re going to get annoyed when every other male dog wants to make cute pups with her!

6. Mind your dog’s manners

Keeping an eye on your dog also means minding their manners. If they start to get too aggressive when playing, call them off. If he or she gets overly excited when playing with the little dogs, it’s time to go back on the lead. Remember, dog parks are for all dogs – not just yours!

7. Don’t dish out treats

It’s bad dog park etiquette to give treats to any dog other than your own. Even then, don’t give your dog a treat in front of another canine chum. Why? Other dogs might get angry about missing out on a treat. It’s best to leave the treats in your pocket, until the walk home.

8. Accept that not all dogs love the dog park

Sure, dog parks can be great fun for our four-legged pals. However, not every dog will enjoy the dog park. It really depends on your dog’s personality and size. If you have a little dog and all the other dogs are big, your furry friend is likely to feel scared and intimidated.

Likewise, if your dog doesn’t particularly like canine company, he or she is probably not going to enjoy the dog park.

9. Make certain your dog is well socialised

Above all else, don’t use the dog park as a way of socialising your new dog. It’s important to make sure your dog has been well socialised and adequately trained before letting him off the leash.


What other dog park etiquette rules can you think of?




Image source: Unsplash.com


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Leanne Philpott

Leanne is a freelance writer at contentchameleon.com.au. She works alongside her fur pal Chewie (a border terrier) and is passionate about promoting responsible pet ownership.

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