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7 Things You May Be Doing Wrong At The Dog Park


A fun hour or two at the local dog park can be the high point of the day for both you and your canine buddy. However, our enjoyment of these places of bliss depends all too much on other people and their pooches.

Since it is impossible to teach everyone proper dog park etiquette, the best we can do is not make mistakes ourselves. Today, we will be talking about the most common dog park mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Unleashing Your Dog Without Exercising It First

This may sound like a strange concept – working out your dog before you get to the park. Isn’t that why you are going to the park in the first place? Well, not really. A dog park is where you take your dog to spend some time in the company of other dogs. If it arrives after being all alone in a closed space for hours, the chances are it will have troubles pacing itself. Even worse, your dog might be a bit too excited for the rest of the dog park crew and cause a ruckus by getting other dogs super excited too.

2. Not Picking Up After Your Dog

Picking up after one’s dog is the first and foremost rule of dog ownership. Picking up after your dog is perhaps even more important at a dog park where there are dozens or hundreds of dogs playing on a daily basis. Imagine if all those owners left their dog’s waste everywhere. After a week, there would be no dog park. Of course, it is also a health issue. So, please, pick up after your dog.

3. Bringing Pups That Are Too Young

There are a few reasons why you would not want to bring a really young pup to the dog park. The most important of this is definitely their health. Dogs who haven’t had all of their vaccinations have no chance in the dog park. The sheer number of dogs at the park is enough to make these areas breeding ground for all kinds of infections and parasites. An unvaccinated dog is unprotected and the perfect victim.

4. Leaving Collars And Harnesses On After Unleashing

At most dog parks, you will be letting your pooch off the leash to enjoy uninhibited playtime with their new buddies. Some owners choose to leave their dogs’ collars or harnesses on for this. This should never be done. The reason for this is that collars and harnesses usually go over the places that dogs like to nip on when they play. In the heat of play, the other dog can get stuck or hurt on the collar. If they get stuck, it can easily escalate into a whole panicked thing that never ends well.


5. Bringing Leashes To Off-Leash Areas

There are a few prerequisites for an off-leash area in a dog park to work and one of these prerequisites is that all dogs are off-leash. A leash is a real hazard in off-leash areas where other dogs run uninhibited. They can easily run into a leash and injure themselves. Furthermore, your dog might feel extra anxious being the only leashed canine around, meaning that its mobility is restricted. This can easily lead to unnecessarily stressful situations.

6. Not Noticing Your Dog Is A Bully

Do not get us wrong, we are not saying your dog is a bully all the time, or even most of the time. Sometimes, however, dogs can get a bit over-confident and over-excited and stat bothering other dogs. As an owner, you need to be aware of this. You need to know how to recognize that your dog has turned from playful to obnoxious. Imagine if the situation was reversed and it was your dog who was being bothered by another dog. You would want it to stop, wouldn’t you?

7. Taking A Female In Heat To The Park

Until you see a dog park erupt at the sight (and the smell) of a female dog in heat, you haven’t seen chaos. You may think you have experienced chaos, but you haven’t really. Please, never bring a female dog in heat to a dog park.

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