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Mind Your Manners At the Dog Park!

Published on November 24th, 2014

Does your pup love the dog park? He runs off steam, plays with other dogs, and gets a bit of exercise at the same time, but bad etiquette from humans or dogs at a dog park can ruin the experience for everyone! Nobody will want to return to a dog park that’s unsafe, unsanitary, or no fun! Here are a few things to keep in mind for minding your manners at the neighborhood dog park.

Is your dog a good candidate for the dog park?

: The dog park may not be for everyone. Consider bringing new dogs or dogs that have never been introduced to other dogs to a meet and greet at a training facility. Let them meet friend or family dogs first so that they are not overwhelmed and you, the owner, can gauge how your pup interacts with other dogs. Also, if your dog is fearful of other dogs or approaches unfamiliar dogs aggressively, this type of behavior should be addressed prior to going to a dog park.

Health check

: Rabies vaccination? Check! Free of fleas and ticks? Check! Check! You wouldn’t want to bring your dog home to find he has picked up fleas or other parasites. Be mindful that your dog is up to date on vaccinations and parasite preventatives before going around other dogs.

Clean up

: Keep the dog park area clean and sanitary by using your own waste bags or bags provided at the dog park.

Walk your dog before entering the park

: Take a lap around the park before entering to observe the behavior of other dogs inside and to allow your dog to calm down some excitement before being unleashed.

No bullying

: Call your dog back to you if he is attempting to play with a dog who is scared or uncomfortable or if one dog shows aggressive behavior towards another.

Remove metal collars

: When dogs play, they often bite on each other’s necks. Long leashes, pronged collars, and harnesses can be a hazard should a dog bite down on a collar or get tangled in a leash and panic.


: It’s a great day to run and mingle with other dogs! Mind your dog park manners and most importantly have fun!

Do you have your Dog Friendly Area (DFA) Permit? Portage Park Animal Hospital offers these permits for $5.00. Ask us about a free (DFA) permit when you receive your necessary dog vaccines at our facility. 

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