Not everyone is sure how to approach a dog park though and may be unsure if there are guidelines and/or unwritten codes of conduct. During a recent visit to D'Arcy's A.R.C., an animal shelter here in Winnipeg, I noticed a great little brochure that offered some suggestions on how to Dog Park. After I finished my day of volunteering, I pocketed the brochure entitled "Pet-iquette, A Guide to Dog Park Etiquette and Safety" and received permission from the D'Arcy's A.R.C. team to build an insightful and helpful article based on their publication. (thanks guys!)
- ALL dogs present at the dog park must be up to date in vaccinations and be licensed. (remember to have the tags on your dog please)
- Pups under the age of 4 months, sick and/or recovering dogs and, dogs in heat should not be brought to the dog park.
- It is expected that you provide care and control over your dog for the entirety of your dog park visit, most notably if you are off leash.
- The dog park is not a place where you unclip your dog and proceed to ignore them until it's time to leave. It is important to monitor your dog at all times. You need to step in:
- when you see bullying taking place, for example, mounting is a form of dominance and should be stopped immediately.
- if hackles are up, teeth are bared, ears are flat and/or excessive growling is present.
- if your pooch is jumping up on and/or overcrowding humans.
- if there is excessive barking and/or excessive marking of territory.
- Watch your pup around any children that are present, some dogs are not sure how to act around little ones, keep your eyes open to these interactions.
- You MUST clean up after your dog, removal of dog waste is your job so please remember to bring a supply of poop bags.
- Ask owners for help with their dog if they require a correction for unwanted behaviour, do not take this task on yourself.
- Bringing treats to the dog park is not advised, it can cause a swarming of dogs around you and other unwanted behaviour.
- Be aware of the leash / off leash boundaries at parks and act accordingly. Some people are not comfortable in off leash areas so please be mindful and respectful of where your off leash pooch is in relation to park zones.
IF there are injuries, the owner should absolutely step up with an offer to assist with Vet bills. Being involved in Rescue, our Pack has seen many worst case scenarios evolve. We most definitely want dogs and their owners to have the best time possible at off leash venues and, we hope that the tips and tricks provided by D'Arcy's A.R.C. and the Pack will assist in a safe and happy dog park experience.