Dog parks are a great idea. They allow dogs who may otherwise never get to be off leash a chance to run and pay and even socialize with other dogs. However, they are also a great environment for tragedy if people do not follow simply rules. Here are 5 things you should never dog at a dog park for safety reasons.
#1 – Bring Treats
It may seem like a good idea, bring treats to train your dog or to give to the other dogs. However, other dogs may have allergies or be resource guarders, which could start a fight. If you can’t catch your dog without treats, work on this first before turning him loose at the park.
#2 – Leave your Dog Unsupervised
A dog park is not a doggy daycare. You can’t just drop the dog off and then talk a walk around the park. Remember, you are liable should your dog do anything. You also shouldn’t leave your child there unsupervised either, they could get hurt.
#3 – Bring an Unvaccinated Puppy
It’s important to have your puppy socialized, but wait until he has had all his shots. Not only are you protecting your own puppy, but all the other dogs in case yours ends up having something, like this puppy that recently had rabies at a dog park.
#4 – Try to Grab Someone Else’s Dog
Unless there is an emergency, like a dog fight, don’t grab a strange dog, even if you are just trying to play. Just because a dog is at a dog park and gets along with dogs, doesn’t mean it likes strangers touching them. Always ask an owner before petting, even at the park.
#5 – Keep Your Dog Leashed
This is another one of those things that may seem like a good idea, especially if you are training your dog or he won’t come when you call. But a leash (even a long line) can cause reactivity or aggression – not just from your dog, but other dogs as well. For example, some dogs feel cornered when on leash, causing issues when others come to greet. In addition, dogs will get tangled in the line and that can cause problems too. If your dog won’t mind off-leash, he’s not ready for the dog park.