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Don’t be THAT person: Follow these 6 rules for dog parks

Have you ever taken your dog to a dog park? Dog parks can be fun ways to provide your dog with exercise and social interaction. But before you head off to the dog park, here’s a quick brush-up on dog park etiquette.

1.  Familiarize Yourself with the Rules

Every dog park has its own set of rules. Before you enter with your dog, take a minute to read them and be sure that you’re not inadvertently breaking a rule.

2.  Work with Your Dog Ahead of Time

Dog parks are exciting, and there’s lots of activity going on. Work with your pet on some of the basic manners – sit, stay, down, come, and heel – ahead of time. Be sure that he understands and obeys the commands – it will make it easier to regain his focus and keep him with you even if he gets excited.

3.  Introduce Him Slowly

If there are other dogs at the dog park when you arrive, then introduce your pet to the mix slowly to be sure that all are happy with the new playmate. Watch for signs of uneasiness or aggression, such as a pinned tail, growling, bared teeth, or stiff posture, and remove your dog if necessary.

4.  Pay Attention

Once your dog has settled down to playing, keep an eye on him. You may wish to talk with other dog owners, but always stay alert to what your dog is doing, and be ready to intervene if he should get into trouble.





5.  Clean Up After Your Dog

It goes without saying – you need to be responsible and clean up after your own dog in a public place. Bring baggies and be prepared!

6.  Know When to Quit

If your dog is being aggressive or overly defensive to the other dogs, it may be time to quit for the day. Some dogs don’t handle excessive stimulation well, and yours may be one of them. Keep everyone involved happy by withdrawing your pet from the mix if needed. You can always introduce him to a playmate on quieter, one-on-one terms, and return to the park to try again another day.

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Written by Justin Palmer
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