Dog Park Etiquette

A few trips to the dog park does not make me an expert. But I’m sure if you’ve been to the dog park, you’ve encountered dog owners who cause all sorts of problems. Even in my limited experiences to off leash dog parks, I’ve come across a variety of people who could use a little work on their dog park etiquette.

The Newspaper Reader

I actually saw a man reading his newspaper while walking around the dog park. First, do you actually trust that you won’t step in dog poop (see below). Second, where is your dog? Is he the one that is running around barking in the faces of all the other dogs? Because that’s getting annoying. Keep your eyes out on the dogs and keep track of yours. I don’t want to be breaking up any fights because you needed to read today’s headlines.

This also applies to the ‘I’m on an important business call’ guy. Why are you at the dog park?

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The Poop Neglector

I’ve navigated my way around the park twice now, and I’ve come across a pile or two of poop. Don’t tell me that you forgot your poo bags, because I see some hanging on the fence for public use. You probably didn’t see it because you had your face buried in your Facebook account. I’d like it if it didn’t end up on my shoe, I’d like it even better if my dog wasn’t tempted to eat your dog’s excrement.

The Guy Whose Dog is Wearing a Muzzle

Your dog looks like Hannibal Lecter, and it doesn’t bother you that they can’t drink water or defend themselves in case of a fight that apparently they cause a lot of. Nope, it’s okay because your dog’s jaws are bound behind a strong barrier of plastic. Never mind that they don’t belong in the park because they cause too many issues and they don’t like other dogs (stop with all the “it only happens sometimes” BS). This is the best way for them to get out as much energy as possible without you having to walk them. Good luck with that.

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The 8-Week Old Puppy Daddy

Two things. First, dog parks are not a good way to socialize your puppy. Puppies are not going to learn the tricks and good habits they need in life while getting pushed around by older, bigger adult dogs. Second, dog parks are a great way for your puppy to contract Bordetella and Parvo. A puppies immune system is really freaking compromised, and they will pick up diseases fast. Kennel cough is rough, parvo is potentially deadly. Be smart if you are going to get a puppy and please don’t take them to a dog park before being fully vaccinated.

The Overprotective Type

Your dog is a gorgeous, pure bred animal. You spent thousands of dollars to bring it home and now you are taking the time to show off your prized possession to the rest of us in the dog park. You’re also making an extra effort to keep any dog from getting within 20 feet of your pooch. Seriously, are you just here to gloat? I hope you didn’t come through the front door thinking that every dog here was going to care that your greyhound scratches easy, or that your french bulldogs ears were off limits. No your own boundaries before trying to pass them on to others.

 

You are bound to run into all kinds of people at the dog parks. It’s a public space that everyone should have the right to use, but maybe some people need to second guess that decision. All I ask is that you pay attention to your dog, and understand that not every dog (and not every owner) belongs in a dog park. Be smart folks!

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