8 Tips for dog park manners that will keep you and your dog happy

Dog park manners

Not every dog likes the dog park. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Just like people, dogs have their own rules to follow in doggy society.

Here are eight tips on dog park manners from RSPCA NSW’s Animania Issue 32.  Make sure your dog’s trip to the park is fun for you and your pooch.

8 Tips for dog park manners

  1. First of all, not every dog likes going to the dog park! If your dog runs away, hides, or barks and growls at other dogs in the park, he’s probably not comfortable being there. That’s okay – you just need to find other ways for your pooch to have fun.  You can go for walks or take him to training classes.  There are even doggy dance classes!
  2. Toys should stay at home. While your own dog may be happy to share, you can’t say the same for other dogs in the park.  It’s best to play it safe.
  3. Introduce your dog to the park slowly. Don’t just turn up and unleash him, as it can be pretty overwhelming the first time! Try walking him around the general area for a while before taking him inside the park.
  4. The dog park is for DOGS to socialise, not people! While it’s nice for us to make new friends, it’s important to remember that you’re responsible for your dog at all times. Be sure to keep an eye on him!
  5. Always ask the owner before you pat another dog in the dog park. And before you reach your hand out, ask the dog! To do this, turn side on and encourage her to approach you.  If she doesn’t leave her alone and don’t get offended.  She might be feeling a bit uncomfortable, or just have too much going on.
  6. Don’t use the dog park to socialise your unsocial dog. The dog park is there for social dogs to have fun.  If your dog is feeling frightened or uncertain, or is aggressive to other dogs, it’s not the place for him.
  7. Teach your dog to come when called (otherwise known as ‘recall’) before you go to the park. There’s nothing harder than trying to get a dog out of the park when he won’t listen.  Teaching your dog to recall can also help if your dog starts to play a little rough with the others. Before a fight breaks out, call him over and ask him for a calm behaviour, like ‘sit’.
  8. When another dog arrives at the park, make sure your pooch doesn’t rush up to her. Imagine if a group of people rushed up to us every time we tried to get out our front doors. Pretty scary right? This is another situation where ‘come’ is really useful.