5 Important Things To Remember When Visiting Off-leash Dog Parks
Dogs can be challenging to control when they’re in the company of fellow canines, which is why off-leash dog park rules are essential.
Not only do these rules help keep your fur baby safe, but they also help make sure nothing happens to fur parents like you.
Before we can talk about these rules, let’s learn more about off-leash dog parks first.
What is an off-leash dog park?
Off-leash dog parks allow Fido to have unrestricted fun at the park. A few studies have already confirmed that allowing dogs to roam free has benefits.
For one, dogs can maintain a healthy weight if they run around freely. Fido also feels empowered when you let him explore on his own.
Having a good routine that includes regular visits to off-leash dog parks also works wonders for your relationship with your dog.
Running free is also good for building your dog’s strength, stamina, patience, and perseverance.
Off-leash dog park rules you need to remember
Because dogs at off-leash dog parks are not restricted, there’s a big chance that dog fights could break out.
After all, dogs look for a pack leader, and they can’t help but defend their territory or assert their dominance.
So before you head out to a dog park near you, take note of these off-leash dog park rules and dos and don’ts first.
1) DO remember to train your dog
Start your obedience training early—even before he’s old enough to visit an off-leash dog park.
Enough obedience training will help you make sure your dog knows basic commands like “come,” “heel,” and “sit.”
When your dog knows these basic commands, you will be able to avoid dog park drama when it’s time to go home.
We talk about the importance of discipline and training here.
2) DO prepare your dog for the trip
Make sure you prepare your fur baby for the trip to the park, too. First, have a long walk to eliminate excess energy that might cause Fido to be too rowdy at the park.
Don’t assume that your dog will get along well with other canines immediately. It’s safer to walk around the park first so you and your fur baby can check out the park first.
Second, pack everything that your dog may need. Best not to include toys and treats, though, to prevent the dogs from fighting.
However, if you must bring a toy or some food, don’t bring it out when other dogs are around.
You shouldn’t forget your dog’s identification and vaccination records, too, because most off-leash dog parks now require pets to be vaccinated.
3) DO pick the right dog park
There is no such thing as a perfect dog park, but certain ones will be best for your pooch depending on his temperament, needs, and how he relates with other canines.
If he’s a shy dog, best to visit smaller off-leash dog parks with separate spaces for big and small dogs.
We have plenty of tips about choosing a suitable dog park for Fido here.
4) DON’T take off your dog’s leash until you’re in the off-leash area
Most dog parks have double gates that keep dogs in while owners take off or put on their leash.
These double gates prevent dogs from running outside the park without leashes.
5) DO keep your eyes on your dog
Allowing your dog to run free means you have to keep an eye on him constantly. The American Kennel Club website suggests that you watch your dog’s body language.
Assess if he’s being too rough on his playmates or if other dogs are being too rough on him.
Watching your dog closely will allow you to intervene if he’s not getting along with other dogs.
Off-leash dog park etiquette is also essential!
Apart from following these off-leash dog park rules, it’s good if you know dog park etiquette, too, like picking up after your dog.
You have to help keep the park clean, as well. Not only that, but responsible pet owners also use dog park amenities properly.
For example, turn off water fountains after you use them. Throw away poop bags in the proper waste bins, too.
Don’t leave trash lying around because dog parks are public spaces shared by the community. Instead, do your part by cleaning up after yourself.
Another thing you need to remember is not to bring very young kids to the park with you as it can be dangerous.
After all, you can’t possibly watch them both closely, especially if you’re on your own.
These are only some of the things you need to remember when visiting an off-leash dog park near you.
If you do your part in keeping your local dog park clean, you allow other fur parents in the community to enjoy the park with their fur babies, too.