Dog Park Etiquette
In the past three years I have visited the QC dog park literally every day. I have observed many things. I have many stories to tell. I have heard enough rumors to be a guest on the Conspiracy Theory network. I think I have seen it all in terms of dog and owner behavior. Most of what I have seen and experienced is full of smiles and good feelings. Unfortunately, not always are all dog park stories happy ones. In most every case, the ending to a dog park story depends on the owners of the dogs involved. To be honest, there are a few things that concern me. I do not wish to be critical nor judgmental in any way. As President of the Critters Club, I only wish to make things better for all of us who are users of the dog park or who might want to be users. I intend to post these guidelines on both entrance gates of the dog park.
So, here are some thoughts and reminders which should be part of everyday use and etiquette at our dog park:
- Pick up after your pet and dispose of their waste in the trash cans provided. This is a dah!
- Be friendly and welcoming. The dog park should be a friendly place for both pets and humans.
- Bring in your dog on a leash to the corral area so as to not allow them to run freely off chasing a rabbit, coyote, prairie dog or Havilina or to be hit by a moving golf cart.
- Once in the corral area (before the second gated entrance) unleash your pet. Leashes often result in protective behaviors and situations often causing aggressive behavior.
- Keep an eye on your pet and not on your neighbor. The doggie time is not party/social time.
- Be proactive and anticipate any issues that might result in a problem for your pet.
- Welcome new dog park users or guests of our members.
- Help keep the water bowls fresh and full.
- Control your pet both verbally and, if needed, physically by leashing it and removing it.
- Activity and play are normal aspects of being a dog and are normal behaviors at the dog park.
- Puppies under the age of six months should not be brought into the dog park to prevent injuries.
- Unneutered female dogs are not welcome in the dog park for obvious reasons.
- Unfixed male dogs are discouraged from using the park when other dogs are present.
- Protective behaviors are common for some breeds of dogs and owners. Be proactive.
- Watch for shy dogs and those who might be afraid; help to create a friendly and safe environment.
- Minimize ball play that may result in conflicts involving the ball.
- Avoid tennis balls due to their felt covers that could carry kennel cough or diseases that could be passed on to other pets.
- Snacks are discouraged at the park when other dogs are present due to the potential of conflict.
- Avoid alcohol use or smoking in the park. If you must indulge, do it outside of the dog park area.
- Humping and other dominate related behaviors are natural yet could result in conflicts.
- Do not be physically abusive to any dog in the park.
- Do not have you or your pet block the entrance to the dog park.
- If a human or dog is injured, it may be time to call 911.
- Do not keep your dog on a leash while using the park; it is asking for trouble.
- If your dog is causing trouble, leash it up and remove it from the park for the time being.
- If your dog has a tendency be a little aggressive or intimidating, try to visit the park during low use or no use hours.
- Be respectful to all users, both human and dogs.
- Make sure the gates to park are closed after you enter or leave the park.
- If you have a problem at the dog park, report to it me ASAP.
- If possible, vehicles are to use the paved parking lot in front of the administration office.