I am a person who regularly takes my dogs to the park, and often times I see things at the dog parks that just completely baffle me. Having a community dog park is a privilege, and there are rules that are supposed to be followed. Of course there are the rules that are posted, such as clean up after your dog, keep them on a leash except in the designated areas, make sure your dogs are vaccinated, etc. These rules are rules that should go without saying, yet I still see people at dog parks letting their dogs go to the bathroom, and then they don’t clean it up. Then it is left there for other people, and dogs to step in. I find it so disrespectful for the dog owners who do their duties and clean up after their pet.
When I see people who let their dogs go to the bathroom and do not pick it up, I go out of my way to pick it up, and make sure that those people see me cleaning up their mess. Its not to be rude, but to hint to people that they should pick up after their animals. Having a public dog park is a privilege, and if it is not taken care of, cities can shut them down. The same goes for vaccinations. Parvo is a serious problem at dog parks, and taking your un-vaccinated dogs to dog parks is just putting them at risk. Especially for puppies, which I talked about in my previous blog post Vaccinating is Important! These rules that are posted at dog parks are for a reason, they are not posted just to be ignored.
The last thing that I see way to often is that people will take their dogs to the dog park, who are not properly socialized. I see it with at least one dog every time I am at the park. Someone will come to the park with their dog, let them off of the leash, and they instantly start a fight with another dog. I just don’t understand why this is such a problem. To me, it is putting your dog at risk by taking it to a dog park, if it is not properly trained or socialized. Although this is not a “rule” that is posted on the signs at dog parks, it should be a common sense thing.
Aside from the rules, there are also a few things to look for when finding the best dog park to take your doge to. How to Find the Best Dog Park has several good tips for finding the right park for your dog.