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Dog Park Etiquette – Part II 

Ever wonder if there’s dog park etiquette? There is. Ryan Jo Summers shares about it in Dog Park Etiquette – Part II.

If you bring toys or treats, bring enough to share. Regulars at my park bring a kiddie pool, which many dogs love wading in. Never offer food to other dogs without owner’s permission. They might have allergies or take fingers with their treats.

Try not to bring small children. Strollers and toddlers might easily get bumped into by racing dogs or urinated on. If you need to watch older children, you can’t properly observe your dog. Children should never be allowed to strike, yell at or chase dogs. Running children could trigger a chase response in some dogs. Remember, your pet may act differently at a park. It can be a charged atmosphere.Running children could trigger a chase response. Click To Tweet

Should a fight break out, try to stop it. Don’t grab the collar, as the dog might instinctively whirl and bite. Instead, grasp the dog high up on the rear legs, and lift like it was a wheelbarrow, gently pulling backward. Immediately leash your dog and leave.

Do Not assume others will babysit your dog–stay and watch.

Do Not force your dog to play. Some just want to hang loose.

Do Not blame bad behaviors on your dog’s breed.

Do Not ever bring a sick or flea-ridden pet to the park.

Do Not focus on your phone or electronic device, ignoring your dog.

Do Not open one gate while another dog inside isn’t secure.

Do be aware of canine body language.

Do pay attention, and stop rude behaviors from your pet. This includes prolonged sniffing, obnoxious greetings and bullying.

Do be polite with other owners. If they say their dog is a rare Mongolian Utility Tri-colored Tracker and you suspect it’s really a corgi/lab mix, just smile politely and let them enjoy their M.U.T.T.

Lastly, Do leave on a happy note so your dog will want to go back. Ty is not a big player and avoids heavy action. When he’s ready to go, he heads to the gate. His language tells me he enjoys visiting and when he’s ready to leave.

Ryan Jo Summers is a local author and animal advocate. She can be found at or Her journey with her PTSD rescued collie, Ty, can be followed at


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