Dog Park Tips

How do I introduce my dog to a dog park?

  • First time at a dog park – we recommend exercising your dog a little before bringing him or her to the dog park.  Dogs that have less pent up energy up are more likely to behave.
  • Let your dog off the leash as soon as you enter.  Dogs on leash can feel threatened by dogs off leash around them.
  • Continue walking when you enter the off leash area so your dog is less likely to try to establish a “home turf.”
  • Expect to get dirty and wet.  Most dogs know better than to jump, but some are still learning manners. You may want to bring a towel to dry your dog after using the paw wash.
  • Please, please, please supervise your dog at all times and pay attention to your dog.  Don’t talk on the phone, play games or read a book while completely ignoring your dog.  If your dog is being aggressive, leave the dog park.
  • Don’t confuse playing with fighting.  Dogs chase each other, wrestle, and even play-growl --- these are normal dog behaviors.  Also, don’t try to discipline other dogs. If you think your dog might get hurt, the best thing to do is leave.
  • Know your dog --- you should be able to tell the difference between play growling and angry growling, happy barking and angry parking, and etc.  In other words, you should be familiar with your dog’s mannerisms before bringing your dog to a park for the first time so that you can recognize if your dog is afraid or unhappy.

How do I break up a dog fight?

Breaking up a dog fight is dangerous and risky. We researched this question online and found several suggestions.

  • Do not grab your dog by the color, and do not hit a fighting dog.  The dog will think it’s being attacked and continue fighting.
  • Two People -- Approach the dogs from the rear, grab your dog by the hind legs and lift up, like a wheelbarrow.  Then walk backwards, separating the dogs. As you pull your dog backward by its hind legs, circle to one side.  This will keep the dog from curling around to bite you.
  • One Person – loop a leash around one of the dog’s back legs, drag the dog backwards and tie it to a tree or fence.  Then, grab the other dog by its back legs and lift up like a wheelbarrow.  Walk backwards, separating the dogs.
  • You can also try spraying the dog with a water hose.  Try to hit the dog in the nostrils to force them to stop biting.
  • Use an air horn or whistle to distract the dogs.
  • If you happen to be walking around the dog park with a fire extinguisher, we’re told spraying the dogs will also break up a fight.

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