Dog Park Rules

To maintain a safe environment for dogs of all breeds, temperaments, and sizes, most dog parks and dog runs have a set of dog park rules that dogs and dog owners must follow. Although there is similar “dog park etiquette“, which is advisable to follow, these rules must be followed. When you visit your local dog park or dog run, be sure to check out the dog park rules, which are typically posted at the entrance to the dog area.

- Keep dogs on leashes at all times except in designated “off-leash” areas. Dogs who are leashed may feel threatened by free roaming dogs.

- “Off-leash” dogs must be under voice control by their owners at all times. If voice control is not possible, do not enter “off-leash” areas. Voice control enables owners to stop dogs from misbehaving.

- Dog owners must have the leash in hand at all times. In the event of problems, dog owners should be able to quickly leash and remove their dogs from the premises.

- Dog owners must remain in the park and keep their dog in view at all times, especially in “off-leash” areas. No dog may be unattended. Unattended dogs are more likely to get into trouble and stay in trouble than dogs who are being watched.

- All dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations prior to entering the dog park. Keep a copy of current shot records on hand for police or animal control officials. Dogs who are up to date on vaccinations are less likely to spread certain communicable diseases.

- Dogs must have current rabies and applicable license tags clipped to their collars at all times. Rabies tags are a proof of vaccination, while license tags show compliance with state and local laws.

- Puppies under four months of age should not enter the park. Puppies under four months of age have not received all of their vaccinations. They should be kept away from the dog park for their own protection and that of other dogs.

- No infants or small children are permitted in the dog park. Small children, especially running children, may be regarded as prey animals by strange dogs. Dogs may also feel the urge to protect children they know. This tends to cause aggressive behavior.

- Owners are responsible for the behavior of their animals. This eliminates some of the responsibility of the dog park for damages caused by visiting dogs.

- Aggressive dogs are not allowed in the park. Any dogs showing signs of aggression should be removed from the premises. Aggressive dogs tend to engage in fighting behavior. Any dog that engages in fighting and cannot be stopped by voice command does not belong in the dog park.

- Female dogs in heat are not permitted in the dog park. Female dogs in heat can cause aggression in male dogs. Also, females in heat should be kept at home in order to prevent unwanted puppies.

- Do not bring human or dog food inside the park. Small dog treats may be permitted, depending on the dog park or dog area. Obvious food can prompt aggressive behavior between dogs.

- Do not give treats to any dog without the owner’s permission. Some dogs may have allergic reactions to some treats.

- Do not bring any dog toys inside the park. Dogs may claim toys that do not belong to them, which may lead to aggressive behavior. Small toys may be a choking hazard to some dogs, especially larger dogs.

- Owners must clean up any dog droppings made by their pets. Bag all droppings before depositing them in provided receptacles. Owners help keep the dog park clean and well maintained by picking up after their pets.

- Owners must fill in any holes made by their pets. Owners who fill in holes dug by their pets help maintain the dog park.

- Do not brush or otherwise groom pets inside the park. Pet grooming often produces loose hair which can soil the dog park.

- Training may not be permitted in some dog parks. In those that do permit training, only licensed and insured dog trainers will be permitted to do training.