Just for fun, say “park” and watch what your dog does. If there’s that happy dance and mad dash for the door, read on. Keeping the dog park welcome and safe for pups requires manners and a few rules to remember. Here are some basics:

Know thy Pup. Some pups just can’t hang at the dog park. Be honest if this is your guy. Super territorial dogs would probably rather play alone anyway. So make sure your dog plays well with others or pick another spot. There are plenty of great places to play solo in the area.

Follow the Rules. Make the Bay Area even more dog-friendly by obeying the park rules. We want more parks that welcome dogs in the area, not fewer.

Scoop Every Time. Come prepared with extra bags for your dog or others in need. It’s the least we can do to keep the park clean. Your dog may not mind, but no one likes to bring proof of the park home with them.

Squelch the Squeak. Dogs sometimes have a hard time sharing, especially squeaky balls, so consider bringing along a squeak-free toy when lots of others will be sharing the space.

Watch your Dog. Tempting as it is to chat on your cell phone or catch up with friends, make sure you keep an eye on your dog so you’ll be ready to intervene if necessary.

Unleash Your Dog. Dogs on-leash in off-leash areas can cause aggressive interactions with other pups at the park. Make sure to turn him loose in off-leash areas, or pick an on-leash only spot if you need to keep control.

Mind Your Manners. The dog park is a great way to make friends, but be sensitive to other dog people who come to relax quietly with their pets. Many like to enjoy the simplicity of park time and may not want to hear everything about your day. Be sensitive to the body language of those around you and follow cue. 


Thank you to Pyrogenic for the photo.