Everybody loves a trip to the dog park. A successful outing to those energy-filled canine carnivals is a great way to get rid of Fido’s excess energy and meet new friends, and human counterparts can meet people to set up future doggie play dates. It’s important to keep some things in mind, though, when you set out on such an adventure. You may not think ‘etiquette’ when you think about dog parks, but you should be on your best behavior when you’re there to ensure you’ll be welcome back and be able to make connections with others.
No Divas Allowed
Nobody wants to deal with a diva dog (or person). Leave your attitude at the swinging chain link gate, because this is a fun, safe place. It might be a good idea to practice socializing with other dogs prior to the dog park if yours has trouble meeting new four-legged friends. Going in cold to a large group of unknown human/dog companionships may not turn out well. Overall, just remember to be friendly and introduce yourself.
Mind Your Manners
This is an extension of the first rule. Do you know who wants to clean up after your dog? Not a single soul. If doggie waste bags aren’t provided, make sure you have your own so you can take care of business after doggie does theirs. Having a spare to help out a friend in need goes a long way as well.
Ask questions about other dogs. Ask what their names are and their origin – people love talking about their animal companions. The only problem you’ll likely run into is having people talk too much about their beloved pets. Observe your dog carefully and make sure they are interacting in a positive way with other dogs.
It’s always a good idea to bring water and a blanket in case you need to dry your dog off. Snacks (for you and your dog) are always a good idea. And you should have your camera or smartphone ready to capture memorable moments. Don’t bury yourself in technology, though; enjoy your time together on this special occasion.
Now that you have a strategy, go and do! Your dog is patiently waiting by the door, ready to frolic freely and make new friends. Have fun, and remember to take a treat for good behavior.
**Ron Rutherford loves all things dog, gardening, and stuffed crust pizza. He writes for Havahart Wireless, manufacturers of invisible electric fencing for dogs.