What is a Dog Park? A Guide

Dog parks are great places to take dogs to get some much-needed off-leash exercise and social interaction with other dogs. Dog parks vary in size and features, but there are some similarities to most parks.

What is a Dog Park?

A dog park is a fenced in area where dogs can play off their leashes legally. These parks are very popular among people who don’t have large backyards or yards at all where their dogs can play and enjoy the outdoors.

Even people with yards enjoy taking their dogs to dog parks, because this is also an opportunity for a dog to socialize and make dog “friends.” Dogs who don’t have other dogs in the home to play with can have lots of fun playing with other dogs at the parks.

Some dog parks have water fountains that release water at dog level with the touch of a paw. Some even have fun agility courses that you can use with your dog.

Basic Dog Park Requirements

If you think a dog park sounds like a great place to take your dog, then you must make sure he or she meets the requirements of the park. He or she must have all of his or her vaccinations up-to-date and be a generally friendly dog. Most parks don’t have requirements that your dog be spayed or neutered, but you may want to check into the specific park you plan to visit to make sure this is the case in the park you plan to visit.

Dog Park Etiquette

For a safe and enjoyable time at the dog park for all dogs and people, some basic etiquette should be followed. First, some parks have separate sections for large dogs and small dogs. Always keep your dog with the dogs of his or her size. You may know your dog gets along well with dogs of other sizes, but that does not mean the dogs of other sizes will welcome him or her.

While dogs are allowed off-leash in dog parks, that does not mean they don’t still require supervision. Always keep your dog in your sight and correct any bad behavior he or she displays.

Most importantly, if you find your dog displaying aggression toward any other dog, you must immediately correct your dog and apologize to the other dog’s owner. If he or she continues to act aggressively, then the dog park may not be for him or her until he or she learns better social skills.