Following the Rules
There are plenty of written rules for your local dog park. Here are some dog park rules that are probably unspoken but just as important.
1. Use Common Sense
If your dog is already having trouble getting along with other dogs, the dog park is not the place for him to learn. Behavior training classes with a professional and closely supervised interactions with other dogs would be more appropriate.
2. Never Bring More Than You Can Handle
Dogs tend to be harder to corral and discipline when they are in packs. That's why if you have several dogs it's important to bring them in teams of two or whichever number is most manageable for you. Some dog parks have this written into their rules, but if not, respect the others in the dog park enough to limit the number of dogs you bring to the park.
3. Wear Play clothes and Prepare to Get Dirty
The last thing anyone wants to hear is a dog caretaker yelling about their Armani being dirtied by a rambunctious jumper. And on that note, never discipline any else’s dog. If your dog does get hurt — or hurts another dog — exchange vet information and leave the dog park. Do not stay to argue with the other caretaker over whose fault it was.
4. Stay off the Phone
And that includes texting! You cannot reliably keep a close eye on your dog if you are distracted by your phone. Leave the phone at home, in the car, or turn it to silent/non-vibrate setting while you are in the park and always while your dog is off leash.
5. Don't Let Your Dog be a Bully
Bullying is never cool. If your dog is being aggressive or domineering with another dog, remove him immediately. If another dog is behaving that way with your submissive dog, it is better to leave and plan for another day at the dog park rather than argue the point with the dog’s caretaker. If you and your dog are not having fun, confronting the aggressive dog’s owner will not make matters better. If there are park workers, make an aggressive dog report to them.