Park Etiquette



Aggressive dogs are not allowed. The handler of any dog exhibiting aggressive or unruly behavior is required to immediately remove the offending animal. The owner/guardian of an unruly dog is fully responsible for the actions of the dog.



The following tips/recommendations have been assembled in order to help you and your dog get the most enjoyment during your visits to the Moscow Dog Park.

APPROACHING THE DOG PARK

  • Keep dogs on leash until they are inside the double gate. The animal shelter shares the same parking lot as the dog park and they may have dogs and/or cats in the parking lot being introduced to people.

  • Make sure the first gate is closed before entering the second gate. If the outer gate is open, there is always a chance that a dog can run out of the park.

  • Unleash your dog in the double gate area before entering the park. A dog often feels
    vulnerable being on leash while other dogs around it are off leash. The leashed dog knows that it cannot maneuver freely and cannot get away if it wants to. This sense of vulnerability may lead to aggression.

  • Users already inside the park should call their dogs away from the gate until the new arrivals have entered. It's difficult for a new arrival to enter the park if a wall of dogs is blocking the gate. Dogs are territorial creatures, and the boundaries of a territory are flashpoints for aggression. Once the dog is inside the territory, the chances for conflict are much less. If people are not calling their dogs to them when you are about to enter, you may ask them to call their dog, or stand there until their dog walks away.

  • Remove metal collars. This includes prong or "pinch" collars, choke chains, and spike collars. There is the risk of other dogs breaking their teeth on the collar, especially if engaging in mouthy play.

INSIDE THE DOG PARK

  • Know your dog's play style. Some dogs like a very rough-and-tumble style of play, with lots of growling, grabbing, tackling, and wrestling. Some dogs have a daintier style, with bowing and chasing but not much physical contact. Some dogs like to herd other dogs, and may bark or nip at the other dogs. The important thing is to know what is normal for your dog, and what the warning signs are that your dog may be getting over-stimulated and may be in danger of crossing the line into aggression. It's also important to be sensitive to the other dogs with whom your dog is playing. You should always watch your dog closely and be prepared to intervene if the interaction seems to be getting out of hand or becoming too uncomfortable for a particular dog. If your dog seems to be "pestering" another dog who seems to be growing stressed or annoyed, intervene and direct your dog's attention elsewhere.|

  • Understand canine communication. Dogs that enjoy rough play may growl and snap as part of that play. Dogs may also snarl and/or snap to "set their limits" with other dogs-for example, to let another dog know that it is being too rough or too pushy.

    • Dogs are programmed to be part of a pack, with some dogs being higher in the pack hierarchy (dominant) and others being lower in the hierarchy (submissive). Dogs have various ways by which they communicate their dominance to other dogs. This may include a stiff-legged posture with the head held up and back; raising the hackles on the back; raising the tail; or laying the head across another dog's shoulders or back. If you see two dogs exchanging dominant gestures with each other, watch carefully and be ready in case a fight is brewing.

    • Mounting ("humping") is often a way by which one dog expresses dominance over another. Do not allow your dog to mount another dog, as this behavior is very likely to lead to a fight. Even if your dog means no harm, the other dog is very likely to take offense. Sometimes this can be done in play, watch carefully to see how each dog is feeling.
  • Respond promptly to aggressive behavior. Deciding what constitutes aggressive behavior is sometimes a matter of judgment. It's important to know your dog and to know what is normal and safe for your dog.

    • Dogs displaying significant aggression toward other dogs, or any aggression toward humans, must be leashed and removed from the park for the day. This is not only for the safety of other park users-it can also help with the dog's own education. A dog soon realizes that aggressive behavior earns it a one-way ticket out of the park-and many dogs quickly learn to mind their manners.

    • You may find that your dog gets along better with certain dogs, or with certain types of dogs, than with others, and you may want to avoid entering the park when there are dogs with whom your dog has a problem.

    • A dog that repeatedly displays aggressive behavior with a variety of dogs is not a good dog park candidate and should stop coming to the park.

    • It is recommended that dogs be spayed or neutered before coming to the dog park. Be aware that unneutered males in particular are much more likely to get into fights with other male dogs. ** Females in heat may not enter the park.

  • Dress for the mess- Do not overdress. No, it's not polite for dogs to jump on people, but it may happen. At the dog park you should expect dirt, mud, slobber, wet dogs, and yucky toys in your lap. Please know that grime is part of the scene

 

CHILDREN AT THE DOG PARK


  • A dog park is not necessarily a safe place for young children. If you choose to bring a child into the dog park, it is vitally important that you supervise your child closely. You must take full responsibility for your child's safety while in the park.
  • Do not allow children to behave wildly in the park. Do not permit them to run, scream, chase the dogs, grab the dogs, tease the dogs, or play with their toys. Some dogs are not used to small children; these dogs may feel scared or threatened if a child runs toward them or grabs at them. Dogs often run fast and play vigorously with each other while in the park, and they may inadvertently knock down and hurt a child who is standing out in the open. Children should never approach or touch any dog without first asking the owner's permission.
  • The safest place for a child is sitting quietly on the picnic table or standing by a parent's side and holding the parent's hand.
  • Remember that your main responsibility while in the park is to monitor your dog and to be prepared to intervene if there is any sign of trouble. Before bringing children to the park, consider whether you can effectively supervise both the dog and the children at the same time.

DOG PARK ETIQUETTE
(mutley manners)

  • Clean up after your dog. Plastic bags/scoopers are provided.

  • Call your dog away from the gate while other dogs are entering or leaving

  • Pay close attention to your dog and keep it out of trouble

  • Always be aware of your dog’s location and the body language of the dogs your dog is interacting with

  • Acceptable or unacceptable dog behavior depends on the age and temperament of your dog. Dogs will bark, snarl, and even snap at each other as part of their normal socialization. Interfere and stop the interaction if it appears to be escalating into a fight.

  • Immediately stop aggressive behavior towards humans

  • Do not bring your dog to the dog park if it is sick, has parasites, or has fleas. Do not bring animals that are not dogs

  • Be responsible for your dogs behavior

  • Do not discipline someone else's dog

  • If you see a dog on leash or with its owner off to the side, please respect their privacy and don’t approach until the owner says OK

  • Do not bring in people food to eat

  • Do not hand out dog treats to other people's dogs

  • Follow the posted rules

Contact


For questions, comments or concerns, please contact Emily Spellman
emily@dogparkfriends.org