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Top 5 Dog Park Do’s and Don’ts

Posted on: Dec 30 2022

Taking your dog to an off-leash dog park is a great way to ensure your pooch is healthy and well-socialised. However, there are some general dog park rules that every owner should know before embarking on a trip to the off-leash dog park.

top 5 dog park rules

Here are the top 5 dog park do’s and don’ts to ensure you and your dog have a happy and safe experience.

Top 5 dog park Do’s

1.Do exercise your dog before going to the dog park

A dog with a lot of energy and needs can create problems at an off-leash dog park. Taking your dog for a walk or a run prior to going to the dog park will alleviate some of the built-up energy and ensure your dog is more relaxed.

2. Do have a trained, well-socialised dog

For a successful dog park trip, ensure your dog is trained and socialised with other dogs. It is important you can control your dog once it is off the lead. A polite, respectful dog will help keep your relationship with other dog owners positive.

3.Do ensure you follow dog park rules

Pick up your dog’s poo and dispose of it in the bins. This is an important part of being respectful of others using the public space.

4. Do bring plenty of water

Even if there is a water fountain at the dog park, it’s always a good idea to bring water for your dog in case the fountain is broken or there is a long line at the fountain. This is extremely important on hot days, to ensure your furry friend is always hydrated.

5. Do actively pay attention to your dog

That means watching your dog and assessing their mood and behaviour. Understanding a dog’s body language will help you to identify any concerning behaviours. It is all about preventing unwanted behaviour before it happens.

Top 5 dog park don’ts

top 5 dog park rules

1. Don’t bring your dog if they’re unvaccinated, sick or in heat

Even well-maintained dog parks can be a breeding ground for diseases like parvo, parasites and canine cough. That’s why it is important to only bring your dog to the dog park if they are fully vaccinated and are otherwise healthy. Stay away from the dog park if your un-desexed female dog is in season as it can stir up an aggressive behaviour in male dogs.

2. Don’t keep them on a leash

If your dog is leashed where other dogs are off-leash, your dog is likely to feel vulnerable and stressed which could lead to all sorts of problems. Dogs will be able to come up to your dog freely, yet your pooch will be restrained. If you want to retain control of your dog at the park because you are concerned, the off-leash dog park is not for you.

3. Don’t bring treats or nice toys

Treats are a guaranteed way to get all the dogs at the dog parks attention. Even if your local dog park sign doesn’t say it, this is widely considered an unspoken rule.

Just like treats, new toys might trigger tension or fighting between dogs. Anything you bring to the dog park will probably be destroyed, so stick to old tennis balls.

4.  Don’t carry your dog through the park

The dog park is the one place your dog can run free! Carrying your dog can trigger larger dogs to jump up to get it. This behaviour is hard for other dog owners to control and puts you and your pooch in danger.

5. Don’t ignore your dog’s behavioural issues

If your dog has behavioural issues, like nervous behaviour, guarding balls or mounting other dogs, it can be dangerous to unleash them. The issue won’t go away on its own, and should be addressed in a controlled environment, not at the dog park. Likewise with aggressive dogs. Other dog owners should never have to deal with an aggressive dog at the park.

Karingal Vet Hospital

If you follow these do’s and don’ts on how to behave at the dog park, you will have a happy and healthy dog that loves the dog park. For more tips on dog training and behaviour, ask the friendly staff at Karingal Vet Hospital on your next visit.


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328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 6 days a week.

Our hours are

- 8am-6pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- Closed on Sundays,

* We are closed on public holidays.