Etiquette rules for the dog park

Charlotte Reed (author of The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette) and Cheryl Smith (a certified dog behavior consultant and author of Visiting the Dog Park: Having Fun, Staying Safe) tell NBC’s Dog Daily how humans should behave at the dog park. Here’s a sample of their advice.

Q: Aside from being a great place to exercise my dog, isn’t the dog park also a perfect place to find love?

A: Perhaps, but keep the former purpose at the forefront. Reed once witnessed a flirty woman become so enamored with a male dog owner that she didn’t notice her terrier escape the dog park and run away. The dog was smart enough to run home, but as Reed points out, “You should love the ones you’re with and not lose them by looking for love at the dog park.

Imagine this happened to your Scottish Terrier while you were flirting.

7 thoughts on “Etiquette rules for the dog park

  1. Dog parks – I'll never take my Scotties to one. They are full of adults who vicariously use the parks as outlets for their own frustrations.

    What kind of jerk would allow a huge dog to tower over a Scottie to the point the fright of the Scottie is visibly obvious?

    Here in Arizona some moron was recently charged with allowing his Pit Bull to KILL two dogs close to a bark park and attack one person.

    I don't get near the parks with my Scotties and if I did I would be sure to pack Smith & Wesson as a companion.

    Go ahead – flame. I stand my ground, just like my Scotties. People who don't control their dogs or allow them to be aggressive are unworthy of having those dogs as companions.

  2. Well, apparently, the mastiff was a Sweetie and Aislie the puppy was never in danger. This is a case of the camera lying, which it does indeed do from time to time.

    As for your Smith and Wesson, as far as I know, you're the first Scottie News reader to pack heat although Bogie also had a thing for Scotties and guns.

  3. Didn't say you were (vigilante). I'm just concerned at some of the outrageous human behavior I have seen at local dog parks.

    Mostly it isn't the doggies. It's the owners, thinking they can dump their pooches there and run off for awhile.

    The fact that there is actually a book on dog park etiquette seems to support the notion that there is something untoward going on.

    As for the S&W. It's just Duncan my 3 year old Brindle that demands to go armed. Somewhere he say a photo of a pistol packing Scottie and just HAD to have one too.

  4. I know this is an old thread but the following appeared in the local Phoenix newspaper today. This particular city park, Los Olivos, apparently became adopted by thugs and gangsters who brought their poorly trained and vicious pitbulls and other badly behaved dogs and owners.

    All the more reason that NONE of my Scotties will set foot in a bark park.

    Growing tensions between dog owners at Los Olivos Park has led to a ban on allowing any dog to be off-leash at the central Phoenix park.

    City officials imposed a six-month ban after receiving a series of complaints from pet owners who said off-leash dogs have charged at them or leashed pets. Tension between pet owners flared to the point where “some people began to bring concealed weapons,” said Ken Vonderscher, a Phoenix deputy parks director.

    The city has five dog parks, which allow for off-leash play. But in 2007, the city adopted an ordinance to allow for off-leash sport-dog training at non-dog parks such as Los Olivos. But not everyone has heeded the extensive requirements.

    Conflict between park patrons and the dog owners who refuse to leash their pets have escalated in recent months, creating increasingly volatile situations, said Ruth Powell, a parks-recreation supervisor.

    On Thursday, members of the Phoenix Parks Board voted for a six-month moratorium, banning any non-leashed dog at the park, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave., near Indian School Road.The parks board could re-evaluate the ordinance after the six months.

    Vonderscher said police have responded to problems at the park, but he doesn’t know of any citations. He said residents are voicing similar complaints of arguments between dog owners at other parks, including South Mountain and Roadrunner in northeast Phoenix, but not to the extent of Los Olivos.

    Officials in Glendale, Mesa and Scottsdale said there have been reports of minor problems with having dogs off-leash, but it hasn’t become a looming issue. All three cities have dog parks and do not allow off-leash dogs in regular parks.

    Dog owners who want to have their pet off-leash at a non-dog park in Phoenix have been required to show a certificate of title and a certificate of graduation from a “nationally recognized obedience training organization.” Dogs also must show the ability to come back to their owner on command and meet other requirements.

    W. Reed Campbell, who lives near the park, objects to the six-month ban. He uses the park regularly to train his 14-month-old German shorthaired pointer, Cali. Dog parks are too difficult to use, he said, because the activity level is higher with so many dogs off-leash.

    “This (ban) seems like a knee-jerk reaction,” Campbell said. He hasn’t seen any problems between leashed and unleashed dogs, and he said the city should continue to educate people on the ordinance, not punish those who’ve been following the rules like himself.

    But Sarah Porter, a member of the Phoenix parks board, said the ban was needed.

    She called the six-month ban a “cooling-off period.”

    Read more:

  5. My problem is that I never had a Scottie that backed down to a larger dog! They think they are the size of a Great Dane!

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