Stop Embarrassing Your Dog: 7 Things Humans Do Wrong At Dog Parks

November 2, 2019


Dog parks are a tricky business.

They are supposed to be a fun way for you and your pooch to spend some quality time together, but too often dog owners make mistakes and don’t respect the dog park etiquette.

In that name – here are 7 most common things we do wrong in a dog park.

1. Not Picking Up After Your Pooch

Sanitation first, people! Not only is it rude not to pick up after your dog, it’s really bad for the dogs, too.

Our four-legged friends can contract a lot of diseases and parasites that live in dog waste. Just bring a plastic bag with you and everything will be fine.

2. Not Taking Off Their Collars And Harnesses While Playing

When canines play, they aim almost all their nips and nibbles at the neck and shoulders of other dogs. Collars and harnesses can cause other dogs to:

  • break their teeth,
  • dislocate their jaws,
  • hurt their paws and legs…

3. Keeping Dogs On Leashes

To all new dog owners, keeping their dog on a leash feels more secure and they think it will be much easier to control their dog in a dog park.

This is a mistake.

Every dog will start to play with other dogs as soon as you walk into a park, and keeping your dog on a leash can be rather hazardous.

According to, “a firm tug on a wrapped up lead could mean, if not a broken leg, a panicked dog whose first experience of a dog park is one of fear and anxiety. In addition, dogs on leash can feel more insecure because they know they can’t escape if they need to, so they can actually trigger fights that might not otherwise have happened.”

4. Bringing A Female In Heat

Ok, this is an easy one – simply don’t bring your female dog if she’s in heat or pregnant. All hell will break loose once other dogs sense she’s in heat.

5. Bringing A Dog With Incomplete Vaccinations

This one should also be a given, but many new dog owners make this mistake. Every dog park is flooded with diseases and parasites and you should wait until your pooch is immune and can handle all the hazards that lurk there.

6. Bringing A Small Dog Into The Large Dogs Area

Ok, not all dog parks have separate play areas for big and small dogs, but you should be careful if you have a smaller pooch.

“Small dogs can often be viewed as prey by large dogs. It is not unreasonable for a Rottweiler to look at a Yorkshire terrier like it’s a squirrel. The squeaking barks and speedy movements of a panicked small dog can also be enough to switch on the prey drive in a large dog and disaster happens,” says

7. Not Interfering When The Fight Breaks Out

Some dog owners think it is best to leave the dogs “work things out” when there’s a fight. Sure, some canines are great with other canines, but dogs meeting for the first time in a dog park is always tricky.

If your dog gets picked on, or there’s even a small sign of dislike between two canines, you should always intervene and break it off.

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