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10 Dog Park Etiquette Rules To Never Break: The Do’s & Dont’s

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Ashley Bates

brown miniature pinscher dog at the park

10 Dog Park Etiquette Rules To Never Break: The Do’s & Dont’s

When you go to the dog park, you’re focused on you and your pal having fun with the neighborhood wolf pack. But there are some things to consider while you’re there. Doing your part at a dog park ensures that everybody has a wonderful time.

Just ensure you are present for any events that might be taking place while you’re there. Being conscientious and aware will create an experience that will make you and your dog want to come back again and again. Here are some things to consider.



1. Make Sure to Prepare Beforehand

Before you ever go to the dog park, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared. If you have never been to the particular dog park you’re interested in before, make sure you hop online to read the rules and see what amenities are available.

Sometimes, you will have to bring your own water or poop bags, as not all dog parks offer these items. So just make sure you have everything you need to have a successful and fun day out.

2. Clean Up After Your Dog

Your dog is your responsibility. When you are at the dog park, it’s nice to let your dog run around and play. But you also need to be aware of what they’re doing. Make sure to take note if your dog uses the bathroom anywhere, as it’s your duty as an owner to clean that up.

This gives everyone an advantage by keeping the dog park nice and clean, preventing messy cleanup later at home.

woman holding a used dog poop bag
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

3. Make Sure Your Dog Behaves

Your dog’s behavior says a lot about you. If you take your dog in public, you’re responsible for how they interact with others as well. Only take your dog if it is socially acceptable and they are okay with making new friends.

Some dogs can be very aggressive or territorial, and these wouldn’t be the best candidates to take around other dogs.

4. Be Considerate of Others

You and your dog won’t be the only attendees at the dog park. Be conscious of others around you, and do your part while you’re there. That means keep your dog from jumping on people or invading space, stealing toys, or being too overbearing.

Read the room and clean up after your pet. Everyone else will be pleased!

friendly dog
image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

5. Use the Correct Side

Most dog parks are separated between large and small breeds. It is incredibly important to adhere to these rules because large dogs can seriously injure smaller dogs. The rules are put in place to protect both sides so no injury, fight, or other incident occurs. Be respectful of park rules and choose the correct side.

6. Make Sure Your Dog Is Up to Date on Vet Care

When you take your dog to the dog park, you’ll want to ensure that they are completely up to date on vet care, such as vaccinations, deworming, and anything else they might require.

When you take your dog to a public place, it will be exposed to several different animals that could transfer potential illnesses and parasites. Protecting your dog is vital—and protecting everyone else’s dog is equally important.

woman looking at border collie dog while having vet check up
Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

7. Spay or Neuter Dogs Before Coming

You should have your dog spayed or neutered before you start visiting dog parks. When dogs are intact, it can lead to territorial and aggressive behaviors. If this happens at a dog park, it can lead to fights, injury, and potential vet trips.

Plus, if any dog is in heat, it can trigger a response from intact males, leading to a bunch of drama at the dog park no one needs. And you may not want to come home one day with a souvenir of your trip to the dog park in the form of puppies.

divider-dog paw


8. Don’t Bring Young Children

Young children can get very seriously hurt or injured in the dog park. On top of potential aggression situations, little kids are very likely to get knocked down, trampled, or hurt unintentionally.

Often, there are parks or playgrounds around the area for humans, too, so while your dog enjoys the dog park, it’s best to have your kids engaged in some other activity that is safer and fun for everyone.

child sitting beside a labradoodle
Image Credit: Dina Uretski, Shutterstock

9. Don’t Bring Valuable Toys

If Fido has a favorite toy, leave it at home. Dogs at the dog park can get a little territorial about toys, making it possible for it to get accidentally stolen or torn up. Some dogs engage in very rough play as well.

So if your dog is playing with another dog, their toy can come unwound or break apart and need a replacement.

10. Don’t Bring in Food

Some dogs can be very food aggressive. If you have food, you are risking dogs potentially fighting over it or trying to knock it out of your hand. It’s best to leave human food out of the dog park and to take a break if you need a light snack.

young woman talking to her pet dog in the park
Image Credit: Sundays Photography, Shutterstock



You and your furry pals can have tons of fun at the dog park. But it takes joint effort from park owners and pet parents alike to create a welcoming place for all pooches. Permitting that everyone does their part, the social and physical benefits to dog parks are substantial.

So, if you follow a few basic manners and the rules of the individual dog park, you should enjoy your experience just as much as your best buddy.

Featured Image Credit: BetterPhoto, Shutterstock

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