Dog Park Tips

First Time To A Dog Park?

Make your first visit is without your dog. Familiarize yourself with how the area works and its posted rules.

Not all dogs like meeting new dogs. If your dog has not regularly interacted with other dogs, find out how he will react before forcing him to meet lots of unfamiliar dogs. Invite a few mellow dogs over to your friend’s big yard to play.

Seek out dog trainers that offer socialization classes for adult dogs or enroll your pet in doggie daycare. Be sure to socialize puppies (8-16 weeks of age) at a puppy kindergarten class. Early socialization is one of the most important things you will ever do for your dog!

The first few times you take your dog to a site, choose a time that is not busy. Weekday evenings are peak times. Weekends and holidays tend to be busy all day long.

The first visit can be a little stressful for both you and your dog, so keep it short and happy. Gradually work your way to longer visit.

Prevent A Dog Fight Before It Happens: Learn The “4P” Warning Signs:

  1. Posture: A dog’s body language can comunicate fear, hostility or submission. Learn to read and respond to your own dog’s body language, and others. For more information, visit our page on BEHAVIORS.
  2. Packing: More than 4 or 5 dogs packed together can lead to trouble. Break it up before it starts by leading your dog to a neutral area at least 30 feet away.
  3. Possession: Whether it’s you, a ball, or a treat, most dogs will protect what is theirs. Remain aware and don’t bring any of your dog’s “personal” toys.
  4. Provoking: If your dog is continuously annoying another dog or dogs, or provoking attention, it’s time to leave the park.

 What You Can Do To Prevent A Fight:

  1. Pay attention to your dog and be aware of where he is and what he is doing at all times .
  2. Stay close enough to control or protect your dog in the face of a potential fight.
  3. Keep a collar on your dog at all times so you have something to grab, if needed.
  4. Leave the Park. Some days it’s just a bad mix. Go for a walk or come back later. You and your dog will be better off.

 What You Can Do If A Fight Occurs:

  1. Never reach your hands into the middle of a dog fight. You may get bitten, possibly by your own dog.
  2. Distract the dogs and divert their attention. A blast of water from a water bottle, a loud whistle, or a pocket air horn may work.
  3. If your dog is not in the fight, make sure he does not join in.
  4. If a fight occurs, control your dog and remove him to a neutral area.
  5. Maintain a cool head. Getting upset and yelling will only add to the frenzy.
  6. When warranted, exchange contact information with the other dog owners. If you can’t because you must attend to your dog, designate someone else to get information.

What To Do If You Or Your Dog Is Injured In A Dog Fight:

An injured dog may bite anyone near by.
A dog fight can be violent and is upsetting to everyone present.

  1. Attitude: Even the calmest, most pleasant, well-adjusted person may become upset, angry or beligerent, if they or their dog are injured in a fight. Emotional behavior is automatic; try to remain calm and as objective as possible.
  2. Legal Responsibility: Owners are solely liable for injuries caused by their dogs. This includes injury to another dog or person, no matter how it began, who said what, or whatever.
  3. Exchange Information: All involved parties should provide pertinent information including name, address, phone numbers and vaccination records to each other.
  4. Report the Incident: Minor scuffles occur frequently. In the case of a serious fight or injury or a dog that clearly exhibits aggressive or dangerous behavior, call Sacramento County Animal Control (916-368-7387). You must have information on the offending person, even if it is only a license plate number.

Your Dog Is Your Personal Property. You Are Legally Responsible For Damage or Injury Caused By Your Dog!