Dog Park Rules Reminder

Post date: Jun 3, 2016 3:57:22 PM

Now that the park has been open for a month, we wanted to remind everyone of the park rules and regulations. The park is self-policing and it is up to all of us to make sure the rules are upheld, so that the park stays a safe and fun place for everyone.

Specifically, we would like to point out that aggressive behavior of any kind is not allowed. Aggressive behavior seems self-explanatory, but doesn't necessarily mean that one dog outright attacks another dog; it can take many different forms.

  • If your dog is being a "bully" and causing other dogs to run away, hide from, or snap at them, you should remove your dog from the park.
  • If another owner says they are uncomfortable with the way your dog is interacting with theirs, it is up to you to stop your dog's behavior (even if you think they're "fine" or "just playing"). If you cannot stop your dog from "bullying" behaviors, it's time to leash up and head out.
  • If your dog is exhibiting fearful body language for ANY reason (tail tucking, running, hiding, etc) you should consider removing the dog. When you are at the park, you are an advocate for your dog. If your dog isn't having fun, then it's also up to you to recognize that and take action. Just because YOU want to be at the park, doesn't mean your dog does.
  • Ingrid’s Park is a good alternative when a dog needs a time out or would benefit from a quieter scene.

Sometimes dogs that are playing nicely together (or have in the past) can get over the threshold in terms of arousal/excitement, and things can go from good to bad quickly. It's important to stay near your dog and be watching and actively engaged with them while you're at the park. If things start to escalate, you can interrupt the play and divert attention for a few minutes to calm things down.

ALL dogs, even well socialized and friendly ones, can and do exhibit aggressive behavior from time to time, in different situations. It doesn't mean that your dog is bad. It does mean that you need to be an active and engaged owner, and if your dog is harassing or bullying other dogs or simply not having fun, to recognize that behavior and remove your dog from the situation.

Thank you!

Larissa Pyer

Co-Founder & Treasurer, MVDPS

PS - The attached drawing by Lili Chin and this video, by Sue Sternberg, are great resources for things to watch out for: