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I take my dogs to the dog park 5 days a week. We've only been going for about a month and I'm already wanting to just start staying home. People seem to have zero control over their dogs and don't seem to care. I feel like there are some unspoken rules or just common courtesy.

1. Pick up your dog poo
2. Make sure they know basic obedience (no, come, leave it...sit and stay are always helpful)
3. Your dog should be respectful of people and other dogs.
4. If you have a small dog and there is a seperate "small dog area" take it there. And same for large dogs. Dont put a small dog in a large dog area or a large dog in a small dog area if you have the option.

Just because we're at a dog park doesnt mean your dog can do whatever it wants. Your dog should not be jumping on people, licking people in the face, pestering other dogs or people that have no interest in playing with them, etc.

If your dog cant behave respectfully, keep it on a leash or at home until it can.

This is a safety issue. If your dog jumps on people, that is very obviously a safety problem. People can get knocked down, scratched, plus it's just annoying. If your dog pesters other dogs or people, this can lead to dog fights and just kills the enjoyment. If you have to repeatedly tell your dog no for the same thing for an entire hour at the park, you should probably keep it at home or leashed until the behaviour is corrected. I dont even have to explain the issue with picking up your dog poo. And I think it's obvious why your big dog shouldnt be in the small dog area and I would hope nobody would put there toy chihuahua in the large dog area (but they do).

Anyone else have these issues at their park? Or do i just go to the worst dog park in the world?
 

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ime and from what I've heard, these issues are pretty common in dog parks.

I work at a daycare and we have some "special dogs" that would probably get into fights with others if they weren't managed properly. Some of the owners realize this and are responsible with them. Others seem pretty clueless and think their dogs are perfect. I always wonder what would happen if those people brought their dogs to the dog park.

Sometimes I go by myself just to observe dog-dog interactions. There are a lot of negative interactions and clueless owners.

Once a woman's hound mix and pit jumped another dog entering the park and attacked it. She didn't do anything and said that all dogs are really wolves so that's normal behavior. Lots of idiots like that at the park.
 

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I feel like there are some unspoken rules or just common courtesy.
Of course there are but those "unspoken rules" and common courtesies are only meant for us commoners. The "rules don't apply to me" crowd ruins it for everyone as usual.

Rules at the dog parks I have gone to are generally posted at the entrance gates and on most any day I have been there, the posted rules are ignored by all too many.

And no, you don't go to the worst dog park in the world. I quit going to the dog park except to train on the outside of the perimeter which actually is a great place to train.
 

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I love dog parks personally, ran a 10 pound minpin through all the offleash parks in the city for the last couple of years. You'll see everything from tiny chihuahua's to large cane corso's and others - and I don't see much of what you're describing.

Once in a while we come across a dog that shouldn't be there, others are on leash for a reason but still out for a walk. So many times I meet people bringing their rescues to get them socialized, love working with people like this.

Yeah, some don't pick up poop, drives me nuts but it is what it is. I'll ask people to pick it up if I see their dog in the act and the person is walking away.
 

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I used to go to the dog park ALL the time with Levi. I believed it was a great place to meet other dog owners and socialize my dog. Now I just go to a park that is usually empty and meet up with a couple friends who have friendly dogs.

There's just too much of an unknown factor. Most people unleash their dog, go sit on a picnic table and play on their phones. Similar to @DriveDog I now use busy dog parks as training opportunities and don't go in.
 

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UGH!!!! I can't tell you how I annoyed I get when I see poop!!!! I have the worst luck when it comes to stepping in it, now my head is permanently looking down at the grass while I walk. If you can't pick up after your dog, you shouldn't own one!!!!

Mia (my staffy/pit mix) is a little selective with the dogs she plays with so we usually avoid the dog parks, or I'll go super early in the morning or later at night when it's less busy. She doesn't like unknown dogs charging at her or are super high strung, she snaps at them to make them go away.

Luckily my experience at the dog beaches are generally pretty good. Once I take Mia's ball out, she doesn't notice anything/anyone around her. Her focus is on fetching the ball in the water. The annoying part is when other dogs that aren't being watched by their owners steal her ball in the water (as she's swimming to get it) or when she drops it in front of me and they run off with it! ARG! Poor Mia is just left standing there wondering where her ball went. At least there have been no fights when they do take her ball.

I prefer just taking her to daycare or schedule playdates where they're being monitored all the time. It's really help me learn her body language and play style. Dog parks are too much of a gong show, lazy owners just let their dogs run a muck while they stand there and socialize with other owners, completely ignoring their dogs.
 

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There are spoken POSTED rules in the dog park we used to go to (Stella isn't a fan now). And people would still bring nasty dogs, puppies under 4 months, not clean poop, and allow their dogs to wear choke chains/pinch collars. Just...you have to leave the second you sense trouble and see a neglectful owner or dog that seems really aggressive or fearful. Bad stuff will go down and I prefer to not be part of it.
 

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It's very interesting to read all this.

We have a couple of dog parks around, most of them require an annual membership which ranges from $70-$180 (depending on if you're living in the county or not) and have a rule book so long I didn't even care to read it. To top it all off, they want vaccination records against everything (including this one tick disease which is not even present in this region). Since these are special vaccines, they also cost a good number of $$$ at the vets, because they have to special order them, jadajada.

My point is: I frequent a dog park which is free, was donated by the late owner of the property to the village. There is not much maintenance, no rules posted except that dogs must be leashed outside the fenced area. It has a water pump and a little separate enclosure for unsocial dogs to be able to play fetch with their owners or what not.
The dogs and the owners are all very social. There are picnic benches, you sit together, you talk and some are looking at their phone, but: if it gets a little unruly between the dogs, the owners are there right away to calm them down. I have seen one fight and it was broken up within seconds by the owner of one of the dogs.
The jumping on people/licking people, etc. is also not a big problem, most dogs don't do it, and if it happens, most owners are not upset or anything, since it is the DOG park. They come dressed accordingly and are expecting something like this to happen with excited dogs.
We don't even need to talk about the poop, I have seen one person within the last 5 months (I go around 2 times a week) who didn't pick up the poop and had to be "talked" into it, but other than that, I have never even seen dog poop at this park.

I read a lot about (mostly against) dog parks on this forum and that is the one point that I can't agree since my experiences are different. Yes, I do watch the dogs/owners before going in, or if a new one arrives and if I have the feeling, it could be a trouble maker, I leave, but I never actually have seen a bad fight that wasn't broken up by owners that do pay attention to their dogs.
 
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my experiences are different.
Good point. Not all dog parks are the same. Some have enough clueless people that a trip there may well be a bad experience, some may have a strong sense of community with the vast majority of owners being responsible and doing their part to make sure the experience is good for everyone and their dog.

I'm thinking that if you move to an area, taking a trip to the dog park first without your dog might be a good idea, to check out what it is like.
I don't go to my local dog parks but if I ever found one like yours I might.
 

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Fees? Vaccination records? What kind of a dog park is that?

All of the parks here are green zones - multi use for people, dogs offleash, biking etc. One of the local parks is 186 hectares of wide open fields and trails through woods, that's alot of football fields - surrounded (fenced) by a large river. It literally takes an hour and a half or more to walk the outside trail, and that's fast walking...
 

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Fees? Vaccination records? What kind of a dog park is that?

All of the parks here are green zones - multi use for people, dogs offleash, biking etc. One of the local parks is 186 hectares of wide open fields and trails through woods, that's alot of football fields - surrounded (fenced) by a large river. It literally takes an hour and a half or more to walk the outside trail, and that's fast walking...
It's actually pretty common here were I live. A lot of the counties have several off leash dog parks but most of them require a membership fee and all these extra vaccinations and stuff. There are only 3 (that I know off), that are without fees/membership (and you only get in there if you have a key card or similar) and only one of them is a park for everyone, the other two are really only "dog park" as in only dogs in their owners in there and fenced in. The other one is not fenced in and pretty close to a high traffic street, so I didn't try that one yet.
Other than that it is not legal to have your dog off leash.
 

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Thankfully our dog park is not that bad, but I do try to go when no one else is there so my girls can chase after eachother at top speed since they won't run if other non-sighthounds are there :eyeroll: Every once in a while though you get the bad seed that clears the dog park, or the wise guy who thinks their tiny terrier can handle playing with the big dogs since it's got a big attitude. My pet peeve is the idiots who think it's appropriate to bring dog treats to the dog park and don't expect any other dogs besides theirs to know they have food.
 

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Good luck with dog parks. I have found them pretty well populated by folks that act like it belongs to only them. Plus these are often the same folks that don't believe in vaccinations for their dogs. I stay away from dog parks.
 

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I had a great dog park, many regulars who knew each other. Even my reactive dog was great there, never a problem. Then the idiots discovered the park, and now no one, not even the old regulars go there anymore as there are too many num-nuts that have no idea about dog behaviour or the ability to read their own dogs body language.
And don't get me started on those that don't pick up dog poo, even with 2 bins in the park!
 

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All of the parks here are green zones - multi use for people, dogs offleash, biking etc. One of the local parks is 186 hectares of wide open fields and trails through woods, that's alot of football fields - surrounded (fenced) by a large river. It literally takes an hour and a half or more to walk the outside trail, and that's fast walking...
Where I live we don't call those dog parks- that's just the woods- they're called parks, sometimes trails. I bring my dog hiking in the woods all the times- also up mountains and along lakes.

I think what most members are talking about are dog parks, which are small areas of fenced in land (usually less than an acre) specifically meant for dogs to play off leash. No walking or hiking trails. Usually just a small grassy area, which is why there's an issue. People let their dogs loose in basically a small yard then start chatting or get sucked into their phone and ignore what the dogs are doing.
 

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I think what most members are talking about are dog parks, which are small areas of fenced in land (usually less than an acre) specifically meant for dogs to play off leash. No walking or hiking trails. Usually just a small grassy area, which is why there's an issue. People let their dogs loose in basically a small yard then start chatting or get sucked into their phone and ignore what the dogs are doing.
Ok, that makes more sense.

I live in a pretty dog friendly province where they actually create areas for dogs to be off leash. The one park on a good day may have 150+ cars at any given time, people end up parking half way up the hill beside the road. The lot is being expanded to add another 100 or so parking spots due to volume, so that's alot of dogs running around. Should be fun next summer when it's done. In the main field, I've seen at least 50 dogs running around at one time, and talking to owners it doesn't appear that anything major ever transpires.
 

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I love dog parks personally. When I go to one I fully expect to experience oblivious irresponsible owners and deal with potentially obnoxious dogs. I expect there to be poop on the ground, dirty dogs running around (some of which want to come say hello and jump on you, and some of which are covered in drool or plan on depositing saliva all over your clothes/shoes). I expect dogs with all kinds of behavioral issues, some of which may be aggressive or assertive. Some dogs might not play well with others. Some have horrible recall and some owners just don't watch them at all.

That is the risk you take going to a dog park. For some people this kind of environment can be stressful. A dog park is not a supervised training play group. It is chaotic and can be dangerous. There can be dog fights between dogs and their owners may not be willing to step in and stop said fights. Long story short, those that are stressed easily should not ever go to a dog park. Ever.

*My biggest dog park pet peeve is CHILDREN: Half the time no one watches them and their parents freak out when a dog tries to play with them, or knocks them over. Also some people just assume that all dogs love children which is not the case. Some dogs have had terrible experiences with kids and therefore want NOTHING to do with them. Remember, a dog park is for DOGS. Playgrounds are for children. Unless you have very dog-savy, responsible and respectful kids, keep them out.

We all know what people should be doing when they go to the dog park, but the fact of the matter is you will almost never find a dog park who has ONLY respectful, responsible, understanding dog owners. They are definitely out there, but the majority are just not.
 

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@jagger 'green zones' are not dog parks. I go to one that allows off-lead dogs, and there are plenty of off-lead dogs, but it is not a dog park.
There is a 'dog park' in my area. It is called a 'dog park' and it is a small fenced in area for dogs & their owners. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, depending on who is there.
The forest trails (off-lead allowed) are not the least bit similar (in dogs and dog behaviour, number of dogs, concentration of dogs, space available, human behaviour, etc.) to the 'dog park'.
It gets a little confusing to be discussing apples and oranges and call everything an apple.
Back to discussing apples: given a choice (an off-lead allowed forest trail, for instance) I'd rather stay away. I now avoid the dog park, and take my dog to a forest pond (where there we will likely meet up and or pass by a few dogs).
If I do go to a dog park, I keep an eye out on the gate, and if I see a new dog coming, I get far away from the gate, let other folks dogs mob the newcomer, wait for the excitement to dissipate, and then rejoin the group. The dog park in my area is at least large enough to do this, some of them are not.
Having sufficient space and obstacles (shrubs, trees, hillocks) is probably something else that helps a dog park be 'good' or 'bad' but since I no longer have 'need' of one, I will probably stick with the trails.
 

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I have mentioned this before but may worth airing again.
Our front gate opens on to a common green. The green adjoins a couple of playing fields and some woods. We can walk for a good hour there. No lead required. Max, our dog, just behaves. He'll meet and greet those people and dogs that he knows and ignores others.

We also have a 42 hectare park about five minutes drive away.
https://www.houghtonhallpark.org/home
It's a lovely place and being refurbished.

When we get there, four commands are all that are required.
"Let's go" to get him out of the car.He waits for that.
"Lead" once we have crossed the car park and he waits to be unclipped.
"Lead" when we are done and have to cross the carpark.
"Let's go" to get him back in the car. Actually, just opening the door is usually enough.

And we do pick up after him. If someone's dog poos in the woods that's one thing. But on the footpath..........different ball game.
 

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@jagger 'green zones' are not dog parks. I go to one that allows off-lead dogs, and there are plenty of off-lead dogs, but it is not a dog park.
Well, they are classed as dog parks here. There are some that are fenced off, but are large (acres and acres) areas to run the dogs.
 
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