7 Must-Know Rules of Dog Park Etiquette

September 29, 2017


Chicago dog parks are a great way for pet owners to let their dog run off-leash, and partake in some socialization for both dog and owner. While it may feel like a bit of a free-for-all, there are some etiquette tips that can mean the difference between a bothersome participant and a wonderful addition to a neighborhood dog park. Check out our list for etiquette tips in Chicago, and make the most out of your visit to the dog park.

Dog Training is Key

For those unfamiliar to Chicago dog parks, it can become a bit hectic if your dog is not well trained prior to the visit. Things like teaching your dog to come at your command, and focusing on what they are engaged in can be crucial in having a fun time at the park. Unless you want to spend your time chasing and screaming at your dog, properly training your pet is the first and foremost important step in preparing for a dog park visit.

Know Your Dog

When first deciding to take your pet to a Chicago dog park, it’s important to be aware of the different personality traits of your dog. Knowing your dog’s personality can be a helpful attribute for choosing which dog park to visit, as well as figuring out the necessary steps prior to your visit. Before simply choosing the closest available, it’s important to take a moment and assess what would best suit your pet.

Take the Necessary Steps

For dogs that can become aggressive or overly excited in a social atmosphere, it can be helpful to use items like a muzzle or dog repellant spray as a preventative measure. Bringing these items along, at least for the initial visits, can be a great way to gauge how well your dog behaves at a specific dog park.

Come Prepared

While there are some dog parks in Chicago that provide water bowls and doggie waste bags, there is nothing worse than a pet owner coming to a dog park unprepared. Not only is it a violation to the City of Chicago Ordinance 7-12-420 to not clean up after your pets carrying with it a fine of up to $500, but it is a huge faux pas with the other dog owners.

Mind the Doggie Gate

The entrance gates to a dog park can sometimes become a frenzied area where dogs congregate. While there are some Chicago dog parks that have double gated entrances, it is the responsibility of all the pet owners to maintain a safe and secured gate.

Recognize Behavior Cues

It is important to recognize aggressive behavior in other dogs while at the park, but it’s also important to be aware of your own dogs’ behavior. The most important rule of etiquette while visiting a dog park in Chicago involves being aware of your dog and the interaction with others. While it can be tempting to chat away with the other dog owners or get engrossed in your phone, being oblivious to your dogs’ interactions can be the quickest way to become an unwelcome addition to any Chicago dog park.

Know When to Leave

A huge part of the popularity of Chicago dog parks is the ability to socialize with the other dog owners. However, owners should not be afraid to cut a conversation short if the atmosphere no longer remains friendly. Whether it’s a preventative measure to avoid a doggie rumble or just a tired out pooch that’s done for the day, knowing when to leave the park with your dog is a great tip on how to ensure a safe and fun trip to the dog park with each visit.