Off leash dog parks can be a great outing for you and your dog. But, ensuring everyone – dogs and people alike – have a great time, takes a little consideration, planning and etiquette.
Do your part to ensure off-leash parks remain safe and enjoyable for all by following a few easy tips:
- Watch your dog at all times when at the park. Off-leash time means your dog will interact and socialize with other dogs which can be a good thing! Ensure you set boundaries for your dog’s behaviour with praise for good behaviour and play activities and clear commands should your dog misbehave. Be ready to intervene should your dog show signs of trouble such as baring of teeth, threatening growls or offensive posturing. City of Regina bylaws dictate that an owner must have full control of their pet at all times, either by leash or voice command. This applies to off-leash parks as well.
- Dogs play best when each has an equal role in the game. For example, one dog chases the other for a time, and then it is the others turn to do the chasing. If your dog is doing all the chasing, he or she may not be popular with the other dogs for long.
- If your dog has socialization, fear or aggression issues, the off leash park may not be the best place to be until you have had an opportunity to work on these behaviours. There are many qualified dog behaviourists in Regina who can help you help your dog be his or best when around other dog.
- Bring bags to clean up after your dog.
- When using toys such as throwing ball or other toys from home, be mindful should your dog become possessive of it. This could lead to an unwanted confrontation or fight with another dog.
- Be sure your dog is spayed or neutered. Free roaming pets, even in an off-leash park, can and do create offspring. Ensure you and your pet are not part of the pet overpopulation problem!
- If you have young children, you may wish to avoid bringing them to the park. If you do, keep them with you at all times and avoid giving them toys or food when at the park. Many a child has been bitten by an over enthusiastic dog grabbing at a bag of potato chips or other food item in the hands of a child.
Have fun at the park, but be safe!