Dog Parks

Dog Parks get mixed reviews from canine caregivers. Some dog lovers enjoy taking their furry friend to the Dog Park for a good off-leash romp. Others are fearful of encounters with unfriendly dogs or of their own dog’s reaction in the setting. You are the best judge of whether you and your dog are suited to the Dog Park scene. Dog Parks can be a good place to give a dog fun off-leash playtime with other dogs. Since Dog Parks are “neutral territory,” even dogs who have a strong instinct to guard your home are much less likely to be protective of the Park.

Some Dog Parks seem to be places for people who really want to exercise their dog and who are quite attentive to their dog whether they are interacting with each other or whether the dog is looking for a canine playmate. At some Parks you may find the humans gathered together socializing with each other and paying very little attention to what the dogs are doing. You may want to visit a few Dog Parks without your dog to get the feel for what kinds of dogs and caregivers use the park and how many dogs your dog may encounter.

Look for a Dog Park where the dogs seem content running and playing. Do not mistake noise and rough and tumble play between two dogs to be fighting. What is not play, and may be a reason for concern, is when one dog, a bully, may be going from dog to dog asserting dominance. For the dogs who cower and accept the bully’s dominance, there may never be a problem. If another dog challenges the bully, the result could be a dogfight. If you see a bully in the Dog Park, come back another day to play.

On your first Dog Park visit with your dog, it is good to identify yourself and your dog as a “first timer” to one of the “regulars.” They are usually very helpful in pointing out where supplies like water and plastic clean-up bags are located. They may also be able to tell you if any dogs come to the Park who typically create problems among the dogs.

Click the link below to find a dog park near you:
Department of Recreation and Parks-Dog Park Facilities

Recreation and Parks posts rules on the entry gates of the dog parks. Many of the rules are based on the Los Angeles Municipal Code section pertaining to dogs in the City. As of December 16, 2008, several rules are alsolaw under the park ordinances. These rules include a limit of no more than three dogs per person in the dog park and no puppies under four months of age. Please read the rules carefully when using the dog parks, to keep the parks safe and fun for you and your dog.

Traveling with your dog? Click the link below to find a list of dog parks around the U.S. and Canada:

Dog parks in the U.S. and Canada

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