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Dog Park Etiquette

All friendly and well socialized dogs are welcome to the Glass City Dog Park. Aggressive dogs are not allowed. The handler of any dog exhibiting aggressive or unruly behavior is required to immediately remove the offending animal. The owner/guardian of an unruly dog is fully responsible for the actions of the dog.


APPROACHING THE DOG PARK

  • Keep dogs on leash until they areinside the double gate.
  • Make sure the first gate is closed before entering the second gate. If the outer gate is open, there is always a chance that a dog can run out of the park.
  • Unleash your dog in the double gate area before entering the park. A dog often feels vulnerable being on leash while other dogs around it are off leash. The leashed dog knows that it cannot maneuver freely and cannot get away if it wants to. This sense of vulnerability may lead to aggression.
  • Users already inside the park should call their dogs away from the gate until the new arrivals have entered. It's difficult for a new arrival to enter the park if a wall of dogs is blocking the gate. Dogs are territorial creatures, and the boundaries of a territory are flash-points for aggression. Once the dog is inside the territory, the chances for conflict are much less. If people are not calling their dogs to them when you are about to enter, you may ask them to call their dog, or stand there until their dog walks away.


INSIDE THE DOG PARK

  • Know your dog's play style. Some dogs like a very rough-and-tumble style of play, with lots of growling, grabbing, tackling, and wrestling. Some dogs have a daintier style, with bowing and chasing but not much physical contact. Some dogs like to herd other dogs, and may bark or nip at the other dogs. The important thing is to know what is normal for your dog, and what the warning signs are that your dog may be getting over-stimulated and may be in danger of crossing the line into aggression. It's also important to be sensitive to the other dogs with whom your dog is playing. You should always watch your dog closely and be prepared to intervene if the interaction seems to be getting out of hand or becoming too uncomfortable for a particular dog. If your dog seems to be "pestering" another dog who seems to be growing stressed or annoyed, intervene and direct your dog's attention elsewhere.
  • Understand canine communication. Dogs that enjoy rough play may growl and snap as part of that play. Dogs may also snarl and/or snap to "set their limits" with other dogs-for example, to let another dog know that it is being too rough or too push
  • Dogs are programmed to be part of a pack, with some dogs being higher in the pack hierarchy (dominant) and others being lower in the hierarchy (submissive). Dogs have various ways by which they communicate their dominance to other dogs. This may include a stiff-legged posture with the head held up and back; raising the hackles on the back; raising the tail; or laying the head across another dog's shoulders or back. If you see two dogs exchanging dominant gestures with each other, watch carefully and be ready in case a fight is brewing.
  • Mounting ("humping") is often a way by which one dog expresses dominance over another. Do not allow your dog to mount another dog, as this behavior is very likely to lead to a fight. Even if your dog means no harm, the other dog is very likely to take offense. Sometimes this can be done in play, watch carefully to see how each dog is feeling.
  • Respond promptly to aggressive behavior. It is very important to stay calm and do not scream when breaking up a fight.
  • Dogs displaying significant aggression toward other dogs, or any aggression toward humans, must be leashed and removed from the park for the day. This is not only for the safety of other park users-it can also help with the dog's own education. A dog soon realizes that aggressive behavior earns it a one-way ticket out of the park-and many dogs quickly learn to mind their manners.
  • You may find that your dog gets along better with certain dogs, or with certain types of dogs, than with others, and you may want to avoid entering the park when there are dogs with whom your dog has a problem.
  • A dog that repeatedly displays aggressive behavior with a variety of dogs is not a good dog park candidate and should stop coming to the park.
  • It is required that dogs be spayed or neutered before coming to the dog park because un neutered males in particular are much more likely to get into fights with other male dogs. 
  • Dress for the mess- Do not overdress. No, it's not polite for dogs to jump on people, but it may happen. At the dog park you should expect dirt, mud, slobber, wet dogs, and yucky toys in your lap. Please know that grime is part of the scene.


CHILDREN AT THE DOG PARK

  • For your child’s safety, children under the age of 14 are not allowed in the park. Children ages 14 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • A dog park is not a safe place for young children. This is a playground for DOG not for kids. There is nothing clean about a dog park where dogs defecate and urinate everywhere, and unfortunately not all dog owners pick up after their dog.
  • Dogs may get stressed or worse, become aggressive with child play around them. A running child could become a target for a dog.
  • Your dog may be kid friendly, but not all dogs are. Do not take the chance of having a dog attack your small child.
  • Dogs often run fast and play vigorously with each other while in the park, and they may inadvertently knock down and hurt a child who is standing out in the open.
  • Remember that your main responsibility while in the park is to monitor your dog and to be prepared to intervene if there is any sign of trouble. It is very difficult to effectively supervise both your dog and a children at the same time.


ADDITIONAL ETIQUETTE

  • Call your dog away from the gate while other dogs are entering or leaving the park.
  • Clean up after your dog and dispose in the provided containers with the waste bags. (please do not use the trash barrels) Plastic bags are provided, you are always welcome to bring your own.
  • Pay close attention to your dog and keep it out of trouble.
  • Always be aware of your dog’s location and the body language of the dogs your dog is interacting with.
  • Acceptable or unacceptable dog behavior depends on the age and temperament of your dog. Dogs will bark, snarl, and even snap at each other as part of their normal socialization. Interfere and stop the interaction if it appears to be escalating into a fight.
  • Do not bring your dog to the dog park if it is sick, has parasites, or has fleas.
  • Do not discipline someone else's dog
  • If you see a dog on leash or with its owner off to the side, please respect their privacy and don’t approach until the owner says OK
  • Do not bring in people food to eat.
  • Do not bring dog treats to the park as it could create a fight.
  • Follow the posted rules.


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Toledo Unleashed ® is a TOPS organization
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