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What Is Dog Park Etiquette?

Posted on: May 27th, 2021

Dog bite attorney Brian Pushchak provides insight about dog park etiquette.


Dog parks are popular in Denver, Boulder, and other surrounding counties. That’s because it’s an opportunity for your dog to get off the leash and have fun playing with other dogs.

However, if you want your dog and others to have a good time at the dog park, it’s important to make sure you and your dog are on your best behavior. Here are some etiquette rules to help everyone get the most from the dog park.

Know the Park Rules and Follow Them without Being Asked

All dog parks have some level of rules. In Denver, these are highly formal rules laid out in detail. Boulder also has strict rules. In addition to strict rules, Jefferson County requires a daily or annual permit to use the dog park, with fees supporting the park.

If you don’t follow the rules, other owners may take you to task, and officials might fine you. But it’s nicer for everyone if you just follow the rules without being asked.

Know Your Dog before You Go

What Is Dog Park Etiquette?Rules require that dogs be at least four months old before they can go to a dog park. However, it’s also recommended that you have your dog for several months before taking them to a dog park. It’s important that you know your dog well enough to anticipate problems and are prepared to deal with them. “Aggressive” dogs are banned from all parks, and you need time to know your dog’s personality before taking them to the park.

It’s also important to be able to read your dog’s body language so that you can intervene before situations get out of hand.

In addition, it’s important that you’ve had enough time to train your dog so that you can control it. Don’t go to a dog park until you are confident your dog will respond to your commands, even under the excitement of socializing with other dogs.

Take Your Dog to the Appropriate Area

Many dog parks have off leash areas for small and large dogs. Make sure you identify these areas and take your dog to the appropriate area.

For dogs in the mid-range, it’s important to understand your dog’s personality. Some dogs “play large” and others “play small.”

Prepare for and Rehearse Interventions

What Is Dog Park Etiquette?Even if you think you know your dog, you can’t predict exactly how it will behave—nor can you know how other dogs will behave. You have to be prepared in case your dog attacks or fights with another dog.

Take the time to work with your dog on commands that should get it to break off a fight with another dog. But you also need to be prepared to intervene. Practice techniques for breaking up dog fights. Practicing techniques like the wheelbarrow method makes it less likely that your own dog will turn on you. Figure out if you need any special equipment, such as sprays, barriers, or blankets that can help interventions.

If You Experienced a Dog Bite at the Park

Even when dogs are allowed to be off leash, they are still required to be under their owner’s control. The Colorado law on strict liability for dog owners still applies in dog parks. If you’ve been injured by another dog, their owner is responsible for the medical bills associated with the dog bite attack.

At Pushchak Law, we have extensive experience in helping people recover damages following a dog bite injury. With our Informed Decisions™ approach, we make sure you never get lost in the shuffle. We listen to your needs and plan our strategy to make sure we do what is necessary to meet them. In addition, we put our expertise at your service so you know enough about the law to make the right decisions for your case.

To learn how we can help you after your dog bite, please contact Pushchak Law today for a free consultation with our Denver dog bite attorney.

Brian Pushchak | Personal Injury Law Firm Denver, CO

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