Keep an Eye on Your Dog in the Park

When you take your pet to a public place, you must pay attention to the attitude of the other dogs in order to avoid fights or problems with other owners. Training and prior exercise of our companion is key before going to the park.
Keep an Eye on Your Dog in the Park
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

The dog’s training ends where its basic needs begin. Pets need to experience times of outdoor recreation every day. At the same time, these moments of fun in open spaces are occasions for socialization, physiological needs, and physical exercise. However, remember to keep an eye on your dog in the park.

There are parks designed especially for dogs, where they’re allowed to run and socialize without a leash. However, these places aren’t free of danger, as they share the area with other dogs that may be aggressive or carry diseases.

Sometimes, our pet itself can be a danger to others. How should we act in these cases?

Below, we’ll see some precautions to take throughout the stay of the dog in the park before, during and after the visit.

When you take your dog to the park, you must check if the park is clean and safe.

Before you go for a walk

It’s important to select the right park. The chosen park must have the minimum conditions of cleanliness and safety, like having a fence, water for drinking, and bags for excrement. The entrance and exit gates should be double-leafed, and the trash container shouldn’t be missing.

The size of the dogs should be taken into account, because, whether small or large, it’s better to share the space with those of the same size. If it’s small, it’ll be at risk in the presence of bigger ones. In these cases, it’s necessary to choose a park that has an area for small dogs.

Finally, it’s desirable that the play area has regulations for its use, with clear rules. If there are no visible instructions, then it’s best to find out.

Watching the dog’s dynamics

You should check if there are too many dogs in the area, and also take note of their behavior. If there are too many, or some with hostile attitudes, it’s preferable to wait until the area is free. It’s also necessary to check the responsible conduct of the owners, which can be seen by the attention they’re giving to their dog.

You must avoid at all costs dog fights in the park.

Updated vaccination protocols

For the protection of your own pet, as well as for the protection of other pets and people, our dog must have its vaccinations up to date. The vaccination card must always be at hand.

Basic equipment

Responsible behavior involves wearing a leash, a muzzle if any, and everything necessary to stop a possible fight. You never know what can happen on an afternoon outing.

Basic command training

It’s important that the dog is trained to obey basic commands and that you’re able to control it in a new and unstable environment. We can’t control the other animals in the park, but we can control our dog.

Prior exercise

A brief warm-up of the animal is recommended before engaging in the activity in the park. This will lower its excitement level and he’ll be more relaxed and less anxious.

During the dog’s visit to the park

Continuous attention

You shouldn’t lose sight of your pet, as this habit protects both the animal and its owner from problems. This will allow you, among other things, to determine in a timely manner if the dog may attack others and to detect potentially aggressive dogs.

Dangerous situations and techniques

We must know how to recognize a threat or danger, and differentiate aggression from over-excitement. Finally, you should read up on techniques to stop fights or separate aggressive dogs.


As far as your dog’s concerned, socializing isn’t an obligation, and this is especially so for adults. So, if the animal is uncomfortable and reluctant, the best thing is not to take it to the park. On the other hand, overly aggressive or passive dogs will have problems in these areas. The ethologist can determine if the pet falls into these extremes, and take the necessary measures.

Avoiding conflicts between owners

Whenever possible, conflicts should be avoided. If an unwanted situation occurs between pets, the ideal thing is to seek a solution, not to argue. The important thing is to solve the situation in the best way possible.

Observe the health state of the other animals

This is necessary because many canine diseases are contagious by mere contact and not all owners keep their dogs healthy. We must be vigilant.

Dog toys in the park

We should avoid bringing toys to dog parks in order to avoid competition and conflicts over their possession. The focus of the animal should be on running, meeting, and socializing rather than playing with objects.

After the visit

Check your pet

A thorough check for wounds, scratches or parasites will help prevent major health problems in a timely manner. If the conditions in the park aren’t ideal, the owners can get in touch with the authorities and demand the necessary improvements.

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