Dog park etiquette is a major issue for owners, other dogs and of course the children who may be around the area.
There are a few common sense rules and acts of courtesy that must be followed.
Most importantly, does your dog have the right attitude to be with others? Freedom, my black lab, is very sociable and possesses the right attitude which is friendly, playful, gentle, however, there are some dogs in our neighborhood who are aggressive who should not be included in busy park activities.
Only healthy dogs should be taken to the dog IE: No fleas, kennel cough, pink eye etc. Basically anything that is or could be infected from one animal to another or from animal to human. Dogs under 6 months should not go to the dog park as they may have not have all vaccinations.
Dogs should know the basic commands.
Play fighting can appear innocent, however, keep an eye to make sure that it does not develop into a serious confrontation between each other.
Limited toys in the park for the safety of your dog, other dogs and other owners if the area is crowded. Sharing toys and or having them damaged is a high possibility. Stick with the toys for indoor or use between your and your pup only such as a ball or freesbie.
Even though you are in a designated area, it is still important to pick up after your dog as it may contain bacteria and or parasites harmful to other dogs. On the same note, be vocal and express the same if you see other owners not respectably picking up after their pup. I always carry a bag or two and hand it to the owners right away by saying, "I see you're out of bags, good thing I brought extras." It's a friendly non confrontation reminder.
If your dog is in heat, leave her at home. The reason for this is obvious.
Never give other dogs treats without speaking to the owner first. Like humans we all have a different metabolic system and react differently to certain foods, the same goes for dogs. What may be acceptable for one dog may not be positively received, physically, by another. Also some dogs are in training, therefore, proper communication between owners in important.
Know where your dog is, especially in an off leash park. Do not let it off leash for more than an hour as they can quickly get into trouble. Call them every 10 minutes or so just to check it on keep them on a very long retractable leash.