Feature Article - January 2010
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Barking Up the Right Tree

Tips & Trends From Today's Hottest Dog Parks

By Kelli Anderson

Dogs Rule...

One of the keys to any dog park's success is making sure there are clearly understood and posted rules. The following list of minimum dog rules as prescribed by Susyn Stecchi, founder of DogParks USA and author of So You Want to Build a Dog Park: A Comprehensive Guide for Municipalities and Private Entities, is a good place to start. While Stecchi provides a longer comprehensive list in her newly revised edition of the book, along with countless other tips and strategies for creating a great dog park, here are 10 should-have rules from her guidebook:

  1. Clean up after your dog.
  2. All dogs must have current rabies shots and other vaccines as required by law.
  3. Female dogs in heat are not allowed.
  4. Please remove your dog for a time out to calm down if it displays aggressive behavior, or leash the dog and leave the park if necessary.
  5. Dogs must have an owner with them at all times.
  6. Do not bring rawhide chews or other dog foods into the dog park.
  7. Small children should not be brought to the dog park.
  8. Agility equipment is for dogs only.
  9. Puppies under 4 months of age are not allowed.
  10. Watch for dogs on the other side of the entry gate when entering or leaving to prevent escapes.