Alright everyone I had a pretty unpleasant experience at the off leash park yesterday and as a result I thought I would do a post on what dog owners should know about these parks; sometimes what I consider common sense doesn't seem to be so common.
#1 Don't take your dog off leash if you can't control him/her (a good recall is imperative)
#2 Don't take your dog off leash if he/she has a history of aggression with dogs or people
>> try using empty fenced ball parks for runs or go to a large, empty area such as Nose Hill on a weekday to give your dog a good run.
#3 Watch your dog and the other dogs around your dog, if the play is looking a little "iffy" then recall your dog
#4 Dogs in season should NEVER go to the off leash park. It's highly dangerous so take your pretty lady for a good, on leash walk in a designated on leash area. If you are not familiar with proper responisble care of an intact dog please spay/neuter.
#5 Pick up after your dog so that everyone can enjoy the park
#6 Don't let your dog chase kids, bicycles or joggers. We need to share off leash zones safely.
#7 Don't bring dog toys if your dog doesn't share; go somewhere else to play ball if this is the case. Definitely don't bring dog toys with food in them!
#8 Teach your dog how to greet people by sitting so he/she doesn't jump up on other park users.
#9 Remember that not all dogs get along and that's alright. Make sure your large dog isn't jumping all over a timid small one or your young dog might be harassing an older dog. Simply recall your dog and walk the other way.
#10 Don't take your dog off leash in on leash areas. Just because your dog is friendly doesn't mean everyone else's is. There's nothing more frigtening for an owner of a dog who is aggressive to see an off leash dog running towards them (and calling out that your dog is friendly doesn't help!).
All breeds, ages and genders of dogs should be able to use off leash areas if they are social with dogs and people. Not all dogs are. Please make sure your dog will be safe in that type of environment.