How to Protect Your Dog at the Dog Park

Ah, the dog-park. A place where your doggy can roam free, mark his/her territory, and meet some new friends. Sometimes the dog-park can become almost a second home to your pooch. But sometimes, problems arise at this canine-haven. And that's where you need to step in.

What if a menacing, snarling pooch decides that your little doggy is its afternoon snack? Or if your canine decides it wants to run in traffic? Or you just lose track of your pet? Here are some tips and guidelines to keeping your dog safe at the park.


  1. Image titled Protect Your Dog at the Dog Park Step 1
    If another dog is attacking your dog.
    • Call for that dog's owner to stop him.
    • Step in between the fighting dogs if you can do so safely.
    • Gently, but firmly, push the other dog away from yours.
    • Quickly scoop up your doggy and back away from the attacking animal.
    • (If they haven't come yet) call for the dogs owner again. Remind them to control their animal.
    • Once you are at a safe distance, put your pooch down, leash him or her, and leave the dog-park.
  2. Image titled Protect Your Dog at the Dog Park Step 2
    If your dog runs into traffic
    • Call them, call them, call them. Loudly and forcefully. Don't just stand there though! You can run after them and call them at the same time
    • Wave your arms and motion for the cars to stop as you run into the road. Make sure all traffic stops or slows.
    • Call your dog and approach him or her. Don't look happy or playful because then he/she will think you're playing and run away more, hoping to be chased.
    • Scoop your naughty puppy up and carefully cross back to safety.
    • Leash your dog and scold him/her. He/she needs to learn that running in traffic is bad.
  3. Image titled Protect Your Dog at the Dog Park Step 3
    If your dog is missing
    • Call him/her loudly and forcefully
    • Enlist the help of fellow dog-owners at the park to search for them.
    • Cover the entire length of the park, check in bushes, behind trees, everything. Work quickly; time is of the essence.
    • Check nearby roads and try to slow traffic
    • Remember, keep calling their name in a forceful, impatient manner
    • If you spot them, approach them slowly while calling them. Quickly snap the leash on them and scold.
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    If your dog starts running away from the dog park
    • Call them and chase
    • If you are on a road, signal for traffic to slow or stop.
    • If someone is standing in reaching distance of the dog, call for them to slow down the dog by getting in front of him/her or petting them or picking them up. Only ask if you know your dog is gentle with strangers; you don't want them biting this poor pedestrian.
    • Wait until your dog naturally stops, such as to pee on grass or bushes, and take this chance to grab them.
    • Call them. They think your playing a game, so sound a bit happy and whistle and slap your thighs. Say "Good, girl/boy!" a lot.
    • Hold eye-contact with them.
    • If they approach you, stand still, do not make sudden movements. Then leash them.
    • If they look like they're about to run away again, keep on calling them. Then rush over and leash them
    • Scold them and bring them home.


  • Choose a fenced area of your dog park if you have had trouble with your dog running off. Then, watch the gate closely anytime it opens.
  • Socialize your dog and train your dog to come when you call and otherwise behave as you ask long before you go to a dog park. Both you and your dog will have a better time and play safer.
  • Keep an eye on your pet at the park. It's okay to talk to other dog-owners at the park, but don't get too distracted. Keep one eye on your pet at all times, lest they wander off the premises.
  • If you spot a large dog, remain close to your animal until you conclude that the bigger dog is friendly.
  • Know your dog-park. Know any hidden trails, bike-paths, or busy roads that surround your park in case your dog decides to run away on one of them.
  • Keep an eye on traffic.
  • Always have your leash ready.
  • Know your dog. Do they run away at a certain tone of voice? Do they always come when you whistle twice? These little characteristics your dog has might be key in getting them to return to you if they run away from you at the park
  • If your dog is running around and creating a ruckus with the other dogs, to the point where it's annoying them, be on guard in case one of them decides to take a bite out of your frisky dog. Be responsible for your dog's actions.


  • Be careful around aggressive dogs/dog owners.
  • Be careful of traffic when chasing your dog.
  • Chasing your dog might cause them to run away more.

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Categories: Handling Dogs