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1.  Always, always, always clean up after your dog! If you hate to step in it, chances are other people feel the same way.

2.  Maintain control over your dog. An untrained dog doesn’t magically become a trained dog when put into a fenced-in yard.

3.  If you’re in an off-leash dog park, take the leash off. Dogs left on a leash sometimes feel threatened and will growl or bark when approached by an off-leash dog.

4.  Check around the gate before opening or closing. Dogs are cleaver and will seek opportunities to ‘break out.’

5.  If you plan to play fetch, do it when other dogs are not around. The simple act of throwing a tennis ball can perk the ears of every dog in the park, which can result in fighting over the ball.

6.  Is your dog in heat? Please keep her at home.

7.  Does your dog have aggressive tendencies? As a courtesy to other dog owners, please seek appropriate training before visiting a dog park.

8.  The term Dog Park does not always mean ‘off-leash.’ Please follow the rules specific to the park you’re visiting.

9.  Please make sure your dog is current on all vaccinations and is healthy before visiting a dog park.

10.  A dog park is not ‘day care.’ Please always stay in the park with your dog and always, always, always maintain visual and audible control over your dog.

These rules are not inclusive for all dog parks. Most parks post signs at the entrance with rules specific to their grounds. The best way to ensure Wisconsin keeps its current dog parks and increases their popularity is to be courteous of others and to follow rules.

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