1. Watch Your Dog at All Times. Most conflicts between dogs result from their owners' actions or inaction. Introducing a dog into a group requires sharp awareness of the group's dynamics. Your dog may have been fine with a group of dogs yesterday but could have trouble the next day with a differently configured group. It's important to monitor your dog as well as watching the others in the Park, so you can step in and take appropriate action, as well as alert other owners, if you see troubling behaviors arise. Although there is seating in the Park, owners are responsible to GET UP and be near their dogs in case a problem arises.
2. Recognize and Understand Dog Behavior and Body Language. MayDOG is planning some user education sessions led by dog behavior specialists, to help owners recognize, understand, and effectively intervene in troubling or aggressive behaviors. We will also provide some online resoures in the near future. Meanwhile, if your dog - or someone else's - is showing signs of aggression to other dogs or humans, first get your dog out of that situation and then talk with the other parties involved. Assigning fault or blame is not the point. Keeping everyone safe is the main objective.
3. Follow the Park Rules and Report Violators. The Dog Park rules are posted at the Park, and you can also read them on our website. Although MayDOG representatives cannot patrol the Park or always respond to complaints on the spot, we do take violations seriously and we do follow up on problems that are reported to us. We need your help in identifying rule violators, so please give us all the information you can gather on any incidents, including names and contact information of those involved and any witnesses, descriptions/photos of the dogs and people involved, etc. MayDOG's contact information is posted in the Park.
4. Be Courteous and Considerate of Other Park Users. Dogs, like people, are all different. Some dogs will guard "resources" such as toys or treats. Others guard territory and may send the wrong signals to new dogs entering the park. Some are unaware of their size - be it big or small - and play rougher than they should. All of this is correctable and manageable if owners are aware, engaged, and responsible. To prevent conflicts, we ask all Park users to please:
- Keep your dog(s) from rushing the "airlock" area when a new dog is entering (or when someone is leaving).
- Unleash dogs in the airlock; NO LEASHED DOGS are permitted in the Park itself.
- Keep food out of the Park; be prepared to pick up any balls or toys that become the object of a doggy dispute.
- Take your dog(s) for a run or walk BEFORE you come to the Park, so they can burn off some energy before attempting to socialize with other dogs.
- Remove your dog(s) to a safe place if any conflict arises, then talk to the other owners involved and exchange information.