Membership to a dog park is a wonderful way for you and your dog to play and socialize freely in a safe environment with other dogs and owners. Debbie Gottlieb Beitler Dog Park at Larry Fink Memorial Park is Highland Park’s year-round dog park that features two off-leash exercise areas – one for big dogs and one for small dogs. This park is available to registered dog park members.
The decision to get a membership to a dog park requires careful consideration on your part to ensure you and your dog have a safe, healthy experience.
If you are considering taking your dog to a dog park, you must be prepared to become a member and keep your membership current. Membership ensures that your dog and all the dogs in the park are fully immunized and have a current City of Highland Park rabies tag number. Only current members are allowed into the dog park for everyone’s safety in the park.
It is important to know how your dog acts and plays with other dogs and humans before committing to a dog park membership. If your dog tends to bully or intimidate other dogs or not interact well with other humans, a dog park membership is not a good choice.
Once you have decided that you and your dog are ready to commit to a dog park membership, you should also familiarize yourself with proper dog park etiquette and be prepared to follow that etiquette every time you visit the dog park.
Believe it or not, you and your dog will have a better experience if you exercise him/her before you go there. Running off a little steam beforehand will make him more attentive to your commands and a calmer, happier playmate for the other dogs in the dog park.
Your dog is only allowed off the leash when you are both safely in the dog park. Keep your dog on a leash and under your control to and from the dog park.
If you have a small dog, take him to the “Small Dog (under 25 pounds)” area of the park. Dogs over 25 pounds should go in the “Large Dog” area. Sizing up the best area for your pooch allows your dog to play with dogs his size, and no injuries can happen.
Once you have safely entered the dog park, remove all of your dog’s gear, including choke or prong collars. A plain buckle collar is fine to leave on while at the park. Most dogs innocently nip and nibble at each other’s necks and shoulders during play. Having metal contraptions where another dog is roughly shoving its mouth is inviting broken teeth, broken jaws, broken paws and legs, and potentially a huge dog fight if a dog can’t detach itself from your dog’s neck. Also, take off your dog’s leash once you are safely in the dog park. A dog on a leash is essentially a tripping hazard, especially if the leashed dog begins to play. In addition, dogs on leashes can feel more insecure because they know they can’t escape if they need to, which can trigger fights.
Your number one priority at the dog park should be your dog. Unplug and enjoy the time with your dog; your dog will be happier and safer for it.
For your safety, your dog’s safety, and the safety of your fellow members and their dogs, you should never open the door or allow non-registered members into the park. Members must always have their Dog Park key fobs with them. Even if they say they are a member, don’t let them in
For the cleanliness and sanitation of the park, you must clean up after your dog. It makes for a better park experience when the facility is clean.