Please remember you are legally responsible for your dog and any injuries or damage caused by your dog. Use of the park is at your own risk.
Enforcement of all regulations and final authority on whether a particular dog(s) or user(s) will be allowed to use the park rests with the City of Greater Sudbury’s Municipal By-law Enforcement or Animal Control Officers.
What to bring?
- Poop and scoop bags in case supplied bags have all been used and are not yet replenished.
- Water for your dog – especially if it is hot! Please do not leave water bowls in the park. Communal water bowls are a health risk to dogs.
- Balls and other dog exercise toys.
- Notebook, camera, phone (if you need to document problems).
- Hat, sunglasses, water, sunscreen for you!
Tips for entering and leaving the park
- Enter at the double-gated entrance. Once through the first gate into the transition area, unleash your dog and proceed through the second gate into the park.Remember to firmly close the gate behind you.
- Do not enter the transitional area if there is already someone there. This will prevent both gates being
- open at the same time.
- Remember to remove the leash while in the park. A leashed dog may feel threatened by the approach of other dogs.
- Quickly move away from the entrance once you enter. This will reduce the problem of several off-leash dogs already in the park from greeting the new arrival.
- Ensure that you have a leash readily accessible at all times in the event you need to gain control.
- Exit in the same way, always leashing your dog in the transitional area.
- Do not open the outside gate if the inside gate is open.
Courtesy and consideration toward others help make the park an enjoyable place for everyone.
- The Dog Park has two areas; one for small dogs 15 inches or less from the shoulder and less than 25 lbs. pounds and an area for larger dogs. For everyone’s safety, please respect these areas.
- Ensure that your dog wears his tags. Ensure vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Keep your dog in view at all times. Monitor your dog for possible warning signs and intervene when needed.
- Don’t bring an overly excited dog into the park; take it on a walk before-hand. Have your dog eliminate before going to the park.
- Supervise dogs when they are playing and interrupt any rough play.
- Please do not bring toys your dog may be attached to. These items can provoke aggressive or protective behavior.
- Prevent your dog from rushing up on new arrivals to the dog park – some dogs don’t like that.
- Stop your dog from jumping up or body slamming people.
- If your dog is exhibiting bullying behavior, give it a time out or take him home. Not all dogs are good candidates for off-leash dog parks.
- Be careful when bringing children to the park.This park is meant for dogs, not children!
Using the Appropriate Enclosure
Can small dogs go into the large dog enclosure or big dogs go into the small dog enclosure?
It is best to respect the dogs and their owners by taking your dog to the appropriate enclosure. Large dogs can intimidate or even accidentally hurt smaller dogs in the small enclosure. Smaller dogs may antagonize bigger dogs in the large enclosure and some large dogs have issues with smaller dogs.
Dog owners may object to dogs not being in the proper enclosure but may not feel comfortable speaking up. Some owners may not even enter the enclosures if there are dogs that should not be there. It is unfair in these situations for the nervous owner to leave to avoid a confrontation.
For everyone’s safety and comfort, please respect our guidelines.
For First-time Users
- If your dog is not used to interacting with other dogs, start out by visiting during non-peak times. You may even want to first visit the park without your dog and familiarize yourself with the area.
- The first visit can be stressful for both you and your dog, so keep your visit short and happy. Gradually work towards longer visits.
- Introduce your dog to new dogs only when your dog is comfortable and behaving appropriately.
1. Body Language
Learn to read and respond to your dog’s posture and body language. A dog’s
body language can communicate fear, hostility or submission.
Prevent packing behaviour by leading your dog away from the group to a
neutral area. Several dogs packed together can lead to trouble.
If your dog is annoying or provoking other dogs or people, it’s time to leave
the park and return another day.
- Understand your dog’s behavior.
- Use caution when permitting dogs to greet yours. Ask the owner’s permission when approaching a dog.
- Always respect another dog owner’s wish if they are not comfortable with how the dogs interact with each other.
- Move around. Walking rather than sitting will help minimize defensive and territorial behavior.
- Stay alert at all times. People standing in the park become obstructions to the dogs that run around.
- Supervise your dog closely at all times. Stay close to your dog to control or protect it if needed.
If a fight happens
- Never reach your hands into the fight. You may get bitten, even by your own dog.
- Distract or divert their attention with a loud whistle or water from a water bottle.
- Gain control of your dog. Move to a neutral area.
- Stay calm. Yelling only aggravates the situation.
- If required, exchange vaccination or contact information with the other dog’s owner.
- If a serious fight or dangerous behavior that results in a dog bite occurs, call Rainbow District Animal Control at (705) 673-DOGS (3647) from 8:30 AM – 6 PM, 7 days a week. After hours, call the number and press 1 for emergencies. Call 911 for all other emergencies.
Know your dog’s temperament – if your dog is aggressive, dominant, overly insecure or fear-aggressive, it might be wise to work on remedying those behaviours before going to the park. While in the park, monitor your dog for the following behaviours.
You don’t need to interrupt this play. The dogs are monitoring themselves. It’s good play when play is balanced – there is a lot of give-and-take. Both dogs are clearly having fun. Dogs have loose, relaxed bodies, and their movements are silly and inefficient-looking. If chase games exhibit a sense of sharing then both dogs are happy. However, if one dog is being chased into hiding or is becoming defensive, interrupt the play. Overall, if both dogs are making friendly play gestures, for example, play bows, turning and hitting with the hips and both dogs stopping when things get too rough, then it’s still good play.
You should always interrupt this play before it goes too far. Any of the following behaviours can lead to a fight. Wrestling can be appropriate but is questionable and should be interrupted if more than two dogs are involved, or if one dog is always on the bottom. Tug-of-war if one or both dogs become possessive can also be questionable. Stalking postures are not play behaviours and are significantly different from play bows and is often the first stage of a body slam.
Rude and Totally Inappropriate Play
This play is not play at all; it is aggressive behaviour and must always be stopped. Here are some examples of rude behaviour that needs to be corrected immediately: neck biting and collar grabbing; excessive barking and harassing another dog; body slamming; pinning; mounting other dogs – this is almost guaranteed to start a fight; snapping; standing in a “T” position – this is never play, it is always a challenge; ganging up and general over arousal, resulting in a case of the crazies, growlies, or snappiness.