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Rules and Regulations for Hamilton, Ontario Dog parks

Have you used Hamilton’s local dog parks before? Are you considering using one now? We often hear about problems at dog parks like people bringing sick or aggressive dogs to the parks which spoil the experience for other dog owners. If you’re not already aware of the rules for these parks, we’ve summarized them below:

Rules and regulations

  • You are responsible for respecting the safety of others in dog parks.

  • Use dog parks at your own risk.

  • Keep your dog on-leash until you are in the off-leash area.

  • Dogs must be wearing valid rabies and dog license tags.

  • Dogs are not allowed to:

    • Be in the park without an adult human being

    • Bother or chase people

    • Destroy, dig up, or disturb flowerbeds, lawns, bushes, or trees

  • Dogs must be under voice control.

  • You must clean up after your dog. Poop n' scoop is mandatory.

  • All children must be supervised by an adult while in a dog park.

  • No more than two dogs may be brought into the park by an individual at the same time.

  • Do not bring the following dogs to dog parks:

    • Female dogs in heat

    • Sick dogs

    • Aggressive dogs; dogs that become aggressive toward another dog or person must leave the dog park

  • Do not bring the following items to a dog park:

    • Glass containers

    • Rawhide chews

    • Dog toys

    • Animal or human food

    • Pinch, prong, or spike collars

  • Professional dog trainers are not allowed to use dog parks for their business.

  • Dog owners are subject to Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act.

The rules state that ‘children must be supervised by an adult while in a dog park’ since it may be difficult for a dog owner to control young children and their dogs at the same time. For everyone’s safety it would be a good idea to leave children at home and focus on your dog when you visit the park. Another rule states that ‘dogs must be under voice control’. This can be difficult if dog owners have not taken obedience training with their dogs. Most dogs will not come when called by their owners if they are distracted by other dogs in the park. We normally advise our clients to avoid dog parks because you never know who will be there at any given time. If you want to socialize your dogs and give them an opportunity to play with other dogs, arrange for them to meet with dogs owned by family, friends or neighbours. These dogs are more likely to be healthy and non-aggressive. Remember to stay safe and have fun.


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