With the long-awaited opening of the Bluffton Dog Park, owners and the community want to make sure your dog and you will be safe.

First, read the dog park rules sign and comply. They are not the only things you should think about but they cover some of the more sensible and critical rules.

Here are some other suggestions:


  • bring a dog that is under 4 months old
  • bring sick or unhealthy dogs to the park
  • bring dogs that have fleas or ticks
  • take dogs into the area where dogs are very active if your dog prefers to just walk and sniff
  • bring any food into the park, as dogs can get aggressive and competitive
  • bring your dog’s favorite toys as it might start a fight
  • bring a dog that has behavior issues with toys, dogs or people
  • let dogs form packs
  • let dogs bully other dogs
  • run or scream, as that encourages a dog to jump on you
  • bring unneutered adult males or females in heat to a dog park
  • hang out by the gates, so dogs won’t cluster there
  • get so busy with other people that you are not watching your dogs


  • make sure your dog is up-to-date on age appropriate vaccines, rabies and Bordetella
  • clean up after your dog
  • supervise your dogs while playing and interrupt rough play
  • move around the park to keep your dogs in sight and moving also
  • keep your dog in the size appropriate area or the quiet dog area
  • leave if you feel that your dog is being a bully or is being bullied
  • leave if play is too rough or your dog is not having fun
  • leave rather than confront an owner before things get out of hand
  • report inappropriate dog or owner behavior to the proper authorities
  • make sure your dog understands the “Come” command in some form
  • enter and exit the park according to the rules stipulated
  • check on age requirements of children – their safety is important
  • have fun and be observant

We waited a long time for this park. If we all care and aren’t obnoxious or unobservant, our dogs and the community will enjoy this park for years to come.

We don’t want this park to develop a reputation of having owners who don’t watch their dogs or dogs that are ill-behaved. A dog park is a privilege that we have fought for and raised money for; it is not a right. Treat it appropriately.

See you there!

Abby Bird is owner of Alpha Dog Obedience Training. ajbird@hargray.com