Spring has sprung, which means dog parks are seeing more paw traffic from dogs of every age, size, and breed. If you’re new to the dog park scene, there are a few size-specific things to keep in mind that can help every pet and person get along at the dog park.

Be savvy with your toy or small dog

Who says dog parks aren’t meant for small dogs? Nowadays many dog parks have designated areas for small breeds to play. But even then, first-time small dog visitors may need multiple introductions to adjust to the small dog section.

To test the waters, take your small dog to the dog park during non-peak hours. A calm, quiet environment may help give your dog the confidence to explore every new tree trunk or patch of grass without the pressure of having to interact with others.

Choose the right side for your medium-sized dog

Somewhere in between small breeds and large breeds, there’s medium-sized breeds, such as Bulldogs or Border Collies. When you’re visiting a dog park for the first time, which side should your medium-sized dog choose?

No matter what your dog’s size, it’s always a good idea to check out the dog park on your own. You can scope out the lay of the land to see which side medium-sized dogs tend to play. You may even ask some of the dog owners there how various breeds interact in their designated play areas.

Focus your large dog’s attention

Some dogs may be particular about their personal space. But for large dogs who typically take up more space than others, it can be easy for them to come nose-to-nose with dogs who may prefer more breathing room.

If your dog is large and in charge at the dog park, you may want to consider ways to divert his attention. For instance, some dogs have a tendency to charge the dog park gates when others are approaching. To give the incoming dogs their space, distract your dog with a squeaky toy or a game of chase.

Mind your manners with your giant breed dog

We know many giant breed dogs to be the greatest cuddle companions, but to a small dog, your gentle giant may appear a little daunting in a big open space like a dog park.

When visiting the dog park, mind the rules for the designated areas for small dogs and large dogs. Always let smaller dogs approach your giant breed dog first. Let the dogs do a proper introduction with a thorough sniff, and if either dog bends down to a play bow, that’s generally a sign that all is well.

No matter your dog's size, we can work together and create a blend for his unique nutritional needs and preferences.

BONUS READ: Find out the best exercises for your dog's breed size.