At Laguna Beach Dog Park, we are dedicated to keeping humans and canines as safe as possible. Since children are particularly vulnerable to injury we wanted to take a moment to give some tips to parents visiting the dog park. We hope you find this information very helpful!
NOT EVERY DOG IS CHILD FRIENDLY
Do not assume that because your dog is good with your children, that other dogs will also be good around them in a public dog park. Many dogs do not reside with children in the home are afraid of children and quick movements.
BRING YOUR CHILDREN INTO THE PARK AT THEIR/YOUR OWN RISK.
We recommend that children under 8 years of age not be permitted in the dog park, but if you choose to ignore this recommendation, for their safety, keep children under your close supervision and within arms reach at all times. This is a park designated for dogs to be off-leash and is not conducive to child play – the possibilities of accidents to children are predictable so best to keep your small children in parks designed for them and their safety. Allowing small children to play with toys, sit on blankets, eat food, play unsupervised in the dirt, on the hillside, in the bushes, on the benches, and especially by the water bowls or gates is exposing your child to serious risk of injury.
CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT INTO THE DOG PARK IN STROLLERS!
Strollers are not allowed inside the gates or in the dog park. Moving, squeaking, rolling instruments such as strollers, bikes, skateboards will often initiate flee or fight instincts, anxiety in dogs, and unpredictable behavior- particularly among dogs not exposed to these things.
KEEP BABIES AND TODDLERS OUT OF THE REACH OF DOGS!
You may think that the baby slings and packs are safe because your child is held up close to your body; however, dangling feet are stimulating to dogs. Dogs may jump up as if playing with a toy.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN SMART BEHAVIOR AROUND DOGS:
1. Do not run or scream. Running and screaming are invitations for dogs to chase.
2. Do not touch or take a dog’s ball. Children should never touch another dog unless they speak to the owner first.
3. Ask an adult before petting an unfamiliar dog. All dogs are potential biters no matter the size of the dog. Just because a dog is small it does not mean he is safe and can’t do damage. Wait for the dog to approach you instead of offering your hand. Most dogs are particularly sensitive to people who reach for their heads to pet them. It is always wiser to allow the dog to smell and gain a sense that they are unthreatened.
4. Never make eye contact with an unfamiliar dog. Acting normal and allowing the dog to feel unthreatened is important.
5. Do not touch dogs while they are resting or sleeping. This is especially true if they are under a bench or close to their owner.
6. Do not hug or kiss dogs that are not your own. No matter how friendly a dog seems, it is never wise to put a child’s face close to a dog.
7. Avoid rough play with dogs or other children while in the dog park. If a dog growls at you, avoid eye contact by looking immediately away. Do not run away. Instead, back slowly away, continuing to avoid eye contact. If you have something in your pocket like a ball toss it to distract the dog as you continue to back away.