Q? Can I bring my puppy to the dog park?

Puppies over 4 months old with all shots, especially rabies, are allowed to come to the park.  This is for the safety of young puppies who do not yet have an immune system that protects them from bacteria.

Q? Can I bring my leash-only dog?

Dog parks are intended for off-leash activity.

Q? Can my small dog play with the bigger dogs?

All dogs are welcomed to play in the shared space. Taylor Dog Park is one open space. Pole Green Dog Park has both a large space and smaller space, the Annex. The Annex is for smaller dogs, dogs that are older, dogs that may have physical limitations or have a quieter, timid nature.

If you know your big dog has a strong prey drive, or your small dog really doesn’t like big dogs, please use your own judgment when entering the dog park.

Q? Can I get on the agility equipment?

The agility equipment is strictly for dogs only. This is to ensure proper use of it and to prevent people from getting hurt.

Q? What do I do in case of an emergency?

If there is an emergency, please call 911. If your dog is seriously injured, please call or go to an emergency vet. Although Animal Control is located in front of Taylor Dog Park, it is not always open when the dog parks are in use and is not properly equipped to handle emergencies.

Q? What are the hours?

If it is daylight, the dog parks are open. Occasionally, the dog parks will close for general maintenance. Friends will try very hard to alert people when the dog parks are closed via our website, Facebook and sometimes via email. Please also visit “Hanover Dog Parks – in Hanover County, VA” Facebook page.

Q? How can I avoid a dog fight?

Learn these cues in dog behavior:

Posture: A dog’s body language can communicate fear, hostility or anxiety. Learn to read and respond to your own dog’s body language, and others.

Packing: More than 2 or 3 dogs packed together can lead to trouble. Break it up before it starts by leading your dog to a neutral area at least 30 feet away.

Possession: Whether it’s you, a ball, or a treat, most dogs will protect what is theirs. Remain aware.

Provoking: If your dog is continuously annoying other dogs, or provoking attention, try to use the Time Out area. If your dog continues the behavior, you must leave the park. Aggressive behavior such as bullying or annoying are not allowed in the dog parks.

Crowding: Let the dogs coming in have space. This means ensuring your dog is not at the gate, waiting for the outside dog to enter.

Q? What should I do if there is a dog fight

There is always the possibility that a dog fight can occur. If it does, here are some steps to take:

 – Keep Calm. Even the calmest, most pleasant, well-adjusted person may become upset, angry or belligerent if they or their dog is injured in a fight. Emotional behavior is automatic. Try to remain as calm and objective as possible. 

Never Reach Your Hands into the middle of a dog fight. You may get bitten, possibly by your own dog. 

Distract the Dogs and divert their attention. A blast of water, a loud whistle, or a pocket air horn may work. 

– If Your Dog Is Not In the Fight, make sure your dog does not join in.

– If a Fight Occurs, control your dog and move your dog to a neutral area.

– If Necessary, Exchange Contact Information with the other dog’s owner. If you can’t because you must attend to your dog, designate someone else to get the information. It may be helpful to get the other dog’s owners license plate information — take a picture.

– Leave the Park. Dog fights can be traumatic for both dog and owner. It’s okay to end your visit to give both of you a cool-down period.

– If a Person or Dog is Bitten, call Animal Control at (804)-365-6140 and call 911 if it becomes an emergency.  

Q? Do I need to bring water?

No, the dog parks have water available for the dogs.  At both dog parks, there are buckets for dogs to drink from. If you have a small dog, you may want to bring a small bowl for them as some small dogs have difficulty reaching the buckets.

Q? What do I do if I see someone not following the rules?

If a volunteer is at the dog park, you can let them know.  However, we encourage everyone to hold others accountable. If you see someone not following the rules (i.e. doesn’t pick up poop), introduce yourself, remind them of the rule, and thank them when they follow through.

If we expect to have great dog parks, we must work together!