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  • Writer's pictureShayna + Courtney

Survey Response!

Respondents to the recent Friends of Brewster Dog Park (FBDP) Survey were overwhelmingly positive of their dog park experiences, but many noted concerns with the dog park, which could ALL be solved if the rules were just followed.  The Brewster Select Board promulgated the rules with you and your dog’s safety in mind.  This is an awesome Brewster amenity, which is operated by the FBDP nonprofit volunteers, and cooperation in following the rules is essential for safe interactions and an enjoyable visit to our World Class Dog Park.


Here are our expectations of dog owners/handlers: 

- Clean up after your dog immediately & dispose of waste properly; 

- Remain inside enclosure with their dog(s);

- Keep possession of a leash for each dog;

- Keep gates closed except when entering or exiting and avoid congregating near the gates;

- Immediately remove a dog - without debate - at first sign of aggressive behavior toward other dogs/people.  If excessively barking, or if mounting other dogs.


If the above sounds reasonable and even familiar to you, they should because these are an excerpt from the Brewster Dog Park Rules designed to promote safety.  Signs are located in the right side kiosk outside the park and inside the large and small areas on the fence near a bright orange box containing a safety air horn used to break up incidents.


Clean up after your dog immediately & dispose of waste properly

Dog waste💩 can carry disease and infect other dogs and humans.  Stepping in dog waste, tracking it all over, and then cleaning footwear is very frustrating, not to mention disgusting.


Remain inside enclosure with their dog(s)

Supervision of your dog to ensure appropriate interactions will keep your dog safe, and allow you to see if your dog has eliminated.


Keep possession of a leash for each dog

If there were an altercation between dogs, you need to gain control and remove the aggressive dog(s).  If you do not leash up and control, then aggression may continue.  Leashes on your person allows quick action and safe removal of dogs.


Keep gates closed except when entering or exiting and avoid congregating near the gates

When a new dog is entering, dogs inside the park will naturally congregate in curiosity.  Unfortunately, this mobbing behavior can often lead to aggression.  Handlers must unleash their dogs inside the plaza area at the gates to their respective large/small dog entry gate. Handlers should walk inside with purpose and claim space to disperse the other dogs.  This is an area where negative interactions are prone to happen if a dog feels cornered and unsafe.  Once inside, they have the entire dog park to explore and not feel trapped. If stressed dogs can’t get away, then they have no other option but to fight (Fight/flight response). A balanced dog will learn to avoid.


Immediately remove a dog - without debate - at first sign of aggressive behavior toward other dogs/people.  If excessively barking, or if mounting other dogs.

Rough play with some barking, jumping and even teeth is not necessarily “aggressive behavior”.  If the less dominant dog keeps coming back for more then all is okay, and the dogs are self regulating.  If you are uncomfortable with the higher level of play, leash up your dog and remove them from the park. An aggressive dog will be rigid and stiff and their intent is not play, but to dominate or do harm.  They should immediately be removed from the dog park.  


Excessive barking is negative energy and may start an incident, as will fence fighting between the small and large dog area.  Immediately stop the behavior or remove the offending dogs. 


Mounting in most cases is not sexual (do not bring a female dog in heat to the dog park) and is an act of dominance where one dog is challenging the other dog.  This must be immediately stopped or remove the offending dog. This can result in an altercation.


Annoying behaviors such as jumping on people, urinating on benches, or excessive attention-seeking behaviors towards people other than their handles should also be stopped out of respect for others.


Dealing with owners whose dogs is being a nuisance at dog parks can be a delicate situation. It's important to approach the owner calmly and respectfully, and express your concerns about their dog's behavior. You can suggest that they keep a closer eye on their dog and intervene.  If necessary, please complete an Incident Report. 



There are risks with dog parks, which include aggressive (or predatory) attacks, physical injuries (to dogs and people) caused by large groups of dogs running together, and the transmission of parasites and disease.


In future articles, we will break down the why’s of the remainder of the dog park rules, which were all promulgated to reduce your risks and allow a safe visit.


Please attend a future no cost educational workshop offered by the Friends of Brewster Dog Park nonprofit, to learn more about reading your dog’s body language. 


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