Safety and Etiquette at Off-Leash Dog Beaches

The SF Bay area boasts several wonderful off-leash dog beaches, which raises an important health and safety topic: dog beach etiquette. More than just consideration for others – although that’s very important too – using good beach etiquette can help ensure the health and safety of your best friend along with everyone else’s.

First, make sure your dogs have been socialized before letting them loose with other dogs and people on the beach. This isn’t the place to see how they react to dogs they don’t know, nor is it the place for early training; confrontations can occur and can take a nasty turn if your dog hasn’t been properly socialized. On the other hand, a well-socialized dog can make lots of new dog and human friends and have a great time.

Make sure your dog has good listening skills. The ability to respond to a recall command is very important – the last thing you want is for your dog to run too far away or head toward something dangerous and then not respond when you call him back. Likewise, commands like “drop it”, “leave it” and “no” can prevent your dog from eating something harmful.

Large dogs or even smaller-sized dogs that are particularly jumpy and playful can sometimes scare small children or annoy adults. If you see your dog heading for anyone without an invitation – especially at a rapid pace – distract him with a recall command until you find out from the other person if your dog’s attention is welcome. Children can become frightened or get unintentionally knocked down by your dog, and adults can become annoyed or frightened by large dogs as well. It’s best to be considerate of others, even if you know your dog just wants to be friendly.

Dog beaches are a great way to let your dog burn off excess energy – they also offer excellent candid photo opportunities to catch pups naturally at play. Contact us to find out how we can make these fun memories last forever.

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