Wantage Dog Park is a recreational facility for friendly canines and their owners, regardless of where they reside, to enjoy at no cost. The 8-acre park has 4+ acres fenced-in providing space for dogs to run off-leash, interact with other dogs and people, and enjoy freedom.
If you have a small dog, puppy, shy dog or old dog you are welcome to begin by letting your dog exercise in the "small dog area."
Some dogs visiting the Park will be used to playing with other dogs but many will find this a very new experience. It is important that your dog is off leash when meeting new doggie friends in the park. Leashes make dogs feel trapped and if one dog is on leash and another is off leash, the dog on leash can become aggressive for fear that he might be attacked and will not be able to get away. Remove your dog's leash in the vestibule before entering the final gate into the park.
If you are worried about your dog's reaction to new dogs, try coming to the park when it is not very busy.
When dogs greet each other, there is a lot of sniffing and movement. Tails wag, ears may go back, and they may bow, squeal, or bark. If a dog is nervous, hair on his back may stand up but this is not usually a sign of aggression but rather fear. With practice, dogs get better at meeting and greeting strange dogs. The only time for an owner to become concerned is if two dogs stiffen, stare at each other, and stop moving. This confrontational behavior should be discouraged and can usually be stopped with a calm, sharp, growling command of "knock it off" from the owner.
Occasionally dogs will get into a disagreement. Do not attempt to break up a dogfight with your hands by reaching for a collar. Dousing the dogs with water may distract them enough to get them to stop. You can also try throwing a towel or jacket over the dogs to break their concentration enough to allow you to separate them.
If your dog is a persistent bully and repeatedly gets into arguments with other dogs, the dog park is probably not the best place for him or her to exercise.
Toys and treats can prompt aggression as dogs become possessive and competitive around other dogs. The park is a place for dogs to interact and play with each other. We want all to have fun and be safe, so stay alert to potential doggie disagreements.
If you have a grievance with another owner, please use our Grievance Form, with discretion.