We have the largest dog park in the tri-state area that’s fun for the entire family – especially your dogs – in a friendly, safe, serene setting in beautiful Sussex County. The Board of the Wantage Dog Park is very proud of the facility that we created for you and your dogs – at no charge. We do not receive any funding from any source except your donations.
The Wantage Dog Park is a recreational facility for friendly canines and their owners to enjoy at no cost, regardless where they reside. The more than 8-acre fenced park provides space for dogs to run off-leash, interact with other dogs and people, and enjoy freedom.
If you have a small dog, puppy, shy 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 new experience. It is important that your dog is off-leash when meeting new doggie friends in the park. Most dogs are not looking for a fight. When they feel free to run, they usually interact playfully. Leashes make dogs feel trapped and if one dog is on a leash and another one 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 your 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 new 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 or throwing a towel or jacket over the dogs may break their concentration and distract them 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 get exercise.
Toys and treats can prompt aggression as dogs become possessive and competitive around other dogs. Do not throw toys for your dog if the park is crowded. Refrain from giving your dog treats with other dogs nearby. The park is a place for dogs to interact with other dogs and play. We want you to have fun and be safe, so stay alert for potential doggie disagreements.
Remember, YOU are responsible for your dog and your safety in the park. Use of the dog park is at your own risk.