Child Warnings for the Dog Park

We want your visit to the Lakewood Dog Park to be an enjoyable experience for everyone. One reason for development of this area was to provide a space away from park playgrounds and playing fields where dogs could be free to run without disrupting families with children. Please be aware that the fact that there are packs of dogs running around changes park dynamics. Not all dogs in the park have children in their homes. Some of them have not been exposed to kids or may even simply not like them. In the interest of keeping the Lakewood Dog Park a safe and fun place for everyone, please watch your children closely and read the following recommendations.

Children are susceptible to contracting intestinal parasites in areas where urine and feces are present. Be sure that you and your child always wear shoes in the park. Be aware that children can also pick up fleas.

This is not a place to bring a child to get over the fear of dogs. Not all dogs are friendly with children. While some dogs avoid children, others will harass them. (Note to dog owners: Whether you have children in your house or not, it is a good idea to socialize your dogs with children as much as possible. This will alleviate potential problems.)

  • NEVER allow your child to approach or pet a dog without the owner’s permission and presence.
  • Children are easily run over and knocked down by running dogs. Some herding breeds may nip at kids in an attempt to round them up.
  • A running, yelling child attracts attention and becomes a target for dogs because s/he resembles an injured animal or running prey. Do not allow your child to wildly wave her or his arms around.
  • Never let a child bring food or toys to the dog park. Even a friendly dog may go after a treat.
  • One adult to supervise children and dogs is not enough. Make sure that you can take care of everyone you bring with you.
  • Teach your children how to behave around animals and what to do in case of any emergency BEFORE bringing them to the park. For example:
    • NEVER RUN: Hide face, fold arms, and stand still. If necessary lie down, tuck arms and legs into the body, and lie still. In both cases wait for help or for the dog to leave.
    • Direct eye contact (staring) is confrontational and a challenge.