Here are a few suggestions to consider before your first visit to the Dog park!

Read the Rules 

If you decide you canít abide by the rules then don't bring your dog to the Dog Park!
These rules are in place for the safety and comfort of you and your dog.

Visit the dog park the first time without your dog. Check out the place and become familiar with how things work. See how the dogs that are there interact with each other and think about whether your dog has the right temperament to enjoy a visit to the dog park. 

When you are checking things out without your dog you should decide which area of the dog park you want to visit. The dog park has two separate fenced off areas named the "Small Dog Area" and the "Large Dog Area". The names are more suggestive than absolute. Many small dogs prefer the Large Dog Area. The Small Dog Area is also intended for older, less active, or shy dogs. Any small dogs larger "siblings" are allowed in the small dog area as long as they are also good with other small dogs. If you have any questions look for someone wearing a yellow dog park volunteer button. These people will be happy to answer any questions you might have. If you canít find a volunteer ask someone in the dog park.  Dog park users are usually willing to help out new visitors.

Before you visit you need to remember the dress code. You can wear what ever is comfortable for you but you need to remember that your clothes might be covered with muddy paw prints before you leave. If you want to wear sandals remember that that you might step in a pile of poop or a Great Dane could step on your foot. There are a few rules for your dog. It needs to be wearing a collar with a valid rabies tag attached to it. This is state law! Pinch or prong collars and choke collars  are prohibited inside the dog park. This is for your dog's safety and comfort as well as the safety of other dogs in the park. Other dog's teeth can be caught in the links of these collars. This can cause injury to your dog or other dogs in the park. Dogs chew each others necks when they are playing. It's normal behavior like sniffing each other's butts.

The dog park has a triple gate entrance system that can be confusing. The triple gate system lets you enter the dog park without your dog or anyone elseís dog getting loose. The idea is to make sure that no more than one gate is open at one time. Before you enter the gate from the parking lot, make sure the other two gates are closed. Open the main entrance gate from the parking lot and close it. Then unleash your dog. Keep your leash with you after you enter the park! It may come in handy and itís a rule! If there are other dogs in the area between the three gates make sure the owners have those dogs leashed and under control before you open the main gate. This keeps these dogs from escaping and those owners from being upset with you.  

After you have unleashed your dog, open the gate for the small dog area or the large dog area and enter the park. Be sure and close that gate behind you so that others can enter the dog park. 

You have now successfully entered the dog park. Welcome!

After you enter either area of the dog park don't hang out around the gate. This makes it difficult for other dog owners to enter the dog park! If you enter the Large Dog Area be aware of the corner to your left. Sometimes new dogs can get pinned down into this corner by the other dogs already in the park. Once you are in either dog area donít let your dog rush the gate or stand at the gate while other dogs are entering the dog park. This makes it difficult for new dogs to enter and leave.

The largest courtesy you can extend towards other users of the dog park after you enter the park is to clean up your dogís poop (feces). Nobody likes to step in dog poop! Common courtesy, City law and the dog park rules require that you clean up after your dog. The dog park provides plastic bags for you to collect your dogís poop. There are three poop bag dispensers in the dog park.  Two are in the Large Dog area. One near the main entrance to your left as you enter the park and the other is attached to the kiosk up in the woods. There is a separate poop bag dispenser in the small dog area. Its a good idea to pick up a poop bag when you come into the park, there is a good chance that you will need it. After you have used a poop bag be sure to tie a knot in the top of the bag before throwing it away. This small step minimizes the bugs and odor around the trash can. Trashcans are located along the exterior fences of the dog park. 

There is a water hydrant in the large dog area near the fence to your right after you enter the large dog area. There are buckets that you can rinse out and refill for your dog and the other dogs to get a drink. Small dog area users can rinse out a bucket, fill it and take it into the small dog area.

Oakwood Dog Park is surrounded by peopleís homes. It is in the middle of an established urban neighborhood. Be considerate of the neighbors by not letting your dog bark or howl constantly. 

If you enjoy your first visit and think you will be coming back again then you should sign up for the FOLDPOP email list. FOLDPOP (remember FOLDPOP from the home page?) sends out newsletters and alerts about the dog park to people who subscribe to this list.