Further Explanation of the Dog Park Regulations

A number of people have asked about the rationale behind some of the regulations of the Hays Dog Park.  In this post my goal is to explain some of the best practices and though process behind the rules.  We began by searching the internet for the rules of other dog park’s around the country and then worked with the Park’s Director on fine-tuning them and making them pertinent to Hays.  Below each rule is a sentence or two about why we chose that rule.


Rules and Regulations

Use of this park constitutes agreement to the following rules:

Dogs must be 6 months of age or over and have valid rabies vaccination.

 Dog under 6 months of age are not properly immunized against the communicable diseases a dog can catch in a dog park.  If you dog is properly immunized, it should not be a problem. 

All dogs must wear a collar with identification and rabies tags when using the park.

Display your compliance with the vaccination and registration rule by putting your dog’s tags on their collar.  

Dogs must be leashed when entering or leaving the fenced area of the park and have a leash available at all times when in the park.

Dog need to be under your control and you need to be able to establish and maintain control if something happens.  Have a leash ready.  Also, there is a road outside the park, it would not be safe to allow your dog to run free.  More importantly it is a city ordinance that dogs should not run free.  For a list of Hays city ordinances see:  http://www.haysusa.com/html/ordinances.html

No children under 12 years of age unless accompanied by and adult.

All children should be supervised in the park.  A child who does not have experience around dogs must also be taught not to approach a dog and pet it UNLESS they have the owner’s permission.  It is also not a good idea to run and play in the park like a child would in their backyard.  Some dogs respond to this behavior by “herding” or chasing the child.  Instead all children should remain calm and by the adult’s side.  Remember that this is a park for dogs, not children.  Some dogs are fine around kids, some are not.  Also, if you child is older than 12, but cannot control your dog, they should not be left alone with them in the park.

Keep the gates closed at all times.

The park uses a double gate system to help keep dogs from bolting out of the park and away.  It is imperative that these gates remain closed except when in use for the safety of the dogs.  

Dog owners/handlers must remain in the dog park with the dog(s) and must be in reasonable control of the dog(s) at all times.

The dog park is not a drop-off dogsitter or place for you to come sit and read or nap….you should be with your dog the whole time that they are in the park for the safety of your dog and others in the park.  You are responsible for the behavior or your dog and you need to be with them to keep them out of potential trouble, keep them from digging, and pick up their messes!

No more than three (3) dogs are allowed per owner/handler.

The more dogs you have, the harder is it to handle them all.  Please limit the number of dogs you are responsible for.

Aggressive dogs are not permitted. Dog’s that show aggression must be removed immediately.

I think the reasoning here is pretty obvious: aggressive dogs are a threat to other dogs and the people that use the park.  If you know that your dog does not like to be around other dogs….then maybe the dog park isn’t the place for you.   Also note, aggressive dogs come in all shapes and sizes.  If a dog is being aggressive and the owner will not leave, please call the Hays Police Department.

Dangerous Dogs as defined in City of Hays, Code of Ordinance, Chapter 5, Section 5-123 are not allowed in the dog park.

This is a City ordinance; please address all questions to the Park’s Director, City Commissioners, or the City Manager.

The dog park is only for use by dogs and owners/handlers. No other types of pets are allowed.

No hamsters allowed!!  Ha!  I guess this is for people who might be tempted to run their pig or cat…..

No food (human or dog), rawhide chews, bones or similar are allowed in the dog park.

Some dog become aggressive over food; it is best to avoid this issue by not bringing ANY food into the park….even dog treats.  

Items that may cause health concerns for dogs such as cigarette butts, chewing tobacco and alcohol shall be properly disposed of and NOT left on the ground.

Tobacco and alcohol are toxic to dogs; please keep them out of the park and out of the dog’s reach.  Plus, this is OUR park….we want to keep it clean!


No littering and no glass bottles.

Some dogs eat anything they can get their mouth on….including litter.  Plus, broken glass is a hazard to dogs and humans.  Please clean up to prevent injury. 

Owners/handlers are responsible for their dog’s behavior and must immediately remove any excrement deposited by their dog and must fill in any holes dug by their dog.

Self explanatory–clean up after your dog.  And if you see someone leaving feces in the park, please gently remind them that there are doggy stations and bags for their convenience and it is their responsibility to clean up after their dog.  Also please do not let you dog dig around the fence and create gaps that dogs can escape through.  Again, safety, safety, safety!!

Dogs in heat, pregnant or lactating are not permitted in the dog park.

All of these conditions can cause aggressive behavior in other dogs. 

Owners/handlers are responsible for any injuries or property damage caused by their dog.

Pretty self explanatory!

Owner/handlers must immediately restrain their dog and/or leave the park when instructed to do so by an Officer or by an employee of the City of Hays.

This is a City park.

Violation or disregard of these rules can result in removal from the park temporarily or permanently.

Serious animal bites should be reported to the City of Hays Police Department at 628-1011 or if it is an emergency dial 911.

The dog park will rely on the Friends of the Hays Dog Park to keep it clean, maintained, and safe.  If you see anything suspicious or there is an emergency, please contact the Police Department.  

Here is a link to the Hays Animal Control site with some good information:  http://www.haysusa.com/html/animal_control.html


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