DFA Etiquette

Our job here at Mondog is to train Dog Owners what is acceptable. It’s up to the owners to train their dogs.

1. No food on the Dog Beach.

Please, No picnicking within the designated Dog Friendly Area. Keep the MickyD’s and KFC outside the fence. Feed Rex and Fluffy at home. Dog treats are OK, but only share with permission of the dog’s owner. Most dogs are highly food motivated, and having a dog steal your lunch, or fighting with your dog over his food is highly likely. So why invite trouble? The Dog Beach is the only safe and legal off-leash place for dogs to play and swim in the City. You can eat anywhere. Eat somewhere else.

2. PROMPTLY clean up All dog waste.

Please discourage your dog from “WATER POOPING”, as it is strictly forbidden. Cleaning up after your dog is mandatory for keeping the beach safe and clean for everyone. Fecal matter contains many different strains of bacteria and parasites. The ones we’re most concerned with are e-coli, salmonella, and giardia. If fecal matter is left on the sand to decompose it will eventually make it’s way into the water, or even worse, if dogs are allowed to deposit directly into the lake then we are directly contributing to the contamination of the lake water and helping foster an unhealthy environment for every one. Think about it, we are all wading in that water, are dogs are drinking it, and children are playing in it. It’s extremely inappropriate and inconsiderate to allow a dog to poop in the water. You would not stand by and watch your dog poop on your favorite rug unpunished, why would you think it’s OK to do nothing if he poops in the lake. Pull him out, tell him he’s bad, leash up and go to a more appropriate area. It’s a training issue, and it’s up to you to train your dog. So please make every effort to pick up all dog waste, even if it’s not yours, and no water pooping.

3. No Prong or Pinch Collars

Please remove metal training collars when dogs are off-leash. Prong style collars can be hazardous to dogs playing off-leash. Metal prong collars can get caught on another dogs collar and seriously choke them as they try to get away. Teeth can be chipped during roughhousing and prongs can be forced through the flesh during a hard fall or tackle. Training harnesses and muzzle style training leads are also inappropriate for play and could injure your dog by restricting his movement. Mondog recommends removing training equipment while at the dog beach. A sturdy flat collar with your dog tags is all that is required.

4. Dogs should play with dogs of appropriate size and energy level.

Smaller dogs, puppies, and older dogs can be injured by the over-exuberant and rough play of larger dogs. Don’t let your dog harass or intimidate other dogs.

5. Immediately leash and remove dogs exhibiting aggressive or potentially dangerous behavior.

Aggression in dogs is a tricky, and often very subjective issue. There are dogs who just do not like other dogs period, and those dogs are prohibited from all DFA’s. There are also dogs who on occasion will act out aggressively towards other dogs. It’s not Mondog’s intent to define exactly what is and what is not aggressive behavior, but we do believe it is extremely important to understand your own dogs behavior, recognize when he is crossing the line, and discipline him appropriately. Allowing a dog to remain on the beach after a serious transgression only reinforces to him that his behavior was acceptable. We advocate a Zero Tolerance policy. Leash up immediately and go home. No time outs, no fu-fu “bad dog, mommy still loves you”, no moving to another area. Leash up and unceremoniously leave. Let Rex or Zoe know you are MAD, and they were BAD, and it will NOT be tolerated.

6. Respect other dog owners requests to separate your dogs!

Every owner has to know their dogs limits, and if someone is uncomfortable with how dogs are interacting, you have to respect their request and make your dog back down or leave the area. What you may view as normal roughhousing between dogs can be threatening and dangerous to other. Stop the fights before they start.

7. No unaccompanied dogs and no more than 3 dogs per adult.

Do not leave your dog on the beach unattended. This is not a daycare. Do not leave your dog while you go jogging, or to the bathroom. That’s just irresponsible. 3 dogs per adult is a Park District rule. Dog walkers bringing more that 3 dogs onto the beach is forbidden. You are responsible for your dogs safety, and for his actions. If you are not there, or have too many dogs to keep track of, you can’t clean up after them, or pull them out of a scuffle, or stop them from running off.

8. Close the gate behind you!

This should be self explanatory, yet people are always leaving the gates open.

9. No muzzled dogs.

Sometimes there is a need to muzzle a dog with aggressing issues, but please, don’t bring them to a Dog Park. No good can come from it. Muzzles may protect everyone from your dog, but they don’t address the dog’s issues, and may only foster his frustration and aggression by restricting his ability to communicate and defend himself. They also restrict breathing and water access, and no dog should be allowed to run or play of leash with a restricting muzzle. If your dog has aggression issues with people or other dogs, seek the help of a trainer, and leave them at home.

10. Dogs only on the beach…no other pets allowed.

Bringing non-canine pets to a Dog Park is horribly bad idea. Cats, ferrets, and a pot belly pig have been seen on the dog beach. Many dogs have a strong prey drive. That means they like to chase and capture things smaller than them. Introducing non-canine pets into a crowd of dogs is just asking for trouble.

11. Dog Toys are shared, whether you like it or not.

Dogs like toys. Dogs steal toys. Dogs sometimes destroy toys. If it can’t be shared, lost, or destroyed, leave it at home. If your dog is aggressively possessive of it, leave it at home. If it can’t get wet, doesn’t float, or is full of fluff, leave it at home. That said, if your dog is the thieving type, be considerate of others, and make efforts to return toys to their owners.

12. Toys left on beach are garbage.

If you bring toys with you, please make every effort to take them home with you. Leaving a toy for the next dog may seem like a good deed, but that is not always so. One dogs toy is another dogs snack. Racquetballs are a dangerous choke hazard to larger dogs, and plastic toys are easily chewed and swallowed. Tennis balls and Frisbees are great toys, but if they float down the beach, they are garbage. If they are chewed up and torn into pieces, they are garbage. Please pick up the pieces and throw them in the trash. Help keep the beach clean and safe for everyone. If you don’t have the heart to throw away found toys or tennis balls, at least stick them in the fence so others know it’s up for grabs.

13. If it’s unattended on the ground, it’s fair game.

Dogs will pee on ANYTHING on the ground. Shoes, back packs, chairs, bags of poo, coolers, you name it. Once one pees on it, they all want to pee on it. Or one will drag it off as a toy. So put stuff on the ground at your own risk. It’s a better idea to hang it on the fence.

14. ON or OFF LEASH?

There is no rule that dogs have to be off leash within the area. On the contrary, it is up to you to judge if your dog can be trusted to be off leash. An open beach full of new dogs, smells, noises, and temptations can be extremely overwhelming, and not every dog can be trusted every time. Snowball and Rex can still enjoy a nice cool dip in the lake and some socializing while on the leash. However, keep in mind that some dogs can be more aggressive/defensive when they are on the leash and other dogs aren’t. And some other dog owners get bent out of shape if their dog gets tangled up, or “clothes-lined” by a leash. If you chose to keep your dog on the leash, steer clear of large groups and rambunctious dogs, and keep the extension leashes short.


Whistles can be a great tool for dog training, but on the beach, they are tools of the lifeguards. Please don’t uses them during swimming hours.

16. No Kites within the Dog Beach

Kites can cause an unnecessary distraction for dogs who don’t know what they are or insist on chasing them. They can also injure a dog if they come crashing down. Remember, dogs don’t understand “Watch Out!! Get Out Of The Way!!”