Navigating Dog Parks

Aug 15, 2018
Navigating Dog Parks

Spartanburg is a fantastic place to get outside with your dog. Whether you have a few minutes after work or a long, lazy afternoon for playing, you and your dog can find the perfect break for exercise and socialization at one of Spartanburg’s many trails (check out our list of best Spartanburg trails for dogs) or dog parks.

If you or your dog are new to dog parks, we’ve put together some tips and best practices to help everyone maximize enjoyment and minimize problems in Spartanburg’s dog parks.

Questions? Contact us.

Why visit a dog park?

Dog parks offer the chance for your dog to romp and play freely with other dogs. Off the leash and free to run in a safe place, your dog can get exercise, be socially stimulated, and have a lot of fun. Bring a ball or Frisbee and enjoy playing with your dog in a safe, contained environment. Parks are also often fun places for dog owners to interact.

What to do before visiting a dog park

First, make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations. Dogs who visit dog parks may require different vaccinations than more isolated dogs. And don’t ever take a sick or injured dog to the dog park. It’s also best to only take spayed or neutered dogs to the park. If you have a female dog in heat, avoid the park. (If you need to discuss vaccines or reproduction issues about your pet, make an appointment with Pine Street Animal Hospital before you consider a dog park visit).

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Next, make sure your dog actually enjoys socializing and minds her manners. Dogs who don’t follow your commands or who are aggressive to other dogs should not go to dog parks. So get to know your dog’s interest and practice those commands before you visit a dog park.

Best dog park in Spartanburg

Now that you’re ready, it’s time to visit Spartanburg’s dog park. The Rail Tail Dog Park is adjacent to the Mary Black Rail Trail, so it offers a perfect opportunity to walk and play. The park entrance is at 827 Union Street.

While Spartanburg offers other great hiking trails (paved and unpaved) and city parks to take your dogs, the Rail Tail is the only one that is truly a leash-free dog park where dogs are welcome to play together. If you’re seeking other dog parks, head toward Greenville or Greer for a few more options, like Pelham Mill Park, Landrum Community Dog Park or Conestee Dog Park.

Dog park rules and manners

Now that you’re at the dog park, be kind, respectful and follow all posted rules. Unless it says otherwise, remove your dog’s leash when you enter. Pick up and throw away all poop. Stay with your dog, in the park, at all times, and keep an eye on him (to keep him out of trouble and from making trouble).

When to leave the dog park

If your dog is causing problems, leave right away (no matter how interesting your conversation may be). Your dog likely won’t improve her behavior in such a stimulating place, so it’s better to leave and try it out another day.

Watch out for dogs that are acting aggressive or showing signs they may become aggressive, such as: raised hackles, low growling or barking, exposed teeth, snarling, or biting. If you see any of these behaviors, point it out to the owner to remove their dog immediately. If they don’t leave, you should.


We hope you and your dogs have a wonderful time playing outside in Spartanburg – at the dog park, on the trail or in a city park. Remember that your dog needs outside fun every day, so change up where you go and enjoy exploring our great city.

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