Fort Woof FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
See the rules on our Park Info page.
The City of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department established and maintains Fort Woof. Suggestions or concerns should be communicated to the Parks and Community Services Department at 817-871-5700.
Yes. Unfortunately, dogs can cause serious injury to people and other dogs. They are dogs and do not always act in ways we understand. That is why everyone should act responsibly with their dog and respect the rights of other people and dogs. Familiarizing yourself with the dog park rules are a good first step to a safe Fort Woof experience.
Prevent a Dog Fight Before It Happens: Learn the 4P Warning Signs
- Posture: A dog’s body language can communicate fear, hostility or submission. Learn to read and respond to your own dog’s body language, and others.
- Packing: More than 2 or 3 dogs packed together can lead to trouble. Break it up before it starts by leading your dog to a neutral area at least 30 feet away.
- Possession: Whether it’s you, a ball, or a treat, most dogs will protect what is theirs. Remain aware.
- Provoking: If your dog is continuously annoying another dog or dogs, or provoking attention, it’s time to leave the park.
An injured dog may bite anyone near by. A dog fight can be violent and is upsetting to everyone present.
- Keep calm. Even the calmest, most pleasant, well-adjusted person may become upset, angry or belligerent, if they or their dog is injured in a fight. Emotional behavior is automatic; try to remain calm and as objective as possible.Never reach your hands into the middle of a dog fight. You may get bit, and often by your own dog.
- Distract the dogs and divert their attention. A blast of water from a water bottle, a loud whistle, or a pocket air horn may work.
- If your dog is not in the fight, make sure he does not join in.
- If a fight occurs, control your dog and remove him to a neutral area.
- Maintain a cool head. Getting upset and yelling will only add to the frenzy.
- When warranted, exchange contact information with the other dog owners. If you can’t because you must attend to your dog, designate someone else to get information. Remember, owners are solely liable for injuries or damage caused by their dogs. This includes injury to another dog or person, no matter how it began, who said what, or whatever.
Fort Woof was established on the concept that dog owners would police themselves and each other. If you see someone who forgets the rules (i.e., forgets to pick up poop) politely introduce yourself, remind them of the rule, and thank them when they comply with the rule. Fort Worth is full of friendly folks who want to do the right thing. That’s the Fort Woof way!
Yes, but we have tap water available free at the park. Food and drinks are prohibited. Water bowls are usually located throughout the park next to the picnic tables. Feel free to use them!
Yes. Each dog must have a dog license from the City of Fort Worth. Licenses from other cities will be honored too, but if you live in a city that does not require a license for your dog (like Haltom City) you must get a Fort Worth Dog License. You may obtain a Fort Worth Dog License from City of Fort Worth Animal Care and Control (817-392-3737) or from most veterinarians in Fort Worth.
No. Dogs must be at least 4 months old and have their rabies shots to come to Fort Woof. This is because a puppy’s immunity must build up to fight bacteria and other stuff.
First, remove your dog from the situation. Second, (if it is safe) politely tell the dog’s owner that you feel their dog is aggressive and ask them to take some action to control their dog or leave the park. If you do not feel safe or a polite request has no effect, call Fort Worth Animal Control at 817.392.3737. It is up to users of Fort Woof to police each other in a friendly Fort Worth manner to keep Fort Woof safe for all.
Dog bites are rare at dog parks, especially if all users follow the rules and respect other people and dogs. But if someone is bitten,
- get the person who was bit medical attention immediately, including calling 911 if necessary;
- get the identity of the dog who did the biting and its owner;
- contact Fort Worth Animal Control at 817-392-3737 to report the bite, who got bit, and the identity of the dog who bit and the owner.
Because of the danger of heat stroke, we warn against extended use of the park during the heat of the day and any day use by long hair breeds.
Signs of heat stroke are intense, rapid panting, wide eyes, salivating, staggering and weakness. Advanced heat stroke victims will collapse and become unconscious. The gums will appear pale and dry. Any temperature above 106 degrees is dangerous. The longer the temperature remains at or above 106 degrees the more serious the situation.
If you suspect your dog has heat stroke, place him/her in a tub of cool running water or spray with a hose, being sure the cool water contacts the skin and doesn’t simply run off the coat. Thoroughly wet the belly and inside the legs. Run the cool water over the tongue and mouth. Take a rectal temperature if possible to know when to stop cooling. A safe temperature is about 103 degrees. Seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
Check out this great article, “Off the Leash: Dog Park Fun And Safety,” by Brian Davidson, published on GoodDogz.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating potential dog owners on dog selection and care and supporting the efforts of rescue groups.
The San Francisco Chronicle has a story about the perils of mixing small dogs and big dogs in the same park: “In dog parks, size matters; small-pooch crowd fights for turf away from bigger barkers.”
We don’t know but we think they are cute and funny. Just be sure to get out of the way of the parade behind them.