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Rules of the Dog Park

Dog parks are one of the hottest trends in city parks, and they can be quite contentious. The Examiner features seven tips from dog-park heavy Portland, Ore. dog trainer Doug Duncan. Mostly common sense stuff here, but some may find it useful in their dog park pursuits. (Details for each in the above link.)

  1. Unleash your dog immediately after you get into the off leash area;
  2. Watch your dog at all times when you’re at the dog park;
  3. Keep the park clean;
  4. Be friendly to other dog owners/guardians;
  5. If you end up having a problem with a particular dog or owner, politely address it with the other dog’s owner;
  6. Recognize when you have a dog, either your own or another dog at the park, that isn’t well suited for the park; and
  7. Most scuffles are short and no one is injured.

3 Responses

  1. Dog parks are great for a number of reasons. They offer a place to take your dogs for some exercise in the green-space strapped cities, and they offer a unique social activity for the dogs and their owners alike.

    I have a question though (maybe you can offer advice). I’m working on trying to get a dog park put in Downtown Cincinnati and a big hurdle to overcome is cost. There is of course the upfront cost, but probably the biggest issue is the annual maintenance costs that would essentially require some sort of endowment. Are there any grants, programs or agencies out there that can help with these cost burdens?

  2. Good question, Randy. Funding is always an issue. Most of the dog parks I’m aware of are funded through general city council-type appropriation, though some local grant opportunities may exist. Many dog parks are partially funded through private groups raising funds. The article linked below provides a few examples…
    http://www.tpl.org/tier3_cd.cfm?content_item_id=20548&folder_id=3208. Also, Dog Grounds is a group in Minneapolis for dog parks in that city’s downtown.

    Chicago charges a tag fee of $5 which I think goes to what you’re describing.

    Some other parks are created without facilities, basically by just setting certain hours in existing parks – usually in the early morning – where dogs can freely run without leashes, or fences.

    It can be quite political to get everything to fall into place, but I hope that helps.

  3. Thanks for the information…I did a brief entry of my own here:


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