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Dog Parks

Dog Parks in Australia are a fairly recent advent and so it is important that communities planning Dog Parks understand some of the key principles that will ensure a successful Dog Park.

Here we provide you with some background information on Dog Parks and a profile of a number of Dog Parks in Australia and overseas. We hope they give you some insight of the possibilities!

Dog Parks In Australia

Although a new concept in Australia, Dog Parks or fully fenced areas in parks for dog owners and their pet dog are increasing. Anecdotal feedback from Councils indicates the primary driver for the installation of Dog Parks is the need to provide for dog owners and their dogs alongside other parkland activities and users.

A Dog Park allows for dogs to be accommodated alongside other parkland activities such as playgrounds and sensitive environments such as waterways and bushland habitats.

Dog Parks must be carefully planned and well designed to ensure the area is safe and of the same standard of presentation as the surrounding parkland, to ensure it is popular with the wider community as well as dog owners, and to minimise maintenance costs.

There are an estimated 500 Dog Parks in the USA including public Dog Parks, Dog Parks operated by private / commercial interests, Dog Parks at airports and Dog Parks at roadside stops to cater for the traveling public. They range in size from a hectare (or less in the case of a roadside stop) to many hectares in size.

EXAMPLES OF DOG PARKS

The following provides examples of Dog Parks that have been established in Australia and overseas.

BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL (Queensland, AUS)

The Brisbane City Council has established a number of fully fenced Dog Parks because the lack of open space limits opportunities for off-leash areas. To accommodate dogs in parks that have a number of other recreation activities occurring, Council has installed fenced Dog Parks to minimise potential conflict. Some of these Dog Parks are very small due to the limited land available and most have a range of dog agility equipment. In most cases there is minimal landscaping and limited surface treatment.

BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL (Queensland, AUS)

MORNINGTON PENINSULA SHIRE COUNCIL (Mornington, Victoria, AUS)

The Mornington Dog Park was established in 2008 as part of an overall parkland development. The site had a history of use by dog owners when it was a rough paddock area and so Council considered it critical that dogs be accommodated in the ‘park’ upgrade.

Council prepared a master plan for the entire park followed by a master plan for the Dog Park (Paws4Play) which includes a dog agility equipment area, a free ball-play area and a created natural scramble area. The agility equipment has been installed and Council is progressively developing other features of the park.

The Mornington Dog Park is approximately 1 hectare in size with the dog agility area including 5 sets of equipment(Paws4Play). Also on the same site are a children’s playground, a large free play area (e.g. kite flying and ball play), trails and picnic facilities.

MORNINGTON PENINSULA SHIRE COUNCIL (Mornington, Victoria, AUS)

 

CAFÉ BONES / Hawthorn Canal Reserve (Leichardt, AUS)

Hawthorn Canal Reserve is not a fully fenced Dog Park however it is a good example of a Council and private enterprise joint venture that caters for the dog owning community. This is a linear park with a trail and open grassed areas in which dogs are allowed off-leash. The café is leased to a private enterprise.

CANBERRA DOG PARK

BRIGHTON BEACH DOG PARK (Victoria, AUS)

The Brighton Beach Dog Park (fenced) provides dogs with access to the water and a large area of sand dunes. Because of the size of the area it attracts a large number of small and large dogs. It is also very popular with all age groups including older people and young families and attracts visitors from well outside the municipality.

The Dog Park abuts the ‘Bay Trail’ (Port Phillip Bay) which is also popular with dog walkers who access the cafes and eateries along the trail.

BRIGHTON BEACH DOG PARK (Victoria, AUS)

WHALON LAKE DOG PARK (Naperville, USA)

The Whalon Lake Dog Park is part of a 32 hectare site that includes a large lake and walking trails. The Dog Park itself is 4.25 hectares divided into a large dog compound of 3.25 hectares and a small dog compound of 1 hectare. Included in the Dog Park is a small wooded area, numerous clean-up stations, seating, a shade shelter and dog agility equipment.

WHALON LAKE DOG PARK (Naperville, USA)

JAPANESE DOG PARK

Despite a lack of open space in Japan this small Dog Park has been installed alongside a roadside stop for travelers. The roadside stop includes a restaurant, a takeaway food provider, toilets and a small dog run. (Photos kindly provide by Linda Marston).

JAPANESE DOG PARK

SANFORD DOG PARK

The Sanford Dog Park was converted from a former ‘Jaycee Park’ following the community presenting a proposal for a Dog Park to the local Council. The park is fully fenced and includes meandering paved pathways allowing people with limited mobility to easily navigate the soft grounds, a fallen ‘clamber tree’, lighting, self-filling water bowls and a ‘misting tower’ tall enough for humans to walk under! The park is now a popular community gathering place well used by dog owners and non-dog owners alike.

SANFORD DOG PARK

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