|some dogs may be intimidated by
large groups of dogs
||if your dog is small and/or shy,
he may feel intimidated by large groups of larger dogs. Dogs
sometimes know that another dog is less confident and may chase or pester
that dog. It is up to the owners to manage their dogs. The
dominating dog should be controlled and corrected and the intimidated dog
may feel more secure and happier in either the small dog areas or in
another setting. I also advise that you not bring dogs like this
into the park at the busy times.
there is potential for dogs to fight
||when dogs play and are running and
jumping in groups or packs, there is always potential for the activity to
get out of hand and fighting may occur. Dogs may also fight to
That is why the owners MUST be watching over their dogs at all
times. There have been relatively few incidents in the parks since they
first opened but there have been fights between dogs with a few resulting
in one or both dogs requiring medical attention. In each case the
dogs were kept away from the parks for some time and then brought back in
on leash and kept under tight control by their owners. All of the
dogs have been able to return and no further occurrences have been
In another situation, an owner was allowing his very large dog to
dominate other dogs without exercising any control over the dog. He
was asked to leave the park unless he controlled his dog. He refused
and a fight occurred between the owner and a park user. As the dog
owner then removed his dog, his dog bit him in the hand, requiring him to
have several stitches. Interestingly, initial first aid was
administered by the park user involved in the argument. This dog and
owner have been banned totally from the off-leash parks.
|there is a potential for dogs to
bite adults or children
||Anyone entering an off-leash park
assumes some risk in doing so. You will be with a large group of
dogs, many of whom you do not know.
Parents are asked to watch their children carefully and to ensure that
your child knows how to approach unknown dogs. It is not advisable
to bring very young children when the park is very busy as they can be
knocked over by running dogs.
Parents should know that there is potential for dogs to jump on adults
and children. There are children at many of the parks and from time
to time the parents have had to be told to keep better control of their
children as their behaviour has been unacceptable.
These are NOT children's playgrounds. they are DOG parks. As the
operators tell dog owners "Your children are always welcomes long as
you keep them under your control at all times"
There have been no incidents of a dog biting a human, with the
exception of the dog that bit his owner as noted above.
|there are piles of dog feces in
||If everyone picked up after their
dogs, we wouldn't have this problem. Most off-leash park owners are
very responsible about cleanups. Bags and waste bins are abundant in
the parks and owners are notified if their dog is seen "pooping"
in the park and the owner hasn't seen it.
The reality is that not everyone does cleanup after their dog and
regular park users can be seen doing daily rounds picking up after other
dogs. We appreciate this but would rather see everyone responsible
for their own dog's messes.
My Parks staff report that the off-leash parks are considerably cleaner
and freer from feces than the local parks in the community.
|some owners don't control their
||This is true. Just as there
are owners who do not control their dogs in local parks, so too there are
some who behave this way in the off-leash parks. The clubs do not
tolerate this and have the authority to ask the owner to leave the park
and may ban future use if the rules are not adhered to.
Owners who let their dogs chase, pester, dominate or annoy other dogs
without taking any action to control their dog fall into this
category. We ask park users to report these owners to the operating
committee to take action.
|with so many dogs playing
together, there is potential for my dog to pick up diseases
||Yes there is. In any
situation where there are a lot of dogs that you don't know, there is that
potential. It is up to the owners to make sure that their own dogs
are healthy before taking them to an off-leash park (or any
Some of the diseases that may be transmitted through feces or from
other dogs include Parvo, Lepto, tapeworm, giarrdia. I advise that
you talk to your vet before bringing your dog to the park and take
whatever precautions she advises to protect your own dog. If your
dog is sick, DO NOT take him to the off-leash at any time in case his
illness can be transmitted to other dogs.
Fortunately there have been no reported cases of any of these diseases
from dogs using the parks regularly.
|these parks are adding to my tax costs
||all of the park costs are borne by the users through
fundraising and membership fees.
The City has up-fronted costs and every penny has been paid back in record
time. This is the only group that pays totally for park
|the off-leash parks are reducing regular park space
||In the case of most of the off-leash areas, this isn't
true. In the others, the park area was being used by dog owners before
they were legalized. The by-law made them safer for everyone.
Council recognized that dog owners have a right to useable park areas as
does everyone else. They are paying for the privilege of having a
special place to exercise their dogs.