It is surprising how much a dog owner needs to do to get things worked out. I mean, when I didn’t have a dog I moved where I wanted. Now I need to look for a new apartment. When I was dog-less I didn’t realize the benefits of now sinking ankle deep in poop laced mud in the spring. None of it ever even crossed my mind.
Now these are things that I put stock into.
So here are some tips on finding a fitting dog park. Maybe I will look at going over some of the better local dog parks. Till then….
My favorite dog park is a long, narrow and winding one. This is great because I don’t see the entrances from all points in the park, and the design allows most dogs enough space for traveling instead of concentrating at the entrance. There is a road that runs the length of the park from the entrances at each end and at intervals along the edge of the park. There is a built-in dog water fountain near the main entrance. Which is partially in the shade in the summer. This is a nice feature. The trees are planted so that the shade in the summer months and sun in the winter. The main path is paved for high traffic, but it has a grassy area on the side. There is a separate small area for small dogs, which keeps most of the defensive/aggressive dogs from wrestling with my baby.
My least favorite dog park, at least it is designated as one, is a small square with no shadow insight and in the summer is almost unusable. All dogs are directly in front of the entrance at all times, so they are strained as soon as you meet them. Most of the dogs are near the entrance, waiting for the newcomers. It was once grassy, but worn to dirt. In the rain, it becomes a mud pool and you will sink in (poor drainage). Mud breeds mosquitoes. Nasty.
They both have 4 ft chain link fence. Both have a Chamber-style door, so you have to go through two doors to enter/exit. This style of door is superb for preventing escape, allowing you to get rid of the dog before entering/exiting. Both have their rules clearly posted at the entrance (dogs must be healthy and licensed, no aggressive dogs, must be under the supervision of the owner, the owner must have a leash, the owner must clean up dog waste, etc.). They both have several bins of garbage on the site for poop disposal.
I saw that they had added fine grains of gravel and stone dust, used as a substrate to prevent muddy surfaces since my last visit but it still isn’t that hot. However I have heard from other dog owners that it seems to work pretty well. Mulch works for a while, until it broke up in the dirt. But grass is the best, especially if the park is in a large enough space.