Looking for dog park ideas

Dog park rules

Dr Jo & Chilli read the rules

I recently visited a dog park with a difference. One that my dog loved. My kids loved. I loved. Even though it was 3.5 hours away from my home!

It was a cold, wet, blustery day and we were looking for something to entertain children and dogs on holiday. Tuncurry Beach Street Reserve dog park has a permanent agility course built in. Perfect – for the dog who has had two lessons in agility!

We each took Chilli over every peace of equipment and she loved it. Wouldn’t it be good to have something like this close to us in Sydney. Ok – so there may be potential problems – noise? maintenance? dog fights? owner fights? injury? Ok it’s not for every dog but neither are dog parks in general.

Think of the positives. Something for dogs and their owners to do. Rather than simply concentrating on mixing with other dogs, dogs could be given a job to do – learn the agility track.

So why not – as this park has done, get a sponsor on board to help with setting up and maintenance costs and provide parks like this one for owners and their dogs to have fun together.

Do you have a dog park with a difference near you? If you do, please tell us about it. If not, what would you like to see in a dog park near you.

Here are some more photos of us and Chilli dog having fun…

Weaving poles
Over the bridge
Dog park
In the tunnel
Please share with your friends


  1. I live in Melbourne and most of our off-leash parks are sports ovals (although Ruffey Lake Park is a good one in Box Hill).

    A good dog park should be large (at least the size of a cricket oval, but ideally twice that at least), fully fenced with ‘dog-proof’ security, and have large open areas for fetching balls as well as wooded areas for dogs that like to potter around or sniff trees. A body of water would be a bonus for dogs that love to swim around. Dog parks should also have a few rubbish bins scattered around the perimeter, and have poo bags available for use, as people sometimes run out. It would also be a good idea to have a small portion of the park separated for use by small or infirm dogs who may not be able to handle rough play with boisterous young large-breed dogs.

  2. @JoanneRighetti I wish our dog parks had good agility features. Our are clean, fenced and double gated, but just a large grass area. Sigh.

  3. I’d be THRILLED if there was a fenced dog park in my area (Newcastle).
    The agility /activites idea is great. Bins, seats, poop scoops/bags, shaded area, water area, little/ infirm dog area … these are all bonuses 🙂
    Leicardt in Sydney has an off-leash park with a cafe (Bones) that also serves food/drink for dogs …. we loved that.

  4. Thanks for your comments Raelee. I guess we are looking at the evolution of dog parks. What we consider bonuses right now – the bins, water, fending etc should really become standards and the bonuses are things likes agility or logs. And every dog park needs a Cafe Bones but I think i’m living in dream world for that wish!!! Jo

  5. Thanks ‘Off-Leash’. It’s a good resource to have http://www.offleash.com.au. I have over 20 official dog off leash areas in my local council region but very few are anything other than a flat oval. I would love to get sponsors involved in designing something a little more creative. Just one more project to think about 🙂

  6. My husband and myself were discussing this recently. We had dreams of setting up a dog park in our area. One with benches and a coffee cart for the people. We don’t even have a fenced one in the Blue Mountains that I know of and they often have to share sports areas (only when sports are not in progress). One of our dogs would just run and not stop if we let him off lead in these areas.
    So many people seem a bit anti-dog and there is not enough socialisation allowed.
    Would love to visit the Tuncurry one. Sounds great.

  7. Sam it would be good to have a park like this in your area. I guess the main problem is maintenance and insurance – who pays. Most councils are unwilling or unable to spend big dollars. We can only work towards our goals and never give up. Dog owners need to prove that well behaved dogs and their owners (although no one is perfect) come from adequate exercise and fun 🙂

  8. Hi Joanne, do you think a dog park complete with a cafe such as that of Cafe Bones would work in Tuncurry? Just wondering because the population is not as big as Sydney and if there would be enough people to support this dog park should there be one started by a private establishment.

  9. Hi Shoba, I think dog cafes such as Cafe Bones are great but need to be carefully managed. Cafe Bones, for instance, is in a dog park, one that does not duplicate as a sports ground after school or at weekends, as most parks do in Sydney.

    However, as a “sports mum” and “dog mum”, I would happily have a cafe at all venues! I think the key would be frequent traffic so a survey of dog owners in your area, then choosing the best venue would be the way to go. Rest assured, I’d come for coffee 🙂 Jo

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