Dog Parks and Designated Off-Leash Areas

Find detailed dog park reviews that cover all the amenities, seasonal details, and tips and training you need to help you get the best off-leash dog park or off-leash trail experience for your best friend!

I cover both dog parks and designated off-leash areas (like off-leash trails) in depth – the full list of dog park reviews, tips, and guides can be browsed by location, by amenity or need.

Designated Off-Leash Areas and Dog Parks by Location

Designated Off-Leash Areas and Dog Parks by Amenity or Need

Private Dog Parks

Have you ever heard of private dog parks? Sniffspot is kind of like the Airbnb of dog parks. Essentially when you sign up for Sniffspot, you get to browse a number of privately-owned lands that people offer and rent out. Depending on where you live and the type of hosts, you can find some pretty amazing places that can offer agility courses or just vast fenced land for your pup to roam off-leash through.

Get a $5 USD credit when you sign up using my link.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Parks

Look – I get that for many pet owners, dog parks and off-leash spaces can be a controversial topic. Depending on who you ask, some people completely stray away from them because of the rising number of aggression from reactive dogs or poorly trained pups.

My take? As long as you’re aware of the dog park dangers, and you’re doing your best to visit at off-peak hours, I think that the benefits of a dog park or off-leash space are worth it – especially for dog owners that live in cramped cities with little to no backyard space of their own.

To be honest, it depends on the dog park’s location, the type of dogs that visit the dog park and whether every owner and dog can follow good dog park etiquette. Personally, I’d say that if you regularly visit during off-peak hours in a relatively empty dog park, then yes – I’d say it’s okay to take your dog to the dog park every day.

However, if you live in an area with a busy dog park, or you can only visit during peak hours, or you see recurring poor etiquette and behaviours at the dog park, then visiting a dog park every day can actually be detrimental to your dog’s well-being. You might actually see your dog become over-stimulated, and engage in “over-arousal” type of play (i.e. pushy, increased barking, snappy, or forceful play).

Most dogs can happily enjoy staying at a dog park for a couple of hours – but some of your visits can be as little as a few seconds! Exactly how long you can stay at the dog park can depend on a number of factors including:

  • the weather
  • your dog’s fur type (which can help determine whether it’s too hot for your dog to play or if it’s too cold for your pup to hang outside)
  • your dog’s age
  • your dog’s reactive and social behaviour (you know your dog best so watch for how your pup interacts with the others in the area)
  • how many dogs are in the dog park (if there’s more than 4 – most dogs tend to find it too crowded and uncomfortable unless it’s a massive off-leash space)
  • whether there’s extra lighting (for early morning or late evening play)