Dog Parks Guide

Creating Dog Park Associations

An enthusiastic group of active dog park users and supporters is essential for the ongoing success of a dog park. An association sets up the park rules, contributes to the financial success of the park, ensures appropriate use, adequate maintenance and encourages the community's ongoing support. In a sense, association members act as guardians and promoters of the park.

An association can serve as a nonprofit source of funds for the land, equipment like tunnels and ramps, and maintenance costs. But individual members also have roles.

Members of the dog park group can demonstrate proper etiquette for dog owners and even correct negative behavior. For example, if a dog is acting aggressively, members can ask the owner and his or her dog to leave the park. Association members may hand out poop bags to other owners to remind them to clean up after their pets.

In addition, having an association member at the park regularly will help the group determine if the park is being properly maintained and that any waste is removed regularly.

Association members serve as a valuable liaison with the neighbors, town, city and county. This is important because if neighbors are complaining and the community doesn't understand the importance of the park to the community it serves, the park can be shut down.

Last but not least, members get to choose the dog park's name. For example, you may be able to accompany your canine friend to Pooch Park, Rover Run, Fido's Field or Hound Hill (for alliteration lovers).

If your dog has a leash in his or her mouth and is panting by your leg, check out the next section to find a dog park near you.