When you hear the phrase “dog park,” you probably have a simple image in mind. However, a dog park can consist of a variety of things beyond just fenced-in running space. Why shouldn’t a dog park have more stimulating play features? Why shouldn’t it be nice for human visitors to look at?
The Vancouver Park Board recently sought out public feedback for their updates to the dog area in Coopers’ Park in North False Creek. Currently, the off-leash space there lacks amenities and well-maintained facilities. From the available suggestions, it seems they’re aiming for an ambitious redesign in addition to refurbishment.
The survey asks which play spaces residents would prefer for their dogs. Those under consideration include open areas for fetch and running, a designated sand digging area, and covered outdoor areas. They’re also considering designating separate areas for shy dogs, which could help those who tend to keep away from dog parks to avoid social interactions.
The park could also include agility features, like tunnels, ramps, boulders, poles, and other custom-designed equipment. Plus, water features will likely be included in the new design. Most pups can’t resist a sprinkler!
Regardless of what the park ends up looking like, it’s nice to consult dog parents about what they’d actually want. The Vancouver Park Board’s website summarizes its mission:
“Improvements to the OLA are guided by the People Parks & Dogs Strategy (2017), with the goal of creating a safe and engaging park space for people with and without dogs.”
The online survey will end on April 6, 2021, so Vancouver residents should fill it out ASAP. The feedback the Park Board receives will inform their summer design revisions, and ideally construction will begin as soon as winter.
Is The Dog Park Right For Your Dog?
No matter how lovely the features of a dog park are, some dogs are less suited than others for these play environments. If you have a fear-aggressive dog or one that doesn’t get along with other dogs, they should probably play elsewhere. Your dog should also know basic obedience commands, especially if the park is off-leash.
Some dog parks have separate areas for different sized dogs, but many do not. You should always stay with and keep an eye on your dog anyway, but consider whether the size of the other dogs in the park will be a problem for yours.
There are also many ways you can make sure the dog park is safe and fun for your dog. Lisa Marino, of Head of the Class Dog Training LLC in Winchester, Virginia says:
“One way dog owners can make the dog park a better experience is to not allow their dogs to congregate at entrances and exits. Often, owners let their dogs excitedly rush up to any new dog who comes in. If everyone called their dogs back so the new guy could come in and be released, they could greet more naturally instead of a mob scene.”
View our guide to dog park etiquette here.
H/T: Daily Hive