Dog Parks & Dog Beaches in Canada
FIND A LOCAL DOG PARK
Western Canada - dog-friendly trails, parks, off-leash areas and beaches
Central Canada - dog-friendly trails, parks, off-leash areas and beaches
The Maritimes - dog-friendly trails, parks, off-leash areas and beaches
The Territories - dog-friendly trails, parks, off-leash areas and beaches
Many dog owners love to watch their dogs run and play with other dogs.
Off-leash dog parks and dog beaches are popular
for this very reason - cheerful dogs romping around, socializing
with their canine pals, is a sight that makes many a dog owner's heart happy.
Leash-free parks can be a great resource for dog owners, and for their dogs
who can enjoy some freedom and extra exercise. But off-leash dog parks aren't
suitable for every dog (or for every owner). In particular, small, fenced areas
with lots of loose dogs sporting many different personalities can be overwhelming
and stressful for many dogs. Don't force the issue; if your dog isn't comfortable
with these types of parks or dog-to-dog interactions, don't go - there are other
options like off-leash trails (unfenced), leashed walks and hikes, supervised dog
daycares, and dog sports like dog agility or flyball. All of these options can
provide both physical and mental stimulation, and result in a well-exercised and
If you do decide to visit off-leash dog parks & dog beaches (find one),
please observe the following dog park etiquette tips.
DOG PARK ETIQUETTE
- PAY ATTENTION. Your dog is your responsibility. Too many
times, dogs get into trouble while their owners are busy doing something else. It's
tempting to stand around and chat with other dog owners, or catch up on your voice
mails or texts, but every owner needs to watch their dogs for signs of stress or
aggression, and must be ready to take appropriate steps. This is for the safety of
everyone at the park - including your own dog!
- Keep your pet on leash if there isn't a sign stating that dogs may run off-leash.
- Always carry a leash even in a leash-free area. You never know when you may need it.
- Don't let your dog intimidate, pester or harass other dogs (or people).
Even if you think your dog is being friendly, at
the first sign that the other dog (or person) is feeling annoyed, stressed or
uncomfortable, recall your dog and keep him engaged with you for a few moments
(to let him calm down) before releasing him to play again. If he continues to
repeat the behaviour, it's time to leave the park.
- Make sure your dog has a good recall, even with distractions.
- Always keep your dog close and within sight. Ideally, your dog
would be close enough for you to quickly intervene should you need to.
- Don't bring sick dogs to the dog park. Contagious dogs can infect other dogs;
and dogs who are feeling ill or who have been weakened by illness could be
injured by the rough-and-tumble play-styles of other dogs in the park.
- Don't bring female dogs in heat to the dog park.
- Don't bring young puppies. Their immune systems are not yet fully developed.
- Never bring more dogs than you can handle if a situation were to arise.
- Dog parks aren't typically a suitable environment for children. If children
are permitted within the park, they should be accompanied by an adult.
- Don't bring toys - they may cause guarding or territorial issues.
- If your dog starts behaving aggressively, leash him immediately and leave.
- Leash-free areas are not suitable for aggressive dogs.
- If you notice other dogs (or owners) behaving in a way that makes you or your dog
uncomfortable, leave immediately.
- No digging! Fill in any holes your dog has created. No one wants to trip in a hole
and potentially sprain or break something.
- Respect the rules of the dog park. Many parks have signage at the entrance that
clearly states the rules.
- Clean up after your dog... every time!
- Always be present and attentive. It bears stating
one more time - your dog relies on you to keep him safe.
In Canada, dogs are usually permitted in most regional,
provincial, and national parks, but must be leashed.
Signs are generally posted where dogs are not permitted in
these parks (for example, in environmentally-sensitive areas).
Likewise, signs are posted to indicate "off-leash"
areas. Dogs are generally not permitted on public beaches
except where posted. If in doubt, contact the park office.