The ACT Government appreciates that dog owners are a substantial section of park users and pets are recognised for their physical and mental health benefits. Whilst encouraging dog walking, it is important to manage dogs in public spaces for the best outcomes for all park users.
A few helpful etiquette tips to make the most of your dog park visit.
Canberra’s dog parks make exercising your dog easy and enjoyable. Find one near you.
Fenced dog park locations
Know your dog
- Belconnen, Lake Ginninderra, Diddams Close
- Greenway, Lake Tuggeranong, Mortimer Lewis Drive
- Yarralumla, Park land, Weston Park
- Forde, Park land, Amy Ackman Drive
- Casey, Park land, Yeend Avenue, Springbank Rise
- O'Connor, Park land, Fairfax Street
- Duffy, Park land, Warragamba Avenue.
A map of where to take your dog in the ACT is available at the Dog Exercise Areas Map.
Dog park etiquette
- The first visit to a dog park can be stressful for both the dog and its owner. First-time visitors should consider visiting the park at non-peak times. Peak times are late afternoon to dark on weekdays and after 9.30 am on weekends. In time both you and your dog will come to enjoy this new experience.
- Not all dogs are suited to visiting a dog park. Dogs that are aggressive or overly shy should not be taken into the enclosure. If you take an aggressive dog into the enclosure you are risking harm to others and creating a potential liability for yourself.
- You should have full control of your dog and it should come when called.
- You should be able to read when your dog is hot, thirsty, aggressive, fearful or happy and act accordingly.
- If your dog is not well socialised with other dogs you will need to teach your dog how to behave appropriately at the park. Dogs that have not been well socialised will need to be carefully supervised to avoid aggression and inappropriate behaviour.
Key things to remember
- Where there are small and large dog enclosures, make sure you use the appropriate enclosure.
- Don't come into the enclosure if it is already crowded and leave immediately if you feel concerned about anything happening in the enclosure, or your dog's behaviour.
- When entering or leaving through the double gated transition area make sure there is nobody else already in this space. This will prevent the possibility of dogs escaping or fighting in this confined space.
- When entering the dog park, quickly move away from the entrance and into the open. This will help disperse dogs that may come to greet your dog so your dog will not feel cornered or threatened.
- Rather than staying in one place, keep moving around to reduce territorial behaviours.
- Stay alert and focussed on your dog at all times. Many people like to chat to the other dog owners. However, it is very important to keep an eye on your dog at all times.
- It is very likely there will be groups of dogs running around the park, which can quickly become a problem if not managed. Call your dog away as soon as you see any signs in any dog that they are no longer happy about the situation.
- Please bring plenty of bags and clean up after your dog, and clean up after others if you come across them.
- The drinking bowl has been designed to not retain water. This is to ensure it is not an attractor for snakes. If it is not draining effectively please take a moment to empty it once your dog has taken a drink.
- Body language – learn to read and respond to your dog's posture and body language.
- Packs – several dogs joining together as a pack can lead to problems. Lead your dog away from the group to a neutral area.
- Possession – dogs can protect their toys, treats and people. Shared toys can also lead to the spread of disease. Toys and food, with the exception of discrete small training treats, should not be brought into the enclosure.
- Behaviour – if at any time your dog becomes overly anxious, annoying or aggressive leave the park and come back another time.
- Control – dogs should be under the care of an owner who is at least 16 years old. They must be fully responsible for the actions of their dog at all times.
- Children – children in the enclosure should be supervised closely. Children under the age of 14 should not enter without an adult.
- Smoking – smoking is not allowed in the enclosure. Cigarette butts are potentially harmful if ingested by dogs.
- Dogs coming into the dog park must be registered, desexed (unless a permit has been issued), and fully vaccinated.
- Keep your dog under effective control and leave if it becomes aggressive.
- Clean up and place waste in the bins provided.
- Talk to other users before issues arise.
- Children are vulnerable to attack so please supervise them carefully.
- Keep the number of dogs you bring to two per owner preferably.
- Don't come into the park if your dog is unvaccinated, aggressive or on heat.
- Don't bring puppies that have not completed their vaccinations.
- Don't bring in food or toys.
- Don't bring in children under 14 without an adult.
- Don't let your dog crowd the gate.