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Dog Park Study

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Dog Park Study was approved by City Council on January 22, 2019.

Please visit our public input website to view the document, leave comments, and to stay up to date on Pups in the Park events.

Thank you for being part of the 2018 Raleigh Dog Park Study! We met more than 4,000 people (and their pups!) at our dog park events. 1,500 of you shared your ideas and opinions in our community survey. Now we have incorporated your ideas into a long-range plan that will guide the development of dog parks in Raleigh for years to come.

The 2018 Dog Park Study is a comprehensive approach to address the need for dog parks throughout the City of Raleigh. Based on citizen feedback, spatial data analysis, and a review of nationwide trends in dog park planning, we will develop a strategy to create safe and engaging park spaces for people with (and without) dogs.

This study includes analysis of the geographic distribution of dog parks throughout the city, opportunities & access in urban as well as suburban areas, and potential tools to encourage publicly accessible dog runs as part of new development. We will also be launching a pilot program of pop-up dog parks, to test the idea of providing temporary off-leash areas to meet dog park needs where space for permanent dog parks is not available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hours of the dog park?
Dog parks are open seven days a week, sunrise to sunset. Any changes to the hours of service for any reason will be posted at the park, and updated to the Parks Status page.

Is the park supervised?
No. Owners and handlers are responsible for their dogs and their dog’s behavior at all times. It will be up to the users of the dog parks to ensure that the rules are being followed. The Raleigh Police Department will monitor the dog parks on a periodic basis.

What are the dog park rules?
Dog park rules are posted at the entrance of all our dog parks. Familiarizing yourself with these rules is an important first step toward guaranteeing a safe and positive experience.

Are all breeds of dog welcome?
All dogs, regardless of breed, are welcome as long as they are spayed or neutered, and their shot records are up-to-date. However, if any dog becomes aggressive, its owner must remove the dog immediately.

How many pets can I have?
No more than three dogs are permitted, per handler, at one time. It is very difficult for one person to effectively control and supervise more than three dogs at once. If you have more than three dogs and wish to use our dog parks, we recommend that you bring a friend or family member to assist you.

Is my dog required to have a city license?
No. The City of Raleigh does not require dog owners to apply for a City pet license.

Can I keep my dog on a leash?
All dogs must be on a leash until they are inside the dog park entrance and the gate has closed behind them. However, as a precaution, we require all owners and handlers to unleash their dogs in the enclosed, double-gated holding pen at the entrance before they enter the dog-run area. This is designed to ensure that off-leash dogs do not scare a leashed dog by running up and saying hello!

What should I do about aggressive dogs?
First, remove your dog from the situation immediately. When it is safe, report the incident to community center staff and call 9-1-1, if an emergency. If you do not believe the area is safe, or feel that your request has not been handled satisfactorily, call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-831-6311. It is expected of patrons to work with each other in a friendly, respectful manner to keep the park safe for all.

What should I do if someone is bitten at the park? 
Dog bites are rare at Dog Parks, especially if users are following all the rules. But in the event of a dog bite, there are three things you should do:

  • Immediately provide medical attention, if necessary. If the bite(s) are serious, call 9-1-1.
  • Record the identity of the dog and its owner.
  • Report the incident to community center staff or call Animal Control at 919-996-1449. 

If I observe a problem in the park, what should I do?

  • For maintenance, please call: 919-996-4115
  • For disruptive dogs, please call: 919-996-1449
  • For an emergency, please call: 9-1-1

Can I bring toys, food, and furniture into dog parks?
Toys, food, and treats are NOT permitted inside the off-leash area as it can trigger aggressive behavior between dogs. Outside furniture, including lawn chairs, are also prohibited. 

Can a newborn puppy come to the dog park?
No. Puppies under four months of age have not received all the necessary vaccinations. Consequently, their immune systems are vulnerable to potentially dangerous forms of bacteria from other dogs.  

Is there an area for shy or small dogs? 
Yes! Oakwood, Millbrook, Buffaloe Road, and Carolina Pines Park are divided into two size-appropriate areas – one for smaller pooches (30 pounds and less), and the other for larger canines (more than 30). Jaycee Park’s Dog Run, however, has no such restriction, therefore allowing all dogs regardless of size to play together in a shared space. 

Does the park provide waste bags for clean up? 
Yes. All of the City of Raleigh dog park facilities offer bags and a place to deposit waste at each site.