Dog Parks In DC

When I was out for Happy Hour on Friday, my friend Ben was telling me a tale of woe of how he was nearly arrested when he and a friend had taken a dog out to a local park and let it off the leash to run around. I was astounded to hear that there were few, if any, dog parks in the District, and that police, having solved all other crimes, had resorted to harassing dog owners in a park.

Today, however, is a good day for dog owners in the District, as the City Council voted to allow dog parks on city- and federally-owned park land. No word yet as to where some candidates would be, where would you put a dog park in DC?

9 Comments so far

  1. Gabe (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 8:32 pm

    I’d put a dog park right in the national mall in front of the Smithsonian castle.

    Or not.

    Jeeze, there’s a ton of places I’d put a dog park in DC.

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    There are a ton of places, but which of them are GOOD places, Gabe?

  3. Lisa (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 1:11 am

    There are plenty of dog parks in DC – they are private and locked and for the use of those who pay for and maintain them… which is a great thing. My tax dollars don’t need to pay for stinky, shitting, biting, nasty dogs to have a place to play because their owners didn’t think about the logistics of having a large dog in a 500 sq. foot apartment…

    I feel sorry for the dogs, but don’t think giving their owners the run of publicly funded parks is the answer.

  4. andy (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 11:34 am

    There is a wonderful off-the-leash dog park in Adams Morgan ( located near the calvert bridge.

  5. Michelle (unregistered) on October 1st, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

    I think dog parks in DC would be a great addition to an already wonderful city. I just moved back to DC from Seattle – where dog parks are plentiful and well cared for. The dog parks there are typiclaly located on city park land but the users of the dog parks volunteer their time and money to keep the parks maintained. The parks range from regular sized abandoned lots to multiple mile long trails. Some even have access to dog beaches (dogs are not allowed on public beaches in Seattle). Check out the seattle parks dog park website at for more information.
    Also, dogs are den animals and actually do quite well in small apartments (even big dogs). Dogs who live in apartments probably get even more exercise then dogs who have big yards to run in because the reality is that they don’t really run around in them. Taking you dog out for walks (regardless of what size house you live in) is a great way to socialize them with people and teach them the proper way to behave in public.
    Dog parks are good for exercise but also very important for socialization. In DC, like most places, dogs spand a great deal of time on leashes or behind fences and this alone can make dogs appear aggressive. When you allow dogs to run leash free with other dogs you will acutally see a decrease in those behaviors.

  6. Daniel (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2005 @ 2:24 am

    Finally DC joins the ranks of civilized cities around the USA and the world that provide places for dogs to romp.

    The benighted comments from “Lisa” make me laugh.

    My dog does not stink, her waste is always cleaned up, and she is nearly through her puppy years without having bitten anyone– despite spending the first months of life as a starving, terrified, sickly rescue dog.

    The size of one’s home should not prevent dog ownership, any more than it should prevent parenthood or restrict our other dreams.

    Children are also fit Lisa’s colorfully derogatory description. Should we refuse to spend tax dollars to provide parks for parents who don’t move to the suburbs?

    For that matter, all of us come pretty close to fitting her description. Why should government dollars be spent to provide recreational space and waste removal for us humans? Why not make all parks and flush toilets a profit center for corporations?

    Feeling sorry for DCs dogs is a waste of perfectly good pity better spent writing a check to help the people of the New Orleans and their pets.

    Virtually all the DC dogs I’ve met are happy, well-adjusted, and just as deserving of public park space as their owners and tax-paying humans.

  7. Jonah Gelbach (unregistered) on October 31st, 2005 @ 4:22 pm

    I’d definitely put one in the little park at the triangle between 17th, New Hampshire, and S St NW


  8. Camie (unregistered) on November 15th, 2005 @ 5:23 pm

    I realize that this comment comes nearly two months after the original post, but is there a directory where current dog parks in DC are listed?? How would one become more involved in finding new locations for dog parks? I am new to the district area (not to mention life with a dog in small apartment) and would like to find an area where my dog can play:)

  9. Kat (unregistered) on November 27th, 2005 @ 10:03 am

    this website lists about 30 dogparks in DC.
    you can also try google for other DC metro areas. Our favorite dog park is Quiet Waters in Annapolis. It has two fenced in off-leash parks, plenty of walking trails for leashed dogs, and a dog beach.

    Quiet Waters info can be found at


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