Home > Announcement, Cultural Movement, Dog park, Parks and Recreation > Traverse City has a dog park!

Traverse City has a dog park!

A community-supported blogthank you.

Beagle looking for a friend

Thank you to John at Compass Fencing Co., Traverse City’s first off-leash is now properly fenced off and ready for use. To come during the next few months is installation of waste stations, benches, a sidewalk, a few trees, signage, and water stations. The City is still looking for sponsors/donors (PDF) for waste stations and the drinking fountains (in and out of the enclosure). Contributions of $100 or more are recognized on the donor list (TCDogpark) that will be posted at the park. 

Also in process is the naming of both the park and the enclosure. Traverse City’s Parks and Recreation Commission considered dozens of entries mailed into the City and for the enclosure has narrowed it down to Wags West, The Bone Yard, and ParK-9Any preference? The commission will make a recommendation at the September meeting.

Best practice

As a reminder, while the final touches are made to the park, volunteers are asking visitors to be extra mindful to be responsible caretakers of the park. There are bound to be some hiccups along the way, so it’s key to stay calm and carry on if issues arise. This park is and will continue to be a community effort.

The guidelines (link to download, also published below) were written to decrease the opportunity for conflict, but certainly won’t stop all of it. Of main concern is safety and it is critical to understand that not all canine disagreements are aggressive in nature. If two dogs tangle and it escalates, stay calm and use a relaxed but commanding voice to stop the fight. Excited and volatile screaming by the human only adds to the excitement and tension. The park is a great opportunity to ultimately be a better owner and have a more balanced canine friend.

Until we have a local version, this video by Better.tv is a good introduction to good dog park practice:

Most importantly, go enjoy some socialization and exercise with your four and two-legged friends.

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Dog Park Rules and Regulations

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Introduction

The following guidelines were established by researching best practices in other dog parks around the country and public review through the Traverse City Parks and Recreation Commission. These guidelines are in addition to other City, County or State rules and regulations administering pet ownership, health, and safety, as well as maintenance and noise control in City Parkland.

The guidelines are to ensure well-maintained space that will contribute to both the quality of life and economic vitality of the City. Park users are expected to show a strong commitment to the park, by taking ownership of its care to meet the needs of dog owners and non-dog owners alike. Through this collective effort the dog park will continue to be a valuable service to the community. If you see someone not following the rules, please remind them this is a shared space with shared responsibilities.

Guidelines:

  • Users of the park enter at their own and their dog’s risk of enjoyment and injury.
  • The individual accompanying the dog to the park will be considered the owner for purposes of these guidelines.
  • Owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs. Keep dogs close-by and under control. If reasonable control is not possible, do not enter the enclosed areas.
  • Dog owners assume any liability for any injury or damage to any person, animal or property caused by their dog{s) or themselves.
  • The City of Traverse City does not assume any liability for any injury or damage to any person, animal or property resulting from use of the dog park and waives no Immunities granted by law.
  • Owners must clean up after their dogs. Numerous waste stations have been included in the park for your convenience.
  • Before entering, please be sure your dog is calm and balanced. Many dogs would benefit from a long walk before entering the enclosure.
  • Do not enter through the second gate with the leash on your dog.
  • Both gates must be closed and latched after entering or exiting the area.
  • Please carry a leash at all times.
  • Under no circumstance should dogs be left unattended.
  • Dogs must be properly licensed, healthy, and have current vaccinations.
  • All dogs must wear a collar, ID and current registration tags.
  • No puppies under 16 weeks old or dogs in heat are allowed in the enclosures.
  • Be considerate to the neighbors. Dogs that continually bark may need to be muzzled or removed. Please be particularly aware of noise around the quiet hours of mornings and evenings.
  • Children under 14-years old may not enter the enclosures without adult supervision.
  • Infants or small children are strongly discouraged from entering the off-leash areas.
  • Do not bring strollers or other wheeled devices into the enclosures.
  • There is a limit of 3 dogs per adult user in each enclosed area at anyone time.
  • Use common sense concerning the number of dogs in the enclosed areas at one time. If the park seems crowded, wait until a dog leaves before entering.
  • Dogs displaying aggressive or under-socialized behavior must be controlled or removed.
  • Smoking, eating, dog food, rawhides, and glass containers are prohibited in the enclosures.
  • Digging is not allowed. Please do not allow your dog to tear up the grounds.
  • The smaller enclosure of the park is for dogs under 25-lbs only.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the adjacent playground or tennis court areas.
  • Off-leash applies only within the enclosed areas.
  • Professional training classes are not allowed in the dog park.
  • Please leave the park better than you found it.

 

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