Where are the secret off leash dog parks?

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  • #608574

    Ive got a barking and lunging lunatic of a puppy on my hands. She is displaying these behaviors based on the frustration the leash causes when she is not able to immediately play with other dogs. She is a great player, its just getting to the dog calmly which is the problem. Im looking for some “secret” off leash locations where well behaved dogs congregate so I can work with her reactivity while the dogs are doing their thing (playing ball, sniffing grass, fetching sticks, etc).

    (Yes, we will be obeying the law and have a leash on at all times, Im just looking for law breakers right now to help her understand that she needs to stay calm in all different types of environments.)

    I refuse to go to city off leash parks due to the fact that I get emails from people trying to socialize their dog-dog aggressive dogs at the local dog parks and once theyve had a bad experience, they look to me to help them. Additionally most of the time people in the off leash dog parks spend a great deal of the time NOT watching their dogs.

    At least with a secret off leash locations people actually have to pay attention to what their dog is doing. Additionally secret off leash areas have a higher rate of dogs doing what their owners have asked them to rather than blowing them off (something seen all the time in the off leash dog parks).

    I cant believe Im about to ask this but… West Seattle dog peeps, in which parks do you most frequently see the off leash rule breakers?

    Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS

    Director of Training and Behavior

    Service Dog Academy – http://www.servicedogacademy.com

    Diabetic Alert Dog University – http://www.diabeticalertdoguniversity.com

    #795607

    sna
    Participant

    I see people at Hamilton Viewpoint all day long with off leash dogs.

    #795608

    kayo
    Participant

    Lincoln Park.

    #795609

    jissy
    Participant

    The old Genessee Elementary play field

    #795610

    Swamp Thing
    Member

    EC Hughes and the grassy area on the south side of West Seattle High School (as a bonus it is fenced).

    #795611

    Elizagrace
    Participant

    “Secret” off leash parks? I must be misunderstanding, are you asking for a park that requires (by law) dogs to be on a leash but people blatantly ignore that rule, and that would make it a “secret” park?

    I am confused and befuddled.

    And Kayo, please do not recommend Lincoln park as a “secret” off leash park. Not only is this a huge issue for people on the top of the park, but it has also become a real problem for seals at the beach – where people must think it is a “secret” off leash beach.

    I am sure as a dog trainer who is concerned about safety of animals and people you would be using the off leash socializing in a responsible way, but you would be the minority.

    Please don’t promote this idea of a “secret” off leash park. There are either designated off leash parks/areas or there are not.

    #795612

    JoB
    Participant

    Elizagrace

    i find it helpful to know where people are habitually letting their dogs go unleashed regardless of whether the area is a designated off leash area or not.

    i lets me know where it is unsafe to walk my leashed dogs

    #795613

    Elizagrace
    Participant

    JoB I am with you in the sense that it would be nice to know where these places are for the safety of leashed animals.

    However, even better if we didn’t perpetuate the idea that it is ok by encouraging other people to do it.

    #795614

    linda
    Participant

    I just re-read the original post carefully and I don’t believe the intent is to promote illegal off leash areas. The OP is just asking if folks know where this activity is already occurring regularly so she can take advantage of an existing situation. Her post seems to me to make it clear she does not agree with this activity but in this case, needs the situation for training purposes.

    That being said, I see people letting their dogs off leash all the time in Lincoln park in a meadow south of the ballpark and play area. A lot of the time they are throwing balls or Frisbees for the dogs. And unfortunately, I also run into a lot of folks allowing their dogs off leash on the paths in Lincoln Park as well.

    #795615

    SarahScoot
    Participant

    Elizagrace, did you read the OP?

    “Yes, we will be obeying the law and have a leash on at all times, Im just looking for law breakers right now to help her understand that she needs to stay calm in all different types of environments.”

    She wants to expose the dogs to other dogs that are off leash but (theoretically) well-controlled by their owners, so as not to expose the leashed dog to a dangerous situation, but to get it used to being around free-roaming dogs even when it is leashed. Those unleashed dogs will be at the park whether or not the OP is, so she’s not exacerbating any problem.

    #795616

    KBear
    Participant

    Mary, I would urge you to reconsider your aversion to the official off-leash parks. We, too, avoided them after some bad experiences (at least one of which was our own dog’s fault.) But since we got our new dog, we’ve been going regularly, and it’s been great. Yes, the bad things you mention do occur, but in our experience they are not the norm. Most of the people DO pay attention to their dogs, and bad behavior is disrupted when it occurs.

    Westcrest is large enough to offer a variety of scenarios in which dogs can meet. It’s not like you have to encounter all the dogs at the park at once. There’s the wooded trail, where you usually see one or two dogs at a time. There’s the small/shy dog enclosure. There’s the walk between the parking lot and the gate. It’s not always crowded. There are times when there are only a few people and dogs there.

    Also, some of the “unofficial” areas are officially off-limits to ALL dogs, leashed or not. By using the official off-leash park, you’ll be unambiguously promoting good dog citizenship.

    #795617

    datamuse
    Participant

    There’s the wooded trail, where you usually see one or two dogs at a time.

    My understanding is that the trails are not part of the off-leash area, not that you’d know by how many people let their dogs loose there…

    #795618

    Elizagrace
    Participant

    I did read the OP. I guess I took it to a more underlying issue of having dogs off leash areas in our parks/neighborhoods in general.

    As a frequent Lincoln Park walker and a neighbor (yes, we live on the park) I will say that more often than not the dogs that are off leash are not well controlled by their owners, some are, but the majority aren’t.

    We have had more interactions with dogs that are running so far ahead of their owners we can’t even see an owner. We have had dogs frighten the crap out of little kids when the dog shows their excitement to see a “playmate” I have seen dogs run up to sniff seals on the beach, we have had dogs run through our freshly planted grass/flower beds/veg garden, we have had dogs run up onto our porch and take things from it to play fetch, we have had dogs walk right into our living room when we leave a dog open to enjoy the evening sun. We have even had to take our cat to the vet for nearly $2000 in surgery costs because an off leash dog was “playing” and broke the head of her femur and hip, while she was on our porch.

    If they were on their required leash most of these issues would be non-existent.

    I was just looking at this as a bigger problem of people blatantly ignoring the leash laws in our parks all over Seattle, and how it can be a huge nuisance to lots of people.

    I can only say that my experience has been as an outsider and someone who owns a cat that has no interest in being socialized. :)

    #795619

    KBear
    Participant

    Datamuse, there is a short trail WITHIN the off-leash area. Also, Mary was asking where she could take her leashed dog.

    #795620

    cakeitseasy
    Member

    I don’t understand why OP would need to ask where “secret” off leash areas are. There are no “secret” areas. Uncivil scofflaws can be found just about anywhere…I don’t think they congregate in one place or another. I was left with the impression that by “secret” OP means a place where breaking the law is overlooked. What the motive is behind that, I won’t judge (but I do have my druthers).

    #795621

    seaopgal
    Participant

    I would suggest finding some friends with dogs and a fenced yard.

    #795622

    Ms. Sparkles
    Participant

    I live near WS HS and see the dogs in that “secret” offleash area often, and because it’s mostly fenced in, the dogs there seem to be well controled.

    #795623

    librarian
    Member

    Please, please do not go to a school playground. Children play on them! Dogs pee, poop, then children play there. Yuck. I know you scoop, everyone does. But I am sure not every particle is scooped!

    #795624

    inactive
    Member

    Well, shoot on a stick. I apologize for my original post I just deleted. No excuse other than I read only the OP without eating all day. Skipped over the first sentence of the second graph comPLETEly and there you have low blood sugar super-duper stupidz episode.

    I plead hypoglycemia.

    Or is it hyper-? ;)

    PS. I just had lunch. Lucky for all, eh? :/

    #795625

    todd_
    Member

    Unfortunately, it seems any patch of grass larger than ones yard is a defacto “secret” off leash dog park in WS. People are ignorant of the law or just don’t care because they know the odds are Animal Control is not staffed to enforce the influx of people with pets in WS.

    .

    Dog poo is a problem in parks and on school grounds even though everyone claims to be a responsible dog owner. Keep your dog on a leash and pick up the poo if you are in a park. And if you are on an organized athletic field, beach, or childrens play structure you cannot have your dog with you even if it is on a leash.

    .

    I think this is a good idea:

    http://living.msn.com/family-parenting/pets/off-the-leash-blog-post?post=1cdba532-935c-405f-b8e7-303de21bef57

    #795626

    kayo
    Participant

    Oh, for heaven’s sake, I was not promoting Lincoln Park as a secret off leash area. I read the post and she asked where she could find dogs off leash for her dog to interact with for training purposes. Unfortunately, I see many off leash dogs there every time I go for a walk myself. It is definitely not a choice I made or would make to walk my own dog there off leash, but the reality is that many others do make that choice whether you agree with it or not. So thanks for the chastising, but that is what I was responding to. I can understand and respect the OP’s original request to want to be a responsible dog owner and train her puppy to behave well when confronted with an off leash dog. Goodness knows there are lots of them out there and it is something you encounter and have to deal with as a dog owner. I don’t see that ever changing unless the city hires about 50 more enforcement officers and really cracks down.

    #795627

    bswans11
    Member

    Wow WestSeattleDood, not a careful reader apparently. Get a grip…

    #795628

    KBear
    Participant

    Well, if nothing else, OP certainly found a way to put an interesting twist on the usual leash/off-leash discussion!

    #795629

    JanS
    Participant

    someone brought up Genessee School..and WSHS. I understand that there is a sign at Genesee that says “no dogs allowed”. I ‘m not sure if that applies to WSHS fenced enclosure or not. I think that sign means No dogs, period…even ones on leash…

    #795630

    JanS
    Participant

    and no dogs of any kind on the Hiawatha athletic field, either…

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