Dog parks

 

Dog parks are usually found in countries such as America, where 'dogs on lead' is the default position and so dogs are only allowed off the lead in designated areas. The opposite is the case in the UK and the Kennel Club opposes the general concept of dog parks as they are usually very small areas and a symptom of very extensive restrictions on dogs.

Dog parks concentrate urine and barking in a small area so they are hard and costly to manage and often unpopular with those nearby. Furthermore, whilst an extensive number of parks would have to be developed if they were to be accessible to all, without the need to drive to them, they could still never be an adequate substitute for the countryside and urban green space, as dogs accompany people on around half of all visits to such areas.

Enclosing all dog owners in a small area is not beneficial and the Kennel Club would prefer to see dog owners and non-dog owners sharing public spaces responsibly, whilst ensuring that any restrictions being introduced are done on a proportionate and fair basis.

The Kennel Club believes that developing dogs parks will not benefit dogs, dog owners nor the general public because:

  • People walk less in dog parks, reducing the human health benefits from dog walking. They tend to stand around and chat instead, rather than go for a walk.
  • With fewer people in wider green space, antisocial behaviour is more likely to occur due to the lack of routine informal surveillance by dog walkers at all times of day and year.
  • Concentrating lots of dogs in one small area can increase the frequency of dog attacks as there is no space to get away and diffuse the situation.
  • Just one poorly trained dog can render a whole dog park unusable to everyone else.
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