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
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.