Leash free fenced-in park in Guelph?

A constituent has recently written in requesting that a dedicated leash free fenced-in dog park be established in the City of Guelph. What do you think? Is there a need in Guelph for such an area? Where would it be located? Do the existing leash free areas suit the needs of dog owners? Are there conflicts with dog owners, joggers, cyclists and families in your park?

We are writing to ask you to consider our request to establish dedicated, fenced-in, leash-free dog run areas in Guelph.

At this time, Guelph has no such provision. As a result there are conflicts between walkers, joggers, cyclists and dog owners. Most dog owners are aware that dogs need off-leash time for their (and their owners’) mental and physical health. The establishment of these areas could relieve tensions. They could also act as a “user-friendly” incentive for potential residents, and relieve the pressure to police the City’s parks.

Hamilton has a fenced in area, just behind its Humane Society Building. The result is that responsible, civic minded dog owners share time with each other and with healthy, happy pets. They provide a kind of responsible “ownership” of the area, policing it, picking up after their dogs, and generally ensuring that the place is self-monitored and run. The presence of people and dogs also acts to discourage vandalism.

There are several opportunities in Guelph to establish similar areas with the introduction of just one wall of cyclone fencing and a style/gate entrance.

Please consider our request to make Guelph a better and healthier place for all of us.                                     JG

~~~~~~~~~~

I appreciate your concerns for the conflicting use between casual park users and dogs running off-leash in designated leash-free zones, or in accordance with our Park Regulations. Your email is timely, as staff have been requested to investigate a code of conduct for joggers, cyclists and patrons of our leash-free areas, including opportunities to appropriately signed leash-free zones.

I am familiar with the type of leash-free areas you have referenced, and I have worked closely with formalized leash-free groups/volunteers in the past to establish fully enclosed dog runs. Recognizing facility upgrades with come with a cost, any approved recommendations to upgrade our current facilities will be subject to the availability of funds.                                         Staff

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54 Comments

Filed under City Policy, Having fun, Public Input

54 responses to “Leash free fenced-in park in Guelph?

  1. John Grayston

    I do not feel there is any one location that would work for most dog owners. The cost to fence one or more areas would be prohibitive. Walkers, dog owners and cyclists must learn to coexist in the use of common space. I suggest leaving things as they are.

    • Ima

      New BYLAW:
      Owners shall not permit their cat to defecate on any public or private property other than that of the owners. Where a cat defecate on property other than the owners, the owner shall remove the excrement immediately.

      I am tired of the cats around crapping my my flower beds.

    • brianne collecchio

      I drive from the northeast corner of Guelph to the Hanlon dog park. People would travel for a safe, fenced-in area to take our dogs.

  2. Dorothy Mercer

    I like the idea of a reasonably-sized fenced area in smaller parks in areas with a higher population concentration. I’ve seen it in England where it appears to work reasonably well there (as well as making bylaw enforcement easier). Exhibition Park, downtown by the Boathouse, and Riverside come to mind.

    I also believe we should continue to have at least three or four non-fenced major trail areas that are clearly marked and totally open to off-leash dogs as well as these fenced sites. Folks worried about off-leash dogs could use at their own discretion.

    And, both a dog owner and as a Guelphite that pays taxes, I absolutely understand that it’s tough to have to endure restrictions for the sake of a few “bad apples” (but I do want to make sure no-one is injured), I know budget is always an issue, and I support a staggered introduction of the fenced areas — first in neighbourhoods with the most population, complaints and concerns. And then any further roll-out could be supported by comments from all types of park users.

    Hope that is useful input.

  3. Sonya B

    I would think that with such a wonderful Veterinary University in our area that this would already be in place. Why not make Guelph one of the top dog-friendly cities in Ontario! Here is a wonderful example of a fenced in dog park with a shaded area, agility runs, boardwalks and water hoses and doggy pools for those hot summer days! Worth the cost of the dog license.

    http://www.totoredaca.org/

    • Antoinette

      I totally agree with having a fenced in area for dogs. I have spoken to some of my friends and they totally agree. It will be safer for the little puppies to be running around and safer for the joggers, children etc. I know Thunder Bay has a couple of them and speaking to the dog owners there, they love it because it is an area just for the dogs and both dogs and the public are safe. One lady said that it was the best thing the city came up with. The unfenced area are not safe for everyone. I am in for a fenced in area.

    • P. Leveris

      I drive to this park and meet friends from Miss. however, everyone is shocked that we don’t have any in Guelph! Honestly, need to find a city counsellor in any ward that will take this on with help from volunteers! Who might that be?

  4. Lori

    As an owner of 2 Golden Retrievers, we would love to have a fenced area in Guelph to be able to take our dogs to run and play. This allows dog lovers/owners to meet and keeps the joggers/walkers safe and away!!
    Guelph is a big city now and our puppies need a place of their own to romp!

  5. Sara Turton

    I recently moved to Guelph from Mississauga, and I was very disappointed to find out that there are no fenced in leash free zones. My dogs are always well behaved, but it makes me very nervous if they get carried away and do not have a fence to keep them safe.

    Leash Free Mississauga’s website is http://www.caninefriends.com/

    The members all pay annual fees and are responsible for most of the upkeep of the parks. The system works wonderfully, it would be amazing to see a similar one in place for Guelph.

    Thank you!

  6. Gail Nisbet

    It is very important for the well being of dogs to run and socialize with other dogs. It makes them a happy, healthy well behaved dog.

    It is one of my pet peeves that Guelph is know for it’s Veterinary University so it would make sense that Guelph should have a fenced in leash free zone.

    I have already lost my husky mix dogs twice in Guelph’s leash free zones ( all with no fences). We need a fenced in zone. I am willing to pay a member ship fee. Right now I drive my dogs to the fenced in zone in Milton so my dogs can run and have fun!

    Please consider the need to have a save, clean and friendly fenced in dog park for Guelph.

    Thank you,
    Gail Nisbet

  7. Betty Kowall

    I would love to see Guelph have a fenced in leash free area. Asking dogs to coexist with joggers and cyclists while off leash is putting everyone at risk. It would provide dogs with the safest environment in which to play, socialize and get their much needed exercise.

  8. CS

    I think it is ridiculous that a city of this size does not have such a place to take their dogs to. Look at the number of dogs living in Guelph and it is obvious that there should be such a place.

  9. Ok, so why has nothing happened? We need to form a committee and get some serious lobbying done, I think. We’ve got some further ideas on our website, http://www.bojtar.ca/Home/Blog/Entries/2009/9/23_Guelph_Dogs.html, as well as a comments section. Let’s see if we can’t get some changes made!

  10. Stephanie

    We have two cairn terriers and there is no way they could ever be off leash, they are from a rescue facility and would be almost impossible to train, every terrier owner knows what I mean. A fenced in leash free zone would be perfect, our dogs would be able to run free and become a lot more sociable with other dogs. I would also be willing to commit to a membership fees for the freedom it would give my dogs.

  11. Brittney

    I actually stumbled across this post while trying to find a City of Guelph contact to email to suggest a fenced in off-leash dog park. Acton is a much smaller place and they even have a fenced in off-leash park. I believe they take donations from the users to assist in the costs. I would even be willing to donate to have one of Guelph’s off-leash parks fenced. We often drive to Acton to the fence in park or to Ren’s Pet Depot in Aberfoyle and pay to bring my dog to their dog playgroups. I would much rather give that fee and the gas money to our own city! I think Lee Street Park would be the best location. It seems like the designated Leash-free zone there would be the easiest to fence.

    Here is the link to the Acton Dog Park and the group that runs it:
    http://www.hhdog.com/

    I would be more than happy to even volunteer my time to help make this happen!

    • P. Leveris

      I had contacted someone from the London group in the summer and she was very helpful. She said it took time for them to get their areas from the city of London – very slow. However, one thing she suggested was to contact the City this spring and work out a partnership with them by which at the end of the season before the shut down the splash pads we have a fundraiser for a fenced in dog park – which means the splash parks can be used by dogs and their owners for that “last day”. A $20.00 fee possibly and lots of free publicity in the local papers to draw attention to the gap we have in this city and what can be done. This bit of fundraising could go towards the commitment of taxpayers and the Counsellors in each ward could be our champions. Thoughts?

  12. Yes I completely agree with you, the problem is the City doesn’t want to get involved with Liability issues. Kitchener has an off lease park but the list of restrictions and conditions prevents many dogs from even going near it (yes most just ignore them). I would be more than happy to change this though, and lobby against it, but not without support.
    The big problem is what happens when someone gets hurt and sues someone. Unfortunately without big waivers there’s not much that can be done. I have a number of thoughts on how to overcome them.
    In short, if you’re really committed and interested I’m more than happy to spearhead this and make a change with city council.

    • P. Leveris

      Not sure I understand the big liability piece here – the city should have more than enough liability insurance for use of its parks by the public regardless of dogs. How is it somewhere like Acton doesn’t see this as an issue?

    • Cathy Chapman

      Hi Cameron – it’s now 2013 & we have a beagle puppy so I’m looking for a fenced in dog park. I’ve come across posts for ward 2 in Guelph. You volunteered to spearhead an enclosed dog park. Has anything happened yet. I’ve heard that Guelph is considering an enclosed dog park but how far along are they? Will it be 1 or 2 years or longer? Will our dog be dead & gone by then? It’s really frustrating that there is no where in Guelph to take her. I used to walk her down at the Hanlon dog park but she took off on me (beagles do that) so now whe’ll be on leash the rest of her life unless Guelph steps up to the plate.

  13. Brittney

    Hi Cameron!
    I am not sure where to start but I am greatly in support of this! I actually did email the city today to ask what I can do to make this happen. I am still waiting for a response. Many cities have fenced dog parks so, there has to be a way.

    What are your thoughts on how to get the process started?

  14. I think you just did. A good thoughough discussion of the issue is probably the best place to start. Pros, cons, funding, management liability, benifit to city etc. I will open a facebook group as soon as I can (There may already be one), I think the most important thing we need to start with is people. The more people that say yes the more sway we could have with the city. I think we have an old blog on our website in the archive about it too

    • P. Leveris

      This is a reply I got from the City after contacting my Ward Councillor in Clairfields. Sounds like someone on council needs to initiate this.

      Good Morning Paulette

      I appreciate your concerns and desires for enclosed leash-free areas, however a review of the City’s off-leash facilities/programs has yet to take place. Such a review would require direction from Council for strategy. This would include community consultation, best practice review, potential site identification and prioritization and financial implications.

      Along with Guelph’s formally designated leash-free areas, dogs are also permitted to run off-leash on over 100 sports fields year round, when unoccupied (from September 15th to April 30th between the hours of 5:00 pm and 8:00 am and from May 1st to September 14th between 8:00 pm and 8:00 am).

      Please note that community engagement will play a significant role in reviewing and potentially revising the leash-free program, as there may have a significant impact on a neighbourhood, including (but not limited to) traffic, parking, lighting and noise.

      If you require further information, please contact me.

      Coordinator

      Service Performance & Development

  15. Natalie Francis

    Don’t forget that a fenced in area is great for training dogs of all ages to be off leash in a responsible manner. If people are too afraid to let their dogs off leash, then the dog will never learn. Dogs need socialization, and being stuck on a leash all the time is restrictive. Many dogs greet better when they do not feel constrained.

  16. I have started an online petition to share with the city. I hope this will just help to prove that their is a demand for a fenced off leash zone.

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/guelphdogpark

    Great point, Natalie! It would help reduce risks in the leash free zones if our dogs are better trained.

    • Unfortunately as the city said, nothing will be done until they review it. So basically, go away. I think the only real way we can have a proper dog park is to buy the land and set up our own park. Guelph has no interest in vacant land inside the city unfortunately, since they are trying to develop ever corner, and cram as many houses as possible in.
      There are a couple of fenced parks very near the city at PineTree (http://pinetreepetcarecentre.com/) and companion dogs (http://www.companiondogtraining.org/). Both facilities charge for usage, but do provide excellent fencing.
      The big problem is that Guelph does not want to dedicate any space to dogs, every off-leash space in guelph is a multi-use area (extremely dangerous for untrained dogs and non-dog owners using the space). Dedicating more space to a special dog area is not in the Guelph mandate of adding as many houses as they can. Fencing is expensive, and land is non-existant.
      Personally if you’re really committed to good dog training and caring for your dog you should seriously consider moving. London, for instance, offers over 20acres of fenced off leash dog parks and social networks. http://www.pets.ca/dogs/dog-parks/ontario/ lists many of the parks in Ontario. Although we’ve only recently bought a home here in Guelph we hope to move as soon as we can.

  17. ianward2

    Thanks for this Brittney and everyone else. I will try and help you with this.

    I have forwarded your comments to City staff for their review and response and will post it once received.

    Cheers

  18. ianward2

    Brittney, your dogs off-leash email concern has been shared with me for reply.
    I appreciate your concerns and desire for enclosed leash-free compounds; however, a review of the city’s dogs off-leash facilities/program has yet to take place, and until such time as the community is consulted and a strategy, including financial implications, is developed and approved by Council, our current off-leash facilities will remain status quo.
    Aside from Guelph’s formally designated Leash-free zones, dogs are also permitted to run off-leash on our 100+ sports fields year round, when unoccupied from September 15 –to April 30th between the hours of 5:00pm to 8:00am, and from May 1st to September 14th from 8:00pm to 8:00am. Please note that community engagement will play a significant role in revamping our leash-free program, as any significant demand for fenced areas could have a significant impact on a neighbourhood, including traffic/parking implications, as well, there are competing interests for the existing facilities to be illuminated, and the provision of seasonal water supply.
    Thank you for taking the time to express your dogs off-leash concerns and stay tuned for any future developments. Staff

  19. I’d noticed that but always thought it was some sort of joke. Dogs are only allowed off-leash in sports fields when it’s dark? Ever owned a black dog? Or better yet scare someone with a dog coming out of nowhere. Also the only times I’ve ever seen sports fields used is in the evening, ie when groups can coordinate after work. I think a much better policy would be to allow dogs off-leash in all unused sports fields during the day to keep the geese off, I’m sure the baseball and soccer players would love that, and not in the evenings when they want to use them!

  20. Helen

    I love the concept of a dog park and would love to support one.

    And hmmmm – September 15 –to April 30th between the hours of 5:00pm to 8:00am only? I’ve been using unoccupied leash-free-marked sports fields on the winter weekends during the day with many other folks and have no problem with that.

    For an enclosed park idea, I would of course have some interest in the plans for how the park would be designed and operated…and probably suggestions…

    – my impression is that with these parks the problem is not so much rules (there are some easily-available-on-the-net examples of well-organized spaces and I don’t mind following rules if they make a space orderly and useable),

    but space itself is an issue — a small crowded space doesn’t really let dogs “be” off leash and can create an environment that fosters fights. Private operators like Rens in Aberfoyle are offering supervised playroom style indoor 1 hour play sessions for dogs. I don’t use them, my trainer and I are quite concerned that throwing dogs – especially untrained ones – into thisa chaotic environment where they really can’t get away from aggressive or poorly-mannered dogs will create behaviour problems or make them worse. Her practice is supervised meet-ups for group dog walks over a lot of acerage (www.dogsinthepark.ca) and I would encourage anyone reviewing this issue to consider making a park with enough acerage to let dogs do some roaming…and connect with dog behaviour experts in the planning stages.

    While I don’t have any “spearhead” or “vanguard” energy, I’m excited about opportunities to contribute some small energy to the topic going forward in the hopes of enjoying another wonderful space in the city for me to be active with my pet.

    Great work in spurring and moving this discussion forward!!

  21. Ah there’s the rub. There’s a big difference between what is the law and what is done in Guelph. The Guelph Police enforce very little here, from noise, to dogs off-leash, to destruction of the downtown. I know they are busy, and it is difficult, but that’s their job.
    You are very right, there are many off-leash areas that people use, from a number of fantastic trail systems, to parks and sports fields all over Guelph, but it could potentially cost you if they decided to enforce it. The Old Reformatory park for instance is an ideal dog area as it is partially fenced on the road side, but a number of people have gotten warnings there as the Old Reformatory staff do not like dogs.
    So yes we really do have two problems, 1) a Place to walk with your well trained dog, and get some exercise in an off-leash environment (Parks and play areas are incredibly unsafe for untrained dogs as they tend to run incircles and attack each other) 2) A place to train your dog to be responsible off leash, as a puppy or small dog.
    I would be more than happy to buy private land and coordinate the whole thing if I felt that there was enough people in Guelph to back me up.

  22. Brittney

    It is very discouraging to see that the original post of this thread is April 4, 2007. It has been almost 4 years and it doesn’t seem like any progress has been made.

    My current dog is only 7 months old. I am finding it impossible to get to that point where I am comfortable enough to take her to an open off-leash park because I don’t have much opportunity to train her in an open and secure area.

    I do not feel risks are increased with a fenced-in dog park. I sincerely feel that risked are increased WITHOUT a fenced-in dog park. We need somewhere controlled to train our dogs to be responsible in the off-leash zones and how to socialize properly.

    A fenced-in dog park can also have rules which will encourage dog owners to have up-to-date licenses and vaccinations for their dogs.

    Many people I have spoke to would even be willing to pay a membership fee if that’s the only way Guelph would provide a fenced-in dog park.

    In regards to traffic/parking implication on the surrounding neighbourhood, anyone living near an off-leash zone or park would already be aware of the possibility of increased traffic/parking. Fencing one of these areas may increase traffic/parking. However, an existing park or off-leash zone has never been guaranteed a maximum number of users. So, the area should be prepared for more than average traffic/parking either way. If increased traffic/parking is even a concern, then it can’t be denied that there is a demand for a fenced-in dog park and that it would be used.

    Ian, I really appreciate you bringing this forward and following up on this! Do you know if there is a timeline of when a review of the city’s dogs off-leash facilities/program will take place?

    I can’t help but feel like this is just being brushed off by the city. I would be curious to know how many City staff are dog owners

    • P. Leveris

      Can we contact our Counsellors and see who are dog people who will champion this cause in Council. Surely, in the City of Guelph employee staff there have to be dog people that understand the need for this to be available to taxpayers. We need a staff person in the City to be a strong advocate for us… where can we find them?

  23. Matt

    As someone that does not own a dog I am all for the City building a dedicated leash free fenced-in dog park. I am sick and tired of encountering off leash dogs when walking along trails and through city parks. Perhaps if dog owners respected current bylaws requiring them to keep dogs on leashes, and pick up the waste they so often leave behind, more taxpayers would support the idea of giving away valuable parkland away to dog owners.

    While we are on the subject of dog ownership, can anyone tell me why dog owners wrap their dogs waste up in plastic only to leave it along the sidewalk or throw it into the forest? How would you like it if people left their children’s dirty diapers on your front lawn? Please grow up and take some responsibility for your animals.

  24. Brittney

    I agree, Matt. It is completely rude, inconsiderate and irresponsible when dog owners do not clean up after their dogs. There is absolutely no excuse for it!

    I would hope that the majority of the dog owners who would take the time out of their day to bring their dog to a dog park to socialize and exercise are not the same dog owners that don’t clean up after their dogs. It is also easier to enforce the bylaws when the people with the potential to break the bylaw are confined to a fenced in area. It would also make it near impossible for a dog owner or others using the dog park to not notice a dog going to the bathroom or a dog owner not cleaning it up.

    It is also very hard to teach your dogs to be responsible and to stay in the current off leash zones without having a large enough fenced-in area with other dogs and people to train them in. I think people that are not dog owners but visit off leash zones would be much happier if the dogs were at least trained.

  25. Natalie

    I think the zones in Guelph just aren’t quite enough. The point has already been made that a fenced in area would be great to be able to train your dog to be off leash. Many leash free zones are near roads, and at my dogs’ current training level, I am still wary to let them off leash in the zone. So, I feel safer letting them off leash down the trail, rather than in the zone.
    The shapes of the zones are also an issue for me. The one I can walk to is squareish, in my opinion small, beside a major road, and has volleyball courts in the middle. So my options are to walk around and around the perimeter (bringing me close to the road) or stand in the middle. Standing around in a leash free area seems to encourage all dogs to do circles around people. This also seems to rile all the dogs up, and that is when my dogs have been injured by others. I don’t go there very often anymore.
    If we do get a fenced leash free park, I would love somewhere that I can walk for an hour (not in circles) and let my dogs play with each other and have fun.
    And yes, I think it is a very odd practice to leave poop filled bags everywhere. Don’t like to pick up poop? Don’t get a dog.

  26. Helen

    I think maybe I’m starting to change my mind on dog parks.

    First off, reading some of these posts I sense a strong undertone of “and once there’s a fenced in park for these dog things, we can cut off all other leash-free access in the city…they can stay in their place and non-dog-people can enjoy “our Guelph” uninterrupted”. Hmmm. And I suppose that as long as there are fenced schoolyards there’s no need to have kids walking outside on the streets, or as long as there are houses people shouldn’t leave them without shirts in case I may have to actually coexist with someone/thing that I don’t want to be bothered with.

    Also, from what I’m reading, there is a lot of “my dog isn’t trained to be safe off leash and come when called”, so I need a safe place to go…and I’m not sure I love the idea of putting a dog I’ve dedicated a year of training to be safe in leash free areas into a smallish fenced area with a bunch of untrained dogs…

    Plus I talked to my trainer again, who echoed my concern about the size of the park and started talking about 25, 50 or 100 acres giving dogs a chance to roam and be dogs (hmmm…)

    Re Matt’s comments about bagged poop:
    >> While we are on the subject of dog ownership, can anyone tell me why dog owners wrap their dogs waste up in
    >> plastic only to leave it along the sidewalk or throw it into the forest? How would you like it if people left their
    >> children’s dirty diapers on your front lawn? Please grow up and take some responsibility for your animals.

    I’ve seen that myself and (gasp, self-flaggelation) may have on rare occasions left a bag orphaned. Generally, it’s disguting – particularly if your dog gets the smelly runs – to spend an hour with your dog holding a squishy bag of poop in your hand. So, on the way into a spot, if the poop hits early, I’ll bag the stuff and leave it beside the trail I’m going to have to come back along while I’m leaving….and at that point I’ll pick it up. And I suspect by the number of bags beside the trails that this is a pretty common practice.

    Of course, if there were more garbage cans along the route, I’ld be less likely to do this, and yet I do understand it costs $$ and energy to monitor and empty cans, so I get why sometimes there aren’t more….still I would hope if you’re bothered by an area where you’re seeing a lot of these orphan bags, that a call to the City might possibly have a can installed (dunno, worth a shot?).

    My odd orphan bags have probably come from forgetfullness or I remember one occasion when my dog hurt herself and I had to bail via a different route to get to the vet. When that happens, I do try to remember to get back to them and sometimes, when I see baggies and I’m on my way to drop mine I’ll collect them. It sounds like there might be a market for a belt or leash-hanging leak-free, hands-free poop bag holder (and odour trapper) for some enterprising entrepreneur….

    Anyway, hope that explanation contributes to peace…

  27. Fran

    I agree that more garbage cans would be nice, but also recognize the increased cost to the city.

    Maybe we could have a leash free trail somewhere?

    • Jade

      How much does a can cost to set on the edge of the side walk? They are already driving around emptying garbage and keeping the city clean-ish and whatnot.
      That being said, hire students or use high school students who need volunteer hours. There’s no shortage of people who need something to do.

  28. Jim

    I have two dogs but do not use these areas. Reason being, they like to sniff like all dogs and can’t think of a better way of transmitting whatever. No thanks..Vet bills are high enough and I care about the health of my dogs.
    Too much dog poop left lying around.

  29. Ruth

    It has been interesting reading these comments. I have never owned a dog until this past year and this new ‘dog ownership’ has opened up my eyes to alot of concerns on both sides.
    I think a ‘fenced in’ dog park area (larger one, in a wooded area) is a great idea. It is a safe, secure environment where people can work on re-call and their dogs can get some socialization. I also think, people have to use their common sense. This shouldn’t be the ONLY place you take your dog and if your dog has ‘behavioural problems’ they should be addressed for the welfare of everyone accessing this public place.
    Like anyother place, it will have rules and to keep it neat and tidy and enjoyable for all, the rules should be followed.

  30. Lynn Schmakies

    A leash free area for dogs is always beneficial for the dog and the owner. The area off the Hanlon Exp. has ponds on it and the pets could fall through as well as people who can’t resist walking on the ice.

  31. brianne collecchio

    I think that there is definitely a need for a fenced-in dog park in Guelph! The off-leash areas are great but with no marked boundaries dogs can run free and meet up with trouble. All other cities nearby have fenced-in dog parks and it seems silly that a city as dog-friendly as Guelph does not. We need one!

  32. geo

    Here’s another situation that cries out for user fees. No dog no pay.

  33. Amber

    I feel like there is a huge need to a place like this is Guelph. Having owned dogs my whole life I have learned that there is no such thing as a 100% fool proof recall. The dog parks we have in the area are great but with so much wildlife there are too many oppourtunies for our dogs to run off into the wood and soon stray out of earshot, not being able to find their way back right away. In Oakville, ON they only have fenced in leash free areas and it gives owners peace of mind where the dogs can run and play and owners know that they’re dogs are perfectly safe and that there is no chance of them getting lost. This morning I had an incident where my dog chased a Family of ducks, and ended up almost 4KM away from where we were making it impossible for him to hear me or hear the whislte I was using to call him back. In my opinion a safe place for our dogs to run around would be great and would be much appreciated by other dog owners.

  34. Ron

    Could we also then have dog – free parks where no dogs AT ALL are allowed so that children can play freely without dogs illegally offleash bothering them.

    • La idea de tu libro no es mala pero la ejecución deja mucho que desear. Hay cosas que comienzan bien y luego la verdad que exacerban… Si fuera maestra te diría “sígalo intentando, se nota el esfuerzo pero hay que trabajar más” . Una pebS2#8&30;.aonre algunas post de tu blog…. no entiendo… a dónde vas? qué querés? ayudar a la gente…? es raro… pensalo….

  35. Is the City of Guelph looking at creating a fenced in dog park yet? This site has been discussing this since 2007 & it’s now 2013! Has there been a committee formed to take this issue to the City? If someone is willing to spearhead this, I’m willing to join & I’m sure many others would like to also. We have a beagle & everyone knows that as a scent hound they cannot be off leash unless in an enclosed area. I’ve noticed lots of puppies this year. Owners would like to see a fenced in area for them for training purposes. I know that people have contacted the City about a fenced in dog park, however, I think a committee might get a better response & the City might not be so quick to dismiss us. If anyone wants to spearhead such a committee, I’d like to join. .

  36. Jade

    This is extremely important and needs to be seriously planned. As an owner of two dogs who are generally well-behaved, I have an issue with shared park areas where my dogs are constantly distracted by bikers and joggers. While we have tried to train our dogs extensively there are still issues (they are rescues) that we are unable to resolve due to the fact that those who bike and jog in the area don’t seem to know how to react to dogs who may not be comfortable with their actions and make the reaction of the dogs worse. This is a safety issue for those joggers and bikers who use the park as well as as the dogs and dog owners. It makes it impossible for proper training and socialization. Our dogs are losing much of their chance to exercise as a result of frustration on our parts as we do not have our own back yard in which to allow them to run.

    • Don

      If you are here acknowledging that your dogs are a safety issue and blaming joggers and bikers then clearly you are the problem. You have a legal and moral responsibility to control them. Stay out of the park before someone gets hurt .

    • Jade

      I would like to add that if there is a committee working towards this that meets or discusses regularly I would like to take part. If this is something that occurs please let me know!

  37. Cary

    While Guelph had several trails and open fields in the Starwood and Grange area to let dogs run off leash for a good hour or more of excersise to relieve their need to be free, thosefields are now being developed with more houses and schools. There is the park on Lee Street (Starwood and Grange area) with a designated dog park with no fencing. Ten years dogowners had option to let gogs run free, now that dog park is the only option as filds are now gone and coyotes are forced to live closer to the dog park. We can hear them howling next door most evevings. The dog park on Lee Street has an average of 15-25 dogs meet at 6:30pm everynight and it is wonderful fun for dogs, owners and their kids. A recent number of Pakistani families have moved into the area and some live in house with a yard against the park. They have kicked and spit and yelled at dogs repeatedly and while there is a posted dog park sign they walk through the dog park or sleep on the grass while dog owners bring their dogs and get upset. Pakistanis hate dogs apparently. There is a new school next to the park that uses the dog park week days for sport classes and dogs are in their way. A fenced in dog park would help dog owners feel safe and avoid any question of it’s use as options have dissapeared in 2015. Property values shrink as dog owners move to less congested housing in search of open space, hasselfree for their dogs. I will be looking to move and a closed in dog park for my husky and shepherd are a priority if trails or fields are extinct now. Guelph is not the dog friendly place it once was. Houses set against the park do not have fences and dogs get distracted by barbeeque smells, childrens sqeeky toys or dogs barkig at doors and run out of dog park area. If homowners don’t want to fence in their yard then the city needs to fence in the dog park.Dog owners pay a lot of taxes in Guelph and we will be moving if we can’t find a safe place for dogs to run free. We also vote…

  38. One of the hundreds of dog lovers in Guelph.

    Would the city accept a corporate donation to fence in the Lee Street leash free dog park and consider adding some street lights to cover the costs specifically for that. Would someone be able to will money “in memory of” and have the fence and lights paid for that way. Cities do this as well as adding a parks memorial water drinking fountains and park benches with a plaque attached. Just thinking of ways to get the Lee St. dog park safe for the dogs and not wait for city to think about it. Clearly not something any of Guelphs politicians feel will win votes and keep them in office but they will pay for those god awful bird sculptures downtown at city hall and the bus terminal.

  39. Sandra Webers

    Yes …. a fenced dog psrk area would be a great idea …. especially at the north end of guelph
    It would reduce the joggers and cyclists as well as anyone who is afraid of a loose dog even if it is well trained
    Also it would provide a safe environment for dog owners to hone their dogs training

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