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Off-Leash Areas and Dog Parks: Planning and Policy

This page provides resources related to public off-leash areas for local governments in Washington State, including selected examples, rules and regulations, articles, and other resources.

About Creating Off-Leash Areas and Dog Parks

Planning and Design

Washington Local Governments with Off-Leash Areas and Dog Parks

A few examples of off-leash areas or dog parks have been included. Some websites provide a history of the dog park, most all provide rules and regulations, and some provide information about organizations that provide support for the park.

Leash Regulations for Parks and Other Public Property

  • Bellingham - Whatcom County Humane Society Park Ordinances - The purpose of this information is to acquaint citizens with the city ordinances relating to having animals within City of Bellingham park facilities
  • Clark County Code Ch. 8.15 - Dog Leash Areas
  • Seattle Municipal Code Sec. 18.12.080 - Animals Running At Large Prohibited - Lists areas where dogs may run at large and regulations
  • Skagit County Code Sec. 9.41.150 - Pets and Animals in County Parks - Leash required at all times

Advocacy and Support Organizations

  • National Dog Park Association - The National Recreation and Park Association put the following in its Notable News, Column for 06/01/2014
    Dog lovers and dog-park advocates have a new ally in the recently formed National Dog Park Association (NDPA). "The growth in dog park popularity is almost mandating an organization to help people find answers to questions they have about a multitude of things regarding starting or maintaining a dog park," says NDPA President Roseanne Conrad. NDPA's stated goals include assisting and supporting developers, administrators and managers of existing and planned off-leash dog parks in their missions to provide safe, clean, exciting and healthy recreational parks for canines and their human companions. NDPA also will offer annual memberships in a variety of categories, and members will have the opportunity to serve on various committees, including membership, marketing, bylaws, standards and conferences/events. Conrad's business, GPPInc., will manage NDPA as further plans for programs and benefits are developed.
  • Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) - A non-profit formed to obtain and maintain off-leash dog exercise areas in Seattle. In June 1996 COLA entered into a formal agreement with the City of Seattle to steward Seattle's off-leash areas. In September 1997, the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to establish permanent off-leash dog areas, giving COLA the responsibility of stewarding the sites for the Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • FETCH - An organization dedicated to providing dog owners of Island County with areas where they are free to exercise their canine friends off-leash without disturbing others. In partnership with the Island County Parks Department, FETCH maintains five off-leash parks on Whidbey Island
  • Serve Our Dog Areas - A non-profit organization formed to provide ongoing support and stewardship for the Off-Leash dog exercising areas at Marymoor Park in Redmond and Grandview Park in SeaTac
  • Kitsap Dog Parks, Inc. - Stewards of Bandix, Howe Farm, and Silverdale Dog Parks
  • Protect Our Pets (POP) - Formed to help develop, maintain and promote the off-leash dog park at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood

Last Modified: September 21, 2016