Guidelines prepared by the Bend Park and Recreation District (BPRD)

  • Know your dog! The most important step to a successful dog park experience is knowing your dog. Not all dogs are good candidates for off-leash areas. If your dog has not had regular interaction with other dogs, it may lack the necessary social skills to make your visit safe and enjoyable. Socialize young puppies (8-16 weeks of age) at a puppy kindergarten class, not at the dog park.

  • Know the park. Before taking your dog to an off-leash area, familiarize yourself with the site and the posted rules.

  • Vaccinations. All dogs visiting the park must be immunized.

  • Make your initial visit at a time that is not busy. Daytime hours during the week and late weekend afternoons are generally the quietest times at the OLAs.

  • Let your dog off-leash as soon as you arrive within the boundaries of the OLA. Mixing leashed and unleashed dogs can cause problems. Leashed dogs often feel threatened by free dogs and may display defensive behaviors.

  • Keep an eye on your dog. A parent would not leave a young child unattended; watch your pet and monitor whom he/she is playing with and if their behavior is appropriate. Make sure you can always see your dog.

  • Keep walking! Walking, rather than sitting or standing, will help minimize defensive and territorial behaviors. This means that your dog is more likely to pass another dog with a friendly sniff instead of a staredown.

  • Do not allow your children to approach a dog without permission from the dog’s handler. Remember that many dogs who visit the OLAs are not socialized to children.

  • Be aware that dogs have different play styles, temperaments, and physical abilities. Many dogs love rambunctious play, while some are more timid and aloof. Always respect the wishes of the handler and be prepared to move to another area of the OLA in order to help facilitate dogs getting along. Leash up and leave if your dog is acting in an aggressive manner.

  • Scoop the Poop! Hundreds of dogs visit each OLAs every month and we want to keep them clean for everyone to enjoy. Nobody likes to step in or look at dog poop. Plastic bags, supplied by BPRD, are available in on-site dispensers.

  • Keep the area safe and clean. Do not allow your dog to dig holes, which can cause injuries to unsuspecting people and dogs. Leave the site in better condition than you found it. Small actions, multiplied by hundreds of visitors, are what keep our off-leash areas a success. Report park condition concerns to BPRD Park Services at 541-388-5435.

BPRD has a lot more information on its website. If you encounter aggressive dogs (or people) in the OLAs, contact non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.