Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Would You Pay?

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but much of my thinking about what to blog about is done on our walks.

Not only do I depend upon the dogs to provide me entertainment and material, I often times am thinking of something one of you wrote about, whether it be in a post or a comment.  If I’m not doing that, I’m daydreaming.

Here is my latest daydream, it’s for a dog park that is completely fenced in, so all dogs can be off-leash.

There would be a nice field, for fetching or playing games and a great big pond for swimming.  There would also be wooded trails and picnic tables so a person or family could go and make a day of it.

There would always be someone on duty during hours of operation and you would check in at a little gate and get a wrist band for yourself and your dog would get a matching band that would attach to the collar.  This would be designed along the lines of the bracelets used on maternity wards to prevent someone other than you leaving with your dog.

The park would offer classes, such as rally, agility, nosework, obedience, etc.

It would look something like this:

The blue circle indicates the pond, while the dark green circle is the playing/training field.  The smaller squares of green are trees, while the brown squares would be the walking trails.  The two gray lines in the front indicate the path in to the park and the large gray building to the right of the path is the guard shack.  The red lines are picnic tables.

Of course this is just a quick sketch meant to give you a general idea.  I forgot to add a large indoor ring that could be used to hold matches or indoor training when the weather is poor.

The park would definitely be a member’s only park.  There would be specific rules and regulations and all dogs would need to be friendly and you would need to sign something saying you agreed to the rules.

Here’s the question, if something like this were available in your area would you pay to belong?  How much would something like this be worth to a dog owner?

Would a park like this generate enough money to pay for the taxes and any upkeep as well as the security and trainers, or would it need to supplement by offering classes to the general public and reduced classes to members?

Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

Comments on: "Would You Pay?" (38)

  1. Hey Jodi

    We have a fenced dog park out at Palmerston, which is a satellite town (which is now bigger, I think). It has a field, lots of trees, a big billabong (croc free) and an agility course. I don’t know if they have any sort of agility classes there. It is free – they are good in Australia at providing free recreation things like BBQ areas and exercise points on walks, etc, so I’m not surprised that there’s a dog park too. I have made the drive out there (about 15 to 20 mins – that’s a long drive for us!) a few times and it seems to be pretty well used. There is a petition up at the moment to have another one built here in Darwin. I hope it gets the go ahead.

    Would your local council never provide anything like that for the dog owning tax-payers? Would it have to be up to private citizens?

    • We don’t have a lot of dog parks in the area where I live although I think some areas of the states are far more dog friendly. I’m not sure who would be responsible. I could contact some of the surrounding towns and see how they went about it.

      I think it’s a lovely idea. Really 20 mins is a long drive for you? Around here 20 mins is nothing. 🙂

  2. GREAT idea Jodi . . . hard to imagine dog lovers/owners NOT willing to support something like this . . . unless you lived in our area. 😀 I bet the AKC would also be supportive. You go girl!!!!!!!!

  3. It sounds fantastic!! I think you should enter your dream dog park here:

    I think about things to write on my walks too, but then I get distracted when I get home and it’s lost forever 😦

    • Ha ha, I got a recorder app for my phone so I could record my thoughts, I listened to them yesterday and couldn’t remember what my thought train was! LOL

      I did enter my idea. What the heck?

  4. Not to be a Debbie downer… but they have a place like that here (

    … it was to expensive for my taste (plus my dog is intact), and they still have the same problems as other parks with clueless owners and crazy dogs.. despite their rigorous tests. I have several friends that take their dog there, and one who is currently considering dropping her membership as she is just sick of the drama. She has probably put more time and money into working and training her dog (who may just have a weird mental issue that pops up on occasion) than 90% of people that take their dog to that place. But in the end she still gets blamed, when usually it was their dog that caused the issue in the first place. And yes they have moderators there too, and they have talks with the trouble owners but hey they paid and passed the test so what more are they going to do?

    I used to live in a town where there was a gated dog park, this helped crack down on unvaccinated dogs at least… you had to prove your shots every year or you didn’t get a key back in. I really liked that about it, and the size was not horrible for a city dog park. I think you have a great idea in theory, just would be hard to find the right people to run the place… as in a way you are saying who is in and who is out and that makes it hard on other people who are working with their dog on issues. Or who have dogs who just don’t love obnoxious dogs and thus want to correct their obnoxious/rude behavior (Luna raises paw).

    I wish more land was designated for dog parks as a whole, so the ones that do exist would not be so crowded and thus everything would be better off. This would help those that just have to have a fence and those that want a legal place to run their dog.


    • You’re not a Debbie Downer! LOL I think that is a cool looking place and you are right, there will always be some crackpot that gums up the works. 😦 It is pricey and I think it would depend on how close by I was. It wouldn’t be bad if I was only 15 or 20 mins away and could go frequently.

      I wish more land was designated for dogs too. 🙂

  5. I would like a thing like that, however, since it would be something private and somehow exclusively for well adapted dogs, my question/concern would be how and who would decide whether or not a dog is fit to be a member?
    And with that comes all the legal issues that a “rejection” would bring, you know people is touchy and would use anything to sue and that’d be the end of the park lol.
    And I just realized I was extremely negative, but I just wanted to point what the problems would be, of course I would pay for a place like that, Doggy will be happy swimming at a clean place.

    • No worries Leo, that’s what the post was all about, to see what people thought. It would be great in theory but there would always be one whack job that would ruin it for everybody else. You do have a lot of dog friendly places where you are though, right?

  6. We’ve got an indoor park like that here in Portland but it’s about a half hour away from where I live so we’ve never frequented it. The fully fenced regular city dog park is only 5 minutes away from my house and it suits us just fine. Really, with 3 dogs, my house is pretty much a dog park all the time! 🙂

    My dream is a dog camp, a place where you can go to camp with your dog. Someday!

    • Here’s a camp I’ve been wanting to go to for years- Camp Gone to the Dogs- . They have all sorts of activities to try out. I’ve seen other camps, so you might be able to find some others.

      I think your park sounds awesome, unfortunately I’m not a dog park person. I don’t trust other people to monitor their dogs enough for me to feel comfortable. And I don’t like the ever-changing cast of dogs. I stick with hanging out with people and dogs I know well.

    • Doggie camp sounds like fun, I might check into that for our next vacation! Thanks guys!!

  7. We have a fenced in dog park here…but nothing like the one you are talking about. Our dog park is always full of dogs and I love to drive by and see the dogs playing. I can’t take our dogs because Teddy is scared to leave his backyard, Scout isn’t neutered (he was too old to be neutered when we got him) and Ash doesn’t get along well with other dogs. Shiloh would have loved going to the dog park but she was too old when they finally got one here.

    If I had a dog that I could take to the dog park I would love to have one like the one you are talking about!

    • It sounds ideal, doesn’t it! My dogs aren’t fond of the traditional dog park, Delilah is coming along on recalls but I would love a place for her to run and run without worry of losing her.

  8. I think this sounds like a good idea but in all honesty, I don’t think I would be willing to pay for it. We have one official fenced dog park in our area that has walking trails and lots of trees but the park is huge and I never trusted our dogs enough to go there (Rosy and her dog aggression issues pretty much kept us out of the dog park scene and Dexter is scared of his own shadow.) There is an unofficial dog park that is not fenced that seems to have quite the little community surrounding it in our town too. If we ever end up with dog friendly dogs, I would love to do the dog park thing.

  9. My first thought is the cost of liability insurance. I’m sure it would be astronomical and you just know that someone will be looking to sue someone for something. I can almost imagine lawyers hanging around passing out their cards to people.

    Am I cynical? Yes. But you know I’m right.

  10. I love the idea. I would pay if it was affordable. But with so many bills for healthy food and vet care etc I would have to see if I could fit it into my budget. I would like to add to your daydream a smaller fenced area where maybe two dogs could play that got along well together. This is because Kelly isn’t good with all other dogs, but it would be nice for her to have a chance to run free with a dog she could be friends with.

  11. […] about her dogs, Sampson and Delilah, has always been a favorite of mine. In her most recent post, Jodi blogged about an ideal dog park, and asked what value readers would put on such a […]

  12. We have a public/free dog park with basically all those features. (Except the indoor area.) We don’t use it because I am neurotic. I raised my blood pressure twenty points for sure constantly scouting for potential problems. As a person with no dog-history, the least little bit of rough play practically panics me.

    I think before I would pay for a public park, I would pay for the really excellent local day care. That way Silas can play, and I don’t have to participate. In fact, he would be in daycare now if I thought he could pass their temperament test. I don’t know that he couldn’t–I think they mostly watch for resource guarding and dog-bullying, neither of which are his style–but it would break my heart if he “failed.”

    • The first dog is always a learning experience. You will get there. Have you approached the daycare? Perhaps you could drop him off for a half hour and see how he did? Sometimes they do better when mom isn’t around. 🙂

  13. You already know what I think LOL Go for it! We started by emailing our mayor.

  14. The facilities you imagine sound lovely. But I suspect that any place depends on the people involved.

    Rather than a dream physical place, I’d love to have a companionable posse of people to visit and walk dogs with. If, for instance, I could meet up with say, Jodi and Sampson and Delilah for a stroll, it would hardly matter where we did it. 🙂

  15. We probably would never go to a place like that. Give me an open hilly field and some technical water and we are good. 🙂 There is a place around here and you buy a seasonal membership. $325 for the season. Unfortunately it is too far to go after work or we would join.

  16. What a great idea!!

  17. We have a fenced-in, off-leash dog park in the city where we live. There is a trail and plenty of room to play fetch. Lila loves it!!! We take her there as often as we can. She has to wear a collar that costs $25 a year. There are rules, but there is not anyone there keeping guard. Our park works great for us.

    I like the idea of having classes, and if there was a guard, I think a picnic ground would work. Lila would especially love a pond!

    You have given us a great visual of your dream!

  18. It’s funny you posted this today Jodi as I was just thinking about how nice it would be to have a dog park in my town. At our Community where our house in Florida is located, we have a simple fenced dog park; half is fenced off for small dogs and the other half for big dogs. Hubby took our babies there almost every day and it was terrific. I would consider paying for something like that around here, I’d be happy to pay a reasonable yearly fee and I wouldn’t care about a guard I think people would have to police themselves as long as the big dogs are kept seperated from the little ones.

  19. I love this idea and it could work on our “farm” but I think we are just too far out of the way to make it work as a “business” So I guess my girlz will just be the soul members of this K-9 country club!!
    As I walk the dogs I am constantly thinking and dreaming…just wish I had a way to harness the information so i didn’t forget it by the time I got back to the house/computer. Must be a middle age thing…. HAHA.

  20. […] Would You Pay? – Author’s Note […]

  21. Well, as you can see, I had a hectic week and am backing up through your posts, desperately trying to catch up. Sorry it’s taken so long. Anyway, I have to say I am really, really lucky. I have a fantastic park in which dogs mostly run around off leash. It has a river, quite a few dams, is a birding conservation area with some dams fenced off to protect the bird life and hides for people to sit in and bird watch. It is many hectares worth of space so, even though it is not fenced, once you are walking within the area, dogs don’t get close to the road. I have, however, thought of exactly your type of concept, for people to be able to walk their dogs at night. Not everyone can get home when it’s still light but they want to walk their dogs. I thought of the same thing with floodlights. How interesting that all responsible dogs owners end up thinking about the same kind of stuff. Ok – enough of the essay now – sorry for making you read so much.

  22. A marvelous idea Jodi! I like the idea of wrist bands with matching tag for dogs, though I doubt anyone would try to walk off with me! 🙂

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