Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

9 Dog Park Design Ideas: Excellent Examples & Tips

Written by: Codee Chessher

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

American Foxhound dog standing on pathway at the park

9 Dog Park Design Ideas: Excellent Examples & Tips

Dog parks are magical places where your best four-legged family member can let their fur down with play facilities, dog-centric activities, and of course, plenty of other dogs to play with. Everyone knows a great dog park when they see one. Designing these awesome places is easier said than done, though! If you’ve ever wondered about what exactly goes into a quality dog park, look no further. Join us down below as we talk a bit about what makes a great dog park and nine stellar examples you can refer to for inspiration.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-01-TEST

What Makes a Great Dog Park?

What is it that elevates some dog parks from mediocrity into the pantheon of greatness? Is it a tranquil location, lots of toys, and fenced-off areas? Great dog parks have those, it’s true, but there’s more to it. Let’s briefly break down some of the hallmarks of a great dog park. Afterwards, we’ll list some examples.

A Great Dog Park Should Include:

  • Spacious, clean, and secure fenced areas for big and small breeds to play
  • Dog-friendly amenities, like drinking water and toys
  • Athletic courses, obstacles, ramps, tunnels, and similar physical fun
  • Water features like splash pads, geysers, and sprayers (optional)
  • Comfortable nearby areas for humans to supervise their dogs
  • Walking trails/paths
  • Convenient parking

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-01-TEST

The 9 Examples of Exceptional Dog Parks

1. Jackson Bark

🗺️Location: 📍Chicago, Illinois

By far, one of the coolest dog parks on our list is Jackson Bark in Chicago. This dog park has a construction zone theme complete with an agility course that looks like scaffolding, a giant fire hydrant, water features, road lights, and all sorts of cool things for your pup to climb on and explore. Better yet, this is a community-run park, and it’s stocked with extras that people bring, like toys and first-aid kits.

2. Fiesta Island Dog Park

🗺️Location: 📍San Diego, California

First up on our list is the boundless Fiesta Island Dog Park, which is an entire sandy island off the coast of San Diego devoted entirely to dogs. Fiesta Island sits on over 150 acres of sandy dunes for your dog to roll and run around, as well as quite a bit of calm beaches for the more daring doggos to dip their paws. The majority of Fiesta Island is an off-leash zone where your dog can let loose. We recommend bringing lots of water and sunscreen if visiting in the summer, though, because this park lacks shade.

3. Dog Mountain

🗺️Location: 📍St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Nestled in a corner of Vermont, Dog Mountain is a superb dog park dedicated to all things dog—even the ones in heaven. Dog Mountain is an open 150-acre farm on a rolling green forest and hills for dogs and humans to explore, with more amenities than you can shake a stick at. There are hiking trails, swimming pools, and a dog-centric art gallery, but the most notable landmark is definitely the Doggy Chapel. This somber sanctuary is devoted to all the fallen Fidos out there.

4. Pilgrim Bark Park

🗺️Location: 📍Provincetown, Massachusetts

Located in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Pilgrim Bark Park is a lovingly maintained dog park with separate play areas for big and small breeds. It has wide, sandy areas for dog racing that your dog will go crazy for, but the real star is the dog art. From comical fire hydrant sculptures and dog-shaped benches, you’ll find no shortage of curious and amusing dog-related art crafted by local craftsmen at this park.

5. Hugh Rogers Wag Park

🗺️Location: 📍Whitefish, Montana

Named after a beloved local veterinarian, the Hugh Rogers Wag Park is a 5-acre dog park with vast grassy areas to run as well as hilly tunnels to play hide and seek. A lot of visitors report their dog enjoys the crystal-clear swimming pool located on-site, and they have agility equipment to up the ante in the fun department. To help all breeds enjoy the park equally, there are two separate areas for small and big breeds.

6. Martin Dog Park

🗺️Location: 📍Southern Pines, North Carolina

In the woody backcountry of Southern Pines, North Carolina lies the 50-acre Martin Dog Park, with a host of twisty woodland paths for you and your dog to explore. There are strategically located benches for convenient rest or picnic areas too! If your dog is feeling adventurous, they can even go splash in the shallow creek on the property. All 50 acres are off-leash, too, so your dog can check things out at their own pace.

7. Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park

🗺️Location: 📍Santa Fe, New Mexico

A stone’s throw from Santa Fe is the palatial 138-acre Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park, with hilly scrubland and arroyos as far as the eye can see, or as far as the dog can run! This is as close to dog paradise as you can get, and all dogs are allowed off their leashes in the park too. With clear views of Santa Fe to sweeten the bargain, this dog park is especially gorgeous during the winter.

8. Beneful Dream Dog Park

🗺️Location: 📍Alabaster, Alabama

You wouldn’t be wrong to call Beneful Dream Dog Park the Six Flags for dogs. This meticulously curated dog park has dog-safe synthetic turf, rocky areas to climb, a gigantic dog football fetch field, and splash pads for cooling off. For the humans, this park offers walking trails to get your steps in and plenty of shaded benches to unwind at while your dog gets their crazies out.

9. 1000 Acres Dog Park

🗺️Location: 📍Troutdale, Oregon

Last but certainly not least on our list of great dog park designs is the 1000 Acres Dog Park on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. The name actually undersells it a bit, since your dog actually has over 1,400 acres of river delta and woods to meander while your dog romps around off-leash. Your dog will love birdwatching and might even join you for a swim in the Columbia River.

dogster face divider


Dog parks are like theme parks to man’s best friend, and the best dog parks have a ton of space so that they can run and play to their heart’s content. These destinations tend to have stunning views of the surrounding areas, places for you to rest along the way, and separated areas for big and small breeds.

Featured Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.