Fenced-in dog parks in Duluth

Are there any fenced-in parks around that are dog friendly? I just got tossed out of one that I found. We were playing, and the pooch was getting a good run, when someone came out of the church and told us that we were on private property. She was pretty nasty about it, as well. So I’m looking for a place to take our pup for off-leash running.

Side note: Church folk apparently don’t have to post private property signs. Also, they don’t like it when you point out that private church property could be considered an oxymoron.

27 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

I'm pretty sure Keene Creek Park in West Duluth is the only dog park -- fenced in or otherwise -- in Duluth, although I think some trails near Enger Park were somewhat recently opened for off-leash dogs.

And, for reference, I think the most recent time this subject came up on PDD was the "Dog-friendly Duluth" post from 2010.

Garmoe

about 10 years ago

Yeah, there's a dog park out West, I think sort of in the Wheeler Field area. Fenced in and specifically for dogs. I'm sure if you vist the Duluth Parks website you'd find the address. There might be others as well.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Keene Creek Park is about two miles west of Wheeler Fields. It's underneath I-35  at 63rd Avenue West & Bristol Street, right by where the freeway crosses over Grand Avenue.

The city's fact sheet on the dog park is here (PDF file).

Nick L

about 10 years ago

Off leash trails near Enger and other places are authorized to be created.  Unfortunately, the trails don't exist yet.  It's up to a group to work with the City to develop the trails.  Parks & Recreation would have the details.

adam

about 10 years ago

There's a tiny dog park next to the Incline Station.

Chris

about 10 years ago

If it was a Christian church, then I'm pretty sure Jesus said something about private property being sacred and sharing your property being an abomination in the Sermon on the Mount.

double barrell darrell

about 10 years ago

What Jesus said and what the church does parted ways about 1,000 years ago.

Chris

about 10 years ago

Don't you mean 2000 years ago?  I didn't know that the  churches were ideally Christian until the end of the early middle ages.

Ruthie

about 9 years ago

The cross country ski trails are great places to walk your dog off leash until the snow flies.  After the snow flies they block off Skyline Parkway just past Hawks Ridge down to Lower Seven Bridges Road so that also is a place to walk your dog off leash.  You have to watch out for snowmobiles.  I don't go there on weekends if I can help it.  Of course I assume you have control of your dog and they come when you call, etc.

Pat

about 9 years ago

If you go off leash in Hawk's Ridge or 7 Bridges Rd, PLEASE make sure you actually have CONTROL of your dog when your dog is distracted or excited by food or other dogs or children.  There have been many troubles with young or excited dogs that are less trained than the owner thinks they are.  A large number of off-leash dogs lack the training to come to their owner when called under distraction.  It can cause these and other problems that have recently occurred...

1. An unleashed 6 month old black lab jumps into a family picnic and takes a sandwich right out of the hands of a 3 year old, who gets scared and cries.  The middle-aged male owner sees it all and runs away without a word, taking no responsibility.

2. A woman on a cell phone with a large dog about 50 yards ahead of her lets her large, friendly dog run up to a group of little children, who start crying as the dog jumps on them.  The owner ignores the problem and focuses on her cell phone call.  When the woman finally reaches her dog, she acts annoyed as if it is the children's fault that they are upset.

3. A man is 50 yards behind his 1 year old dog who is super friendly and runs up to a large dog-aggressive dog fresh from the pound who is on leash.  Dogs fight.  Off-leash dog ignores all owner commands.

4. A couple of young teen boys are walking two very large dogs on "retractable leashes" that are retracted but not locked.  When passing another dog 10 feet away, the two large dogs aggressively pounce on the passing dog and owner, since they have an extra 15 feet of free leash that can extend.  The two teen boys say "They do that all the time."  The other dog owner wonders how the boys' parents failed to explain how to walk the dogs responsibly if this happens all the time.

About 2/3 of off-leash dogs are well trained, and 1/3 are not.  But the owners of the 1/3 are often under the delusion that their dog is well trained and would never jump on children or fight another dog.  

There have been a number of dog fights where an owner says "My 10 month old dog has never fought before, and usually comes when I call."  Some owners think that because their dog is young an friendly, then all children and other dogs will interpret the friendly dog jumping all over them as friendly.  An IQ test is not required for dog ownership.

RS

about 9 years ago

Pat, THANK YOU!!!  I don't even know where to begin with my feelings of off-leash dog owners!  There's a time and place for letting your dog run off leash, and in parks and on trails that many people use is NOT that place.  I always have my dog on a leash when we walk and hike.  And like every other dog owner out there I will state my dog is friendly and good natured.  However every time she has a scrap with another dog, the other dog has been off leash, the owner is NOT in control of the dog and the dog has rushed at mine, causing mine to choose between fight or flight.  Since she is on a leash, flight is not an option so...  If I was tied up and you rushed at me, I'd make a good attempt to defend myself to.  
It's gotten to the point where I no longer worry about hurting other dog owners feelings and I WILL say something to them when they come to collect their animal.  I think IQ tests SHOULD be required for dog ownership.

RS

about 9 years ago

Oops I hit submit too soon.  I did want to point out that my dog is not an itty bitty teacup type dog, she's at least a medium sized one.  And I don't want to come across as a hypocrite - owning a dog and hating other dog owners - I just want people to realize that they really aren't doing their dog any favors by allowing it to be off leash when there are other people/dogs around.  So buck up, buy a leash and obey the rules.  Or take your dog to a remote location and let her run.  Mine gets her freedom at the hunting shack, where there are no immediate neighbors, no one on the trails on our property, and she has acres of stuff to sniff.

Chris

about 9 years ago

I'm with RS!  About once a week some off-leash dog runs up to my leashed dog at about 100 MPH.  I can never tell whether the dog is friendly or not, and neither can my dog.  My dog always chooses to fight it out in what he thinks is an attempt to save his life or mine.  The dude who owns the dog then blames ME for the dog fight!!!  Like the fight is my fault!!!  So frustrating!!!

MoeSewCo

about 9 years ago

Thanks for the input, all.

I can't let our little terrier mix off leash outside because she just takes off. For some reason, everything is a distraction for her, and I can't trust that she'll stay with me. That's why I was asking for a fenced-in dog park -- someplace for her to run and play outside without me worrying about her taking off.

I am as responsible as I can be. I always clean up after her, and when we were using the church playground area, I always walked her before we went in so that she wouldn't make a mess inside. I'm one of those old-fashioned folks that tries to leave things better than when I find them, so the loss of the little church area was really frustrating for me.

hbh1

about 9 years ago

If I had a dime for every time some off-leashed dog owner said lamely, "Oh he never does that!" when their dog ran up, growled and freaked the hell out of me and my mellow old huskie dog, I'd be a rich woman. 

I have come to the conclusion that they're all liars or I live in some world where mellow old essentially non-responsive huskie dogs are pariahs. 

Please people, why do I have to be the one to talk your dog down, when I'm the one following the law?

hbh1

about 9 years ago

Also, I've been to Keene Creek once. It's not too bad, but my dog wasn't impressed.

Chris

about 9 years ago

hbh1, if I had a dime for every time I had to talk down someone else's dog, I'd be rich too!

And it seems to take a year-and-a-day for the owner to catch up to the dog and take it away.  People take forever to get control of their dog, all the while claiming "My dog is so friendly, you have nothing to be afraid of." 

Well, I do have something to be afraid of!  I'm afraid of getting in between a fight between an unknown off-leash excited dog and my leashed excited dog.  People could get hurt, and it can be very stressful.  I go on these walks to reduce stress, not heap more of it on myself.

j

about 9 years ago

Now having a toddler, I get completely frustrated with off-leash dogs.  My son doesn't understand that not all dogs are friendly and he loves dogs.  I don't care if your dog is friendly, but an excited dog can easily hurt my son who I may be trying to take for a walk to burn energy, just like the dog owners.  However, if people wouldn't let their kids run around unsupervised, why would you let your dog?! I have two dogs myself and I don't care how well trained they are, I don't trust them.  I had mine take off once and I learned my lesson that I can't get in their little head to know what he's going to do.  My dogs are well behaved but not super well trained, probably like most dogs in Duluth.

Nikki

about 9 years ago

I've never been there, but my neighbors told me that the kennels (Harbor City, I think?) on Jean Duluth Road have a dog park, though they charge per visit.  It wasn't much, like $1 per visit, but there may have been a registration fee, too.  Personally, I prefer free, but just thought I'd mention another option so people know it's out there.

MoeSewCo

about 9 years ago

As a dog owner, I get fed up with all of the toddlers running around off leash.

Sam

about 9 years ago

Is there any enforcement of leash laws in Duluth?

hbh1

about 9 years ago

My favorite is the lady I saw walking her "leashed" dogs in Hartley--they had leashes on, but she just let them run around dragging them, so she wouldn't have to keep up!

Anyway, has anyone else visited Keene Creek? The one time I was there, one man came by with his female husky, which really got my old dog wagging his tail (if you know what I mean). The guy mumbled something about how it gets a little dodgy in the evening, and I didn't ask him what he meant. Does he mean that sketchy people bring in their sketchy dogs, such that you wouldn't want to risk having your dog running loose with them lest they be mauled to death? Or does he mean he's scared of the neighborhood? I mean, I'm not really worried about being mugged, since I don't have money and my dog would scare them off (not really).

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

Towards the end of the day, the park does clear out of people and dogs. When this happens, you do feel a bit alone and isolated. It's not that it's dangerous, but you get the feeling if someone intended to harm you, it would be difficult for you to get to a safe place.
Verdict: the park is perfectly safe, but if the sun gets low and you're the only person there, be aware of your surroundings (which is always good advice).

Miranda

about 9 years ago

I vote for a dog park in Lakeside!! We drive 20 miles to get to Keene Creek dog park, which we love!.  A city this size should have more dog friendly areas.

wildreed

about 9 years ago

Keene Creek Dog Park is a lame excuse for a dog park. I moved here from the Twin Cities where dog parks were several acres with huge play areas and trails. We went to Keene once and there was no place for my dogs to run. It's tiny, and the sheer number of dogs confined to a small area led to quite a bit of aggression.

"There's a time and place for letting your dog run off leash" -- I agree. The problem is, there ISN'T a place in Duluth to do this.

We have two dogs and the main reason we did not buy a house in Duluth is because of the lack of dog parks (we used to have two of them within a 10 minute drive). Because we aren't comfortable letting them off-leash in areas it might piss people off, we ended up buying acreage a ways out of town.

I feel fortunate to have space for my dogs to run, but feel bad for city dog owners, many of whom tell me how frustrated they are with the situation. Leashed walks are great, but dogs also need to run.

wildreed

about 9 years ago

My suggestion given the lack of funding for new parks: the city could designate a couple of existing parks where off-leash dogs are allowed (such a designation would cost nothing other than a couple signs). Then people who don't want to interact with off-leash dogs can go elsewhere.

A fence would still be preferred, but this would be better than nothing.

Iron Oregon

about 9 years ago

Sure glad I only have indoor cats. These dog creatures certainly sound nearly feral - or at the very least - quite difficult to manage as pets.

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