06 Apr 2011

Kingsman Field Dog Park Tips

Originally Uploaded to flickr by jsmjr

After years of waiting, Kingsman Field Dog Park is finally open. Most of us have been used to the free and easy ways of our neighborhood parks, which have been used as unofficial dog parks for many years. But Kingsman Field is a little different and Hill Hounds was kind enough to put together some tips and recommendations for its use.

From the Hill Hounds website:

1. With the double-gated entry, please NEVER open the main gate when there is an unleashed dog in the entry area. Please wait until the owner of the dog in the entry area has had a chance to re-leash him or her.

2. Please try to keep your dogs from forming a “welcome committee” to those entering the park. There have been a few incidences of aggression between those inside and those trying to enter. Things are calmer once everyone is inside and not feeling cornered or intruded upon.

3. We have a small dog area (gate on the right of the entry area) and a main play area (gate on the left of the entry area). All dogs are welcome in the main play area, regardless of size. But if your dog is small enough to get picked on by larger dogs, is older and needs a more tame play environment, etc, the small dog area is there for your use.

4. Be sure all dogs remain on-leash until inside the double-gated area. The walkway from the D Street sidewalk is an entrance to the dog park, the playing field and the basketball court. Therefore, we need to be curteous to the users of these other resources and keep our dogs on-leash when we’re not in the park.

5. Please make sure to comply with the Department of Parks and Recreation Dog Park Rules.

Nichole Remmert is fundraising and outreach chair of the board of Hill Hounds.



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12 responses to “Kingsman Field Dog Park Tips”

  1. Janelle says:

    I’m not as impressed with this dog park as I thought I would be. It has some serious drainage issues that result in mud puddles along a good portion of the fence alongside the basketball courts. Also, my dog got extremely sick after drinking from the fountain in the park. I have to be honest, I’m not sure we will be back.

  2. Peach Pie says:

    Janelle, how do you know it came from the water fountain? Just wondering because my dog has picked up serious bacterial infections from some random place like the sidewalk, though I think in general a dog is more likely to pick up something if they’re in an environment with lots of other dogs.

    There weren’t any puddles when I went, but that was before we got all that rain…

  3. Wizzer says:

    it’s nice to have a legit outlet for the dogs to play and many kudos to those with Hill Hounds who made it all possible!
    I, too, hope the drainage issues by the basketball fence will addressed now that its become apparent with the recent weather. I was surprised by the lack of park benches inside the main play area for us dog owners while fido plays…is there any chance that others will be added down the line? Also, a wish list suggestion would be another trash receptacle at the far end of the park.

  4. Sara says:

    I wish there were entirely separate areas for little dogs and big dogs. My dog is a queen bee; she does fine with other big dogs, but has been known to put little dogs in their place. Moreover, it’s the little dogs that always start the fight!

  5. We have been in contact with DPR and the drainage issues are a priority. We’re also working with them to get the fountains working more consistently.

    @Sara. There are entirely separate areas for small dogs/older dogs. Of course, the small dogs aren’t required to stay in the small dog area – many prefer to play with the rest of the dogs (my 27 lb schnoodle is not a huge fan of dogs smaller than she is; she thinks she’s 80 lbs and tends to just ignore the little ones). The small dog area is really supposed to be a calmer quieter space for the little ones and older dogs who may not want full exposure to all of the romping in the “general population.”

  6. Angry Parakeet says:

    The reason benches are not installed is because male dogs urinate on the legs or supports, as they do any vertical object and then they become a marking magnet.

  7. Karl says:

    “we need to be curteous to the users of these other resources and keep our dogs on-leash when we’re not in the park”

    I agree. We also need to remember that DC law required dogs be on a leash lo longer than 4 feet.

  8. Worried says:

    @Wizzer: Last time I was there, there were benches. Have they been removed?

    My concern has been with the aggression shown by a few different dogs the last few times I’ve gone. One dog can really throw the whole park off. I have a small, friendly dog who likes to run along side the bigger dogs as they chase thrown toys. He’s avoided the tense moments and fights that have arisen, but I worry it just isn’t safe for him to be running around with the mean dogs.

    It would be a form of torture for my dog to be alone in the small area and not be able to play with the other dogs. I just wish owners of aggressive or questionable dogs wouldn’t bring them to the park. Throwing an unstable dog into a dog park isn’t a productive or safe way to socialize a dog.

  9. Peach Pie says:

    Yeah, I saw at least 3 benches when I was there… and none of them were being used. I think it’s better to not have a lot of benches because it encourages owners to get up and run around with their dogs. It’s easier to break up a fight if you’re not sitting off in a corner somewhere.

  10. Anon says:

    Here is a terrible story about an incident at the dog park at 17th and S, N.W. My dog was hurt at Kingsman Field this week (thankfully he will be fine) and this article really hits home. Owners have got to be diligent about keeping an eye on their dogs and staying close by to prevent any incidents. You wouldn’t take your eyes off your child in a playground, the same rule should apply to the dog park.


  11. Anon says:

    …and the #1 dog park rule?
    Use the new dog park and quit letting your dog run off-leash at Lincoln Park!!!

    I think it’s great that a dedicated dog park has opened up – there’s certainly demand for it. Now, when will NPS start enforcing its own rule?

  12. Banal says:

    I agree with Worried. When people bring their poorly socialized dogs to a dog park, it can really change the dyanmics of the park. Some people refuse to see that their precious little beast is a doggie bully.

    I also agree with Anon. There are way too many dogs at Lincoln Park that are off-leash.

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