Seal of Dane County County of Dane

Dog Park Rules & Recommendations

As dog parks increase in popularity, it is important to remember the following rules and recommendations to keep the experience enjoyable for everyone:


  • Dog owners are legally and financially liable for injuries or damages caused by their dog(s). Wis. Stat. Ann. 174.02 (1).
  • All dogs must be legally licensed and vaccinated. Dogs are required to wear a visible, municipal license, and I.D. tag. Wis. Stat. Ann. 95.21 (2).
  • A Daily or Annual Park Dog Permit is required. D.C. Ord.53.02 (1)(l)
  • Aggressive dogs are prohibited from the park. Any dog exhibiting aggressive behavior must be removed from the park immediately.
  • Dog waste must be cleaned up and placed in the proper receptacle by the owner/handler. This is essential to the ongoing success of the dog park.
  • The owner/handler must be in control of their dog(s) at all times. The dog must be within view and under voice control of the owner/handler.
  • You must remain in the dog area with your dog at all times.
  • Female dogs in season (heat) are not allowed in a dog park.
  • Dogs must be leashed with a 6-foot static lease when entering and leaving off-leash areas. The owner/handler must have a leash in their possession at all times.
  • Annual dog permits are in the form of a small dog tag and must be attached to your dog’s collar whenever they are at a Dane County park property. The collar should also contain the dog’s municipal license and an ID tag with your contact information.


  • Limit food and treats brought into a dog park as they may attract other dogs.
  • Leave toys at home. Throwing balls or other dog toys may lead to possession aggression.
  • Make sure your dog is healthy. It is possible for your dog to pass on an infection or parasite to other dogs. Sharing water can also lead to disease transmission.
  • Children should be supervised when in the dog park.
  • During hunting season you and your dog should wear blaze orange. Visit our Park Use During Hunting Season webpage for more information.
  • A dog park is not the place to work on behavioral problems with your dog.
  • Do not bring more dogs than you can effectively restrain. It is recommended that you bring no more than three dogs at one time.
  • Do not allow your dog to be in contact with wild animals.
  • It is not acceptable to dump pet waste from offsite at the dog park.
  • Dog bites/attacks should be reported to Madison Police Animal Services (608) 255-2345 (non-emergency) or 911 (emergency). For all other park related issues, contact Dane County Parks at (608) 224-3730.