Dog Park Planning & Design Guidelines

Dog Park Guidelines prepared by Balancing Act Adelaide for DCMB

Dog Park Guidelines prepared by Balancing Act Adelaide for DCMB

In 2013, Fiona De Rosa of Balancing Act Adelaide was approached by the Dog and Cat Management Board of South Australia to prepare the state government Guidelines on Enclosed Dog Parks.

My focus on enclosed dog parks started some years ago. Why?

While auditing dog parks across South Australia and talking with park designers I discovered a key element was missing from current practices. This element was the integration of both dog and human needs and the understanding of dog behaviour in the design process.

Just like designing a kids playground we look at how children play, learn and interact with each other. The dog park is no different – in that we need an understanding of dogs’ needs and their behaviour, particularly in an enclosed space” (De Rosa 2014)

These Guidelines “Unleashed: A Guide to Successful Dog Parks” published by the Dog and Cat Management Board (prepared by Balancing Act Adelaide) are unique in the way they bring together the topics of planning, design and dog behaviour in a consolidated document.

Our own research shows there is a lack of information on this subject area. The current information is somewhat fragmented across many different areas such as: open space planning, urban design and animal behavior, making it difficult to access coherent information on dog park design” (De Rosa, 2013).

Enclosed dog parks are a relatively new concept in Australia and are emerging as a popular ype of recreation park that we know very little about. This publication is a first step in the right direction.

Do dog parks really work? This issue is discussed in “Unleashed: A Guide to Successful Dog Parks“. These Dog Park Guidelines are available from the Dog and Cat Management Board website.

If you would like to better understand the principles of dog park planning and design and how they can be tailored to your specific project, please contact Fiona De Rosa at or 0431 863 357.