Off-leash Planning & Fenced Dog Parks

Below is a selection of off-leash projects we have completed.

You may also want to see some of the fenced dog parks we’ve visited here in Australia and overseas.

off-leash greyhound trialsGreyhound Off-leash Guidelines

Adelaide, SA
Dog and Cat Management Board, SA

In 2019, Balancing Act Adelaide was contracted by the Dog and Cat Management Board (SA) to prepare state-wide guidelines for local councils around supervised off-leash greyhound events.

Pityarilla (Park 19) ‘Marshmallow’ Dog Park

Adelaide, SA
City of Adelaide

Dog park in Adelaide’s south parklands

In 2018, Balancing Act Adelaide worked with Aspect Studios (SA) to design a dog park as part of a five million upgrade to Pityarilla ‘Marshmallow’ Park (Park 19) located in the southern Park Lands of Adelaide.

The dog park was the first section of the parklands to be upgraded. The dog park includes a small and large dog area with natural play items such as logs and rocks for dogs to explore and plants to sniff.  There are grassed areas, shelters, seating and a water play feature for dogs in the large dog area.

This dog park provides a space for city dwellers to exercise their dogs off-leash.


  • Aspect Studios, SA

The Greyhound Hour Trial

Goolwa, SA
Alexandrina Council

Greyhound off-leash trial in South Australia

In South Australia, it’s a legal requirement under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 that all greyhounds be on-leash at all times in a public place. This requirement includes fenced dog parks and designated off-leash areas.

In 2018, Alexandrina Council applied to the Dog and Cat Management Board for an exemption under the Act to undertake a Greyhound Off-leash Trial. This trial was a collaboration between the Alexandrina Council, GAP SA and Friends of the Port Elliot Dog Park.

This report provides a summary of the planning process, identification of benefits and challenges, and summary of the lessons learnt and insights.


  • GAP, SA

Fenced Dog Parks: Siting, Design & Management Guidelines

Geelong, Vic
City of Greater Geelong

Fenced dog parks in the City of Geelong

In 2018, Balancing Act Adelaide was engaged by the City of Greater Geelong to develop a strategic plan for the development of fenced dog parks. Geelong’s growing population meant that it was important to plan a variety of open spaces for people to exercise their dogs including the provision of fenced dog parks.

Rather than reacting to ad-hoc requests for fenced dog parks, a strategic approach was developed for the development of new dog parks in a thoughtful and coordinated manner.

This document provides directions for future planning, provision, design, management and operations of fenced dog parks in existing and new housing areas. Cost estimates for an average-sized (3000m2) fenced dog parks were provided to assist Council with future budgets.

Click here to download the ‘Fenced Dog Parks’ report.

Unleashed: A Guide to Successful Dog Parks

Adelaide, SA
Dog and Cat Management Board, SA

Best Practice Dog Park Guidelines

In 2013, Balancing Act Adelaide developed the first dog park guidelines for SA for the Dog and Cat Management Board of SA. The guidelines ‘Unleashed, A Guide to Successful Dog Parks‘ combine planning, urban design and dog behaviour into one comprehensive document. The guidelines outline best practice techniques for the planning and design of dog parks in SA.

This publication was based on numerous audits and mapping of over 30 fenced dog parks in SA. The audits provided a sound insight into existing practices, and the culture of dog parks.

In 2014, Balancing Act Adelaide won the Planning Institute of Australia (SA) Award for Planning Excellence for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching for these guidelines.


  • Kylie Fergusen


  • National Commendation, 2015 PIA Awards for Planning Excellence (Aust.) for Cutting Edge Research & Teaching
  • SA Winner, 2014 PIA Awards for Planning Excellence (SA) for Cutting Edge Research & Teaching

Click here to download the ‘Unleashed Dog Parks’ guidelines.

Dogs Off-Leash Study

Mitcham, SA
City of Mitcham

Is there a need for a dog park?

Balancing Act Adelaide was engaged by the City of Mitcham to undertake a review of Council’s off-leash areas and the need for additional fenced dog parks. Through a comprehensive consultation process, the community expressed a strong desire for more off-leash parks that are accessible by foot and enhancement of amenities for dogs and their owners such as water fountains, dog bags, bins, and seats.

Off-leash parks that are within walking distance of our domestic environment support the development of active communities.

Related Projects

  • Enhancing our park for people and dogs off-leash

Click here to download the ‘Dogs Off-leash Study’.

Bayview Reserve Dog Park

Bayview, Rockingham, WA
City of Rockingham

First dog park in City of Rockingham

Balancing Act Adelaide in collaboration with Aspect Studios (SA) was engaged by the City of Rockingham to prepare a design and documentation for Council’s first dog park in Bayview.  The dog park design provides separate areas for large and small dogs, double entry gates, a sandpit, drinking water for people and dogs, and a shelter which is shared by both dog areas. There are informal garden paths for passive exploration of the senses.

This project was undertaken on a small budget so cost-saving techniques were an important element in the design process.

Balancing Act Adelaide developed a dog park management and maintenance plan including a maintenance checklist, and a list of potential risks and control measures. The dog park was built in 2016.


  • Aspect Studios SA