German Shepherd playing with a ball

Best off-leash dog parks in Canberra

Canberra is a dog-friendly city.  This is illustrated by the facilitates available to pet owners, including off-leash dog parks, on-lead dog parks.

It does not matter if you are going for a walk around Lake Burley Griffin or to the markets, you will be surrounded with people walking their dogs. On the odd day you might even see a cat on a leash.

One of the benefits of living in Canberra for pet owners is the proliferation of fenced off-leash dog parks across Canberra that are situated both in the north and the south. These off-leash parks provide a safe areas for dogs to exercise and most importantly socialise with other dogs.  Exercising and socialising are both essential for keeping your dog happy and healthy. It is challenging to rate the off-leash parks as they are all fenced and have plenty of shady areas.  He is my attempt to rate off of them. 

Rules for Dog parks

Some important rules if you are taking your dog down to one of these off-leash dog parks.

  • must remain under the control of their carers at all times – (if you do not have effective control of your dog, you could receive a $250 fine – pretty hefty and a real damper if it happens to you);
  • must behave safely and appropriately, and follow commands;
  • make sure you use the appropriate enclosure if the dog park has a small and large dog enclosure;
  • don’t go into the enclosure if it is already crowded and leave immediately if you feel concerned about anything happening in the enclosure, or your dog’s behaviour;
  • toys and food, with the exception of discrete small training treats, should not be brought into the enclosure.
  •  if at any time your dog becomes overly anxious, annoying or aggressive leave the park and come back another time;
  • if you are a smoker, do not smoke in the enclosure as cigarette butts have the potential to be harmful for dogs;
  • Children under the age of 14 should not enter without an adult and should be supervised at all times. 

For a full list of do’s and don’t’s, full rules, and dog park etiquette, please see ACT Government website.   

Northside Pog Parks

There are four fenced off-leashed dog parks on the northside.  They are Belconnen, Casey, Forde and O’Connor.  

Casey Dog Park

Where:  Park Land:  Yeend Avenue, Springbank Rise  

Casey Dog Park, Gungahlin  Water trough at Casey Dog Park

One of the newest off-leash dog parks around Canberra sprang up with the establishment of Casey as a suburb.   It contains two enclosures – one for small dogs and one for larger dogs.  There was plenty of shade available for dogs to rest when they have had enough of playing. The large dog enclosure also contains a section of boulders that allows the inquisitive dogs to search and explore.  There was also ample water available if your dog gets thirsty.  The surface was mostly dirt with little grass available.  When we went there were not too many dogs using the enclosure.  

Small Enclosure at Casey
Large treed area in the large enclosure at Casey Dog Park
Tree lined area at Casey

The facilities for humans were pretty primitive.  The car park was small and contained a large number of potholes.  There was also no disabled parks available.  

Belconnen Dog Park

Where: Lake Ginninderra, Diddams Close

Belconnen Dog Park

This was the best dog park on the northside.  It contained two large enclosures – one for small dogs and one very large enclosure for medium to large dogs.  There was plenty of room for your dogs to run and run and run.  There were a number of large trees providing good coverage of shade.  The surface was mostly dirt although there were some grass patches.  There was plenty of freshwater to keep your energetic dog hydrated.  

Small Dog enclosure At Belconnen
Small enclosure at Belconnen Dog Park

The facilities for humans were excellent.  There were public toilets nearby, a large bitumen car park, and a lake nearby where your dog can go for a swim.  The enclosures also contained a bench seat where you can get comfortable while your dog plays.  

This is probably the best off-leash dog park in Canberra.  

Forde Dog Park

Where: Park land, Amy Ackman Drive

Sign of Forde Dog park, Gungahlin

The dog park at Forde was the smallest of the four dog parks on the northside.  There was only one enclosure for all dogs no matter what size or shape.  The real advantage of the Forde enclosure was the dog equipment, like tunnels and ledges, to keep your dog entertained when they are not socialising.  There was plenty of dirt surfaces for your to dig and roll around.  

Inside Forde Dog Park

The facilities for humans included a bench seat to watch the world go by or even read the newspaper.  There were two disabled car parks near the entrance making it the most disabled-friendly park.  

The lack of separation and the smaller enclosure makes this the third fourth best facility on the northside.  

O’Conner Dog Park

Where: Park land, Fairfax Street
O’Conner’s Dog Park, which is located off Fairfax street, it is a little out of the way.  It is certainly not on your normal walking path.  Most people are likely going to drive to get there.  It may have been cause it was before 10 am, but the park was not very busy with only a few dog owners utilising the facilities.  The car park is located off the end of a long dirt road.  It would not be ideal if it had just rained. 

The dog park includes both a small and large dog enclosure.  There were plenty of large shady trees to take sanctuary if it is hot.    Both enclosures were quite large with plenty of room for your dogs to roam around.  The large enclosure is on the side of a slight incline making it perfect for your dog to run up and down.  It will definitely wear them out.  

Small dog enclosure at O'Conner
Small Enclosure
Large enclosure at O'Conner Dog Park
Large dog enclosure
Shady areas at O'Conner
Shady areas at the Large dog enclosure

Because it was early, it is difficult to gauge how popular the dog park is.   It certainly was not busy at 10 am on a warm Saturday morning.  

Southside Dog Parks

There are currently only two fenced off-leashed dog parks that are operational at the moment as the Yarralumla Dog park is temporarily closed.  

Duffy dog park

Where: Park land, Warragamba Avenue.

Duffy dog park is well hidden amongst some bushland.  Driving in the dirt driveway reveals two huge enclosures and a massive car park.  It is the newest dog park in Canberra.  

Being a relatively new facility, it lacks large trees that provide shade for dogs and humans.  Both the small and the large dog enclosures suffered from these issues.  The large enclosure does have a sail that provides some shade for humans.  There was plenty of grass and dirt for dogs to enjoy.  It was quite a popular park with plenty of dogs coming and going while we were there.  Plenty of seating for humans to watch their dogs socialise.  

Duffy Dog park Duffy Dog park

It was a little unusual to see that the disabled car parks being on the opposite side of the car park to where the entrance is.  The lack of shade makes it the fourth best facility in Canberra.  

Greenway dog park

Where: Lake Tuggeranong, Mortimer Lewis Drive

Greenway Dog Park has sensational views across Lake Tuggeranong with the brindabella peaking over the buildings.  It is quite easy for you to forget about your dog and just enjoy the views.  There are a few benches to ensure that you can get a seat to enjoy those views.  There is also plenty of water to keep those thirty hound welll hydrated.  

There are two large enclosures for small and large dogs and plenty of large and established gum trees providing ample shade for dogs and their humans.   There was ample soft grass for soft-footed dogs.  

The car park is not overly large so get in early.   

Lake Tuggeranong Dog park Shady area at Lake Tuggeranong

This is the second best facility in Canberra. 

Is it time to update your pet portraits?  Give me a call or fill in the contact form and I will be in touch.  


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *