New Dog Park at 11th and R, NW


I finally walked past the new dog park at 11th and R streets last week. I have to say it seemed kind of drab. There were pebbles on the ground instead of grass which I also found curious. So for the dog owners out there – is this a good dog park?


27 Comment

  • Dogs kill the grass. Any santcioned safe space is good space. Haven’t been down there yet, but it looks great!

  • Anyone have an update on the dog park across from Red Rocks?

  • While grass would be ideal, dogs are incredibly hard on grass and the only way to make it work in a park is to be able to close off half the park at any given time to allow it to rejuvinate, unfortunately most city dog parks aren’t large enough to allow this to happen (it does happen in places like Fairfax where the parks are gi-normous). The next best alternative is crushed granite/pebbles. Mulch or woodchips simply will not do for obvious reasons.

  • as mentioned the grass would have been killed in a week but my question is does the pebble ground cover improve the smell? I walk past the walter peirce park dog park daily on my way home from work and PHWEW. smells like piss and shit squared. I dont know how the dog owners stand to be in there.

  • I wouldn’t expect grass since it wouldn’t last, but some kind of turf would be better. The northside strip has a bed of mulch, which Gomez (intangible dog) prefers. He’ll stay on that 80% of the time.

    If it must be gravel, a different grade would be better; Wheaton Regional Park’s dog area is a good example: it’s a finer grade of stone, over a harder-packed earthen substrate…or something like that. But it works much better for doggie feet.

    The stuff they have now is too weird & loose; dogs have difficulty running around on it, & some pups have trouble with pads drying out as a result.

    But still, it’s a step. I’m happy to have it in the area. I’d rather have something in need of improvements, versus nothing.

  • The dog run at Pierce smells because of the garbage cans filled with bags of poop, not the type of surface in the park.

  • Any news on why this was turned into a dog park? It looked like a pretty well-used (though smallish) soccer field before.

  • Any dog park is a huge step forward for DC, I myself greatly appreciate it and consider it one of the few positive moves I’ve seen from the city over the last five years at least. Regarding the pebbles, if I remember correctly they were chosen as they do provide some benefit vis a vis waste and drainage. However, I can’t find anything right now to substantiate this. I know the design process went on for quite a while and sought to mitigate the waste issue, so pebbles were decided as the best choice. Grass would not survive, and the soil would get compacted, thus creating instant dog pee runoff.

  • also, to anonymous’ question:
    the stuff at Wheaton seems better at smell-control as well…

  • as mentioned by Intagible, the gravel is just too weird for the dogs. my boxer (and her friends) will stay on the mulch most of the time, too. when they run in it they kick up pebbles and it hits the other dogs, plus, it’s probably like trying to run on the beach. i feel bad for the smaller dogs because the pebbles are so large…it must be awkward to walk on.

    i did hear from a fellow dog owner about the mulch being loaded with glass. apparently those who live close and could watch the construction said they bulldozed everything over to the side where the mulch is now. by doing so, all the broken glass that was in the park before ended up there and they covered it all with mulch. so now owners are saying that they’re noticing glass being kicked up by their dogs when playing in that area. so, be careful!!!

    all in all, a huge step for DC to open but it could have been executed much better. oh, and it’s right up next to the church so you can hear services and singing. i can only imagine how thrilled they are to hear our dogs.

  • I haven’t been here yet because Lincoln Park is so close to my house, but I will definitely be bringing the pup by. We went to an off leash park down in Mt. Vernon a few weeks back and it was pebbly like this one. The plus for me was that my dog inevitably starts rolling around on whatever surface she’s on and the pebbles leave her far less in need of a bath than the grass/mud. She’s a smaller dog (22ish lbs) and the pebbles don’t seem to bother her as long as she can find other friends to run around in circles and wrestle with.

  • You know, I guess I’ll just have to be the odd man out here: I can’t stand dog parks. In fact, the whole concept of keeping a dog in the city is repulsively unhygienic.

    Dogs are suburban and country animals. If you live in the city, get an animal that you can keep in the city; birds, fish, and cats come to mind. Horses, goats, dogs, pigs: not good choices for city living.

    It boils down to a couple things. First, “walking” the dog. “Walking” is of course a euphemism for “defecating and urinating on every available public space.” I’ve seen dog owners stand-by approvingly as their dogs “marked” flower beds, trash cans, fences, cars, front yards, etc. Unhygienic, disgusting, selfish, and just plain rude. Secondly, the noise: dogs bark. No way around it. No way to guarantee they won’t. I’ll tolerate crying babies, but barking dogs? Nope.

    So, when it comes to spending public dollars and limited space on dog-owner amenities, I’m not a fan. And don’t get me started on the “informal” dog parks that have sprung up: formerly green, parks now swarmed by illegally off-leash dogs, and thus rendered into smelly patches of dirt unfit for humans.

    Nothing personal, dog owners. But if you love dogs, it’s easy to forget how offensive they are to those who don’t co-habitate with animals.

  • The dog (Pablo) and I like this park. Intangible is right about Wheaton- nice gravel- however, it can get dusty for us people. The Adams Morgan park is okay, but I don’t dare venture near with my white dog if it has rained less than 3 days before.

    The gravel at the Shaw (this would be Shaw, right?) park is strange, but the dogs seem okay with it when walking and checking in with their people. Most prefer the gravel.

    The more dogparks the better!!

  • @ CB…The more allocated dog spaces there are, the less space dogs need to “defecate and urinate on every available public space.” While dog owners may stand by as their dogs do their business, it’s not with a malicious satisfaction for the people around that may somehow have to encounter it. “Ha ha, you pee on that patch of grass that someone may want to have a picnic on Fifi.” Most of us allow our pets to do their natural business with the least amount of imposition on everyone else.

    Many people who are out in the city walking their dogs are the same people who take pride in a pedestrian environment that will improve everyone’s living experience (not just dog owners). I can’t speak to your experience with the informal dog parks that you’ve seen around the city because I haven’t been to them. However, your complaint against them seems to me all the more reason for getting some ground rules established.

    It IS easy to forget how offensive dogs can be to others…I’ve only once heard a negative comment (as I cleaned up after my dog who’d used a public tree box full of litter to do his business…and yes, I often pick up litter on my walks). That one experience has not outweighed all of the kids, their parents, and other folks I’ve encountered who wanted to meet my dog. My experience in this city has only been enhanced by being a dog owner, and I think my dog is pretty happy (even if it ain’t the country).

  • CB: Right, because if there weren’t any dogs the flower beds, trash cans, cars and yards in the city would be hygienic enough to eat off. And the noise dogs make – without them we could finally enjoy the dulcet tones of police sirens, horns honking, tractor trailers, bass-heavy car stereos, helicopters hovering, car alarms, or groups of foul-mouthed teenagers. Plus the acres of green parks, maintained in tip-top shape by the DC parks department and National Park Service, now rendered unfit for human use. All we have left are scraps of land like the Mall, Rock Creek Park, Dupont Circle, Grant Circle, the National Arboretum, Anacostia Park, West Potomac Park, Roosevelt Island, Turkey Thicket Park, Constitution Gardens, C&O Canal, Great Falls, etc.

  • I think official dog parks are a great step for DC. They are one of the many measures of what make cities “livable”. They have been proven to help reduce crime and are a great place for neighbors to be social with one another.

    The next “official” dog park should be coming to Allison and Arkansas. If you want more info, please visit the Petworthdogs Yahoo group or email me for more info ([email protected])

    Oh and CB, I have trained my dog to not bark. The only time he will bark is when he goes into what I call his defensive mode….like the time a crazy crack head came running up on our porch banging on the door, he went nuts then and barked for 30 mins straight.

    Also, I have heard that as many as 1 in 3 households have a dog in DC. That is a pretty high number.

  • Yo, CB:
    By that reasoning, people don’t belong in cities either. I’ve seen more than my fair share of humans pissing in public (sidewalks, alleys, it’s AWESOME…) — So if we nix the dogs, I say the humans have to go as well. That means YOU, buster. Unless you’re actually a highly articulate goldfish with superb typing skills.

  • I’m with CB 100%. Also, keeping a couple of farm animals in a 450 sq ft efficiency is not a good way to practice taking care of a child.

  • Children aint exactly angels of cleanliness. Sometimes they get their fingers all spitty and then they touch stuff with they spitty fingers.

  • What happens to the urine that is left on those pebbles? Does it result in a build up in odor? I was told that this dog park is temporary while Shaw is being redone.

  • I can see the utility of dog parks/runs but really Intangible kids should never be compared to dogs. That kind of thinking is really disrespectful.

  • Disrespectful to dogs or to kids?

  • Intangiblearts: lol “spitty fingers” good times!

  • I think it’s okay to not like dogs. I think it’s okay to not like kids. I think it’s okay to not like tattoos. All of that is totally cool. But I don’t understand the need for people to come onto a blog and comment on a post on a new dog park with a “dogs are dirty and the people who keep then in the city are evil,” comment, or a post on parks or community centers with a “kids are just snotty, spitty villians in training,” comment (the spitty fingers thing was funny though) or an “Ew” on every “Tattoo of the Week” post. We get it – it’s not for you. However the dog park exists. The community centers and playgrounds exist. People have tattoos. PoP didn’t ask, “Are you for or against dog parks?” he asked if anyone had been to this new one, and what did they think about it – why bother with the pissy post against dogs and their owners when the damn park is there already, presumably to stay? Just like when he posts a “Tattoo of the Week” – he’s not saying, “Hey, internet people, should this person get this hideous thing removed or do we approve thus making the life of the bearer complete?”

    I’m a really snarky person, but the unnecessary negativity just doesn’t make sense to me.

    For the record, I love dogparks, my city-loving dog (she was a rescue from WV – I guarantee she’s happier here) and tattoos. I’m ambivalent toward children, but I’d never muck up a thread about a playground with my opinions on the folks for whom it’s intended.

  • CB: Public funds go to a lot of things we individually can’t stand. I personally don’t think I should have a smidgen of my taxes going to fund soccer fields. You can’t tackle nobody in soccer, you have to wear little-boy pants, and each game lasts approximately 17 hours (or seems to). We might as well have cricket fields or jai alai courts. I promise you the city spends more 100 times the money keeping up the soccer fields (and clearing them of beer bottles and food wrappers) than they do on dog parks.

    And what about people who hate baseball? Sure they’re un-American commie pinkos, but I bet they’re a might unhappy about several hundred million $$$ of taxes going to the Lerner family who, apparently, can’t be bothered to pay the rent on the fancy-foo stadium for their loser team.

    You wanna cry about misspent tax dollars, cry about that.

  • And one more little thing to CB: My dog is not a country dog; his group was bred for city-style living (small servants’ quarters, hunting rodents in those small quarters). There are definitely some dogs meant for the city, so that part of your argument falls short. However, even those dogs that were bred for country living can have happy lives with responsible owners who exercise them and provide lots of play time.

    Don’t hate. Dogs are great. (new Pop slogan? no? all right then.)

  • I like the pebbles. As one commenter noted, it means the dogs get less dirty. And honestly, do the dogs honestly know the difference? Both of mine are too dumb to give a $hit! And they love the place….

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