Guidelines for our Dog Playgrounds
Recommendations for Fun and Safety
Both Pawster Pooch Playground and Camp Canine are open from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily. The maximum number of dogs in the playgrounds at any given time is 50. Please limit your visit to one hour during times of peak use.
- All dogs must have their "Pass" visibly displayed on their collar while inside the playground.
- Rabies tags must be worn and displayed by all dogs at all times
- Always keep an eye on your dog. Never leave your dog unattended.
- Dogs known to exhibit vicious, fierce, aggressive, or dangerous behavior are not permitted in the Dog Playgrounds. If your dog becomes unruly or aggressive toward other dogs, you must leash your dog and exit the enclosure.
- Always clean up after your dog. It's the law. A container is available in the park for this purpose. Please bring your own bags.
- Female dogs in season are not permitted in the playground and should not be brought to the park.
- Dogs, owners, and users creating a disturbance or violating posted rules must leave the playground if requested by law enforcement personnel, park personnel, or their designated agents.
- Don't bring more than three dogs to the playground.
- Dogs under four (4) months of age are not permitted in the playground. Puppies are not fully vaccinated, and are vulnerable to disease and injury.
- Children under fourteen (14) years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
- Dogs may not be left unattended or out of sight range or voice command.
- Dogs must be on a 6' leash until safely inside the playground enclosure (corral). It's the law.
- Please remove pinch (prong) collars and spike collars from dogs before entering the park. Other dogs can be injured while playing.
- No wolves or wolf hybrids allowed.
- Do not bring glass containers to the facility.
- Do not bring food (people food, dog food or dog treats) into the playground. Many owners do not feed treats and some dogs may be allergic. Food may also make a docile dog aggressive.
- Do not smoke in or around the playground. Cigarette butts and food wrappers are unhealthy for dogs.
- Maintenance needs of the site will vary based on weather and use. You are asked to vacate the playground during maintenance activities.
- Check all entrances before unleashing your dog.
- Dogs should receive year-round heartworm prevention treatment.
- Have drinking water readily available for your dog before and especially after exercise. You must provide your own water and bowls.
- ALL dogs benefit from guidance and structure. Basic obedience is a must for a well-socialized happy dog.
- Do not open the outside gate if an inside gate is open.
Be Aware of Risks
While it may be tempting to stand back and be a passive observer, all users will have a much more rewarding experience if basic rules are actively observed. Use of the Dog Playground is not a right - it is a privilege. Please do not allow unacceptable or irresponsible behavior to ruin the fun for other users.
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation strives to provide a fun, safe environment for you and your dog. However, by using this facility you agree that you understand and assume all responsibility and liability for the risks of unleashing your dog in the facility.
Potential risks include, but are not limited to:
- Infectious diseases such as rabies, kennel cough or Lyme disease.
- Dog theft or unlawful capture by other people.
- Dog escapes over or under fences.
- Plants and/or water sources in the park that may be poisonous to dogs.
- Park vegetation that may have burrs or seeds that could get tangled in a dog's coat or lodge in a dog's feet, ears, or eyes.
- Mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas or other insects that may be present.
- Dog fights, dog bites and injuries to humans and other dogs.
- Wild animals in the parks such as skunks, raccoons, or stray dogs, all of which might injure or infect your dog.
- Young children are easily knocked over or trampled by running dogs.
- Herding dogs may nip at children while attempting to round them up.
- This is the dog's park. There are plenty of other parks and playgrounds where children can be socialized. Not all dogs are child-friendly. Never allow your child to approach or pet a dog without the owner's presence and approval.
- Parents: If you do bring your children into the Dog Playground, please teach them how to behave with animals and what to do in an emergency:
Never run! Hide face. Tuck arms and legs into body. Curl up in a ball, face down on hands and knees. Be as still and quiet as possible. Wait for help or until the dog has left.
In order for the bite to be defined as a bite - it must break the skin and must have been caused by oral contact (not a nail scratch).
A dog bite to a human or another animal must be reported. The biting animal will be quarantined for ten days to ensure it is healthy and does not pose a rabies risk. In this case, the bite most likely happened inside the confines of the Dog Playground so the dog will be considered legally restrained at the time of the bite. If a dog bite happens while at the park:
- Immediately secure the biting dog and the victim dog. Leash them and keep separated.
- Any wounds should be washed immediately with clean water.
- Owners of dogs involved should exchange names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
- Owners should then take their dog home or to a veterinarian for necessary medical care. If a bite has occurred to a person, consult a physician.
- If the biting dog's owner lives inside the city limits of Fort Wayne they should call to dispatch an Animal Control Officer to take a bite report and enact quarantine.
Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control: 427-1244
On weekends and holidays call: 427-1222
- If the biting dog's owner lives in Allen County outside the city limits, call:
Allen County Sheriff's Animal Control at 449-7491
- Dogs who have bitten while at the Dog Playgrounds will not be allowed to return.
**Dog Playgrounds are not staffed or supervised by any agent or employee of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department or the City of Fort Wayne. Users therefore are required to abide by posted rules and etiquette at all times while on the premises. Police and Animal Control Officers will make periodic site visits.**
Dog owners and individuals accompanying them use the facility entirely at their own risk and that of their dogs. Owners are responsible and liable for the actions and behavior of their dogs at all times. Neither Parks and Recreation nor the City of Fort Wayne assumes liability for loss, damage, or any kind of injury sustained by any human or dog while using the Dog Playground.
It is important to familiarize yourself with pertinent City Ordinances that apply to this playground as well as parks and park facilities in general. Visit our Park Ordinances page for more information.