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You often hear or see the rule about keeping your dogs on leashes while in Dallas parks. The main reason for this rule is safety, for yourself, other park users and your dog. Unless you are in a designated, fenced in dog park, your dog must be on a leash. Recently we have heard of off-leash dogs being chased or bitten by coyotes at certain parks.
Did you realize that that within the city, the leash law is
a major wildlife management tool? The natural
areas within our parks are often the best wildlife habitat left inside Dallas’
highly developed city limits. We encourage you to get out and enjoy nature and take along your furry friend, but keep immediate control of your dog with a 6 foot leash. This will reduce the chance of your pet, and
you, having a negative interaction with wildlife. This time of year, coyotes and bobcats may
still have young with them, and a dog getting too close could possibly trigger
a territorial issue. Smaller dogs may be
viewed as a potential food option. Unrestrained dogs are also more likely to chase and harass wildlife
which puts more stress on the animals. We get frequent reports of dogs chasing ducks, rabbits and squirrels in
parks. During the course of the chase, the dog may encounter some hazards such
as snakes. Most dogs bitten by snakes or injured by other means are dogs which
were off leash.
Another issue with unrestrained dogs is unintentionally
spreading invasive plant species. Dogs
are great carriers of plant seeds. In
the prairie remnants around White Rock Lake, we are trying to fight the Sweet Scabious
plant. Watching where it tends to pop
up, it is very evident that it is be spread by dogs running around. Keeping the dogs on a leash and staying on established
trails would greatly help reduce the spread of this plant species.
If you would like to exercise your dog off leash, please
feel free to visit one of the four Dallas Park and Recreation dog parks. A list
of the parks can be found on DallasParks.org
If you would like more information on nature in Dallas Parks,
please check out the Urban