Canine Recreation

Dogs

Dog Parks


Dog owners represent a large (and growing!) segment of the community. While regular leash walks provide a level of exercise that promotes good dog health, access to open space for off-leash play and socialization is equally important. DPR has 3 dog parks, which offer a safe and controlled environment for dogs and their owners. 

Canine Special Events


Looking for fun activities to enjoy with your canine friend? Join us for a variety events offered throughout the year including Canine Field Day, Barktoberfest and Santa Paws.

Dog Park Fees

Residency Play More Card No Play More Card
City Resident $15/first dog; $13/each additional dog(s) $17/first dog; $15/each additional dog(s)
Non-City Resident $20/first dog; $18/each additional dog(s) $22/first dog; $20/each additional dog(s)
2016 Dog Park tags are valid for one year (January 1-December 31) Fees are not prorated throughout the year. Dog Park tags are valid for use at all City Dog Parks.

Dog Park Registration


All dogs must be registered with DPR annually. To ensure that we provide a healthy environment for all participants, we have adopted the vaccination requirements recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association. All dogs are required to have the following vaccinations before being issued a Dog Park tag:
  • Rabies (1 or 3 year)
  • Distemper/Parvo (1 or 3 year)
  • Bordetella (1 year)
  • Negative Fecal Exam (1 year) 
We also accept titer results in lieu of vaccinations except for rabies (state law). Vaccinations must be current and not due to expire within 30 days.

When these requirements are met, a DPR dog park tag can be assigned. All dogs must wear their current dog park tag while playing in the park.

Online Registration Instructions
  1. Register and pay online using course #18703. Please view our online registration instructions if you need assistance.
  2. Email vaccination records and liability waiver
Dog Park tags will be mailed within 7 business days when registering online.

In-Person Registration Instructions
Registration can be done in person at the Administrative Office at 400 Cleveland Street, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mail-In Registration Instructions
When registering by mail, send your dog's vaccination records, liability waiver and payment by check made out to "City of Durham" 

Mail to:
Durham Parks and Recreation
Attention: Dog Parks
101 City Hall Plaza
Durham, NC 27701

Dog Park Rules


  • Dogs using the park must be licensed and meet all Dog Park Handbook health requirements; entry into the park is only allowed for dogs with Dog Park I.D. and rabies tags.
  • Dogs are not allowed into the park if they are younger than 3 months, in heat, sick, or routinely aggressive.
  • Owners are responsible for any damage or injury caused by their dogs while in the park.
  • No prong or spike collars allowed.
  • Owners are required to clean up after their dogs, inside and outside the fenced area.
  • No other animals allowed inside the dog park fenced area.
  • Dogs must be under control (voice or leash) of their owners at all times.
  • Any dog behaving aggressively must be immediately controlled or removed from the park.
  • No more than 3 dogs per person at any one time.
  • Children under 12 years old must be supervised by an adult.
  • Spectators should remain outside the fenced dog park area.
  • No large dogs in the small dog area; no small dogs in the large dog area.
  • Smoking and eating are not allowed within the fenced dog park area.
  • Dog food in bowls, long‐lasting chews, and glass containers are not allowed within the fenced dog park area.
  • Owners must repair holes or disturbed areas created by their dogs.
  • Dog bites must be reported; owners should exchange contact information and call the Durham County Animal Control 919-560‐0630 and DPR 919-560‐4355.  
  • Dog Park users must immediately leave the fenced dog park area when requested to do so by park or law enforcement personnel.
  • Professional dog trainers may not use the park to conduct their business unless they have reserved an area through DPR.
  • Bicycles, rollerblades, skates, skateboards, and strollers are prohibited within the fenced dog park area.
  • All Durham County and North Carolina animal ordinances apply within the Dog Park
For information, email the Durham Dog Parks or call 919-560-4355, ext. 27220.

Dog Park Project Updates


Over the past several years, we have been working to provide better opportunities to four canine residents to Play More! Here are some updates on dog park projects.

Northgate Dog Park
The condition of Northgate Dog Park has deteriorated due to its location in a flood plain, high use, and poor drainage. After researching options to address these issues, it was determined that an alternative dog park in Northern Durham will be developed. This plan remains in place. Once the alternative is opened, Northgate Dog Park will be converted into a play meadow (open recreational space.) We have recently repaired pot holes in the driveway and added sand for members to fill holes their dogs have dug.

Rock Quarry Dog Park
A new dog park will be opened at Rock Quarry Park, and will serve as the replacement for Northgate Dog Park. It will be located in a large wooded area along the Ellerbee Creek Trail, between the northern section of Rock Quarry Park and Edison Johnson Recreation Center. We are currently working with the Durham Parks Foundation to secure funding for this project through corporate sponsorships and fundraisers. This project will take time, but we consider it a priority.

Duke Park Dog Park
DPR was approached by the Duke Park Neighborhood Association with a request to look into creating a dog park within Duke Park. Staff has worked closely with neighbors to develop a plan for a neighborhood-maintained dog park modeled after the Downtown Durham Dog Park. The dog park will be located in the former care-taker area, beside the Durham Bike Co-op. We are continuing to work with the neighborhood association, while also seeking funding through grant opportunities.

If you have questions about these dog park projects, contact Michelle Burger at  or 919-560-4355, ext. 27212. if you have safety concerns, report them by calling 911.