My favorite "dog park" here is probably most posters' worst nightmare. It's only about 7000 sq feet, the footing is wood chips, large and small dogs mix together, and it's nearly always packed. BUT, it's also a beer and wine bar
.Boneyard Dog Park & Drinkery, Houston's First Dog Park Beer and Wine Bar
Hence its popularity! Owners grab a beer at the bar and head out back to the fenced in park and sit and chat at the picnic tables scattered about. Rules are pretty standard, and I really like the ones listed below:
Owners are liable for damage or injury inflicted by their dog(s). This means owners are legally and financially responsible for their dog’s behavior.
No dog or people food is allowed in the Dog Park.
(though I'll admit to breaking this one as I sneak in a few treats in a pocket so that I can reward my dog for a really good recall now and again)
NO CHILDREN are allowed in the Dog Park. No exceptions.
Owners must be in verbal and sight control of their dogs at all times and prevent aggressive behavior, biting, fighting, and aggressive barking. Never leave your dog(s) unattended.
Dogs must be unleashed in the transition corridor upon entering Park. ONLY ONE GATE OPEN AT A TIME. Owners must have a visible leash for each dog at all times.
Heinz and I visit about once every 2 weeks or so. He loves a good romp with other canines now and again, and I like that I can enjoy a pint while he blows off some steam. He's a smart dog, and gets out of scrums before they escalate. He'll trot over to me and wait until things calm down before jumping into the fray again. He also LOVES standing on the picnic tables - "I'm the King of the World!" and I let him get away with it there - it is the dog park, after all.
The majority of patrons are great, and since most of us are fairly regular, a lot of self-policing goes on. Fights get stopped quickly and aggressive dogs are usually promptly removed. On our last visit, a Corgi snarled at Heinz, who immediately backed down, and I didn't worry about it. His owner came running over to apologize for "Winston Churchill"
and take him back to her table, which was super nice of her, but really, he was fine.