We attended the Grand Opening of Jasper’s Off-Leash Dog Park in Kirkland, WA last weekend. The park was created through the hard work and dedication of KDOG – a group of volunteers and generous park sponsors – and is Kirkland’s first off-leash dog park.
The grand opening was somewhat chaotic because there were over 100 people and just as many dogs. Even with that many people there it didn’t feel too crowded. It was “chaotic” though because you had to watch your dog closely so they didn’t escape out of the gate when people were leaving (ahem! Chester)
The park was very nice. There is a big large dog area and a separate small dog area. The small dog area is about the same size as the one at Luther Burbank off-leash dog park or Golden Gardens. Both areas are accessed through one main gate.
The park is situated on a gently-sloping hillside. There is a grove of Alder trees in the back half of the large dog area and a few in the small dog area to provide shade on hot, sunny days. The surface is shredded bark.
There are poo bag stations but I only saw one small garbage can outside of the off-leash are and there is no water (be sure to bring your own). This park is very new though so perhaps they will bring in more trash cans and with more funding they can bring water to the park.
My dislikes of the park were:
- Parking is limited. You have to park on the street. That is fine for some of the spots but the “overflow” is forced to literally park in the street…as in blocking the lane. It’s is not a main street though so this is not a huge deal.
- The entrance into the park is a narrow path approximately 300 feet long (necessary because of the location of the park). KDOG has posted a rule saying that only one dog can be on the path at the time. I know when we were there, if we had waited until no one else was on that path, we would have never gotten into the park. It may not be an issue in the future though.
- THIS BIGGIE: YOUR DOG IS NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR ANYTHING BUT A FLAT COLLAR INTO THE OFF-LEASH AREA. That means no harnesses, slip collars, prong collars or the like. I have never heard of this rule at any other dog park.
You can read their reasoning behind this here but I disagree. Myself, and several other people who responded to my Facebook post about it (it was quite the debate), will not go to this park in the future because of this rule. People have been very vocal about disagreement with this rule but KDOG has responded that they will not reconsider the rule and that if you don’t like it you can go somewhere else (they said it nicer but basically). You can email them here if you want to have your opinion hear about this rule.
The bottom line is that this is a nice park. I would like to say I will never go back due to the no harness rule (it is necessary for Chester and Gretel to wear harnesses so I can snatch them up if they get too barky or in a skirmish). However, one our good friends lives near there so we will go back if she “makes us” 🙂 I had to buy Gretel a new harness just in case because she chewed the old one.
You can find the hours and directions here
SeattleDogSpot also wrote a great review of the park