Magnuson off-leash area is not a new park for us. I used to take Chester there sometimes when he was younger. I haven’t been in a few years though so I was looked at it with fresh eyes.
The off-leash area sits within the larger Warren G. Magnuson Park located in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle. It is the largest dog park in Seattle and is the only one with water access. This is certainly the most well known and used off-leash park in Seattle and has been listed as one of the top ten dog parks in the United States!
The dog park is 9 acres and is so big we had to visit it twice to get the full experience and get the right photos. We visited once after work and went back once on the weekend. On our weekend visit, we were there for over two hours. In fact, it is so big that we didn’t want to put you to sleep with one very long post so we broke it into two parts. Part II of the review is coming tomorrow.
I have to say first off that Gretel loves this park. It has a great small dog area. It’s not so unlike most other small dog areas but this one is very busy so there are lots of other doggies for her to play with. On an average day hundreds of people visit this off-leash park. On a summer day the visitor count can reach over 1,000.
I also have to start out by saying that there have been some scares at this park in the past with dogs getting attacked by other dogs. A couple of years ago there seemed to be a reoccurring incident where a man would show up with his aggressive pit bull and not do anything to stop him from confronting and sometimes attacking other dogs. If you mention this park to locals, most will say “I hear there are a lot of dog attacks there”.
I have done a lot of research on this issue and it seems that although a dog attack has happened a few times there are also cases where skirmishes were blown out of proportion and reached Urban Legend status. In several cases there is suggestion that the display of normal dog dominant-submissive behavior may have been misinterpreted by bystanders. You can read of one example here.
There has actually been a low incidence of injury due to such incidents, especially when you figure that there are hundreds of dogs at this park each day. It’s inevitable that there will be some dog disagreements or aggression displayed.
Our take on it is that a dog attack could happen at any park no matter how many dogs are present and that, as responsible dog owners, it is our duty to protect our dogs and protect their best interest. If we pay attention to what is going on between our dogs and others we can prevent or reduce the chance of something like this happening to them.
The pluses of this dog park are so numerous that they outweigh any negative. To us it would be like never going out of your house because you might get robbed or hit by a bus. We won’t stop living and enjoying all that this area has to offer due to fear. The chance of something happening is slim and to be honest, something bad could happen to your dog in your own front yard.
Look at some of the cool, nice doggies we met there.
Be sure to read Part II where I talk about how great this park is 🙂