Dog Off-Leash Areas Pilot Project

The District is piloting locations for shared dog off-leash areas under certain conditions. These would be shared areas where others are using these locations for an array of recreational purposes.

Background

An online survey gathered community input from both dog owners and non-dog owners on how to maximize harmony in relation to off-leash dog areas. The survey results showed support for off-leash areas. Feedback from the survey was compiled to inform ideas for piloting locations, conditions and enforcement.

Owner responsibility is imperative to ensure the success of these dog off-leash areas. 

What's Proposed

This overview map shows the proposed shared dog off-leash areas (in bright green) across the community of Squamish.  

 OffLeashDogParksOverview

Proposed locations:

  • Squamish River Dike behind the Dog Pound - This area would allow dogs off leash 7 days per week at any time of the day.
  • Stawamus River Dike in Valleycliffe - This would be a dog off-leash area from dawn to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m
  • Trail between the Squamish Valley Golf Course and the Mamquam River - This location would be subject to seasonal spawning closures for bear feeding and salmon spawning seasons. This would be a dog off-leash area from dawn to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Judd Beach in Brackendale - This would be a dog off-leash area from dawn to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Merrill Park in Garibaldi Highlands - This would be a dog off-leash area from dawn to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Proposed owner responsibilities and conditions:

Some of the main conditions include: 

  • Dogs must be licensed and display a dog tag.
  • Dogs must have 100% recall.
  • Deemed dangerous dogs must follow their set conditions requiring leash and muzzle when using these areas.
  • Areas can be closed or the off-leash requirement changed due to wildlife concerns either seasonally or when issues arise.
  • A maximum of three dogs will be permitted off leash with one person.
  • Increasing the fine for not picking up after your pet.

Community Engagement Opportunities

April/May 2019: Online Survey. 

September 2019: Open House. (View the poster boards)

Next Steps

Staff will present the proposed project to Council in Spring 2020. (Date to be determined)

Post your comment

Comments

  • Anne Mar 5, 2021, 6:06 PM (2 months ago)

    Great! Would be nice to have a few more options for those of visiting Squamish for the day, between 11 and 4.... We like to come go out for lunch, shop in town... and take our doggies for a walk off leash! Not bad to have our money coming in....
    :)
    Anne from Bowen Island

  • Glenn Stainton Mar 5, 2021, 8:57 AM (2 months ago)

    I agree with the comments here that off leash hours are too restrictive. Many owners use their lunch hours to walk and exercise their dogs and this needs to be accommodated. I believe council is listening to the vocal few complainers in the community regrading dogs being off leash. I have been in Squamish 30+ years now the vast majority of us are walking our dogs off leash without issues. If you want compliance you need greater opening hours including in the mid day

  • Garrett Mar 4, 2021, 7:11 PM (2 months ago)

    Looking forward to some official off-leash dog areas, without any time restrictions. And preferably without the District spending any money. I don't think it needs to be this complicated. Just designate some areas and call it good. No need to discuss any further, no need to wait any longer, and no need to build any infrastructure.

  • Sarah Chambers Mar 4, 2021, 2:18 PM (2 months ago)

    I'd like to add my support to the project. We desperately need more off-leash areas for the many energetic dogs of Squamish to play, exercise and socialize. I would also support increasing the hours these areas are available for off-leash use.

  • Anne-Marie Mar 1, 2021, 12:01 PM (2 months ago)

    Any news on this pilot project ?! It's been 2 years and still nothing. There are tons of dogs in town and still no options at all for off-leash area for dog owners. Meanwhile, bylaw is fining owners that let their dogs off-leash even in historically dog friendly spots. We need options !

    • Communications Mar 1, 2021, 2:58 PM (2 months ago)

      Hi Anne-Marie. This project is still moving forward and will be going back to Council this Spring.

  • Tricia Boer Mar 1, 2021, 11:47 AM (2 months ago)

    We need this so badly! With all the over-development of Squamish now, with even more people and their dogs moving to Squamish - we need designated place(s) for dogs to be able to be off leash. It is not right that people with good recall of their well behaved dogs be punished with steep fines because their dogs are innocently playing in a park (which is extremely important for the mental health and physical well-being of a dog. Please, please - take a break with developing Squamish into a little squished city with no trees left and build us (the people who actually live here) some dog parks.

  • Jim Hill Jul 9, 2020, 7:20 AM (10 months ago)

    We are very excited for the implementation of the off-leash dog areas and hope council approves soon!

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