OT - Good, free places to take dogs in AA?

Submitted by MGoBender on July 8th, 2012 at 4:49 PM

So, I took my dog to the Swift Run dog park only to be greeted by a lady from the city telling me that my dog had to be registered and I had to pay an annual $50 fee to use the park.

Granted, I'm new to dog ownership in a city, but holy smokes I was shocked.  I mean, $50???  I know Chicago has several small dog parks all over the city that are free, so I was surprised to be turned away in Ann Arbor.

Any decent, free places around town that anyone uses?




July 8th, 2012 at 4:55 PM ^

Was gonna try it this week.  I don't want to be that guy who thinks his dog is good enough that he can ignore leash rules, but the bottom field in the Arb seems like a pretty good space to let the dog run.  Maybe early before any picnic'ers get there.


July 8th, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

Any City of Ann Arbor ran dog run/park has those stupid membership fees.  There's always the Arb or Gallup park, but if you're looking for an actual dog run where you don't feel like a douche for letting your dog off the leash, try Canine Corral.  It's pretty far out  there (just south of where Ann Arbor - Saline Rd and Wagner Rd intersect), but last time I checked, it's free. 

Red is Blue

July 8th, 2012 at 5:21 PM ^

Was paddling around Argo pond today and saw several dogs both in the water and on the shore at Barton park.  Not sure of the rules.  As an interesting side note, some guy had a big yellow snake on a leash swimming in Argo pond.  Weird.

Red is Blue

July 8th, 2012 at 5:39 PM ^

No idea -- didn't get close enough to find out.  Did a little googling and I think the snake might have been an albino burmese python.  In its middle it was probably about the thickness of a good sized man's leg and looked to be a very good swimmer.


July 8th, 2012 at 7:32 PM ^

I grew up in areas frequented by unfriendly snakes. I have avoided a rattlesnake bite, stepped into the middle of a cottonmouth and had a sneaker bitten by a second cottonmouth. I once shared a small rowboat with a coral snake. The snakes I have encountered that lived did so only because there was no weapon close to hand. Yes, I know your snake is probably docile and non-poisonous. No, it doesn't matter, I really do consider a dead snake to be the only good snake.


July 8th, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

Try Pinckney because there are a ton of places out that way. People in Ann Arbor seem to hate dogs and love to pass a shit ton of laws. You will need to register a goldfish there pretty soon, but it "protects" the people.

Rodriguez Fami…

July 8th, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

Try the Olson dog park out on DhuVarren Rd. just past Pontiac Trail (need to drive there). We've been going there for a while and never have encountered anyone from the city, but "legally" you do need a license. There is regular park next to the dog park there that in the winter is rarely used. Lots of bikers in the summer, so careful about letting the dog off leash then. 

Steer clear of letting your dog off leash in the Arb, at least during the spring/summer/fall, you will be told to put it back on a leash by someone as Ann Arborites never fail to let you know what you are doing wrong. Winter is a different story because not many people venture out there in the cold/snow. 

There are plenty of regular parks around, just takes a bit of exploring. 


July 8th, 2012 at 8:15 PM ^

When we lived in Ann Arbor, we used to take our dog to Bird Hills.  I'm not sure if this is technically off leash but we never had an issue and there are always tons of dogs off leash here.  Our dog loved running around here and it's a nice trail.


July 8th, 2012 at 10:05 PM ^

Its really worth it to just pay the money. You won't want to drive way out anywhere on a regular basis and your dog will love you for it. I'm in royal oak and our dog park registration was one of my best investments in dog ownership.


July 8th, 2012 at 10:05 PM ^

Its really worth it to just pay the money. You won't want to drive way out anywhere on a regular basis and your dog will love you for it. I'm in royal oak and our dog park registration was one of my best investments in dog ownership.

War Daddy

July 8th, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

I've been going there for over 4 years without tags, and have never seen a city employee. It is worth the fee, if you're not too lazy to make it to city hall.

Sweet Life

July 9th, 2012 at 8:38 AM ^

There are no legal places to run your dog within the city limits of Ann Arbor other than Olson Park, Swift Run Park, or your fenced yard.  Be a responsible owner and buy the dog license.  Surely you can afford less than a dollar a week.

Don't be one of those people.  I am a dog owner and I think that people who let their dogs run off leash in places like the Arb, Bird Hills, Argo Pond, Slauson Middle School, etc. just make life more difficult for the rest of us.



July 9th, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

so if you drive to the park and you have a dog that likes water be prepared to have a couple towels to dry the dog off before it jumps back in your car.


July 9th, 2012 at 10:22 AM ^

Chicago isn't free. To use a DFA (dog friendly area) you need to get your dog a $5 DFA annual permit from your vet. It's only $5, but it makes sure that dogs that go to parks are registered with the city (in case they get lost) and have been to a vet (so that they're not rabid/whatever).

I think those type of fees/licenses make sense.