Dog Park Guide

The following is an outline of specific material terms related to Dog Park developments and their commonly accepted meanings in the construction trade.

Asphalt Walkway

Bituminous concrete surfacing consists of stone aggregate and liquid bitumen. It is typically installed with an asphalt spreader for larger areas, or deposited from wheelbarrows for smaller site installations. After compacting the surface with asphalt rollers, traffic on the pavement is usually restricted to allow the surface to oxidize or “cure.”

Agility Structures

Agility equipment can vary widely from municipal surplus such as a large piping, which can be used as tunnels, to custom built ramps and beams to keep dogs physically and mentally stimulated.

Artificial Grass

Artificial grass is weather resistant and manufactured to replicate the look and feel of natural grass. Historically this surfacing has proven slippery for dogs, though brands such as K9Grass have been used in some urban environments.

Artificial Shade

Artificial shade comes in multiple forms and in multiple materials. Some dog parks utilize steel frame canopies to protect dogs and their owners from the elements. Other dog parks choose to include a gazebo or pavilion to provide a communal element for dog park visitors.


Boulders can be used as a play element and can also encourage dogs to urinate selectively.

Carved Wood Sign

Cement Walkway

Cement concrete pavement is a durable poured-in-place surfacing consisting of sand, cement and stone aggregate. This low maintenance surface can be colored, or scored to create differing surface patterns. Also, the top surface can be treated with a customized aggregate to produce a treatment called “exposed aggregate” or “pebble concrete” to add aesthetic value.

Coated Steel Fence

Coated steel fencing is chain link metal fencing with round top and bottom pipe rails and posts that are coated in vinyl to provide durability in harsh weather conditions.

Compressed Earth

Compressed earth consists of sand, dirt, and stone that has been excavated from a natural gravel pit. It may be processed or crushed to create specific gradation preferences.

Crushed Stone

Crushed stone is obtained from a stone quarry and rendered through a rock crusher to produce angular material of varying gradation ranges. Either gravel or crushed stone can serve as a stable, free-draining foundation layer for the dog park's surfacing materials.

Decorative Gate


Dog-Only Fountain

Smaller and typically cheaper than the joint human option, these fountains provide water for the primary “paw-trons” of the dog park.

Dual-Gate Entrance

A dual gate or “airlock” zone allows a dog owner to bring a dog into a confined space on- leash, where the dog can be unleashed before entry to the dog park. To leave the dog park, the process is reversed.

Extension of Fencing Gate

Filter Fabric

Filter fabric resembles cloth and is made from PVC, or another non-degradable material. It is perforated to allow the passage of water. The fabric is typically layered between the dog park surfacing material and a gravel or crushed stone drainage base.


Grass is favored by communities with large dog parks, as it is expensive to bring in manufactured surfacing. In heavily used dog parks grass is often worn out quickly since dog parks are utilized all year round.

Hose Bib

Hose bib attachments allow for hose connections at the water source for manual irrigation. This option is cheaper than a sprinkler system but requires more ongoing maintenance.

Human/Dog Fountain

These fountains provide basins at human and dog heights and are typically larger and more expensive..

Lamp Post

Metal Bench

Metal Sign

Mobile Water

In places where running a water line is prohibitively expensive, providing a mobile, refillable water source is an option. Stagnant water poses health risks therefore requiring additional ongoing maintenance planning.


Pine bark mulch is produced from a tree chipping operation and consists of the softer interior portions of the tree. Mulch can serve as a uniform and soft surface. However, this material needs to be replaced and refreshed periodically to prevent urine saturation of the mulch from creating environmental issues.

Parking Sign

Pea Stone

Pea stone is a stone processed through a “tumbling” operation to create smooth rounded edges. This small “pea” shaped stone usually consists of stones no larger than one-half inch gradation, and it is suitable for informal, lower intensity pavement surfaces. It is subject to movement, when disturbed, due to the roundness of the stone particles.

Plastic Bench

PVC Sign

Rice Stone

Rice stone is a processed stone material which ranges from approximately one-eighth to one-half inch. It has an elongated particle configuration that prompts the comparison to grains of rice. The range in gradation size helps to reduce the movement of the stone particles when disturbed through dog activity.

Rules Sign


Single-Gate Entrance

Single gate entrances allow direct access to the off leash area from outside the fence line. This is generally ill advised as it creates higher risk of dogs escaping from the dog park.


A sprinkler system is more expensive than a hose bib but provides a more efficient maintenance option. Sprinkler heads should be installed on the edges of the fence line to avoid as much contact as possible with the dogs using the dog park. However, larger dog parks may require interior sprinkler heads as well to ensure even coverage.

Stone Dust

Stone dust is produced from granite or other hard stone that has been processed through a rock crusher. The resultant rock particles are angular in nature, allowing it to be spread and compacted to form a dense, stable surface. It does not drain well. It is best used on gently sloping pavement surfaces, as it can be disturbed by constant traffic or water erosion, and may require periodic raking to maintain a uniform surface.


Toys can provide stimulation for dogs but occasionally also encourage possessive behavior, which can lead to aggression. Owners should provide proper supervision to avoid such behavior.


Trees located directly adjacent to or inside the fence line of the dog park should be protected with low fencing or with benches that surround the trees.

Uncoated Steel Fence

Uncoated steel is galvanized chain link metal fencing with round top and bottom pipe rails and posts. Uncoated steel is durable, and cheaper than the vinyl-coated version, but is more susceptible to weather damage. This may cause a need for frequent maintenance.

Welcome Sign

Wood Bench

Wood Chips

Pine bark wood chips are produced from a tree chipping operation, can serve as a uniform and stable surface. However, this material needs to be replaced and refreshed periodically to prevent urine saturation of the mulch or wood chips from creating environmental issues.

Wood Fence

Wood Fencing is visually appealing and can endure multiple weather conditions. It is not as durable as steel and provides more opportunity for dogs, and other animals to manipulate its alignment, increasing the risk of dogs escaping.