Bergen County has a variety of dog parks and dog-friendly parks where your pooch can have some recreational play time with other dogs.
Dog owners must stay inside the dog park and watch their dog at all times, and it’s important that your dog comes to you when called. If you are not sure how your dog will react to other dogs, start with walks on a leash with a friend who also has a dog, and then progress to walks at a dog-friendly park to observe interaction with other dogs. The first visit to an off-leash dog park should be during off-peak hours. Walk the dog around the outside of the fence first, to observe the dogs at play and to see how your own dog reacts.
Every off-leash dog park also has some basic rules: Dogs must be with an adult. Your dog must wear a collar at all times inside the park. You must clean up after your dog; waste bags are sometimes provided. If your dog shows any aggression, you must immediately remove it from the park.
Towns that do not have off-leash parks often allow dogs on leashes on public property, and may fine dog owners who violate the rules.
Dog parks – off-leash
Lakeview Park in Leonia: This park has off-leash pet hours on weekdays and weekends, where dogs are allowed to run free in the park while supervised by their owners.
Overpeck County Park in Leonia, 201-336-7275: This is a beautiful place to take a walk with the dog and to take advantage of the off-leash dog run. The entrance to the park is on Fort Lee Road.
Riverside County Park, Joseph A. Carucci area, Riverside Avenue in Lyndhurst, 201-336-7275: This off-leash dog run and playground has two separate fenced-in areas for smaller and larger dogs. The 4-foot-high fenced area has a safety-gated entrance. There is ample parking and benches for two-legged guests.
Riverside Park Animal Park, River Road South, North Arlington; 201-991-6060: This off-leash dog park has some agility equipment. It’s fenced, but the fence is pretty low, so be careful if your dog can jump. Also, it gets muddy after rain or snow melt.
Saddle River County Park, 1133 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood, 201-670-5560: Known commonly as the “Duck Pond,” this park features two separate dog runs for smaller and larger dogs.
Van Saun County Park, near the Continental Avenue entrance in River Edge. One of Bergen County's newest dog parks, it has easy parking and is centrally located in Bergen County.
Wallington County Park / Sam Nelkin County Park, Paterson Avenue, Wallington, 973-778-6184: This park has two separate fenced-in areas for smaller and larger dogs. There are benches and tables outside of the fences for owners to relax and watch their pets at play.
West Woof Dog Run, 235 Harrington Ave, in Westwood, 201-664-7100: This off-leash park has small or large dog sections, with water and benches.
Wood Dale County Park, Prospect Avenue, Woodcliff Lake, 201-336-7275: This is a fenced-in area with a woodchip surface. Bathrooms and water are right next to the run, so you don't need to bring your own bottles or bowls. Trash cans and disposable bags are also available.
Visitors are allowed to bring their dogs to these parks, provided that they are held on a leash at all times.
Palisades Interstate Park in Alpine: Dogs must be under their owner's control, leashed, and cleaned up after at all times. Dogs are not allowed in the Greenbrook Sanctuary.
Veterans Memorial Park and Schauble Park in Closter are popular places to bring your dogs. A regular group of people and their pets visit the parks in the morning. The parks also have dispensers of dog waste bags.
Campgaw Mountain Reservation & Ramapo Valley County Reservation in Mahwah: The ideal location for people who love the great outdoors. Hiking trails are dog-friendly and marked, with views of the Ramapo Mountains and waterfalls. This is a family-friendly trail and swimming is also available. The entrance is on Ramapo Valley Road.
Veterans Field in Ridgewood: Dogs are welcome along the track at Vets Field if they are kept on a leash at all times. Many events are held on the field including baseball and softball games as well as summer concerts and other town-wide activities.
Glen Rock, Hillsdale, Little Ferry, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Northvale, Wallington and Westwood all have animal-friendly parks.