Canine Recreation

Canine Rec Website Photo_A

Dog Parks

Dog owners represent a large (and growing!) segment of the community. While regular leash walks provide a level of exercise that promotes good dog health, access to open space for off-leash play and socialization is equally important. DPR has 4 dog parks, which offer a safe and controlled environment for dogs and their owners. All dogs must be registered with DPR prior to using the park. For registration information scroll below. 

Canine Recreation Special Events

Looking for fun activities to enjoy with your canine friend? Join us for a variety of events offered throughout the year including:

Dog Registration

Dog Park Fees

Residency Dog Park Fees
City Resident $17 / first dog; $15 / each additional dog(s)
Non-City Resident $22 / first dog; $20 / each additional dog(s)

Dog Park tags are valid for one year (January 1 - December 31). Fees are not prorated throughout the year. Dog Park tags are valid for use at all City of Durham Dog Parks.

A 10% discount is available to Play More Card holders.

Dog Park Registration

Revised June 5, 2023

All dogs must be registered with DPR annually. To ensure that we provide a healthy environment for all participants, we have adopted the vaccination requirements recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association. All dogs are required to have the following vaccinations before being issued a Dog Park tag:

  • Rabies (1 or 3 years)
  • Distemper / Parvo (1 or 3 years)
  • Bordetella (1 year)
  • Negative Fecal Exam Results (1 year)

We also accept titer results in lieu of vaccinations except for rabies (state law). Vaccinations must be current and not due to expire within 30 days.

A DPR dog park tag can be assigned when these requirements are met. All dogs must wear their current dog park tag while playing in the park.

Online Registration 

Register and pay online.

  • To enroll in Dog Park Registration, choose your name from the "Participant List". To register more than one dog, enter the number of dogs in the box below "How many participants?" 
  • To take advantage of the multi-dog discount, enter one of the following coupon codes: 2dogs, 3dogs

In-Person Registration 
Registration is available in person at the Durham Parks and Recreation Administration Office, 400 Cleveland Street, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Need assistance with online registration? Email us at or call 919-560-4355 during regular business hours.

Dog Park Rules

  • Dogs using the park must be registered with Durham Parks and Recreation, and meet all Dog Park requirements; entry into the park is only allowed for dogs with a Dog Park tag. 
  • Dogs shall have on a collar with their current Dog Park Tag and updated rabies information at all times while in the park; no prong, spiked or electric collars allowed.
  • Dogs are not allowed into the park if they are younger than 3 months, in heat, sick, or routinely aggressive. 
  • Dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times. Any dog behaving aggressively must be immediately controlled or removed from the park. Owners are responsible for any damage or injury caused by their dogs while in the park.
  • Owners are required to clean up after their dogs, inside and outside the fenced area.
  • No other animals are allowed inside the dog park fenced area.
  • No more than 3 dogs per person at any one time.
  • It is not recommended for children to enter the park. Children under the age of 12 may not enter the park unless under the supervision of an adult.
  • Spectators should remain outside the fenced dog park area.
  •  No large dogs in the small dog area; no small dogs in the large dog area. 
  • Food and alcoholic beverages are not allowed within the fenced dog park area except for events approved through a dog park permit. 
  • Smoking including e-cigarettes is not allowed on any City park property.
  •  Dog food in bowls or long-lasting chews is prohibited in the dog park area. Dog treats within the fenced dog park area should be given with caution, as some dogs may be food aggressive. 
  • Dog Toys, including but not limited to tennis balls, ropes, or Frisbees, are highly discouraged. Any toys brought into the dog park must be taken out of the dog park upon your departure. Any toys left in the dog park are subject to disposal. 
  • Owners must repair holes or disturbed areas created by their dogs.
  • Dog bites must be reported; owners should exchange contact information and call the Durham County Animal Control (919-560-0900) and DPR (919-560-4355).
  • Dog Park users must immediately leave the fenced dog park area when requested to do so by Durham Parks and Recreation Staff or law enforcement personnel.
  • Professional dog trainers may not use the park to conduct their business. 
  • Bicycles, rollerblades, skates, skateboards, and strollers are prohibited within the fenced dog park area.
  • All Durham County and North Carolina ordinances apply within the Dog Park.

For information, email the Durham Dog Parks at or call 919-560-4355, ext. 27212.

Dog Park Project Updates

Revised October 17, 2023

Over the past several years, we have been working to provide better opportunities to our canine residents to Play More! Here are some updates on dog park projects.

Northgate Dog Park - Closing Permanently October 30, 2023

The condition of Northgate Dog Park has deteriorated because of its location in the floodway, poor drainage, and high use. These factors have caused persistent muddy conditions throughout its lifespan. In 2014, DPR looked at options to fix these issues, however, the proposed solutions presented more disadvantages to the environment, parks users, and cost, than benefits. It was decided to eventually close Northgate Dog Park and open a new dog park in Northern Durham as an alternative. In 2015, we let the neighborhood know that Northgate Dog Park would eventually be decommissioned once a new dog park opened in Northern Durham.

In the Spring of 2023, we celebrated the opening of Rock Quarry Dog Park, at 701 Stadium Drive. Located within walking distance of Northgate Dog Park, it will serve Northern Durham in the place of Northgate Dog Park. The brand new dog park is nestled in the wooded area along the Rock Quarry Spur Trail, between Edison Johnson Recreation Center and Rock Quarry Park, and is a 0.9 mile walk from Northgate Dog Park via the Ellerbee Creek Trail

Read more here.

Dog Park Monthly Maintenance Schedule

The dog parks will be closed from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following days for routine maintenance. 

Downtown Dog Park | 2nd Tuesday of every month

Petsafe Dog Park at Duke Park | 1st Monday of every month

Piney Wood Dog Park | 1st Wednesday of every month

Rock Quarry Dog Park | 3rd Monday of every month


For dog park questions email Durham Dog Parks at or call 919-560-4355, ext. 27212. If you are visiting a dog park and have safety concerns, please report them by calling 911.