Dog Parks in Pittsburgh

I would highly recommend the 2 Frick OLEAs (off-leash exercise areas) that menge101 linked to.

Many many people do not follow the leash rules in Frick park which ruins it for those of us that have older dogs that don’t want young dogs running up on them; and as a result are seen as “not friendly”.

They are both fully fenced with 5-6ft chain link and have air-lock style entries to reduce the risk of off-leash dogs running out when someone enters/exits.

They both have benches for patrons to sit on/at and a few things for the dogs to play in/on/around. Obviously you will have a mixed bag of people and dog types using the OLEA, so your mileage may vary but you run the chance of seeing annoying/aggressive dogs and inattentive and/or jerkish owners at any dog park.

I would only recommend Hot Dog Dam if the dogs you are sitting for have a good recall as that OLEA is not fully fenced in (I haven’t been there in a few years, so hopefully this has been fixed). The dog area is/was separated from the jogging trail by a split-rail fence and chain link, but the hill on the far side of the eponymous Hot Dog Dam is not fenced off at all and leads right up to a highly traveled road and intersection (Forbes and Braddock Avenues).

That being said, this OLEA is awesome for dogs that love playing/jumping into water or need a bit of a cool down or non-soapy rinse off from other activities.

Problems At Frick Park

Frick park could be a nice place to spend time with your dog. Read “could.” Like many other dogs, our dog has severe anxiety and does not play well with others and that is why we keep him on a leash at all times.

If every pet owner could simply keep their dog on a leash, the park would be a much safer place for everyone. Currently, it is not safe and it is not fair. IF you insist on having your dog off-leash, please only use one of the fenced off areas in the park designated for off-leash play.

The owners will usually respond with: “oh, he’s friendly.” But they say that after an attack just the same. I have heard this ignorant excuse time and time again, and it is not okay. It’s important to remember that even if your dog is the perfect, it is still and always will be an animal.

People who don’t control/call back their off leash dogs always make me think they just don’t actually care or think about their own dog’s safety.

This is a fundamental problem with people, it seems.

Good luck convincing dog owners that their little buddy isn’t special and that they should follow the rules for everybody’s sake. Just like in traffic, many people seem to think the rules apply only to everybody else.

We also have the same issue but on a much smaller scale at the dog park here in Lawrenceville.

Still, this happens in pretty much every city.

If you do some searching around online, you’ll see people complaining about it all over the place. Aside from the residents who just don’t care, the issue is generally that the police aren’t going to respond to these complaints (unless there’s a physical fight or something similar) and animal control is overworked. It’s not reasonable, for the animal control officer or for the city itself, to station somebody in the parks for hours at a time just to make sure that people keep their dogs on leash.

Unfortunately, it’s like the equivalent of having somebody standing nearby to make sure people don’t litter.

I’d recommend carrying a large umbrella with you. If a dog starts running towards you, open the umbrella and point it down in the direction of the dog, as a blocker between the dog and you.