Dog Parks & Dog Walks

Parent Q&A

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  • Things to do with babies and dogs

    (7 replies)

    I'm looking for suggestions of things to do out of the house that include my baby AND my dog. Ideally we are looking for things that include other kids or dogs! The obvious answer seems the park but many play structures fence out dogs. This is totally understandable but puts me in a bit of a bind as I only have so many walks in me in one day.

    Has anyone come up with a brilliant solution to this problem?

    She will be 6 months soon but suggestions welcome for any age; this issue is not going away. The dog is 30 lbs and well behaved in public places, also good off leash.

    Depending on where you live, Dracena Park in Piedmont may be an option if you are not too far away. We take our 5 month old and dog there often. It's an off leash park for dogs and there are a few small trails and lead down to the Dracena Quarry where there is a large grass area and play structure and rock climbing wall for kids. The dogs can only be off leash in the trail portions though. Om the same note, there is another playground with an off leash dog area/trails behind the high school in Piedmont as well. I usually strap the baby on a carrier and let the dog roam around the trails.

    I would suggest walks where the dog can be off leash & your baby can look around at interesting things -- the Albany bulb, Berkeley Marina, Point Isabel. I also wonder if there are parks without a fenced-in area, so you can have your dog close-by? Wondering about Ohlone Park (where you could bring your dog to the dog park to get tired out), or Strawberry Creek Park?

    I don't know where you're located, obvi, but there's a great dog AND human park by me called Canyon Trail Park. It's on the El Cerrito/Richmond border, you can find it easily on the Googles, and it's got a play structure next to a beautiful open field where dogs run around and frolic. There's also a fun little nature walk you can take down into the woods, over a little bridge to a pond and back up, which is very entertaining as your baby gets big enough to notice things that aren't boobs. 

    Family of two preschoolers and a similarly sized dog here! Plus, we are apartment dwellers so multiple walks with dog and kiddos is necessary - I feel your pain! As your baby ages, the dynamics will change. For now you can focus on dog parks while baby wearing and off-leash areas or easy hiking trails with leashed dog plus stroller. Once the baby is walking, you can still do the same - off leash areas while toddler wearing and on-leash hikes with stroller. You'll soon know ALL the restaurants with kid friendly and dog friendly outdoor eating areas. But really, the best place of all is Pt. Isabel. You will come here often and it will be great for hearty dog runs while you enjoy a stroller walk that will eventually be kiddo walking alongside you. 

    Have  you tried walking at Point Isabel?  I have been taking walks with my daughter and dog there since she was 7.  There are a LOT of dogs, but it is a beautiful setting, beautiful views, and there is even a dog washer there.

    Have fun!

    hi!   If you haven't discovered it already, Point Isabel is a wonderful place to walk with your baby and your dog.   It is just past Costco.   Everyone seems like they are in a good mood there and if it's a clear day, the view is spectacular.  Plus your little one will be interested in all the dogs and action around him/her.    I've only been to the Albany Bulb once, but it also seems like a good place to walk with both; much less busy than Pt. Isabel.    Enjoy!

    Albany Bulb! Maybe not quite time at 6 months but within a year it will be perfect. Toddlers love digging in the sand and it’s off-leash for dogs. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

East Bay dog parks enclosed by HIGH fence

Jan 2012

I recently acquired a sweet rescue dog who loves to play with other dogs but whose #1 favorite activity is running away and never coming back. We are told that she can and will jump any fence shorter than 6 feet high. She was having a BALL playing at the Albany Memorial Park enclosed dog park, but they've just closed it for a month to re-seed the grass. Any other recommendations, from Oakland to Pinole? The nice new dog park in El Cerrito seems to have a VERY jumpable-looking fence. Thanks! Anonymous

I seem to remember the dog park at Frog (Hardy Dog) Park in Oakland having a high fence. Worth a look. --

Dog Park for Small Dogs near Berkeley?

May 2010

I've got a small dog who is timid with all dogs but especially skittish with bigger dogs. He really wants to play with dogs but it takes him some time to warm up. He does not enjoy the Ohlone dog park because there are so many big dogs there. Is there a small dog park closer to Berkeley than the one in Alameda? Anyone have any idea how to get a small dog park started in the Berkeley area? doesn't want to play with the big boys

i have a small dog like yours, wants to play, but timid. we go for short excursions to willard park on derby st, and monkey island (Claremont Boulevard at Oak Knoll Terrace) both dog friendly. the marina also works during daytime hours when there aren't many dogs. my timid pup would love to meet and hopefully play with your timid dog.

We have a Rug (Rat Terrier/Pug) who loves everyone and a Yorkie who was VERY timid of pretty much any dog or human; however, the Berkeley Marina is the perfect place for such a dog. There are plenty of little dogs... and once you get to know the place you will know what days are best to go. We go every weekend in the morning. All the dogs there are very well behaved. You can always post on the board located in the picnic area (where the picnic tables and water fountain is)- staying you are starting a little dog play-date group there and what times and days you will be there. I highly recommend the Berkeley Marina (it's off of University) It's called Cesar Chavez Park

Try meeting up with a few neighborhood dogs first (in backyards, tennis courts, etc) so he gets accustomed to a few dogs. When he is really comfortable with them, go as a group to a dog park during off hours so he gets comfortable with the location while he's already comfortable with a few of the dogs there. dog trainer

There's a new dog park in El Cerrito, Bruce King Memorial Dog Park. It's divided into two parts, one for small dogs and one for large dogs, and it's located on Lexington (2 blocks east of San Pablo) between Blake and Portrero. It's very pleasant, though small, and has water and benches. Jane

There is a new dog park that just opened up in El Cerrito last month. It has separated play areas for large dogs and for small dogs. It is a bit small, but it's nice to have a small-dog-only place for those of us with small dogs that need to get out more! The Bruce King Memorial Dog Park is located in the 1600 block of Lexington Avenue between Potrero Avenue and Blake Street (along the Ohlone Greenway). dog lover

Dog Park between Berkeley and Napa

Jan 2006

My best friend is moving to Napa. A big part of our friendship has been walking our dogs together at Point Isabele. I am wondering - does anyone know of a really great dog park between here and Napa, one that is around half way - such that we could meet there in between? Maybe in Vallejo or somehwere? THANK YOU. margo

There is a nice dog park in Benicia up off Rose drive at the Community Park. That might be somewhat central. sroach

A place to start could be this website,0,0,1,0,0 Giulia

Dog Park in or around Vallejo

Nov 2004

We are moving to Vallejo and are wondering if there are any off leash dog parks (like the one on Alameda) in Vallejo or surrounding areas. Or any off leash dog areas at all. Thanks

There's a fenced off-leash dog park in Benicia, right next door to Vallejo. It's part of the huge park complex at the Community Park (it's in the NW corner, past the skate area). You can find directions to the whole park at:

I've only taken my dog there once, but it was fun. It's not huge, but there's room to run and there were lots of nice dogs and people there. There's a DIY dog-washing station, too. Whippet Mom

Vallejo is building a brand new dog park (it should be completed by December) located at Wardlaw Park. (Wardlaw Park is bordered by Redwood Parkway, Ascot Parkway and Oakwood Dr.) The dog park will be located on the Ascot Parkway side. Jesse Bethel HS is across the street. It's a nice, open location and easily accessible. If you drive by, you'll see fencing surrounding the area where the dog park will be located. Yvette

There's a dog park in Benicia called Phenix dog park, in the Benicia Community park. Use the parking lot at Rose and Kearney Drives. There's an asphalt path with paw prints at the west end of the lot that leads to the dog park. There are also 3 parks in Napa with off-leash areas for dogs. Alston Park, JFK memorial park, and Shurtleff Park. I haven't been to any of them - the recomendations come from ''The Dog Lover's Companion to California''. It's a couple of years old but all of these parks were well-rated at the time. Beth

Where to run a dog off leash

Dec 1998

Pt. Isabel - it's right behind Costco -- very easy to find, and really fun, even if you don't go with a dog! Linda

Buy a family pass to the regional park system . There are lots of places you can run your dog off leash under voice control in the regional parks: Point Pinole, Sunol, Redwood to name a few. When you join they'll send you a booklet with all the parks and what facilities each has and allows. It's a great buy. Kay