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Unleashed Dog Exercise Areas at Willoughby Park

by Willoughby Admin, over 7 years ago

Council is seeking feedback from residents, park users, sporting organisations and dog owners on a proposal to change the conditions of the Unleashed Dog Exercise Areas at Willoughby Park.

Council is seeking feedback from residents, park users, sporting organisations and dog owners on a proposal to change the conditions of the Unleashed Dog Exercise Areas at Willoughby Park.

A suggested change is to separate the unleashed dog area from users around the playground and pedestrian/bike track by relocating it to the No 2 Oval and making it an unrestricted area (i.e. no time restrictions) except when sport is being played.

The No. 1 Oval would become an area where dogs can only be exercised on leash so that they are under their owner’s direct control.

Further information can be found on the 'Unleashed Dog Exercise Info Sheet' which has been uploaded to the 'Library' section of this website. You can also fill out our survey by clicking in the 'Quick Survey' tab.

Follow link to download the 'Unleashed Dog Exercise Info Sheet' -

This consultation has concluded.

  • Darius over 7 years ago
    Hi AllTo find more information about the proposal to make changes to the Dog Exercise Areas at Willoughby Park please take a look at the info sheet which can be found in the 'library' section - We are also running a quick survey which can be found under the 'Quick Survey' tab on the main page of the March Discussion.We look forward to hearing your feedback!
  • Wayne over 7 years ago
    Off leash areas are great, particularly good for socialising amongst dogs. Some just want to have a run of their live.. Would it be possible for the off leash area to be totally fenced, so that dogs will not be running out to the street or nearby bushland? For instance, off leash area at Castle Cove Oval is not fenced.
  • Derek over 7 years ago
    Good proposal and the dogs are entertaining in themselves. Implementation requires solid enforcement.
  • SP! over 7 years ago
    This is a great proposal, offering improved dog-free amenity at the top oval and also improved flexibility (unrestricted times) for all of us dog-lovers. A barrier of some kind (even one that was symbolic rather than physical) would be of assistance for those of us trying to keep our canine friends away from the BBQ area nearest Oval 2... those raw steak aromas are just too tempting sometimes...
  • LAR over 7 years ago
    As a frequent user of Willoughby park for eexercise of myself, my children and my dog I fully support the proposal as I feel it is a better way to fairly address the needs and choices of all users. I especially support the unrestricted off leash use proposed for Oval No 2 (except of course when sporting fixtures are on) as currently this oval is under very utilised during the day mid week so could be a perfect time for many people to use it for dog exercise. Proposal would make it much easier for people to understand what is and isn't acceptable - no excuses or pleading ignorance - Oval 2 off leash - Oval 1 on leash end of story. Hopefully it will mean less likelihood of stepping in dog mess whislt exercising on Oval 1 too.Also whilst it is very social at park during current off leash hours it can get very congested and a bit intimidating for smaller dog owners or the elderly and/or less agile dog owner if there are a lot of large dogs off leash at that time. Also have met many elderly women who would prefer off leash during middle of day esp in winter it is too cold for them early morning and late afternoon and visibilty not so great then for them either. Also support suggestions to have some sort of delineation, for dog owners (as the onus is on them to control their dog) to know where Oval 2 area ends and Oval 1 area begins, as well as better signage to draw the attention of non-dog owners that it is an off leash area beyond this point - I have seen the occasional confrontation when people with small children have inadvertently taken them to play on Oval 2 at off leash times and been upset with people having their dogs off leash and not been aware it was in fact legal for them to do so.
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    I walked recently with a friend & her dog (on leash) from Mosman to Clifton Gardens to Georges Head (artist area) for coffee & back to Mosman.All delightful. Coffee is a big thing. Can we have more coffee stops in Willoughby near dog & bike friendly spots?Dog walking is great for the owners of dogs health & well being. Dog friendly places are good for mental wellbeing of their owners. I do not own a dog, however I can see that dogs are good for their owners wellbeing.Owners can be young & very old - every age. Dog friendly areas & walkways should be encouraged. Most dog owners that I know are more than happy to walk their dogs on the leash. Often it is only lazy dog owners who prefer leash free areas.Leash free areas are good social interaction for dog owners to meet other like minded dog owners.I am impressed that Sydney has a very positve attitude to cleaning up dog poop. We have very resonsible citizens. There is very little in Sydney people that is lazy!
  • Chris over 7 years ago
    Applaud WCC for recommending increased hours for running dogs off leash at Willoughby Park, however - the drainage on Oval 2 needs to improve as it is regularly a mud pit,- lighting on lower oval (just one spotlight which is often blocked by trees) is not sufficient for safety,- I think the usage of Oval 1 for off-leash could be increased, as if you wander down to the Park early evening say after 6pm through to early afternoon say 2pm before school break up, there are few users of that oval - the main ones are dog owners and a few fitness groups.
  • Greenberg over 7 years ago
    Please make No 1 Oval a complete dog free area AND make no 2 Oval a restricted dog area with time restrictions. AND please Willoughby Council can you have some rangers actually book dog owners who's dogs are not under control/on leash.I've noticed a number of dogs sprinting around the pedestrian/bike path areas darting in front of young kids trying to ride their bikes, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades. The situations I've seen have been quite dangerous with dogs standing in the middle of the bike path or running in front of kids riding fast on the bike track. This is a recipe for disaster, and my own young children have had some very close calls from uncontrolled dogs. Let's face it, nearly all dogs are UNcontrollable from what I've seen. If a dog does not come back immediately when it's owner calls it the first time....then the owner does not have control of that animal. Unless the dog is on a leash then it's not being controlled.I've seen numerous dog owners turn blind eye to their dogs behaviour and failing to notice (accidentally or on purpose) that their dog has defecated on the main No 1 Oval. I've also see and had the displeasure myself of stepping into dog feaces left on the grass. Fact 2, if you're having a conversation with your friends...then you aren't adequately watching your dog. I've seen numerous cases where dog owners are engrossed in a conversation with a circle of friends with their back to their dogs and have no idea what their dog is doing whether it's defecating on teh grass or harrassing young children trying to play soccer or ride a bike. I've had numerous times when I've been trying to kick a ball with my young children, only to have some stupid dog (and therefore dog owner) chasing the soccer ball that my son is trying to kick and scaring my son away from the ball. As usual the dog owner is having a chat with some others and not paying attention or in some cases the dog owner thinking that this sort of behaviour from their dog is funny or "cute". No it's not cute, it's just bloody annoying and shows a complete lack of respect of other park users.
  • Greenberg over 7 years ago
    I've seen dog owners with these retractable leashes that they let out to between 10m to 20m. They have nearly as little control over their dog as if the dog wasn't on a leash. These dogs are still allowed to pester young children on these extended leashes.As part of the rules of oval use there should be a definition of what a leash actually is. I know that sounds obvious, but I think leashes should be less than 2 metres long.
  • Mel over 7 years ago
    I am not a dog-owner but am very happy to support un-leashed areas around Willoughby PROVIDED THAT dog-owners abide by the rules. I am completely sick of going to Willoughby Park Oval No. 1 with my children which is leash free for only one hour in the morning and has at least 4 signs around the pathways confirming this, only to have large un-leashed dogs running at pace across the path, at balls being kicked by young children or fighting/playing with other unleashed dogs. This happens at any time of the day. So many dog-owners say to my frightened children -'its okay she's friendly she won't hurt you' and this seems to be their rationale for flouting the rules. My 3 year old doesn't care how 'friendly' the German Sheherd is, to him it looks the size of a horse and it frightens him. If the rules were different and I knew that un-leashed dogs would be there at other times, I would avoid the park during those times. I go at times when I should be comfortable that my young children will not be scared by dogs, but every time I go there are at least 5 unleashed dogs there, and they are often wandering up further near the playground areas. Why can't Willoughby dog owners play by the rules?
  • Greenberg over 7 years ago
    Having all the dogs on Oval 2 off leash with no time restriction will just turn it into a big dirt patch and make it unusable to others. I was at Willoughby park last week for a walk around 8:30am and noticed a couple of dogs roaming around the top Oval 1, which is not within the off leash time. It would be nice if the council had some rangers to patrol the area every now and then and actually fine dog owners rather than just 'warn' them.
  • Adviser169 over 7 years ago
    After reading the comments, it seems that some dog owners are not abiding the rules. I suggest all dog owners become rangers per se. They all have the responsibility of watching their fellow dog owners and reminding them if they do not play with the rules. If there are more than say 10 complaints lodged with council regarding a particular park/oval, all bet are off, it will be returned to 'all dogs on leash'. If one wants the right, one also carries the responsibility !
  • Leila.E over 7 years ago
    I would love to see increased hours for off leashed dogs on Oval 2!Please increase lighting on the oval as I don't feel safe walking after the sun is going down (even with my doggy companion, he would not offer me much protection)!