It is Springtime in Adelaide, and what better time to check out some new walking trails and dog park locations for you and your pet.

We love getting outdoors and active, and the Unley-Mitcham council communities agree. There are so many local parks, ovals, and trails to check out. We will also work on a list of places to explore around Adelaide, beyond our local southern city suburbs, so if you have any favourites make sure you share them!
Keep an eye out for our up-and-coming related blogs about The pros and cons of dog parks and Lead Aggression: My dog is different when on a lead, and ways to help you create the best experience for your dog when out and about.

Off Lead Dog Areas

There are only a few places where you can have your dog off lead at all times (*except during organised sporting events) and we are lucky enough to have FOUR locations within our Unley Council. We have also added one from the Mitcham council as it is a favourite for us and our clients.

These are:
• Goodwood Oval, Millswood
• The Orphanage Park Oval, Millswood
• Unley Oval, Unley
• Ridge Park Oval, Myrtle Park
• Mortlock Oval, Colonel Light Gardens

Do not forget to read the signage and abide by the directions to ensure you are respecting the space for everyone to enjoy as intended.
When there are sporting or other organised events, these locations may not be available for their usual off lead fun. If you what to expand your puppy play circle and meet some new friends, head to one of the ovals to join “The 5-o’clockers” who visit the ovals most days.

Off Lead Designated Time 5pm – 10am
Please check for signs indicating designated dog off-leash areas. Dogs may be exercised off-leash between 5pm and 10am at:
• Everard Park Reserve, Everard Park
• Forestville Reserve, Forestville
• Fraser Reserve, Myrtle Bank
• Fullarton Park, Fullarton
• Heywood Park, Unley Park (western sector)
• Howard Florey Reserve, Parkside
• McLeay Park, Unley
• Page Park, Clarence Park (Extended dog exercise times under trial – see link)
• Scammell Reserve, Myrtle Bank
• Soutar Park, Goodwood (open play area and south of the east west path)
• Village Green, Unley
• Wayville Reserve, Wayville.

Make sure you follow the time rules so that everyone and the dog can have a fun and enjoyable time. Always clean up after your dog, and make sure you and your pup are socialising appropriately. This means always keeping an eye on your dog and always having them under effective recall and control.
While these times and areas are for dogs off lead, we still need to practice appropriate socialisation and respect others space. Some dogs are eager for a in-your-face-play, others will find this very intimidating or agitating. Ask the other dog owners if their dog might like a play and make sure you heed their answers.

On Lead Dog Areas

For many people and their dogs, it is important to be able to trust an ON LEAD ONLY walking area. For more information on this keep an eye out for a future blog post “Lead Aggression: My dog is different when on a lead” to learn about lead walking, dog socialising and good manners for dogs and their humans.
Ensure you give respectable personal space to others at an on-lead dog park as you never know what the other dog is like or their back story. We encourage you to ask before approaching any other people and dogs AND make sure you listen to the owner’s advice as they usually know their dog best.

Unley City Council have several options for you when looking for a space you can reliably know is on-lead, at all times.
• Charles Walk – Linear Walk, Unley
• Ferguson Avenue Reserve, Highgate
• Fern Avenue Reserve, Fullarton
• Glen Osmond Creek – Linear Walk, Unley
• Hackett Reserve, Parkside
• Haslop Reserve, Malvern
• Henry Codd Reserve, Parkside
• Heywood Park, Unley Park (eastern sector)
• Katherine Street Reserve, Fullarton
• Leicester Street Playground (open area), Parkside
• Morrie Harrell Playground Reserve (open area), Unley
• North Unley Playground Reserve (open area), Unley
• Orphanage Park (except for oval areas), Millswood
• Simpson Parade Reserve, Wayville
• Soldiers’ Memorial Gardens, Unley
• Soutar Park, Goodwood (north of east-west path)
• Windsor Street – Linear Walk, Unley
• Yeo Avenue Reserve, Highgate.

It is important to know that some trainers recommend long lunge lead training, and while we love these leads for training, they do not meet the “Effective Lead” use rules while in on lead areas, which states that a lead needs to be no more than 2 m in length.
What about retractable leads you ask?
Though they are very popular, we advise against their use in all dogs. Want to know more? We will be including information on this in an upcoming blog post about dogs on leads.

Dog Friendly Trail Walks

Trail walking with our family and dog is a favourite past time. Come rain or shine we are often found on the trails around the southern foothills.

Our favourite walks and those of our clients include:
• Brown Hill Creek and the famous “Lonely Tree” – This one has some easier areas as well as some uphill walks that can be a challenge to the legs and lungs. Great for the whole family but can be slippery in the wet weather.
• Lynton Reserve Trails and Watiparinga Reserve – A hidden gem!! With some hills and loose gravel, and can be slippery in the wet, this may be for the more moderate hiker/walker.
• Shepherds Hill Reserve – If you want a decent walk you can start at Shepherds Hill and head through to Watiparinga Reserve or vice versa.
• Belair National Park – you could spend days trekking around Belair!
• Beaumont Link Walking Trail – I haven’t been on this one yet, but it is on the list after several clients share this is their weekly walking track
• Anstey Hill Reserve – This one is North of the city but a popular one for many.
• Morialta Convervation Park – Again a little northeast of the city but a popular place. Also massively popular for the kids so if you have a dog that is not super keen on people, especially the small variety, we recommend avoiding high traffic times.
Waite Reserve – Not quite a trail walk but you can connect from Brown Hill Creek to Wait Conservation Reserve to get a good distance and lovely scenery. We also have many clients who like to walk from Waite Oval through the lands there for some peace and quiet.

The main word of warning when taking your dog trail walking at this time of year is BE AWARE OF SNAKES. If you have a curious pooch, we recommend keeping them on lead so you can try your best to help them steer clear of our slithery bush buddies. If you are concerned your dog could have been bitten by a snake, call an emergency vet or your local vet immediately!

Enclosed Off Leash Dog Parks

Here we have listed some of the more popular enclosed dog parks around central Adelaide. Many enclosed dog parks provide double gaited fencing for safety and security and reduce the risk of escapees. Other features you may find include doggy-doo disposal locations and poo bag dispensers, communal water bowls, and tunnels and obstacles for play. Some are open and others have shelter for both pooch and persons alike. Bonus points for areas that have designated “big dog” and “small dog” areas but this is not seen at all locations.

CC Hood Dog Park Panorama

• Panorama: CC Hood Reserve
• Pityarilla Dog Park: Adelaide Parklands
• Glengowrie: Hazelmere Road Reserve Dog Park
• Glenside: Conyngham Street Dog Park
• North Adelaide Dog Park
• Barka Park – Mt Barker
• Pooch Park Tedder Reserve: Flinders Park
• Broadview Dog Park
• Flagstaff Hill: Minkarra Dog Park

Pityarilla Dog Park: Adelaide Parklands

A small word from the wise (Yes – we are the wise).
While enclosed off lead dog parks can provide people and their dogs a space where they can play off lead with reduced risk of running away, they can be a zone of many mixed interactions. Unfortunately, we see a number of our patients having had a scrap with another dog at an enclosed dog park and we urge you to assess the other pups visiting the park and make sure you feel your dog is happy and playing appropriately with others.
Some simple rules to follow when using enclosed dog parks:

  1. Always clean up after your dog
  2. Keep a watchful eye on their interactions with others – people and pooches. Sometimes people take this opportunity to let their dog play with others, without considering if this is safe and positive play. Please make sure you are being mindful of others in the play-space and keep your dog under effective recall and control. If it is not the right combination of pups for you, there is no problems with leaving and trying another day.
  3. Do some positive dog training exercises at the park for focus and to help get your dog familiar and comfortable with the area. This can also help them with recall at times you need to give them a break from play
  4. Ensure when using the double gaited areas that one gait is shut at all times to avoid the sneaky escapee.
  5. Consider if your dog needs a good lead walk first to get some energy out before interacting and playing with other dogs. Sometimes this is best and provides a better chance for positive interactions, and appropriate response to being around other playful dogs.
  6. Make sure you use a lead to and from the park. Don’t forget that there are plenty of dogs using these areas who have poor lead control and recall.
  7. If taking treats, make sure you are asking all other dog owners before offering any as we don’t know their dietary needs AND don’t forget there can be resource issues around food and treats. While using treats can be rewarding, it could be a catalyst for a disagreement.
  8. IF there is a dog fight do not get yourself in the mix! It is tempting, especially under the drive of adrenalin, to want to intervene, but it is common that people will end up with dog bites in this situation. Try instead to pour water over the dogs, bang something loudly to try distract the fight. AND if you are unfortunate to have your dog involved in a fight or even overzealous play, make sure you seek vet consultation as there is often a lot more under the surface when a dog bite is involved. If any persons are inadvertently bitten we urge you to seek your own medical attention, even if you think the bite/wound is minor.

Some great links that we use to explore Adelaide and the Unley City Council area.

Page Park – Trial of extended dog exercise times | Your Say Unley

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EXPLORING ADELAIDE and let us know what you find out there on your adventures.

If you have any feedback on your favourites above, or others that may not be listed here, we would love you to head to our social media pages to drop us a line – links found in page footer.