News Flash

News & Announcements

Posted on: July 20, 2018

Why is There a Leash Law in Dallas? A Wildlife Perspective

Walk the dog

You often hear or see the rule about keeping your dogs on leashes while in Dallas parks. The main reason for this rule is safety, for yourself, other park users and your dog. Unless you are in a designated, fenced in dog park, your dog must be on a leash.  Recently we have heard of off-leash dogs being chased or bitten by coyotes at certain parks.

Did you realize that that within the city, the leash law is a major wildlife management tool?  The natural areas within our parks are often the best wildlife habitat left inside Dallas’ highly developed city limits.  We encourage you to get out and enjoy nature and take along your furry friend, but keep immediate control of your dog with a 6 foot leash.  This will reduce the chance of your pet, and you, having a negative interaction with wildlife.  This time of year, coyotes and bobcats may still have young with them, and a dog getting too close could possibly trigger a territorial issue.  Smaller dogs may be viewed as a potential food option.  Unrestrained dogs are also more likely to chase and harass wildlife which puts more stress on the animals.  We get frequent reports of dogs chasing ducks, rabbits and squirrels in parks. During the course of the chase, the dog may encounter some hazards such as snakes. Most dogs bitten by snakes or injured by other means are dogs which were off leash.

Another issue with unrestrained dogs is unintentionally spreading invasive plant species.  Dogs are great carriers of plant seeds.  In the prairie remnants around White Rock Lake, we are trying to fight the Sweet Scabious plant.  Watching where it tends to pop up, it is very evident that it is be spread by dogs running around.  Keeping the dogs on a leash and staying on established trails would greatly help reduce the spread of this plant species.

If you would like to exercise your dog off leash, please feel free to visit one of the four Dallas Park and Recreation dog parks. A list of the parks can be found on

If you would like more information on nature in Dallas Parks, please check out the Urban Biologist website.  

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in News & Announcements

September is National Preparedeness Month

Posted on: September 6, 2018
Kiest Friends

Award Winning Friends Groups!

Posted on: May 9, 2018

2016-2017 Annual Report

Posted on: April 10, 2018
Car in Park

Driving on City Parks is Prohibited

Posted on: March 1, 2018

Fruitdale Recreation Center Reopens

Posted on: January 31, 2018

Mockingbird Bridge and Trail NOW OPEN!

Posted on: November 2, 2017
MLK Puzzles

The Michelangelo of Puzzles

Posted on: June 30, 2017
Battle in Big D 2017

4th Annual Battle in Big D

Posted on: July 18, 2017
Willis Winters Square web

Word from the Director: July 2017

Posted on: June 28, 2017
Willis Winters Square web

Word from the Director: May 2017

Posted on: May 17, 2017
Willis Winters Square web

Word from the Director: April 2017

Posted on: April 24, 2017
Native Blackland Prairie Small Final

City Nature Challenge

Posted on: April 12, 2017

Love at First Sight

Posted on: February 1, 2017
Camping Trip web

Outdoor Adventures Camping Trip

Posted on: March 30, 2017
Willis Winters Square web

Word from the Director: March 2017

Posted on: March 27, 2017
105_6538 web

Spring Has Sprung at our Dallas Parks

Posted on: March 20, 2017
Willis Winters

A Word from the Director: February 2017

Posted on: February 27, 2017
HM Park Restoration

Harry S. Moss Prairie Restoration

Posted on: February 7, 2017

Word from the Director: January 2017

Posted on: January 23, 2017

Busy Beavers

Posted on: January 18, 2017
Grammy Camp

Dallas Teen Tech Center Hosts Grammy Camp

Posted on: November 21, 2016
Monarch Fall Migration

Fall Monarch Migration is Underway

Posted on: October 7, 2016
Feeding the Ducks

Think Again Before You Feed the Ducks

Posted on: September 12, 2016