In recent weeks there has been a lot of talk about a proposed dog park rule change under consideration by the Parks Department in neighboring Arlington County. The proposal currently in front of the department would ban children under the age of 8 from entering dog parks in Arlington. Children ages 8 to 14 would have to be supervised by an adult in order to enter the park.
The rule change is intended to protect small children within dog parks. Even with adult supervision, the concern is that dog play can get out of hand quickly and people might not be able to react fast enough to move young kids out of harm’s way.
Fairfax County has similarly restrictive rules already in place. However, in Alexandria, there are age limits of sorts in place. But as long as children under the age of 16 are accompanied by an adult, they are allowed inside all fenced dog parks in the city.
I want to be clear that I have not heard of any rule changes under consideration for Alexandria dog parks. The rule in Arlington even has several hoops to go through, including legal approval and more public input. But with Arlington nearby and parks like , I wanted to see what others in our neighborhood thought.