Dogs in Parks

For Our Best Friends!  

We welcome dogs in the Dane County Park System in three ways (see below).  Service dogs that are working are not required to have a Dane County Parks dog permit.  Please note that campsite reservations in a campground include a complimentary daily dog permit good for the duration of the stay.*

Purchase a Dog Permit


1.  Dane County Dog Parks
Dane County Parks is a national leader in the development of off-leash dog parks.  We now have seven off-leash dog parks to choose from and you can visit them all to discover your favorite -- see list below and our Overview Map.  An Annual Dog Park Cleanup is held on the 1st Saturday in April each year. Note that a dog permit is required and valid at all dog parks in the cooperating communities of Madison, Sun Prairie and Middleton.  You must have a dog license from your municipality to purchase a Dane County Dog Permit. See our Dog Parks Brochure (PDF) for a list of dog parks and rules.  As dog parks increase in popularity, it is important to remember the following rules and recommendations
to keep the experience enjoyable for everyone.
  See our Dog Park Etiquette (PDF) sign to learn how to better understand your dog's body language to make sure a dog park is a good fit for them. Learn more about the history of our dog park program.

Overview Map
Dog Parks Overview Map




2.  Dane County Park System
Dogs are welcome in all Dane County Park System lands with the following requirements/exceptions:

  • Dogs must have a valid dog permit
  • Dogs must be leashed and restrained by a 6-foot static leash
  • Dogs are not allowed in designated beach areas at Goodland, Mendota and Stewart Lake County Parks
  • Dogs are not allowed on groomed cross-country ski or snowmobile trails
  • Dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk portion of the Lower Yahara River Trail


3.  Dane County Wildlife Areas
Dogs are welcome in Dane County Wildlife Areas with the following requirements:

  • Dogs must have a valid dog permit unless used in the act of hunting during a designated Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Department (WDNR) hunting season
  • Dogs may be off-leash if used in the act of hunting; else they must be leashed and restrained by a 6-foot static leash

* A complimentary dog permit is not included in group camp reservations.