Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Parks

Dogs in Parks

COVID-19 Alert
Dog Permits must be purchased online, at an electronic pay station or by calling our office in advance. Please follow the guidelines below to help keep our dog parks safe and open:

  • Maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from non household members.
  • Do not touch dogs that do not live in your household.
  • Common touch sites, such as gates, handles, etc, should be treated as a possible virus transmission locations. Use a dog bag as a glove or sanitize your hands before and after touching surfaces. 
  • After leaving the dog park, use sanitizer on your hands. Wash your hands when you get home.

Visit our Parks Changes and Updates Due to COVID-19 webpage for a full list of Park updates.

We welcome dogs in the Dane County Park System at our off-leash dog parks and throughout the Dane County Park System. A dog permit is required for all dogs except service dogs. Please note that campsite reservations in a campground include a complimentary daily dog permit good for the duration of the stay. A complimentary dog permit is not included in group camp reservations.

Purchase a Dog Permit     Dog Park Rules

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, totaling 229 acres, each with its own unique features and terrain. A permit is required in order to bring your dog to a dog park within the Cooperative Dog Park Program which includes: Dane County Parks, City of Madison Parks, City of Sun Prairie Parks and City of Middleton Parks. You must have a dog license from your municipality to purchase a Dane County Dog Permit. An Annual Dog Park Cleanup is held on the 1st Saturday in April each year. 

Credit Steve Dalhlgren - Dog Grin PhotographySteve Dahlgren (Dog Grin Photography)

Visit a Dane County Dog Park:

2. Dane County Park System

A dog permit also allows you to access all Dane County Park System lands for on-leash hikes with your pup with the following requirements and 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, or 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.
Find a Park

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 they are hunting during a designated Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Department (WDNR) hunting season.
  • Dogs may be off-leash in a wildlife area if being used for hunting.
  • If not being used for hunting, dogs must be leashed and restrained by a 6-foot static leash.
Find a Wildlife Area