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Yes, a small dog area was added to the park in the past year. This area may be used for older or very submissive dogs as well, as long as they interact well with any small dogs already in the area. This area is optional for small dogs; if yours wants to run with the big dogs, go for it!
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If your dog will be experiencing the off-leash environment for the first time, take it slow on your initial visit. If your dog acts aggressively, please put the dog on a leash immediately and let the animal "cool down". It takes time for a new dog to become comfortable with the fact that other dogs all share the neutral environment. Keep in mind that everyone at the park wants the same thing - socialized dogs that can have fun together. First time users should consider coming at off-peak times for their initial visit. At times, the park can become quite crowded. If you are not sure how your dog will react to a large number of dogs, don't put pressure on your dog by forcing it into what it may consider a threatening situation. Instead, come back at another time when it is less crowded.
Bringing children under the age of 5 into the dog park is discouraged. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Playful, unsupervised children and playful, unleashed dogs mixed together could result in injury. Children may engage in behavior which can trigger a dog's prey drive or natural instinct to chase. For this reason and for the safety of your children, we do not recommend bringing infants or young children into the Dog Park. If you choose to bring your child into the park, you should SUPERVISE VERY CLOSELY!!! Be sure you teach your child how to behave properly in a dog park environment. Children should not run around, scream, pick up and wave sticks, or approach animals that they do not know. While all dogs are expected to be well behaved and kid-friendly, these behaviors can trigger an alarm or defense response in some dogs, which can lead to aggression.
You do! Upon entering the dog park, you accept responsibility for cleaning up after your dog, and it is perfectly acceptable to insist that others do the same. Litter bags and trash cans are easily accessible. Keep an eye on your dog at all times so that you can ensure that you don’t leave anything behind. Your assistance in helping with the occasional “orphan poop” is appreciated. If there are no litter bags available, please contact the Clay County Park Office at (816) 407-3400 and inform them. Always try to bring a bag from home just in case.
No. The dog park is not a place to drop off your dog, but rather a place where owners can take their dogs to run free and play with other dogs and their owners. It is important that you keep an eye on your dog to maintain the safety and cleanliness of the park.
It is best to save treats to give to your dog after leaving the park. Not all dog owners will approve of their dog getting random treats, and there’s just too much potential for dogs to engage in guarding or stealing behavior that can lead to aggression and fights. If you must bring treats into the park for training purposes, please try to dispense them in an uncrowded area.
Yes, but we have tap water available free at the park. Water bowls are usually located throughout the park. Feel free to use them!
The dog park is provided free of charge by Clay County Parks, but dogs must be current on all vaccinations and wear an owner identification tag at all times. Proof of a current rabies vaccination is required upon request of a Park Ranger. Tags may serve as proof.
Entries and exits are double gated with a transition area to prevent accidental escapes. When entering or leaving the dog park, do not enter the double-gated transition area if there is already a dog in that area. This will eliminate the possibility of both gates being open at the same time. Place your dog off leash in the transition area before entering the unleashed area. Some dogs can feel threatened if they are leashed in the presence of unleashed dogs. After entering, please move away from the entrance areas. This will lessen the problem caused when several off leash dogs, already in the park, come running over to greet the new arrival, perhaps overwhelming the arriving dog. It will also minimize the overuse of a small area. Take advantage of the expansive area provided for your dog.
Call 911 for emergencies. To report unattended dogs or ordinance violations, please contact Clay County Sheriff’s Office at (816) 407-3700. For questions or comments regarding park management, call Clay County Parks Office at (816) 407-3400.
The County Dog Park was constructed through the efforts of Clay County Parks and the City of Smithville. As the dog park evolves and becomes used more, the park will be getting new amenities to add.