What Is A Secure Dog Field?

What Is A Secure Dog Field?

Having rescued two young puppies in France, we returned to the UK with high hopes for carefree walks, play-dates with other dogs and a life of canine adventures! That isn’t how things panned out and as we slowly exposed them to new experiences, we realised that they were quite fearful despite our gentle efforts to socialise them. As well as recruiting trainers, we wanted somewhere completely safe to exercise them as well as train them. That’s when we heard about secure dog fields and we set about finding out everything we could about these facilities.

A dog field is a space you can hire on an exclusive basis to exercise or train your dog. As a general rule they are enclosed with substantial fencing which is either 6ft+ (180cm+), 5ft (150cm) or 4ft (120cm) or in height. Whilst they are commonly called dog fields or dog parks, they may be grassy, woodland or meadows.

Dog Fields in the UK and Ireland

Dogs fields aren’t a new concept. There are a few that have been in existence for decades and most were originally established as training facilities and exercise areas for working and service dogs. However, in recent years many more have appeared and now primarily cater for daily dog walking and exercise as well as training.

There are a variety of dog fields and it’s important that you know what type you are looking for as they offer very different levels of security, facilities and practicalities. It can be confusing so we have defined them into three categories:

Secure – Secure dog walking fields should have a sturdy fence – at least 6ft all round, including any gates

Enclosed – Enclosed fields are often fenced with simple livestock fencing which is around 4ft. This is sufficiently secure for some dogs but small dogs may find it easy to escape through the larger gauge wire and many larger dogs can easily jump a 4ft fence. We also include fences up to 6ft in this category as most dog field users that are looking for ‘secure dog fields’ expect fences to be at least 6ft in height

Private  – Private dog fields are simply unsecured areas that are rented for exclusive use. There are some landowners letting unused land to dog walkers and this is where this category would fall

You can use the filter function on this website to choose which type of field, or what minimum fence height you require:

Cost of Hiring a Dog Field

Dog fields are available to hire from 30 minutes to several hours and cost between £3 and £25 per hour. Many offer regular user discounts and special rates for professional dog walkers and trainers

How To Find a Dog Park or Secure Dog Field Near Me

There are over 800 dog fields in the UK and more opening weekly so if you can’t find one near you just yet, there will be one soon!

You can find a list of the dog fields we have verified (and those awaiting a visit) here, and search your chosen area. Our visits are incognito so the reviews you see here are impartial and made with a checklist of points that each and every field is subject to. We revisit accredited fields annually and have interim spot checks to ensure that the standards we set are maintained and as a dog owner, you can be assured of the accreditation scheme.

Ask around: If you are in a Facebook group for dog owners or you know a behaviourist or trainer, you could ask for recommendations of a good dog field. Your vet might also be able to suggest some options locally. There are some hidden gems that you will only find out about through word of mouth and some owners only accept new customers by referral.

There are a very small number of councils that provide exclusive hire dog fields but more commonly these will be dog parks that are available on a non-exclusive basis.

There are some areas of the UK and Ireland where dog fields haven’t caught on yet and areas where planning permission is not being, or cannot be granted (e.g. National Parks, some Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest). Also in urban areas like London, pressures on land are such that they aren’t an economically viable use of land.

There are over 800 dog fields in the UK and more opening weekly so if you can’t find one near you just yet, there will be one soon!

Why Should I Use A Dog Field?

There are a huge number of reasons that people use dog fields either regularly or occasionally – here are some of the most common:

  • Reactive dog – nervous or fearful of other dogs, cars, people or other things they may come across on a walk
  • Dog theft – many people are nervous of walking their dogs in public for fear of the increasing incidence of dog theft
  • No recall!
  • Chaser – deer, livestock, bikes!
  • Recovering from injury – dog or owner in rehab
  • Bitch in season
  • Training
  • Stress free walkies!

There are many more reasons that people choose to use dog fields but it simply comes down to the security of knowing your dog cannot get out or come into contact with unknown dogs or people.

4 Things You Should Know About Dog Fields

  • It is important to know that dog fields are run with varying levels of professionalism, and this is important because it can impact the health and safety of your dog
  • The American term ‘dog park’ is very different – these are not for exclusive hire but are simply dedicated areas that you can exercise your dog in or alongside public parks – these dog parks also exist here in the UK and are not exclusive use facilities
  • The vast majority of dog fields are privately owned and run as businesses and so should have public liability insurance and run the field responsibly for their customers
  • There is no government regulation regarding dog fields and this means that it is down to you to know the quality of the dog field you are planning to visit.

BritishDogFields has established a code of conduct for dog field owners and reviews dog fields all across the UK and Ireland using very experienced dog field users and owners. All verified fields are assessed under a strict set of criteria and accredited fields meet these standards of care and professionalism.

If you are looking to open your own secure dog walking field and want to find out more, check out the Build a Field section on our website here.

error: Content is protected !!