Q&A: Are Small Dogs Safe at Bow Wow Beach?

A Local Leash reader is concerned about taking his Dachshund to the dog park since his dog isn't a fan of large dogs.

I have never taken my Weiner Dog Linc to Bow Wow Beach because he hates big dogs. Is it true there is a section for just small dogs?
Bo from Stow

That is a great question, Bo! As much as we love to reward our dogs with fun adventure, the dog park can be a daunting experience. I cannot take my dog there, either because he is also not a fan of big dogs. He is 60 pounds and only likes small dogs and cats. He would love Linc, but if Linc is unable to return the love, you want to be able to keep him as secure as possible.

Luckily, does have options for small dogs. I'll explain it here, and then you can watch the video I've posted to see what I'm talking about.

When you drive into , where Bow Wow Beach is located, the dog park is to the right. However, signs are clearly posted and indicate that the small dog entrance is straight ahead of you, while the main entrance, or entrance for medium and large dogs, is to the right.

Both entrances offer access to the entire park and all the dogs. The only difference is the small dog entrance has immediate access to a completely fenced-off area solely for small dogs. In order for large dogs to enter that area, they would need to get through double gates.

My only word of caution is that not everyone seems to read the signs. While I was at the park, a woman named Marissa came through the small dog entrance with two small dogs and one big dog. When I spoke to her, she admitted that although she had been to the park before, she didn't realize the entrance was for small dogs only. I saw many other large dogs brought through that entrance, as well. However, those large dogs did not go into the secure, fenced-in area for small dogs.

The secure small dog area does not have access to the water for swimming. If you want your small dog to be able to swim, there is another partially fenced-in area that is unsecure. The fence stops at the water and big dogs can access the area that way. This area would be best for small dogs who don't mind big dogs, but who you want to keep a closer eye on.

Regarding your comment that Linc "hates" big dogs, I'm not sure if you mean that he is afraid of them or that larger dogs seem to set off a Napoleon complex in your little guy. Have you considered seeing an animal behaviorist?  The owner of in Stow, Nancy Binzel Pierce, is an ABC Certified Dog Trainer. How about socialization or training classes at ?

Bow Wow Beach is a wonderful park, but it depends on proper socialization and good pet owners who make sure their dogs are capable of being well behaved around all kinds of dogs and people. A certain amount of trust is involved in enjoying a day at the beach with your dog.

Kasha Legeza May 31, 2011 at 08:23 PM
After a recent trip to Bow Wow Beach, my husband and I decided that we're probably overly protective dog parents. Our goldens had a great time, but we were nervous wrecks! We'd love to let them play there again, but we're too fearful of "bad dogs" and their seemingly invisible owners to face going back. I second Matt's comments: Pay attention to your dogs, people. The dog park is not a dog-sitting drop off area!
jiim may August 14, 2012 at 02:23 AM
if you are afraid your dog and others will pick up on that. dogs only have two ways to play and thats with teeth and feet. i have a question for all you people that are afraid and thats, if your kid gets a broken nose because kids are playing, are you going to keep your precious wimpy chicl in the house or are you going to let him play again. i am a big time animal lover so dont say i dont care about pets. my dog had her ear torn and i went and cleaned it out and returned my other dog had to have a chest tube becauae she was bit ( at another park). my dogs love the park and we are there everyday. quit being weenies and let your dog have fun
Debbie S. August 14, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Torn ears and chest tubes sound great, jiim! I'm sure your dogs have LOVED being attacked by other animals to the point where your pups need medical attention. Good job on the name calling, too. Referring to other people "weenies" will surely shame them into bringing their dogs to the park straight-away. Your comments are so persuasive that there is really nothing more to say.
jiim may August 15, 2012 at 01:03 AM
debbie, i am not going to stop them from having hours and hours of funbecause of a problem. My animals are cared for much better than your children i bet!!!!! hopefully all the weenies will stay so the true animal lovers will be the only ones there. oh by the way i love all animals and would not punish the dog that tore my dogs ear. things happen. guess what there was a car accident last night so you and your children better stay away from driving!!!!!
jiim may August 17, 2012 at 01:49 AM
debbie, I am glad you havent been on the site, hopefully you are in the kitchen where women belong


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