-by Jennifer Fitz, edited by Columbus Rec & Parks

German Village is a community full of dog lovers, so it is of utmost importance that the neighbors know the rules of our city’s public parks.

Though there are no laws specifically in place regarding dogs on leashes, city code does state that dogs must be under direct control which means that a dog is within sight and hearing, and will respond instantly to the commands or signals to “come,” “sit,” or “stay.”

City code also states that “no owner of any animal shall permit such animal to run large on any property not his own. No owner of any animal, shall permit the animal to enter upon any property not that of his owner, when it is not securely leashed or under direct control.  It shall be prima-facie evidence that a dog is not under direct control if it chases, injures or kills any person or domestic animal or damages or commits any nuisance upon property other than that of its owner.”

The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department does have four dog parks which have been specifically built to allow dogs to run freely and to interact safely with other dogs and other dog owners.  Those parks include Wheeler Dog Park, 725 Thurber Dr. W; Big Walnut Dog Park, 5000 E. Livingston Ave.; Godown Dog Park, 6099 Godown Rd.; and Three Creeks Dog Park, 2748 Spangler Rd.

Here are some of the guidelines for the city’s dog parks: 

  • Handlers are responsible for any injuries caused by any dog they bring to any city of Columbus park including the dog parks.
  • Handlers must have proper license and vaccination tags while in the dog park.
  • Handlers must be at least 18 years old. Children under 13 are not permitted unless accompanied by an adult.
  • The full set of rules is available here.

If you’re interested in having an outdoor rendezvous with your dog, there are two City of Columbus dog parks within 15 minutes of German Village at Wheeler and Three Creeks. Information on other local dog parks and maps can be found here.

Metro Parks is NOT under City of Columbus rules. Learn more about dogs in Metro Parks properties here.

Have other questions or concerns about city services? You can contact our Neighborhood Liaison for Area V (Livingston Avenue to the City Limits and Alum Creek to the Scioto River) Jo Anne St. Clair at 614-645-5220 or jastclair@columbus.gov.

Is there a topic you would like to know more about? Please let us know so we can help you help German Village!


And don’t forget our series of Long-Range Planning Committee-created how-guides to live your best life in the Village. See the whole series here.