Boston Common going to the dogs

The Parks and Recreation Commission approved a plan this week to set up a rotating system of dog areas on the Common, to be funded by two private groups.

Under the plan, five areas - three along Beacon Street and two near the Parkman Bandstand - will be designated as dog area, but only two will be in use at any one time. The areas will be marked by signs, rather than fences and dog-poop bag dispensers will be installed. Also:

Rules for the recreation areas will include: all dogs must be licensed and vaccinated, dogs must wear collars, no excess barking, and dog owners/handlers may not bring more than three dogs to the area at a time.

The areas will be set up just as soon as the Friends of the Public Garden and Common Canine raise money for running and maintaining the areas and for restoring "turf damaged at the site of a pilot off leash dog area located on the Beacon Street side of the Boston Common near the steps leading to Joy Street."



    Free tagging: 



    Never met a bigger group of unfriendly douches than the people standing around ignoring their dogs at a dog park.

    I dislike not being able to walk or run my dog by areas such as Rogers Park in Brighton without having to punt away someones unattended dog that is chasing us. They ignore their dogs, let them run everywhere and then act like its my fault their dog is chasing me. Get a leash or learn how to control your dog.

    Local conditions vary

    Yes, there are dog parks where people stand around, text, read, and ignore their dogs.

    If you visit the currently sanctioned off-leash area in the Common (at the foot of the Joy St. steps -- it's marked by white signs and poop bag dispensers -- at 6PM or so, you'll find a group of people who are all engaged, keeping an eye on their dogs and playing with them, and talking with each other. Nobody is texting or reading or ignoring the dogs.

    It's very different from, say, Peters Park in the south end (not to pick on the Peters Park crowd, it just happens to be the other dog park I know about.


    Never met a bigger group of unfriendly douches than the people standing around ignoring their dogs at a dog park.

    I dislike not being able to walk or run my dog by areas such as Rogers Park in Brighton without having to punt away someones unattended dog that is chasing us. They ignore their dogs, let them run everywhere and then act like its my fault their dog is chasing me. Get a leash or learn how to control your dog.

    Non-Native and/or newcomer

    Fist pickle breath i was born at Brigham's, raised in Rozy and now live in Westy. Just because you have lived in Boston for 10 years doesn't make you a native.

    Also i have been reading UHub for over 2 years now, the only difference is i have a life and could care less about registering my name ISSACG.

    So take your bike and ride back to where you came from......


    It's "Rozzie" not "Rozy", and "Westie" not "Westy" jeez. When you say that you were born at Brigham's, do you mean the ice cream joint, or Brigham and Women's Hospital? Because B & W is generally referred to as "The Brigham". You are doing a terrible job of convincing me you have townie credentials.

    "Excess" barking?

    Just out of curiosity, who determines what constitutes "excess" barking, and how, exactly, will the rule prohibiting it be enforced? Will the owner of the excessively barking dog be cited?

    Will dog "handlers" (I always thought they were called "dog walkers") be cited for bringing more than 3 dogs at at time (inevitable)?

    Also, the "no fences" thing is laughable.

    Good Points.

    I also have concerns regarding the "no fences" item. If the dog owners/handlers curb their pets, all find and dandy, but, unfortunately, I have run into many folks that can't or will not curb (in other local parks/reservation areas where the rules are also posted on signs (laugh)) and therein lies the rub.

    Unless these spaces are routinely visited by the dog officer and/or other official, someone to enforce the rules and/or cite rule breakers, you will probably have some issues.

    What was interesting to me is that the ordinance mentions that there are 30,000 unlicensed dogs in the City. Wow.

    It works fine

    It's been working fine for years, Ron. There's an officially sanctioned off-leash area; it's well used and the dogs don't, in general, leave the area for several reasons. First, most dogs tend to stay with the pack. Secondly, the people keep an eye on their dogs and call them back or chase them down and leash them if they leave; the dogs learn not to run. Thirdly, people whose dogs run away or otherwise misbehave don't bring them to the dog park.

    Dog Crossing

    They're gonna have to have to spring for beware dog crossing signs along the bordering streets.

    Question: HOW have the many people who came before us walk their dogs through the parks prior to this? I don't recall this being a problem prior to our silly age.

    One should never assume, anon...

    I have owned many dogs in my life and do not hate them.

    As someone who has used parks/recreation areas to recreate only to be accosted by uncurbed pets (jumped on and knocked over, actually, which resulted in some nasty bruising) and, at times, yelled at and/or insulted by less than sympathetic owners who could not comprehend why their pet should be on a leash (even though the rule board clearly stated that the pet should be on a leash at all times), I just have some concerns about unfenced dog park rule enforcement.

    I am sure you understand. Of course, I can't speak for the other posters.


    Have ruined...
    Good Shoes
    My Day
    My Lawn
    Stolen food of my plate

    Whats to like? They eat, shit, shed and bark!

    I don't hate dogs

    In fact, I love dogs. I have one of my own and I volunteer at a rescue, mostly walking dogs and teaching them leash manners.

    I hate dog OWNERS, especially the delusional ones who think their little precious should be allowed to run free in a public park. The percentage of dog owners who never bother with basic obedience or think that because their dog is small it doesn't matter that its aggressive is WAY too high for something like this to work.

    Also, I would guess that the Venn diagram of "owners who think their dog will be OK running loose in an unfenced public park bounded by busy city streets" and "owners who don't bother to pick up their dog's crap" would pretty much look like a circle.


    Fellow dog owner here, and I can't say enough how much I dislike dog owners.

    It just boggles my mind how many of these jags couldn't be bothered to teach their dogs basic obedience, or proper leash etiquette. I always grit my teeth when I see another dog walker, because I have no idea if they're going to make any effort to control their dog, or if the thing is going to come barreling at us (ps: retractable leashes need to be abolished). Then there was that beautiful time that I saw a woman casually leaving her house, and turning to us and asking "hey, have you seen my german shephard?" It was literally five houses down the block, unleashed, just wandering around someone's driveway.

    Dogs are naturally pack animals... they can't function independently. I don't know how a person can go out and get a dog if they have no intentions of giving it even a modicum of basic training. If you don't have the time for a dog, then get a cat. at least those are moderately self reliant.


    More the owners than the dogs

    I don't hate dogs,yet I don't really care to be around them either. Dog owners cannot grasp this at all. They think everything their dogs do is wonderful. While minding my own business walking down the street one day, I was been jumped on by a big dog who was not on a leash and all the owner did was smile at me in an "isn't it cute" way.


    Formalizing Dogs on the Common

    So many responses from people who spend no time on the Common!

    Because, if you did spend time there, you would know that there are already groups of people who bring their pooches to the common and turn them off leash to romp with other pooches while they drink coffee and talk.

    I've seen it every morning that I've cut through the area from Charles and Beacon over to Tremont. The dogs are already out there.

    All this does is rotate the "official" space to minimize potential damage.

    Been there :p

    Every once in a while, I leave the house, and realize that I totally forgot the bags (I even have a huge pile of bags, plus dispenser!)... I hate that. it's like forgetting your wallet. Just... once you're out, nothing you can do.

    There is something you could do

    you could go get a bag and return to where your dog's excrement is still sitting. then clean it up. Even doing this the next day would be helpful.

    I honestly don't understand this hal;f-hearted mentality: "Jeez, it crossed my mind 3 hours ago to bring a bas but i forgot so I guess there's nothing left to do but have Fido shit wherever he wants and then asct liek it never happened."

    WTF? I don't TRY bnot to litter- I simply don't do it.

    I don't TRY not to run red lights- I simply don't do it.

    Seems like dog owners should make the same commitment to simply pick up after their pet. EVERY TIME.

    Way ahead of you

    You have my solemn promise that I will do just that. I hate coming upon poo in the street or park, so I recognize that I have to live up to my own standards.

    The good news is that to date, I've not had the problem of the pup doing a #2 when I'm without a bag (we set up an elimination zone in our yard, so 95% of the time, he goes on our property). I think more than anything, it's just a case of making sure that I actually have bags. I've only had a puppy for a solid month, so still getting into the groove.


    I have seen those groups as I do walk by the Common many mornings.

    So, are these specific groups comprised of folks breaking the City's leash law by letting their dogs off-leash in a public space not "officially" designated as a dog park, or...?

    As I understand it, and correct me if I am incorrect, there was a pilot program dog park on the Common but nothing "official" until this Ordinance. So I do not know what you mean by "all this does is rotate the "official" space to minimize potential damage." The Ordinance is creating five "official" spaces and rotating those spaces (with no more than two being active at one time).

    If I am wrong, I stand corrected.

    The area is officially designated

    Assuming you're talking about the area on the hill, below the Joy Street steps and above the Frog Pond Playground, it *is* officially designated -- marked with signs. It's the area to which the rangers send people who have dogs off leash elsewhere in the park.

    The problem is, although it's officially desginated as an off-leash area, it is not administered by anyone. The idea behind the new law is to formalize stewardship responsibility; to put an organization on the hook for enforcement, cleanup and maintenance.


    Saddest news of the year

    Ugh. What a tragedy.

    People with young children, joggers, and the elderly, find somewhere else to enjoy yourselves. Oh, and anyone looking to enjoy a moment in the sun.

    Dog owners don't control their dogs - expect dog poop everywhere and dogs off leashes chasing you.

    Yes, this is exactly what has

    Yes, this is exactly what has happened to Blackstone Park in the South End. I've stopped even trying to walk through there on my way to the gym or grocery store. Everywhere you look there are piles of dog poop. There are signs posted that say dogs must be on a leash but nobody pays attention.

    Yep, it totally sucks. Either

    Yep, it totally sucks. Either that or groups of unsavory characters drinking on the park benches -- that actually bothers me a lot more. I haven't seen as much of that recently, due to the weather and the fountain repair going on, I guess.

    I wish there were some poop bag dispensers around there but that definitely wouldn't solve the problem. The off-leash thing is SUPER ANNOYING. I see an unleashed dog running around and antagonizing the other dogs several times per week. I don't expect dogs to be well-behaved all the time, but it is the worst when the owners don't intervene and take responsibility for their own pet.

    Many Rules

    Boston has so many rules that no one follows them...well...the new residents do for a little while before throwing up their arms and saying "F this!"

    I can empathize with those of

    I can empathize with those of you who are wary about this...while I do my best to control and clean up after my dog, I see plenty of people who don't and that's a sad thing. Dog parks a great way to socialize dogs and get them exercise, which is hard in the city.

    Your best might not be good enough

    What is this woe-is-me nonsense from dog owners about how hard they try to keep Fido on leash or clean his shit up?

    You do it or you don't. If you walk dog and it shits and you don't have a bag go home or anywhere else and get one and clean it up. Even next day. The fact you didn't have a bag the exact second your dog took a shit diesnt mean it went away or you're not a douche for leaving it.

    Go back and clean it up.

    I don't "try" not to litter or run red lights or anything else antisocial. I simply don't do it.
    Even when no one is looking.

    I control and clean up after

    I control and clean up after my dog and I kick ass at it. Is that better?

    I was just trying to not be absolutist about my behavior since I find that's a hard thing to back up.

    My dog is great, friendly, and loves to play with other dogs. He is great in public with people and other dogs and a lot of that has to do with how he learned to interact in the dog parks. My wife and I work hard to teach him obedience and respect, and it pays off.

    I am not every other dog owner, and just like non-dog owners, there are plenty of douches throughout the population.


    No fence? No go. As a dog

    No fence? No go. As a dog owner and dog walker, I just can't get behind that. I never let my own dog or the dogs I work with off leash in parks that aren't entirely fenced in. There are some great fenced in dog parks in Boston, for sure. But this just sounds bad -- annoying for all the people who aren't 'dog' people and potentially dangerous for the dogs. My own dog is relatively well-behaved most of the time (still a puppy) but I don't trust her to come back with the distraction of other dogs and people.