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Important Information

The Barking Lot is a public space for dogs to exercise, socialize, and have fun under the supervision of their humans. The rules and guidelines below help prevent dogfights and help keep our dogs healthy and safe when visiting the dog park. If you feel comfortable, we encourage you to help enforce park rules and guidelines by politely pointing out inappropriate behavior without provoking an altercation.

By entering the Forest Park Barking Lot:

  • You agree to abide by all NYC Department of Parks & Recreation rules.
  • You are legally and financially responsible for any injury caused by your dog.

We advise all visitors to read the entire New York City Department of Parks & Recreation Rules and Safety Information web page before entering the Barking Lot or any other dog-friendly park in NYC.

In an EMERGENCY – including dog fights, dog bites, and human altercations such as threats and physical violence –

Call 911.

For other concerns, such as tree damage:

  • Call 311,
  • Submit a report via the 311 app, or
  • Contact Parks Enforcement Police:
    • (646) 613-1200
    • (718) 760-6966

Rules of New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

The Barking Lot rules established by NYC Department of Parks & Recreation are:

“Please be courteous and respectful to others. Dog runs are solely for the recreation of dogs. Use of this facility is at your own risk.

RULES OF THE RUN

  • Dog owners are responsible for their dogs’ actions.
  • Monitor and control your dog at all times, particularly non-neutered males as other males may react aggressively toward them.
  • Remain alert. Interrupt rough play and mounting.
  • No aggressive dogs.
  • Dogs involved in a fight must be removed from the run.
  • No dogs in heat.
  • Discourage excessive barking, especially in the early morning and late evening.
  • Dogs must be licensed, vaccinated against rabies, and free from all communicable diseases.
  • No people without dogs; no dogs without people.
  • A maximum of three dogs per person is allowed.
  • Children under the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult.
  • You must cleanup after your dog and place in a trash receptacle.
  • Dogs must wear a harness or collar while in the run.
  • No prong, choke, or spike collars.
  • Dogs must be leashed when exiting the dog run.
  • No littering, smoking, barbecuing, open flame, or consumption of alcohol.
  • No vending, amplified sound, demonstrations, or events over 20 people, except by permit.
  • No glass containers or food, except dog treats.
  • Do not leave personal property in the run.
  • To avoid injuries, please fill any holes.

For questions about Parks or to report an incident, please call 311 or visit nyc.gov/parks.”

ALL RULES ARE ENFORCEABLE BY PARK ENFORCEMENT POLICE.

VIOLATING RULES SUBJECTS YOU TO FINES.

Additional Community Health & Safety Guidelines

In addition to following all of the Parks Department rules, we strongly encourage visitors to adhere to the additional community health and safety guidelines below.

The most important rule is to monitor your dog(s) at all times.  This can help prevent dog fights and many other conflicts.

  • Do not enter the dog run if you are not confident in your dog’s ability to safely interact with dogs and people.
  • Remove your dog’s leash after the first gate is closed and before entering the second gate. Leashed dogs may become defensive and other dogs may react aggressively toward them.
  • Close gates immediately upon entry.
  • Avoid bringing toys, except for balls. If dogs become possessive over a toy/ball, remove it from the dog run.
  • If your dog gets into a fight and/or injures another dog, immediately remove your dog from the dog run and exchange contact information with the owner of the other dog.
  • Interrupt rough play and mounting. If dogs continue, remove the dogs from the dog run.
  • Discourage dogs from digging holes. If they do, use tools by the entrance to cover up any holes.
  • Dispose of all dog waste; it carries bacteria dangerous for dogs and humans.
  • Children should be supervised and should NOT run at dogs, run with dogs, or tease dogs.
  • Limit the number of people in your group to avoid distractions.
  • Dogs must be licensed, vaccinated, and wear tags at all times.
  • Keep your dog(s) hydrated especially in warm temperatures.
  • Read the bulletin board for information about health and safety, events, advocacy initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and other news.

Safety FAQ’s

What should I do if someone is breaking the rules?

All visitors should help prevent dog fights and other conflicts before they occur by following the rules and encouraging others to do so as well. NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and Barking Lot volunteers encourage you to help enforce park rules by pointing out inappropriate behavior politely without provoking an altercation. However, visitors, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, and Barking Lot volunteers are not law enforcement.

In an EMERGENCY – including dog fights, dog bites, and human altercations such as threats and physical violence –

Call 911.

For other concerns, such as tree damage:

  • Call 311,
  • Submit a report via the 311 app, or
  • Contact Parks Enforcement Police:
    • (646) 613-1200
    • (718) 760-6966

If my dog was bitten by another dog in the dog park, who is responsible to pay for medical costs?

New York State law requires that owners pay the entire cost of veterinary bills of any dog attacked by their dog. However, it is common that is difficult to determine which dog is at fault. In such “no fault” situations, the owners should split the costs of any veterinary bills. Dog fights commonly occur when a dog is in heat or unneutered. Dogs in heat are prohibited from the dog park. If such a dog is involved in a dog fight, these owners are financially responsible for the entire cost of veterinary bills of any dog attacked by their dog.

The best way to prevent dog fights is to monitor your dog at all times, and to avoid entering the dog park if your dog does not get along with other dogs and/or people.

Is my dog allowed to be off-leash from the time the park opens until 9:00 a.m. and from 9:00 p.m. until the park closes?

Dogs are prohibited from being off-leash in the Overlook area of Forest Park, except for the Barking Lot. These off-leash “courtesy hours” are only permitted in designated off-leash areas identified by NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Proof of current dog license and rabies vaccination is required to enter the Barking Lot.