If you are a dog lover, you are almost certain to enjoy the Dan Mahoney Dog Park in North Parramatta. The other day I brought my dog, an energetic young Japanese Spitz named Basil to the park with my sister. We had a wonderful time, and met many lovely people and their pets.
Dan Mahoney Reserve is a 3.3 hectare dog off-leash area. It provides the perfect opportunity for dogs to exercise freely and socialise with one another. Owners often engage in conversation with other people in the park; take leisurely strolls around the perimeters, or relax at one of the numerous park benches while watching their beloved pet/s have a wonderful time.
Beside the matter of fun, the dog park is a practical, affordable and effective way of assisting with barking or misbehaviour issues stemming from boredom. I remember when I first brought Basil to this dog park as a puppy (after he had had all of his necessary vaccinations) he would not stop barking in excitement. It was somewhat embarrassing at the time, but since then, his behaviour has much improved. Furthermore, other dog owners are usually quite understanding when it comes to minor incidences like barking or humping, and will even laugh good-naturedly with you over it.
Please note that owners are responsible for keeping an eye on their dogs and cleaning up when messes occur (one of the less pleasant parts of the dog park experience though other aspects will easily compensate for it). Bags and bins are conveniently located around the park. Other conveniences include readily accessible water for thirsty dogs.
As mentioned above, these parks provide a wonderful opportunity for dog lovers to socialise. Often, after the dogs approach one another and begin to play, the owners will similarly gravitate together in order to discuss their pets. When my sister and I visited the park the other day, Basil immediately raced towards two Chihuahuas named Toohey and Jasper. My sister and I consequently fell into conversation with their owners who gave us many useful tips on how to practise dog photography. Though you may initially find dog photography awkward (lying on the ground is the best way to get on their level and take amazing photos), I still highly recommend it. Dog photography is challenging because the dogs do not usually sit still or pose for long. Nonetheless, you are almost certain to capture many beautiful moments if you engage in this activity. I highly recommend it.
Some negative aspects of the dog park experience have already been addressed above. Serious misbehaviour by dogs and cleaning up messes is not pleasant at all. However, the positive impacts of visiting dog parks like the Dan Mahoney Reserve easily compensate for such potential factors.
Please also note that though there are some trees lining the perimeter of the park, the centre is still significantly exposed to sunlight. If you are like me and freckle/burn easily, it is highly recommended that you bring a hat and wear sunscreen when visiting Dan Mahoney Reserve.
For a free, easily accessible and enjoyable experience, visit Dan Mahoney Reserve to socialise your dog/s, meet new people or alternatively engage in dog photography.
Where: 75 Gladstone Street North Parramatta.
Why: To socialise with your dog/s and meet new people (Alternatively, you can go in order to practise dog photography).
When: The best time for socialising is usually around 4-6pm, however the park is open for visits at any time.
[NOTE: The park is used as the training ground for International Canine Sports Inc on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7-10pm, and on Sundays from 10am-12pm. During these times, visiting dogs must be kept on a leash.
Good for kids: Yes. I have seen many young children and even children in prams enjoying this dog park.