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The Best Chicago, Illinois Dog Parks

Haley Young photo

Haley Young

March 06, 2024

City Dog Parks

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Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Chicago? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks and plan for your next adventure in the Windy City.

This page is about public city dog parks and also includes Sniffspot private dog parks. Sniffspot is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with 100% private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced fields, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches, and more. Click here to learn more about Sniffspots in Chicago!

Know Before You Go: Public Dog Park Checklist

What to bring with you to a dog park in Chicago

Here are a few things to bring with you when visiting any dog park in the Chicago area.

Always have some dog waste bags with you

Keep your parks clean! Always pack a few extra poop bags in case you need to pick up after your pup — and consider scooping any left-behind piles you come across, too. This will make the environment safer for everyone who visits.

Preventing pollution by cleaning up your dog's waste is especially important in areas near water, like Chicago's beaches. Many public dog parks operated by the Chicago Park District in the Windy City provide pet waste stations to make this easy on dog parents.

Bring your own fresh drinking water

Some public dog parks in Chicago offer dog bowls or water fountains for your dog, but it’s a good idea to pack some of your own just in case. Never leave your dog’s hydration up to chance, especially on hot days in the Illinois summer — and by packing your own, you limit your pup's exposure to harmful germs, parasites, and bacteria.

Have your dog wear a collar or harness with ID tags

If your dog will be playing with other dogs, it’s important to pay close attention to what they’re wearing. You don’t want anyone’s teeth or paws getting caught in loose fabric or buckles!

That said, it’s always a good idea to bring a well-fitted collar or harness along with your dog’s identification tags. The city of Chicago requires dogs to be licensed.

Pack a leash

Along with a collar or harness, bring a leash, even if the dog park you’re visiting is a designated off-leash area. This way you can keep your dog under control while walking to and from the entrance — which is especially important if you’ll be visiting on foot through a crowded pedestrian area. (You can read more about Chicago’s dog leash regulations here.)

You might also consider packing an extra leash in case you need to grab hold of another dog or intervene if a conflict arises.

What to do before going into a Chicago public dog park

Get your dog friendly area permit

This costs $10 at a participating veterinarian and is required to visit any public dog park operated by the Chicago Park District.

You can learn more here.

Pay attention to the weather

Illinois is known for its Midwest temperature swings — summers can be scorching on the hottest days while winters get frigid. Consider the temperature, wind chill, and presence of the sun before taking your dog out to play. Remember you know your pup best. Some dogs love romping through the snow while others can’t stand it.

Research the park ahead of time

Read reviews and be on the lookout for any common issues, like unruly dogs or left-behind waste. It can be hard to find reliable information about some public parks (one reason Sniffspot’s private listings might be a better option) — when in doubt, don’t risk it. Your dog’s safety and comfort are too important.

Watch the dog park for a few minutes before entering

Take inventory of the other dogs and owners.

  • Is everyone under control?
  • Are the dogs enjoying their play time?
  • Is the area large enough that dogs can take breaks and get space from their playmates if they start to feel overwhelmed? (Tight spaces can prevent your pet from engaging in natural social behavior — more on that in the FAQ below.)
  • Ultimately, is there anything about the situation that makes you feel uncomfortable?

Make sure you have basic knowledge of dog body language

This will help you make sure your dog is enjoying their time and keep everyone safe! Know what signs might indicate that your pup is stressed or overwhelmed — and be ready to step in if needed.

You can read more about interpreting your dog’s body language in this article.

How do Illinois dog parks compare to other areas of the country?

Sniffspot conducted a 2022 survey of dog owners across the country to better understand the state of public dog parks. The midwest’s public dog parks (including those in the Chicago area) came in first place for safety and cleanliness!

  • 10% of respondents say their dog has been attacked at a public dog park.
  • 12% say their local public dog parks feel unsafe.
  • 12% say they are dirty — Midwest public dog parks are only seen as slightly less clean than those in the Northeast.
  • 18% say they are crowded.

Unfortunately, 22% of respondents — more than one in five dog owners who completed our survey — still feel that local dog owners are generally irresponsible. Despite the better public dog park statistics compared to the rest of the country, this reality can continue to make it difficult for pets and their people to get the exercise they need.

The Best Dog Parks in Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Park District has designated sections of city parks and beaches where dogs can play off leash. These are the only public areas where dogs do not have to be on a tether, and the city is strict about its leash laws for the safety of both pets and people. Most dog friendly areas are open from 6 am to 11 pm unless otherwise posted.

You can see a full map of Chicago’s public dog parks by the Park District at this link. Below we’ve summarized some of the popular options.

Montrose Beach Dog Friendly Area (public dog park)

  • Address: 601 West Montrose Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, walking, swimming, wading
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Find this 3.83 acre stretch of dog-friendly beachfront where Wilson Avenue reaches east to Lake Michigan. This is one of Chicago’s largest dog parks — and one of only two dog-friendly beaches where your dog can swim and wade off leash. The water features and larger land size make it a better, safer option than most dog friendly areas in the Windy City.

Sociability note: Although larger than many city dog off leash areas, this public dog park is still relatively small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Belmont Harbor Dog Friendly Area (public dog park)

  • Address: Belmont & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play, swimming, wading
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Belmont Harbor is a small, 0.15 acre fenced-in beachfront where your extremely social dog can enjoy the water in close proximity to other pets and people. There is sometimes a bit of boat traffic, so keep that in mind if your pup is afraid of loud noises or easily startled.

Sociability note: This public dog park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Anderson (Fred) Dog Friendly Areas (public dog park)

  • Address: 1611 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Fred Anderson Park is a new 1.2 acre park in the Near South Side Community Area in Chicago. It has separate enclosed areas for small and large dogs with double gates, decreasing the risk of prey-drive related injuries compared to some other small parts that put all animals together in one spot. The surface is artificial turf to create pleasant green space and each fenced portion has its own water features like play fountains, along with playground tunnels, shade structures, picnic tables, benches, and dog drinking fountains.

Sociability note: This public dog park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Portage Dog Friendly Area (public dog park)

  • Address: 4100 N Long Ave, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Portage Dog Friendly Area is small at 0.09 acres, meaning it’s only an option for incredibly social, tolerant dogs — but it does try to make up for its size with several amenities like a dog drinking fountain, toys (beware of potential resource guarding in a confined space), and a kiddie pool for your pup to wade in. It's a popular neighborhood destination.

Sociability note: This public dog park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Wiggly Field Dog Park (public dog park)

  • Address: 2645 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play
  • Entrance fee? No

Wiggly Field in Noethling Park is a small dog park on the north side of Chicago. The name Wiggly Field is a play on words of the nearby historic baseball stadium, Wrigley Field. This dog park has been featured in a range of publications, including being named one of the top ten US dog parks by Dog Fancy magazine readers. It's a neighborhood favorite.

Sociability note: Wiggly Field public dog park is relatively small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Grant Dog Friendly Area (public dog park)

  • Address: 951 S. Columbus Drive, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Grant Dog Friendly area is a medium-sized public dog park in Chicago at just under a half acre. There is no grass to run in — the paved playground surface can help your pup’s feet stay clean but can also be a heat hazard on particularly sunny days. Running water hoses are available for your pup to cool off in while you sit on a picnic table or bench.

Sociability note: This public dog park is relatively small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Puptown Dog Park (public dog park)

  • Address: N Marine Dr, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Puptown Dog Park is .38 acres, with a gravel and asphalt surface. This dog friendly area is supported and maintained by the Puptown Dog Owners Group (a membership association of park patrons, neighbors and friends) which gives it an especially community-oriented feel.

Sociability note: This public dog park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Lake Shore East Dog Friendly Area (public dog park)

  • Address: 450 E. Benton Place, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Lake Shore East Dog Park is only 0.1 acres, but it’s paved to help keep your pup’s paws clean and also provides plenty of shade along with a drinking fountain so your dog can stay hydrated as they play.

Sociability note: This public dog park is very small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Norwood Park Dog Park (public dog park)

  • Address: 5850 N Avondale Ave, Chicago, Illinois
  • Hours: 6 am to 11 pm
  • Off leash? Yes
  • Activities: Off-leash play
  • Entrance fee? $10 dog friendly area permit

Norwood Park Dog Friendly Area is small at .13 acres. The surface is made of soft gravel that’s more forgiving than hard asphalt while your pup runs and plays. It includes a dog drinking fountain and hosts several pet-themed events throughout the year, making it a popular neighborhood destination.

Sociability note: This public dog park is small in size, which means your dog might not be able to make space from other pets if they aren’t interested in playing. You should only visit if you’re confident your pup is social and tolerant with unfamiliar dogs.

Salt Creek Dog Sanctuary (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Elmhurst, Illinois
  • Size: 0.5 acres
  • Fenced: Yes

Salt Creek Dog Sanctuary is hosted by a family of lifelong animal rescuers and fosters. It’s a short, straight-shot drive from Chicago and borders the beautiful Salt Creek (and all the wildlife that calls the water area home, like bunnies, squirrels, groundhogs, birds, and garden snakes that are sure to fascinate your pup. The head of the public Salt Creek Trail is located just a block away, so you can easily go on another leashed walk after your off-leash play time.

Pawsitive Adventures Dog Park (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Valparaiso, Indiana
  • Size: 0.5 acres
  • Fenced: Yes

Pawsitive Adventures has just over a half acre of fenced in property that’s separated into two sections, making it great if you have multiple dogs you want to separate or to work on various training scenarios outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. The host also provides some basic agility equipment for your pup to enjoy!

Ryan’s Private Dog Park (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: St. Charles, Illinois
  • Size: 2.5 acres
  • Fenced: Yes

Ryan’s Private Dog Park is a large fenced-in area surrounded by beautiful pines where your dog can romp without worry on a soft, grassy surface. Plenty of green space for you both to enjoy! You may occasionally have a farm animal sighting, which can provide intrigue and enrichment for your pup (along with being a fabulous training opportunity).

Huskyland Dog Park (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Oswego, Illinois
  • Size: 1 acre
  • Fenced: Yes

Huskyland Dog Park outside of Chicago is a fully fenced acre set on a 3 acre property, making it feel nice and calm for you and your dog to enjoy. The host provides a table and chairs for you to rest on, along with water for your pup to drink — and trees provide ample spots of shade even on sunny midwest days.

Brown Paws Private Dog Park (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Edgerton, Wisconsin
  • Size: 5 acres
  • Fenced: Yes

Brown Paws Private Dog Park boasts 5 entire acres of fully fenced property with walking trails and an agility equipment area. Your dog will have a blast running free and exploring all the smells while you enjoy peace of mind that they’re completely safe from escaping or being ambushed by other people or pets. The host also provides park benches and a gazebo.

Maple Ridge Farms 100 Acre Woods (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Otsego, Michiga
  • Size: 100 acres
  • Fenced: No

Yes, you read that right — Maple Ridge Farms private Sniffspot features 100 acres of land for you and your dog to enjoy. You’ll have to come back multiple times to enjoy it all, and you won’t run into a single other soul! The trails are well maintained and often home to birds, deer, and plenty of other interesting wildlife.

Note that this area is not fenced, so you’ll want to make sure your dog has a solid recall before you visit.

Meracle Acres (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Dousman, Wisconsin
  • Size: 50 acres
  • Fenced: No

Meracle Acres is a huge private dog park with 50 acres of woods, trails, and ponds dotted throughout the property. The hosts note wild animal sightings sure to keep your dog on their toes, along with patches of grass, sand, and all the other midwest terrain you could dream of.

Note that this area is not fenced, so you’ll want to make sure your dog has a solid recall before you visit.

The Patch Private Dog Park (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Byron, Illinois
  • Size: 1 acre
  • Fenced: Yes

Enjoy a little piece of the country with an acre of fully fenced, safe fun for your dog!  This private setting offers peaceful playtime and beautiful views on a small hobby farm.  The space has a hay rack, a pergola area, and a black wooden structure that your dogs can run around (or kids can climb upon).

Kimberly’s Acre (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Mukwonago, Wisconsin
  • Size: 1 acre
  • Fenced: Yes

This acre of private property boasts a patio with seating, a sand box great for digging, and an interesting brush corner complete with sticks and grass clippings. Dogs love to sniff that part of the yard and watch the squirrels that come to visit!

Irie Farms (private Sniffspot dog park)

  • Location: Crete, Illinois
  • Size: 0.5 acres
  • Fenced: Yes

A beautiful rural property with different terrain for you and your dog to enjoy, including trails, fields, and a pond. The host provides chairs for you to relax on while your dog plays if you aren’t up for a trek around the area.

Sniffspot Dog running on field

Get safe exercise for your dog by renting a private dog park near you

FAQ About Public Dog Parks in Chicago, Illinois

Are Chicago public dog parks good for dogs?

It is important for dogs to have off-leash exercise and plenty of opportunities to explore. This is especially key in big, sprawling cities like Chicago where the urban environment can be stressful for our pets.

The free and open nature of public dog parks can have drawbacks, though.

Many dog behaviorists discourage visiting public dog parks and recommend Sniffspot's private dog parks. With Sniffspot, dogs can get their exercise safely — without worrying about other dogs, people, or potential disease transmission.

What are the biggest concerns with public dog parks in Chicago?

While the popularity of dog parks has been skyrocketing in the United States, so has the number of professional trainers who caution against their use. The top risks associated with public off-leash dog parks are that:

  • Dog parks can create an unnatural social environment
  • Busy dog parks can overwhelm shy or nervous dogs
  • Dog parks can exacerbate problem behaviors like leash reactivity
  • Bad experiences at a dog park can also create behavior problems in the first place
  • Public dog parks can lead to physical injuries and illnesses
  • Dog beaches can sometimes have water quality issues

(Thankfully, private dog parks don’t have these concerns. Learn more about Sniffspot listings in your area here!)

How do public dog parks create an unnatural social environment for dogs?

Many owners are drawn to dog parks because they want to socialize their pets. We’re inundated with messages of the “perfect” friendly dog. Our social media feeds feature viral videos of animal best friends that echo the cutesy movies we loved as children — but they often show a false reality.

While dogs are social mammals, it’s typically not natural for them to regularly engage in play with strangers. Dog sociability can be viewed as a sliding scale:

  • Some dogs are truly dog social. This means they genuinely enjoy interaction with almost every dog they meet! We tend to think these dogs are more common than they really are — they’re the ones we most see out and about because they can handle the widest range of environments.
  • Most dogs are dog tolerant or dog selective. They don’t often seek out new friends, but they can comfortably interact with other dogs when needed after a proper introduction process. (You can read more about properly introducing dogs who don’t know each other in this article.)
  • Some dogs are dog aggressive. They might live with or know a few specific canine friends, but they don’t generally enjoy being around their own species.

Ultimately: It’s perfectly normal for our dogs to not want to play with other pets outside of our families. Renting a private dog park just for your dog and a few trusted friends might be the best option.

How can public dog parks overwhelm shy or nervous dogs?

Owners have great intentions when they bring their nervous dogs to the dog park in hopes of building social skills. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for that plan to backfire.

Because dog parks are often busy, chaotic environments, it can be difficult to ensure all interactions are positive. Uncertain dogs are easily overwhelmed by large packs — if the space is fenced-in without adequate space to flee, these pets can quickly feel trapped or resort to the “fight” option of fight-or-flight reactions.

After a few stressful experiences, previously shy dogs can lose trust in their owners and even become fear aggressive.

Sniffspot takes these risks seriously. That’s why all of our private dog park listings are carefully booked to make sure there’s ample time between arrivals and departures — and you can filter listings by whether or not your dog is likely to see any other animals at all, even from afar.

Do public dog parks exacerbate problem behaviors like leash reactivity?

It’s not just nervous dogs who can be harmed by dog park visits — exuberant dogs might struggle in these environments, too.

Many social dogs struggle with excitement-based leash reactivity. When they see another dog, they want to say hi! When the leash prevents them from doing so, they experience something called barrier frustration. Eventually this boils over into an aggressive-looking display that makes it difficult to go on walks or explore public spaces.

While playing with other dogs can be an important part of a social pet’s fulfillment, too much unstructured off-leash time can have unintended consequences when they routinely practice running up to other dogs.

These risks are especially high when owners take their dogs to the dog park with the intent of tiring them out. Pets often arrive in an amped-up, energetic state of mind that impairs good decision making.

Can one bad experience at a public dog park have a lasting effect on a dog?

Even a previously social dog might develop a behavior issue (like fear reactivity) due to a negative interaction with another dog at a public dog park. Perhaps they get subtly bullied, feel overwhelmed, or are even bit — and they decide to preemptively try to keep other dogs away from them. Now your social dog is selective or even aggressive toward others.

While some dogs seem to let those negative interactions roll off their back (especially if they’ve been well socialized since puppyhood) others are affected in lasting ways. Each dog and situation is different.

What are the risks of physical injuries and illnesses at public dog parks?

Public dog parks also increase the chances of pets sustaining injury or developing infection.

Dog park injuries

While many dog-dog injuries at dog parks are accidental — canines can be mismatched in size, inadvertently break skin while wrestling with untrimmed nails, or simply come on too strong without realizing — others are overtly aggressive.

Even friendly dogs can start fights by failing to recognize another pet’s signals of discomfort. Resource guarding over food and toys can turn into a dangerous scuffle. Sometimes heightened arousal from being in a large social group elevates even a typically clear-headed dog’s prey drive.

Dog park illnesses

No matter how hard a city works to keep their parks clean, it’s impossible to fully eliminate all infection risk. This is especially true in dog-designated spaces that see dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of different canines each week.

There’s no way to confirm that every dog entering an off-leash space has been fully vaccinated — and bacterial diseases like leptospirosis often thrive in wet, muddy terrain that’s been torn up by paws.

Young puppies and elderly dogs have the greatest chance of getting sick.

Chicago dog beach water safety

Chicago has two dog-friendly beaches, Belmont Harbor Beach and Montrose Beach, where your pup can play off leash. Swimming and wading are especially great on warm summer days — but it’s important to check the water safety report ahead of time to avoid exposing your dog to dangerous bacteria and pollutants.

Are all public dog parks dangerous?

While dog parks certainly come with their risks, it would be unfair to claim they’re always a bad idea. Public dog parks do serve an important community service, particularly in densely populated spots like Chicago.

Some areas lend themselves to safe interactions better than others — large plots of land with acres to maneuver are less dangerous than fenced-in downtown city runs, for example — and responsible owner involvement can make a world of difference.

What are public dog parks good for?

Well-maintained off-leash dog parks can provide dogs and owners with:

  • Biological fulfillment. At their best, dog parks provide an opportunity to fulfill our dogs’ natural canine instincts (running, sniffing, digging, etc.) without impacting others in shared spaces. This can be especially valuable if owners don’t have a yard of their own or walking trails nearby.
  • Playtime. While most dogs don’t want to play with strangers, some particularly outgoing canines might enjoy playing with brand-new friends. A small percentage of truly “dog social” dogs are good candidates for traditional dog parks.
  • Distraction training. Dog parks can be an ideal place to practice advanced training, like recalls, around the distractions of other dogs, people, and nature scents. Chicago has plenty of professional force free dog trainers to help you develop a training plan for your pup.
  • Owner connections. Many owners enjoy the human social aspect of the dog park — and public spaces enable those relationships without the costs commonly associated with formal group training classes or dog sports practices.

How can I keep my dog safe at a public dog park in Chicago?

If choosing to use a public dog park, you can do a lot to manage your dog’s safety:

  • Make an honest assessment of your dog’s sociability. Are they one of the small portion of dogs that gets along with all other animals?
  • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccines to protect them against any bugs that may be present in the park. Check the water quality if going to a dog beach and keep an eye on the weather, too.
  • Choose an appropriate public dog park. Make sure that it is large enough and free from obvious hazards.
  • Assess the dog park and other owners before entering. Are there any maintenance issues in the park that could be a problem? Is it overly crowded? Are there owners that are not keeping a close eye on their dog? Are there dogs that could be an issue for your dog or others?
  • Keep a close watch and be an active part of your dog's play.

FAQ About Private Dog Parks in Chicago, Illinois

Are private dog parks safe?

While public dog parks have a number of safety issues, such as potentially aggressive dogs and disease transmission, Sniffspot dog parks are much safer.

Sniffspot bookings are private for just you and dogs you bring. We require every dog to be vaccinated (or have equivalent titers). All Sniffspot locations are vetted and reviewed by guests so you can find the perfect safe place for you and your dog!

How do I know if a Sniffspot private dog park works for my dog?

You can filter Sniffspot dog parks by fencing and distractions.

  • If your dog is still working on their recall, you can visit one of our fully fenced dog parks in Chicago.
  • If your dog is reactive to other dogs, you can visit one of our off-leash areas where there are no dogs audible or visible nearby. You can also filter locations to avoid other domestic animals and people.

We recommend reading reviews and reaching out to the host with any questions!

Does Chicago have any fully fenced private dog parks?

Sniffspot has fully fenced dog parks in or near Chicago. Browse all fully enclosed options by clicking this link and filtering by fence height.

Can I rent a private field for my dog to run near Chicago?

Yes! There are Sniffspot fields in or near Chicago where dogs can be off leash. One of the most popular fields is Maple Ridge Farms, which is an entire 100 acre area for your dog to enjoy.

Are there private dog agility courses for rent in Chicago?

You’re in luck. Sniffspot has dog parks with dog obstacles in or near Chicago. You can find all listings by visiting this link and filtering by agility equipment.

What is the best private dog beach near Chicago?

Chicago is known for its beautiful location right on Lake Michigan. One of the best Sniffspot dog beaches near the Windy City, up north in Milwaukee, is Meracle Acres — a whopping 50 acres of woods, trails, and ponds.

At Sniffspot beaches dogs can generally be off leash.

Get your dog the safe enrichment they need by renting a Sniffspot

Sniffspot Dog swimming in pool
Haley Young photo

Haley Young

March 06, 2024

City Dog Parks

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How This Family is Affording Their Dream Property Through Renting it Hourly to Dogs

Thousand Oaks, California has been a safe haven for Sniffspot host, Jen, since childhood. Having grown up in busy Santa Barbara, Jen, an introvert from an early age, would seek out solitude and serenity away from tourists attractions and droves of people visiting from elsewhere. “My grandparents own 60 acres about a 30 minute drive from here, and I grew up spending every summer and every holiday visiting them on the ranch,” Jen explained. “In Santa Barbara, we wouldn't go to the beach on the weekend because that's where everybody was, so you'd find places off the beaten path where the tourists weren't. For me, the ranch was just my happy place.” 

Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me thumbnail

Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me

Ellen is the host of Country Pasture Getaway, one of Sniffspot's most popular sniff spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great sniff spot host.

How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs thumbnail

How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs

Just 20 minutes outside of the busy city of Portland, Oregon, and settled right on the banks of the Columbia River, you’ll find what countless visitors have flocked to the area in search of – mountain views, crisp, clean air, and running water for miles. What you might not expect to find, however, is a hidden oasis designed just for dogs and their people, owned and operated by a farming couple and enjoyed by visitors on two legs, and four.  

Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot thumbnail

Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot

Fran is the host of Ranch Setting, one of Sniffspot's most popular spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great Sniffspot host.

Top dog trainers in the US

The Best Dog Trainers in the United States of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in the United States of 2023

Welcome to the United States Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in the United States based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used.

The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2023

The Best Dog Trainers in Michigan of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Michigan of 2023

The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023

City dog parks guides

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for a space to play with your dog no matter what the weather’s like outside? Look no further than our list of the best indoor dog parks in the United States! These climate-controlled spaces are growing in popularity as pet ownership increases throughout the country. As a bonus, many of them also offer dog training, boarding, grooming, or daycare services on the premises.

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered! It’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve put together some of the best off-leash dog parks throughout the country so you can plan your next adventure — along with a checklist of what to bring, what to know beforehand, and some frequently asked questions.

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Las Vegas? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks and plan for your next adventure in Sin City.

The Best United States Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best United States Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered! It’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve put together some of the best dog parks throughout the country so you can plan your next adventure. Here’s what the United States has to offer to its more than 90 million canine companions.

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Portland? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks and plan for your next adventure in the City of Roses.