The Best Dog Parks in Melbourne

Calling all city dogs! Take a break from your regular walking routine and run free in these fantastic dog parks in Melbourne. Whether you want to dip your paws into the ocean, stroll through sun-dappled woods, or sniff away in expansive grassy parklands, we've got you covered!

Most off-leash dog parks come with their own rules, so do make sure you read the signs posted in the area and don't forget to pick up after your adorable pooches!

The Best Dog Parks in Melbourne

1. Albert Park

Dog parks in Melbourne
Take your pooch for a play in the great outdoors at Albert Park. Image: supplied.

Pups will find 226 hectares to run and play in at Albert Park dog park, with most of that being an on-lead area in the multi-zone park. The off-leash dog areas are well away from the high-traffic areas, and no dogs are allowed in the dog exclusion areas (aka the lake and the playgrounds).

For off-leash playtime, head to the northern end of the park near Albert Road or west of Aughtie Drive near the sports fields. The areas are off-leash only when not being used for sporting activities or events, but other than that, it's a puppy paradise!

2. Brighton Beach (Sandown St. Beach)

Brighton Beach dog park
Brighton Beach is one of our favourite dog parks in Melbourne. Image: Josh Withers.

Fancy a bit of a splash? Well, you and your canine companion can do just that at the spot on Brighton Beach between Elwood Beach and the Middle Brighton Baths. Access to the dog area at Brighton Beach is along the very pretty Bay Trail, with multiple entrance points for a quick cool-off during your walk. 

Ever the seashore-y spot, you'll find boats, shallows to gambol in, deeper water for a dip, small sand dunes to run up and over, the foreshore (all of which is fenced on the land-side), and the stunning CBD backdrop behind int all. 


3. Princes Park, Carlton North

The huge and very popular Princes Park dog park in Melbourne has two off-leash areas: one down the southern end around Crawford Oval, and another further north adjacent to the Princes Park Bowling Club (find it along Bowen Crescent). 

Crawford Oval is a large, unfenced area where the off-leash part runs south of the Royal Parade - Princes Park Drive pathway. There's plenty of grass to run around on, and a few trees fringing the perimeter for sniffing and... other business. 

The off-leash area near the bowling club is often more popular thanks to plenty of seating, shade, and a water tap. It's still not fenced, but a lovely place for pups and humans to hang out in nature with the multitude of other dog-happy folks. You'll find the path separates the off-leash from the on-leash area but do check the signs.

4. Citizens Park, Richmond

The off-leash area at Citizen's Park in Richmond is available only when approved sporting events and training are not taking place. When they are in use, dogs are required to be on a lead within 10 metres of the sporting grounds.

Citizens Park is a lovely dog park in Melbourne to check out, as well as being Richmond's largest park, with picnic areas, exercise stations, toilets, drinking fountains, pavilion, and barbecues. Perfect for a sunny summer's day!

5. Caulfield Park

An unfenced oval popular with Caulfield residents, the Caulfield Park dog park is located in Princes Park. The western end along Hawthorn Road is on-leash only and includes picnic areas and playgrounds.

For off-leash exploring, head to the sports grounds (you'll still find the main fenced football oval is still on leash, though), keeping Fido on a leash along the paths. When the sports ground is in use for training, schools, and match time, dogs are required to be on a leash. There are bowls under the water taps for puffed-out pups, and bins are strategically placed for the inevitable.

The centre of the park on the east side of the pavilion is a designated off-leash zone, and the end nearest Park Crescent is on-leash. 

6. Sir Zelman Cowen Park, Kooyong

Dog parks in Melbourne
Another popular dog park in Melbourne can be found at Sir Zelman Cowan Park. Image: supplied.

Among the barbecues and playground of the re-named Sir Zelman Cowen Park, you'll find picturesque off-leash areas, but only during designated times. Much like other off-leash dog parks in Melbourne, you'll need to be mindful of sports events and community activities. You'll also need to use a leash when walking between the off-leash areas. 

Sir Zelman Cowen has some of the strictest dog-handling rules, so brush up before you go: Dogs are not permitted to run off-leash when the sports fields are in use or anywhere else in the park; you must carry a lead which can control your dog if it behaves in a manner which threatens any person or animal; pups must be kept off the garden beds and out of children's playground areas; you'll need to pick up poop, on-lead while on footpaths, and all pooches must be under control and non-threatening at all times. 

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