When it comes to our pooches we know that they are as fickle as we are, and finding the perfect place for outdoor fun and socialisation can sometimes be a challenge.
We put it to you to nominate some of your favourite places to take our four-legged friends for a spot of nature, play and doggie networking.
Dog parks and dog spots are as important to communities as schools, infrastructure and transport. Free for all, they are great places to have your doggo let off steam, learn how to read other dogs behaviour and to run and bark as much as they please. And for those who don’t yet own a pooch, the dog park is an ideal space to boost your serotonin levels to improve your mood and happiness.
So pull out the harness, poo bags and treats, because it’s time to hit the dog parks!
Geelong & The Bellarine Peninsula
There is a beautiful stretch of coastline along Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula that locals rave about. It’s welcome to all beachgoers, including dogs and horses!
Chev the dog enjoying the sand at Thirteenth Beach. Image by @biancapinnuck via Instagram.
The beaches include Collendina, Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and 13th Beach, and have designated times and areas for you and your pooch to go get some sun and saltwater.
Part of the City of Greater Geelong, all the details including the full list of local dog spots and beaches, as well as maps of off-lead areas can be found on the City of Greater Geelong’s website .
Tassels Cove at Safety Beach
If you and your pooch need stunning views, cliffside walks and sandy stretches galore then Tassels Cove at Safety Beach is the spot for you.
Marley the dog at Tassels Cove. Image by @bengray_mtb on Instagram.
Loved by locals the adventure begins at the leash-free beach at Tassels Cove. Here, no matter what time of the year, you’ll be greeted by owners and their pawsome pals as they frolic through the crystal blue waters and yellow sand.
Then once your doggo has filled its coat with sand, it’s time to attach the leash and take in the stunning views along the coastal walk.
Part of the Mornington Peninsula Shire, you can find all the information regarding leash-free areas and beaches on their website .
Brackenbush Off-Leash Dog Park at Lakes Entrance
Located in Lakes Entrance and surrounded by beautiful bushland, the Brackenbush off-leash dog park is a free community service for dog owners.
Maisie the dog enjoys the rain at Brackenbush Off-Leash Dog Park. Image by @brackenbushunleashed on Instagram.
The site has three areas for your pooches to run free - Hills'n'Hollows, Nature Run and the Nervous Nellie Area for the shyer canines to stretch their legs in a quiet space until they are ready to socialise.
The dog park is also environmentally friendly, with owners encouraged to use the pooper scoopers instead of plastic poop bags. Set against a backdrop of trees that stretch to the sky, this area also leads to multiple walking tracks allowing you and your pooch to extend the adventure.
You can stay up to date on information for the dog park on the Brackenbush Unleashed Facebook Page , where they declare that as long the sun is up, they are open.
Pioneer Park, Wendouree
Ballarat hosts multiple parks for people to enjoy, but their dog park at Pioneer Park in Wendouree is definitely a favourite for their four-legged residents.
Two dogs enjoy an off-lead area at Pioneer Park, Wendouree. Image by pupsy.com.au
With rolling green spaces and winding paths, it’s the pawfect spot for your pooch to sniff out interesting smells and hobnob with the local doggos.
Managed by the City of Ballarat, you can stay up-to-date with the latest information for the off-lead areas via their website .
Altona Beach Dog Off-Leash Area, Altona
For a stretch of beautiful beach and all the doggos you could wish for, there’s no better spot than Altona Beach’s Dog Off-Leash Area.
Enjoying the beach at high tide. Image by Leisl Egan.
The best time for a visit is during high tide in the early morning, where your pooch can paddle and wade for long stretches without the water getting too deep. But even at low-tide there is an expanse of wet sand that stretches towards the horizon with plenty to entertain your pup.
There’s always a doggo to be found here, and usually there are so many that your pooch pal will make friends with more doggos than they can imagine.
Be prepared to roll up your pants or leggings to wade with your pooch, or for the really brave, don the swimsuit and splash around. Just be sure to bring some towels for the back seat for the ride home!