Dogs love to go outside. Some may be fortunate to have a yard so that your dog can run around. But if you’re like me and live in an apartment, getting outdoors means walking your dog up and down a street so they can pee and poop. But sometimes, your dog just wants a little more.

Dogs love to go outside. Some may be fortunate to have a yard so that your dog can run around. But if you’re like me and live in an apartment, getting outdoors means walking your dog up and down a street so they can pee and poop. But sometimes, your dog just wants a little more.

As you know I adopted Cricket during the pandemic (if not, checkout our dog adoption story here). Socialization is crucial for a dog’s development. Without proper socialization, a dog can become anxiety ridden and reactive to humans and other dogs alike. I’ve been working on Cricket’s socialization by taking her to dog parks. Dog parks can offer an opportunity for your pup to stretch its legs and run amuck with other dogs. Living inSouthern California, there is no shortage of great dog parts near and far. So,I decided to take Cricket on a dog park tour and share my thoughts and findings with you!

A few things to note: Cricket is 15 pounds and rather shy off-leash, so I prefer to take her to the small dog side of a dog park if there is one. If the small dog side is empty and the regular dog park looks relatively calm, I will take her to the * other side. * Please also be aware of your dog’s temperament when taking them to a dog park. As much as we’d like our dog to be friends with every human and canine they see, sometimes it’s just not meant to be because they are aggressive toward other dogs. For that reason, I never took my old dog, Ranger, to the dog park; he got along swimmingly with small dogs, but he felt protective of me when it came to bigger dogs. Please be a responsible dog owner and realistically evaluate whether a dog park is right for your best friend.

Oh, and ALWAYS pick up your dog’s poop.

This list will be continually updated as I visit more dog parks, so check back every month or so! My scores are based on three criteria: parking (obviously, we’re in LA), facility (cleanliness and amenities), and dogs/owners (energy/responsibility).

Hermon Dog Park

405 S. Avenue 60 Los Angeles, CA 90042

Parking: Large parking lot. When you enter the lot, drive all the way to the north end to find the entrance to the dog park.

Facility: Degenerated granite. Be prepared for a dusty dog after visiting, but at least it won’t get muddy after it rains. Small, shy & elderly dog section in addition to the regular park.Rope toys and tennis balls available. Agility course in the regular park. Rolls of poop bags in each section along with water fountains and bowls for the dogs.

Dogs: Friendly. Owners are all responsible for their dogs if they were barking or roughhousing.

I rather enjoyed Hermon Dog Park. Right off the 110, it’s easily accessible and there is a TON of parking. Once you drive all the way to the north end of the parking lot, walk under the bridge to find the dog park. Although it is rather small, the facility is well maintained thanks to a nonprofit group of volunteers who keep the area stocked with poop bags, toys, and pooper scoopers. They even host a “Yappy Hour!”

Score: 7/10

Griffith Park Dog Park

N. Zoo Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90027

Parking: Large parking lot. Past the soccer fields.

Facility: Dirt. Be prepared for a dusty dog and dusty shoes after visiting. Small and shy dog section in addition to the regular park. Small dog section is not too shaded; however, the regular section has lots of tree coverage. Pooper scoopers and water fountains readily available for the dogs.

Dogs: Friendly. Owners were responsible.

One of the most popular dog parks, Griffith Park Dog Park was a little disappointing to me. It was so dusty, and the small dog park side did not have much shade, but the regular side had huge trees covering nearly the entire park. Both sides are huge with plenty of space for dogs to run around. All the dogs were friendly, and the owners were picking up poop that wasn’t even their dog’s. But I have to say, I was underwhelmed.

Ranking: 5/10

Small dog side of Bluff Creek Dog Park

Bluff Creek Dog Park

12604 Bluff Creek Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90094

Parking: Street parking, but you can park on both sides of the street with lots of crosswalks. There are also a lot of side streets to park on.

Facility: Astroturf and concrete with a river running through the middle and rolling hills. Small dog section in addition to the regular park. Ample shading and seating. Water fountain and bowls available. Well maintained.

Dogs: Mostly friendly. Some dogs would roughhouse, and the owners would not do anything about it.

I have to say, this is the most beautiful dog park I have ever been to. There is a stream running through the middle of the park that I have seen many corgis lie in because they get so hot.The water comes from a drinking fountain that the dogs can use. During the pandemic they limit the number of people allowed in the park, so you can get kicked out after 30 minutes if there is a line. And yes, people do line up to goto this dog park. I’ve seen a few instances where a dog was getting too rough, but their influencer mom was too busy on her cell phone to bother doing anything about it. The other dog’s mom had to step in and wake said influencer from her reverie. This park is a little on the smaller side.

Ranking: 9/10

Central Bark Dog Park

1500 W. Rowland Ave. West Covina, CA 91790

Parking: Large parking lot.Can get crowded because the dog park is part of Del Norte Park.

Facility: Grass and dirt. If it’s rained recently, the park will be muddy. Set in the middle of a park, there are a lot of people around and you must walk past a playground to get to the dog park. Small and shy dog section in addition to the regular dog park.Water bowls available, but you must fill the bowls at the park bathroom. Ample shade, picnic tables and benches throughout the park.

Dogs: Friendly. Owners are responsible and stop their dogs from humping and rough housing.

After reading the reviews of this dog park online, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by Central Bark. I expected a lot of dirt and holes, however the holes were minor and mostly around the edges of the park and there was lots of green grass throughout the park. This is one park where the small dog side was relatively empty, so we took Cricket to the regular side. The regular side is so huge that she didn’t have any problems avoiding the bigger dogs that were too much for her to handle. If I were ever in the area again, I’d take her back.

Ranking: 8/10

Eagle Rock Dog Park

1100 Eagle Vista Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90041

Parking: Shit. Street parking only on one side of the street.

Facility: Astroturf and degenerated granite hillsides. Hilly terrain with lots of trees, benches, and walls. Only one area. Lots of tennis balls, pooper scoopers, and water bowls.

Dogs: Rambunctious, rough, loud.

While this park is beautiful, the fact that it is only one large park posed a problem. As soon as Cricket walked in, she was accosted by dogs. She ran back up to exit, hoping to make a run for it. Instead, I picked her up and walked her deeper into the park, hoping to find a quieter spot. However, an energetic dog found her and proceeded to chaseCricket, and once a dog starts to chase, others will join. Cricket ran back up to the exit followed by 4 other dogs. Not wanting to show weakness or leave after 5 minutes of being there, I picked her up and walked even deeper into the park, hoping to find the calm dog section. People in this area who had been there before said that there was a sort of invisible line, and the gazebo area was for the smaller, calmer dogs. Throughout our time there, I heard multiple fights started and saw many dogs poop without their owners noticing. If I had a bigger, more playful dog, I’d consider returning. But with Cricket’s temperament and the rough housing nature of the dogs there, I won’t be returning any time soon.

Ranking: 4/10

Silverlake Dog Park

1873 Silver Lake Blvd. Los Angeles, CA90026

Parking: Shit. Street parking only, but you could get lucky parking in the hills surrounding the park.

Facility: Dirt. Be prepared to have a dusty dog after visiting. Not much in terrain, mostly flat. Shade in the small dog side but not too much on the regular side. Plenty of benches, balls and water fountains for the dogs.

Dogs: Friendly. Cricket probably enjoyed this park the most. She found one friend who also found Cricket to be his only friend. Owners are mostly responsible, but there were a couple of dogs who were rough housing and/or humping and the owners did nothing about it.

Ranking: 6/10

Redondo Beach Dog Park

190 Flagler Ln. Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Parking: Own parking lot as well as street parking.

Facility: By far the biggest park we went to. I’m talking almost too big. Small dog park was the same size as the regular side for most other dog parks we went to. The park is dirt and grass, so be prepared for a dirty dog. Shade on the small dog side, a little shade on the regular side. Water fountains available for dogs on both side. Tennis balls allover the place.

Dogs: Friendly, from what I could tell. If your dog is a lone wolf like Cricket, you’ll be hard pressed to get them to engage with another dog because it’s so big. Regular side seemed a little rowdy, but in a playful way.

Ranking: 7/10

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