Dog Park Demand is Up!

by Karen Briscoe
September 25, 2014

The fastest-growing segment of city parks is dog parks, according to the non-profit Trust for Public Land. A century ago the demand for parks was for playgrounds for children. There has been a demographic shift of more households with dogs (43 million) than with kids (38 million), thus the increase in demand for dog parks.

Our son Drew is a young professional living on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and has a mutt of a dog named Jack. He frequently runs, walks and bikes with Jack, but their favorite activity is going to the dog park in their community. Most dog parks are configured with a double access fence at the entry/exit to prevent escape dogs!   Upon entry the pooch can run free! In the summer some parks feature “kiddie” pools filled with water for cooling off in the heat.

There is dog park etiquette – each owner agrees to clean up after his/her pet. Further, if a dog becomes aggressive or not friendly to playmates and people – denial of privileges may result. Drew claims there was an unofficial “mayor” of the dog park he visited frequently when he lived in Dallas. This person was a regular and knew all the dogs and their owners.   New dogs and owners are introduced to the other regulars. Often on Fridays and holidays human attendees would bring refreshments to share. Visiting a dog parks is a social opportunity for all!

In the market area in which I practice real estate, Arlington, Virginia is in the top 5 cities in the United States with the highest per capita number of off-leash dog parks. There are 7 dog parks in Arlington which equates to 3.2 per 100,000 human residents. Arlington, Virginia is inside the beltway of the Washington, DC metro region. Once you cross the bridge from the city to Virginia, Arlington is where you first arrive. Thus Arlington has an urban feel, considering that it is the suburbs. It is a popular place to live for professionals both young and old alike, dual income couples, young families and empty-nesters. In fact, Arlington is popular with most every segment of the population but those that want lots of land.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington has a list of the dog parks on their website: All of the dog parks are open from sunrise to one half hour after sunset and require that attendees adhere to all Arlington dog park rules and regulations. The parks are: Benjamin Banneker Park at 1701 North Van Buren Street; Fort Barnard Park at the corner of South Pollard Street and South Walter Reed Drive; Fort Ethan Allen Park at 3829 North Stafford Street; Glencarlyn Park at 301 South Harrison Street; Shirlington Park at 2601 South Arlington Mill Drive; Towers Park at 801 South Scott Street and Utah Park at 3191 South Utah Street.

Currently the HBC Realty Group has a listing in Arlington located near the Lee Heights shopping center near the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Lee Highway. There are three dog parks within a short drive to this home. Dog parks provide a dual service of a sense of community for both humans and their pets as well as exercise for the pooch, so he/she doesn’t get too poochy.

Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy are intimately familiar with the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and metro Maryland real estate market, including knowing where the dog parks are located! Please let us know how we can be of assistance, be it selling, investing or buying in the area. Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group – Keller Williams contact information:, 703-734-0192,

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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