Thorndike Dog Park's Rules and Regulations

What you need to know before Arlington's first fenced off-leash dog park opens Monday.

The Recreation Department sent out a list of rules and regulations this afternoon for Thorndike Field Dog Off-Leash Recreation Area (OLRA), Arlington’s first fenced off-leash dog park, .

In addition to the rules and regulations, the department also announced, as promised, that it’ll be eliminating the current morning off-leash hours (6 to 9 a.m.) at and from the off-leash program. The change will go into effect Monday, May 21, as well.

From the department:

Thorndike Field Dog Off-Leash Recreation Area (OLRA)

Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Users of the Thorndike OLRA facility do so at their own risk. The Town of Arlington, Recreation Department and Park and Recreation Commission are not liable for any injury or damage caused by any dog in the OLRA.

Rules and Regulations

What to know before you enter: 

  • The OLRA is for dogs, their handlers and those accompanying them. No other use is allowed.
  • All dogs must be licensed, vaccinated and healthy (no contagious diseases or parasites).
  • Dogs showing aggression toward people or other dogs are not allowed in the OLRA.
  • Dogs must be at least 4 months old to enter the OLRA.
  • Dogs in heat are not allowed in the OLRA. 
  • Prong and choke collars must be removed upon entering the OLRA.
  • Dogs must be leashed when entering or exiting the OLRA.
  • No more than two dogs per handler may enter the OLRA.
  • Handlers must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Handlers are responsible for any injuries or damage caused by the dog(s) under their control.

While you are in the OLRA:

  • Dogs must be in view and under the control of their handler at all times. 
  • Dogs must be removed from the OLRA at the first sign of aggression.
  • Handlers must pick up and dispose of their dog's waste immediately and should encourage others to do the same. The pooper-scooper bylaw is in effect at the OLRA.
  • Digging is not permitted. Handlers must fill any holes dug by dogs under their control.
  • Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The OLRA is not a play space for children. Children should not run around or yell – this can trigger a dog’s natural chasing response.
  • Handlers must have possession of the dog’s leash(es) at all times.
  • No food and no smoking are allowed in the OLRA.
  • Training treats are allowed, but dog food is NOT allowed. 
  • All incidents, injuries or inappropriate conduct by dogs or people should be reported to Arlington Recreation, 781-316-3880. The Town of Arlington may ban individual dogs or people from the OLRA facility at any time for any reason.
  • Please remember to use good off-leash recreation area etiquette when using the Thorndike Park facility.
  • Be respectful of other OLRA and park users!


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