The Fields Park
Address: 1099 NW Overton St. Portland, OR 97209
Size Segregated: Yes
How many sections: 2
Water: Yes (shut off in winter)
Note on location: The dog park is located on the north side of the larger park area, and can be a bit hard to see from afar. Fencing is wide-set so balls (and very small dogs) can slip through.
Weather/Health Considerations: Because of the sand, park develops a significant odor during the winter. However, it does not get as water-logged as many other parks.
Training/Enrichment Opportunities: Small park allows for easier training of high-energy dogs and puppies. Good park to do recall work as a step up from using a long leash, as it is small enough to make this work feasible. Walking paths nearby allow for dog-dog counter-conditioning, but be aware that there are blind spots and lots of off-leash dogs in unfenced areas as well.
Today Rick and I went to the Fields Park. We’ve been there countless times before, so it seemed like a good starting place for our journey in exploring and reviewing Portland’s many off leash dog parks.
We arrived a little before noon on the rainy Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We only encountered one other pooch in our 45 minutes or so there. That happens a good deal at this particular park. Going outside of “busy” times can be really hit or miss as to whether or not you’ll encounter many (or any) other dogs. The Fields tends to be busiest around 3-5pm on weekdays (note: busy can mean as few as five dogs coming and going) and between about 11-3ish on Saturdays. Sundays and weekdays are the spottiest.
With all that said, the Fields Park has been one of my favorite spots to take Rick, especially during his puppyhood and early stages of his training. The small park is great for working on the not-so-polite puppy and adolescent antics that can make larger parks stressful if you have a mind to work on those issues.
At the Fields, a young Rick and I worked on decreasing his frantic appeasement with older dogs, his recall, and solidified his love of fetch and wrestling. It’s been a wonderful neighborhood park for a developing dog. Though he’s grown up quite a lot now, and we prefer larger spaces for him to run and roam, the Fields will always be our go-to for a quick bit of off leash fun.
Samuel Power, CPDT-KA
General Thoughts: Rosie
For Fiske, chasing a ball is the ultimate form of enjoyment in life. So, when we go to dog parks, we usually have one along (he doesn’t guard the ball). The Fields Park poses an issue for us, since the ball can go through the fence. I generally leave it behind if we’re taking an outing there, since bringing it invariably leads to many trips outside the fence for me to fetch the ball back.
However, the park’s flooring of sand is certainly a boon in winter when my white dog grinds any ground-covering nearby into his belly and it requires a solid scrubbing to get it off. The sand generally just falls off him, so much less cleaning is required. And the smaller space is handy if his recall declines and I have to wrangle him.
Rosie Schurman, CPDT-KA
Remember: if anything is happening at a dog park that makes you or your dog uncomfortable, just leave. Follow your gut; if you feel that there is potential conflict brewing, don’t second-guess yourself. Extract your pooch and come back another day!