Portland Dog Park Adventure Series: Wallace Park

Address: 1628 NW 25th Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Fenced: Yes
Size Segregated: No
How many sections: 1
Water: Yes
Size: Medium

Note on location: In the NE corner of larger Wallace Park. There are often many people, including children, using the rest of the park, so if your dog is not a fan of loud playgrounds, this might not be the place for you.

Weather/Health Conditions: Has a wood chip substrate, so that mitigates the mud, but the dog park is essentially a big hole, so the mud definitely still happens. In summer, most of the park isn’t shaded, but the water is functional.

Training and Enrichment Opportunities: It’s a small-ish park, so if you’re using timeouts as a means to interrupt inappropriate play behaviors, this park isn’t a bad place for it. There are also plenty of visual barriers between the dog area and some other park spaces, so if you’re working on dog-dog reactivity on leash, you might be able to do so here. However, this is not the place to bring dogs with human-directed reactivity, as Wallace is generally pretty well-patronized by families, homeless people, and sports-players.

General Thoughts: Samuel
It’s been a while since Rick and I have ventured to Wallace Park. It’s definitely not our favorite space. There’s only one fenced area and it’s not much larger than the Fields Dog Park. There’s a few trees, which does lend some shade in the summer, but turns into a bit of a mess in the winter months.

The groups tend to be a mixture of very high energy social dogs and those on the more fearful and submissive side. There’s generally at least one squabble when we go and the owners lean to the hands-off side of things.

It’s not my favorite park for Rick as he tends to be the center of quite a lot of unwanted attention there and we’ve found it challenging to disengage from that do to the layout and atmosphere of the park.

-Samuel Power, CPDT-KA

General Thoughts: Rosie
I’ve taken Fiske here about five times. It’s a convenient location if you’re in NW Portland and need a quick sprint, as my dogs and I often find ourselves. Parking can be a challenge, so be prepared for some tight parallel parking situations.

The park itself is VERY dusty in summer and has only partial shade. The water works, though, so Fiske takes advantage of that to cool off (he lies down in the muddy area around the fountain). In winter, the park’s geography makes half of it very soggy, so not a place where dogs are going to stay clean. Also, the fence is comprised of wide-mesh (about four inches at least between wires), so I’ve had to retrieve the ball from the other side a few times. And the fence isn’t very high or sturdy, so I imagine it wouldn’t do much to deter the escape artists out there.

The majority of the park’s regulars seem to be high-energy, often herding breeds and the like, and I’ve seen a fair amount of unskillful play happening there. As Samuel said, the humans don’t seem to be very intervention-focused, and I’ve seen more than a handful on their phones and completely tuned out. However, if you have a dog that’s not going to engage with other dogs much but really just needs a place to play fetch – such as Fiske – it’s perfectly suitable for that purpose.

-Rosie Schurman, CPDT-KA

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