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  • Samuel Power

Dog Park Adventures Review Series: Sellwood Park

Address: SE Spokane Street and Oaks Parkway

Fenced: No

Size Segregated: N/A

How many sections: 1 large open area, unofficial beach/paths area

Water: No (except river)

Size: Medium/Large

Note on location: The official off-leash area is right by the parking lot, bounded by the paved walkway. The city park extends maybe a quarter mile down the beach, and then it becomes Oaks Park, which is a privately owned/run area but open to the public.

Weather/Health Considerations: Official off-leash area is very muddy in winter. If you go to the river, make sure your dog isn’t going to swim out to the depth where there is a dangerous current. The fence by the path is not complete, and there are homeless encampments back in the woods which can offer unsafe edibles for curious dogs. Finally, although rare, there have been known to be coyotes seen here looking for small dogs to prey on, so if you have one of the little guys, keep a sharp eye out.

Training/Enrichment Opportunities: The river is generally safe for a ways out, so if you’re training for water-retrieval work it’s not a bad place to practice. Overall, the beach has good visibility, so working on play skills there isn’t bad, as well as generalizing obedience work to the outdoors or working on recall, but only if your dog already has a reasonable recall (the off-leash area by the parking lot also runs right up to the road).

General Thoughts: Samuel

The Sellwood off leash dog area is not my favorite. Being so close to the road and parking lot makes me uncomfortable! And if there’s any amount of rain, the whole area is a mud pit. The paths and beach area are pretty nice, but not worth the travel time for us. There’s plenty of parks closer in with a better experience (for us at least).

General Thoughts: Rosie

I like Sellwood, but it’s not for everyone. If your dog doesn’t have good recall, I’d probably skip this park since there are no fences between the off-leash area and a parking lot and road. I do like that the beach extends a ways and there’s also a path above the beach, as it’s actually quite a pleasant walk for those whose dogs just like to do their own thing. For Fiske and Bill, the differing terrain offers plenty of stimulation and variation, and the beach has long open stretches where I can throw Fiske’s ball. I generally avoid the official off-leash area, since it’s often very muddy and the road makes me uncomfortable.

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