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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Especially in cities, dog zones are often used to let our dogs run around. What are the advantages of such a fenced area and what should I pay attention to so that everyone feels comfortable?


In fenced dog areas, all dogs are allowed to run without a muzzle and leash as long as they do not endanger anyone. Dog exercise areas are usually larger areas that are not fenced in, in which dogs are allowed to move freely (except for listed dogs, which are regulated differently everywhere).

These zones are marked by green bordered signs. Signs with red borders and a crossed-out dog, on the other hand, indicate the no-dog zones, which dogs are not allowed to enter. 

Everywhere else, dogs must be muzzled or kept on a leash. In the case of hunting dogs) or four-legged friends who cannot (yet) recall, a leash is definitely recommended.

Dog zone advantages

  • In most cities the nearest dog zone is not far away
  • Fenced areas prevent dogs from running away
  • Free running allowed
  • Many exciting smells
  • Social contacts

Dog zone disadvantages

  • Too many dogs in too small a space
  • Bullying and fights can occur, often misinterpreted as play
  • Defence of resources
  • Diseases are more easily transmitted
  • Poor opportunities for evasion, especially in smaller dog zones (individual distance is quickly undercut)
  • Partly unwanted social contacts
  • Territorial behaviour, as dogs stay in the same place for a long time
  • Mostly more earth than meadow or tree trunks and other possibilities to explore things and feel different undergrounds
Here you can find dogzones and enter new places

Behaviour in a dog zone

In order for everyone to feel comfortable, it makes sense to show consideration for each other. The dog zone should not be seen as a dog playground where everyone does what they want, as this often creates dangerous situations.

  • Stay outside if your dog is sick, in heat or incompatible with other dogs.
  • Keep the entrance area clear. Call your dog back if a newcomer enters the dog zone.
  • Keep your distance from dogs that are frightened or do not want contact.
  • Make sure the dogs are compatible in size and temperament.
  • Talk to the other dog owners to avoid tense situations.
  • Be attentive! Always keep an eye on your pet. Talking to other people or looking at your mobile phone is not appropriate here. You have the duty of supervision and should intervene before the situation becomes critical.
  • Give your dog protection and safety! If things get too wild for your dog, let him hide with you or leave the situation altogether.
  • Do not force your dog into contact. Not every dog wants to interact with everyone and certainly not play.
  • Clean up the poop and leave the area clean.
  • Do not use resources in the presence of other dogs. Toys, food and the like can lead to fights.
  • Avoid digging holes so that no one falls in and gets hurt. If your dog digs, fill the hole again afterwards.
  • Do not feed other dogs! You don’t know if they will tolerate the food.
  • Above all, try to avoid constant barking and noise at night. This is often caused by stress. Try to encourage more calm and not to overtax your dog.

What do dogs want when they go for a walk?

Most dogs have the need to sniff, explore and exercise. Of course, they also do their business when they go for a walk. Meeting other dogs is also part of the experience for some, but meeting lots of unknown dogs is usually more stressful than fun. Ideally, you should have two to four walks that you do regularly. In addition, your dog should have the opportunity to experience new routes once or twice a week. 

Dog zones can meet certain needs, but not for every dog. For some dogs, a visit to a dog zone is pure stress. Watch your dog’s body language to see if he is actually comfortable. If it’s too stressful for him or he’s afraid, you should avoid it. Instead, try to get out of the city more often to walk in quieter areas.

Schild Hundezone


Dog zones are one way to create free-range areas in the city, but not every dog is happy about “forced contact”. Pay attention to your pet and support him when a situation becomes too much for him. Observe a few rules to promote respectful interaction, because all dog owners basically want one thing: that their dog is doing well.