Welcome to Paw Run, Ann Arbor's premiere off-leash dog park!

Rules & Regulations

Below are Park rules and most commonly asked questions.

Park Rules

  • Keep an eye on your dog at all times, and keep your dog’s leash with you.
  • If aggressive behavior is observed, take immediate action; either move your dog to another part of the recreation area or leave. In addition report all incidents of aggressive behavior to the staff.
  • Any dog that consistently annoys other dogs by growling, mounting behavior or intimidation will be asked to leave the recreation area. Dogs that repeatedly display annoying behavior will be banned from the recreation area.
  • Owners must clean up all dog waste. Poop bags and trashcans are available throughout the recreation area.
  • No glass containers or alcohol allowed in the recreation area.
  • Dogs must be up to date on all required vaccinations (copy to be kept on file). We strongly recommend that dogs be on flea and heartworm preventatives. Sick dogs are not allowed in the Park
  • Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a member.Please remember: THIS IS A DOG PARK, not a child park. In addition the parent/guardian must have a signed child agreement on record at the office. Remember there are large off-leash dogs at the park so please use caution with small children.
  • No Shar Peis, Chow Chows, Akitas or Pit Bull type dogs or Mixes are allowed in the park.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Are dogs allowed to be off-leash?

A: That is what we are all about! Dog’s running and playing free. The only time we see dogs on-leash here is when someone is trying to get their dog to go home.

Q: Is the Property Fenced?

A: Yes, the property is securely fenced with a four foot agricultural fence. Some dogs can jump this fence. One side of our property is on a busy, high-speed road, so if your dog typically jumps fences, Paw Run may not be appropriate for your dog.

Q: Where is Paw Run Located?

A: Paw Run is on North Territorial approximately four miles west of US-23 in Webster Township. We do not give the exact location until a new member has registered and their dog has passed the temperament test. It take approximately fifteen minutes to get to Paw Run from the center of Ann Arbor.

Q: What is the Temperament Test?

A: The temperament test is a low-key procedure to get to know the testee dog and see how the dog reacts to humans and other dogs. It is not an obedience test and we are not testing to see if dogs are outgoing or calm. We simply want to make sure the dog will not react aggressively to our tests.

In the test, we pet the dog all over, pick up both a front and a back paw and feel between the toes, and hold the dog’s tail. Next we introduce the dog to our tester dogs, to see how the dogs react to other dogs. Then we bring out the treats. We pass out treats to each of the dogs and then we throw treats on the floor to see how the dog reacts around treats and other dogs in a tight space. The last part is to give the dog a pig ear, wait a minute or two and then approach the dog and attempt to take the pig ear away from the dog. During this pig ear test, our tester dogs will be in close proximity to the dog being tested. The dog being tested does not have to give up the pig ear, we just want to make sure the dog does not show aggression to our human or dog testers.

All parts of this test are important. If your dog has allergies to certain foods please let us know or bring your own yummy treats. If your dog doesn’t want to chew on the pig ear don’t worry, we can try a ball or a stuffed toy. The point is that we want to use something of high value to your dog.

Q: Why do you use food in the temperament test?

A: We use food in the temperament test because people bring treats to Paw Run, and many people (including Carolyn) hand out treats to everyone’s dog. We don’t want to have dogs getting testy about treats at Paw Run.

Q: Why do you charge to use Paw Run?

A: Unlike municipal parks, Paw Run is a private recreation area. The property is owned by KEI, a corporation that was willing to invest in our dream of a place for dogs to play off leash. We receive no money or support from any governments or other groups. Paw Run LLC, the business that operates Paw Run is a limited liability company owned by us. Paw Run has significant expenses, first we have to pay rent to KEI to use the property, then we have to pay for all the improvements we have made to the property, next we have to pay for administrative expenses and finally, the property taxes. We have tried to keep our dues as low as possible since we don’t want anyone to be denied use of the area due to financial limitations. However, the more money we take in the more money we can invest in our facilities.

Q: Are human children allowed in the park?

A: We welcome human children at Paw Run with certain cautions and restrictions. First, remember this is a DOG recreation area, not a child’s playground that allows off-leash dogs. The dogs come first. Second, children must be supervised (directly supervised) at all times. Third, children are not allowed on the agility equipment and not allowed in the agility yard unless their parent and their dog are practicing in the agility yard. Fourth, children are not allowed in the water, either the pond, the stream or the natural pond. Finally, since this is a dog recreation area, dogs will be running around like crazy. They may not care if there is a child in the way and may knock them over. The parents assume all liability for their children while at Paw Run and should use all reasonable cautions when they are visiting.

Q: How do I get my dog back when we are at Paw Run?

A: Typically, there is no problem with losing the dogs on the property. Dogs generally stay with their humans. They may run around like crazy for awhile, but they come back. And if there are other dogs around, the dogs stay together with the humans. You may not believe YOUR dog will stick around, but he or she will. In our experience, at least nineteen out of twenty dogs stick around. The ones who don’t are typically hounds.

Q: do you allow intact (not neutered or spayed) dogs at Paw Run?

A: Yep, as long as they pass the temperament test, and as long as they don’t act out at Paw Run, we welcome them. Females in heat can come at their own risk.

Q: Why do you not allow certain breeds of dogs to join Paw Run?

A: We do not allow Akitas, Chow Chows, Shar-Peis, Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bull Dogs, Cane Corsos, and other fighting breeds as decided by Paw Run LLC Just as Border Collies were selectively bred to herd sheep, these dogs selectively bred to fight with other dogs. So while Border Collies will have a propensity to chase cars along North Territorial and stare at humans to try to keep them in a group, fighting breeds will have a propensity fight with other dogs. This does not mean they are bad dogs, just that a place where there are a lot of crazy, often in-your-face dogs is not an appropriate place for them. And because we know that, we must protect our member dogs from possible harm.

About Paw Run Dog Park

Located ten miles from Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Paw Run is eighteen fenced acres of off-leash fun! Paw Run offers nearly a mile of mowed trails, a play-area with a pond, an agility yard, a secure double-gated entry system, seating for humans and available water for humans and dogs. It is located on private property so please contact us to join.

Park Hours
Paw Run Dog Park is open from: 7am till dusk. It is located on private property so if you are not yet a member, you must contact us before visiting to set up an appointment

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Photos courtesy of:
Mike Frieseman & Tobias Walbridge

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