The dog run at the Astro Park location as planned at Lake Merritt would measure half an acre.
Extracts from Yelp reviews of other fenced dog runs nearby, focusing on what the environment is like (rather than the specific interactions with particular dogs). Note the particular challenges with dog parks of this size, and issues with maintenance/upkeep:
491 Hardy Street
(between Miles Ave & State Highway 24)
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"This dog park is Oakland. It's disgusting, poorly maintained, without proper regulation and a fetid wasteland. Yes, it is better than having no dog park at all but seriously, would it be that hard for Oakland to put a few more bucks into keeping this place clean and supervised?"
"Many other people here exhibit the wide range of frustrating (and dangerous) dog park behaviors..."
"The reality is that these small dog parks are heightened / concentrated experiences precisely because there are so many dogs in such a small space."
"Try Point Isabel or the Alameda Dog Park, both of which have ample room for that. And people who bring their resource guarding dogs to the dog park? Are you kidding?"
"Take it for what it is...a necessary convenient service ... rather than a glorious experience."
"I would tolerate the bare asphalt and grime if my dog at least had a good time here, but he got bullied by big out of control dogs and a serious fight broke out right after I took him out. This with maybe 8 dogs in the whole place on a weekend morning. Not going back."
"Initially driving by I immediately thought "what a dump, I can't believe people actually bring their dogs there!"
"...this place is underwhelming at best. I guess it's ok for the dogs, but for the peeps? Yuck! Hardy Dog Park is *so* lacking aesthetically - it's under the freeway so no sunlight comes into the park and there's no grass or vegetation. Everything in the park is some shade of dirt brown..."
"For some real exercise though, take your dog out on the trails of the East Bay Regional Parks where there is plenty of room to romp and great scenery!"
"this place is dark and nasty..the dog owner over there are very very rude. "
"The fence here is so low and it's yucky! I'm not coming here again. It's so noisy and awful."
"Horrible park with owners who do not monitor their dog's behavior. The park is small and dogs tend to congregate in one area and become fixated on certain dogs. The owners are not friendly also. My dog is small but loves to play with larger dogs at Point Isabel and Berkeley Marina. At Hardy, he was overwhelmed and wasn't able to run and play because he became the focus of three larger dogs--pack mentality kicked in yet the owners just watched! One slightly larger puppy choked my dog several times, pulling at his collar! I wondered about this park and wanted to try it out. I will never go back!"
"This place should be renamed to Hardly Dog Park. It's a sorry excuse for a park where I will only bring my dog in desperation. The neighborhood dog people need to get together and seriously rehab this place!"
3590 Sanborn Dr
(at Joaquin Miller Rd)
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"I am glad we went when it was not raining and the sun was out for a bit. The bark and dirt could become an issue for some pets and/or their owners. I don't mind the mud and dirt and Kylie certainly doesn't. There was ample space for I think about 10-15 smallish dogs."
"The trash cans are something less to be desired...damn! Stay back 100 feet from those things, lol"
"So many better places to take your hound than this wood-chip, mud pit with abundant "land mines." It's small and enclosed, less than the size of a football field. If just a few dogs are there it's okay. However, if you get 10 or more it just gets too congested. Want to make something more potentially violent and put man and beast on edge? Enclose a small area. The ball chasers and the wrestlers don't always mix too well. A lot of people don't monitor their dog that well. They think, "I'm at a dog park, who cares what happens." Vets must have invented places like these. Why not just drive around the corner and visit Redwood or the other trails that are off leash? Or for a great dog park, go to sand-based one in Alameda."
"I prefer driving the extra miles and going to the Alameda dog park so she can socialize with other small pups."
"I used to go to dog parks. When we first became dog walkers, we'd head out to the Alameda Dog Park and play with our pooches. That one is quite large and if you don't like the level of play in one area, you can move to another area.
"This new park is pretty small, it's literally a big fenced-in rectangle. Actually, two rectangles - with one designated for small dogs. I went there on the opening and it was a nice little event. The couple of times I've been back, I have not been impressed. Like I said, it's small, so if you see some doggie behavior you're not thrilled about, there's really nowhere to go to get away from it. Consequently, I've seen a few fights. My big issue with these parks is that when dogs remain stagnant, they become territorial and dominant and that can only lead to trouble. ... Most people don't have any problem with their dog mounting another dog or rough-housing. Consequently, dogs can become over-dominated and it's possible it can have a detrimental effect on their personality. "
"I went to this park once again, and same old thing..dog fight after dog fight. Then people fighting because of the dog fight."
[Regarding Alameda dog park but on the JM page:] "Likewise, I've had *terrible* experiences at the Alameda park. Among them - 1) small, fluffy dogs going into the big dog park and consequently getting harassed by packs of sighthounds (mine included) 2) a weakling dog (usually a puppy of sorts) getting attacked by a pack of dogs, etc etc. I've seen #2 more times than I'd like to admit, and it's absolutely ridiculous. There's just something about the ginormous amount of dogs that frequent the Alameda park that sets the dogs into a pack mode. "
"The Joaquin Miller dog park has in ground trash containers, water spigots and bowls, dirt instead of cement, benches, poop bag dispensers, lovely trees, chairs, lots of parking, and real restrooms close by (not just a porta-pottie) at the ranger station. "
"Yeah. It's clean. If you don't count all the effing dust." "When you have goofy foof dogs like me, who sneeze in the dust, and have ridiculous velcro fur that EVERYTHING sticks to.. tan bark just doesn't work. I wouldn't want to play in a park full of dust and tan bark, doesn't matter how nice the stupid trees around there are."
"Went once. Won't go back unless I'm extremely desperate not to go back to the 15 billion other places in the Bay Area to bring my dog.... Maybe my experience was tainted by some nasty attitude on the part of another dog owner who's dog attacked mine... then got p-o'd at me because I was upset by that. Hmmm, imagine that. Part of what makes a good dog part is not just the setting nor amenities, but the people and other dogs in attendance. I'm off to Pt. Isabelle. All the snotty's can stay here. Yuck. Dusty, with mega-tudinal owners, no thanks."
"Watch out for the poop bombs around the perimeter if your dog likes to dive for the stuff."
" this review is a little negative only because there are so many other fantastic dog parks in the area to compare this to."
"The dog park is too small for much more than a few fetches but if you use it before or during a nice long walk/hike in the park you and your dogs needs will be happily met. "
Grove Shafter Dog Park
(note the sad absence of a filled-in name beside "Our park supervisor is ___________________"
Photo credit: Carlos Rubinstein