DFA Rules

1. Owners are legally responsible for their dogs and any injuries caused by their dogs.

There are two ways that should be read. The first is obvious. Your dog is your responsibility; if your dog hurts another, you will have to pay. The second reading is that you are entering an area where your dog may come into contact with a dog that could hurt it. As a dog owner you are responsible for keeping your dog out of harms way. Even if your dog is super friendly, you still have to be aware of the other dogs, and how they are reacting towards yours. Know your dog and it’s warning signs. The best way to stop a fight is by preventing it.

2. Owners must remain with and watch their dogs at all times.

Always, always, always have your dogs in eyesight. Your dog is your responsibility, so please keep a close eye on your dogs as they play, making sure that they are safe at all times. It is your responsibility to keep you dog out of trouble and under control, and to pick up after him/her every time. You must accompany your dog in the park. Watching your dog from outside the fence, or dropping it off while your jogging is not allowed.

3. Dogs must be leashed prior to and upon leaving the DFA.

Gates to the DFAs must remain closed except upon entering and exiting the DFA. Dogs are only allowed off-leash inside the Dog Beach and boat launch. Dog are not permitted on the people side of the beach period. You can be ticketed on or off leash. Please respect other park and beach users, keep dogs on leash when coming and going, stay off the people beach, and keep out of the bird protection areas on the south end of the beach. The simple act of closing the gate behind you helps keep other dogs from running off, or dogs from running in without their owners. The gate being open when you came in is not an excuse for leaving it open.

4. Owners must immediately clean up after their dogs.

Owners who fail to clean up after their dogs are subject to a fine of up to $500.00 (City of Chicago Ordinance 7-12-420). It is up to every dog guardian to clean up after their dog every-time, no matter where, no matter when. If the police see you disregard the mess, they will fine you up to $500. It is extremely important that dogs not be allowed to defecate in the water. This will create a hazard for humans and other dogs. Help keep the beach safe and clean by always cleaning up after your dog, and make an extra effort to clean up the “one that slipped by” for someone else. This extra effort will pay off for all of us by creating a cleaner, safer beach!

5. Dogs with a known history of, or who exhibit, dangerous behavior are prohibited.

Every owner should know their dog. If your dog does not socialize well with other dogs and/or people and children, coming to the beach is not a good idea. Any type of aggressive behavior is not welcome and not allowed on the beach- this is for the safety of every dog and person visiting the beach. Mondog advocates a Zero- tolerance policy and asks that you immediately leash and remove dogs exhibiting aggressive or potentially dangerous behavior. Allowing offending dogs to stay only reinforces their bad behavior. Leash up and leave.

6. Dogs must be healthy, fully immunized, dewormed, and licensed.

Dogs must have a current DFA tag. That’s your proof your dog is immunized and healthy.

7. No dog will be allowed in a DFA unless it has a current rabies vaccination.

You have to have a rabies shot to get a City tag, or a DFA tag.

8. Dog owners are responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of the DFA.

The Park District only provides basic maintenance for it’s dog parks. It’s up to the Dog park users to take take of the parks. Having a DFA community organization (like MonDog) to help organize and oversee the DFA helps keep parks safe and clean.

9. No Food (human or dog food) is allowed inside the DFA.

No picnicking within the designated Dog Friendly Area. Most dogs are highly food motivated, and bringing food into a Dog Park is just asking for trouble. Dogs will beg, steel and fight over food. They are scavengers, it’s what they do. The Dog Beach is the best off-leash area for dogs to play and swim in the City. You can eat anywhere. Eat somewhere else.

10. Owners or other responsible persons must have a DFA permit with them for each dog visiting the DFA.

You are issued a paper permit (or copy of your application) when for get your DFA tag, and are expected to have it with you.

11. Each dog visiting a DFA must display a current Chicago Park District DFA tag.

All dogs must have a current DFA tag.

12. DFA permits expire on December 31 of the year that it is issued.

DFA permits expire on December 31 of the year that it is issued. New ones are available during the first quarter of the following year.

13. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult; younger children must be closely supervised.

Children under 12 are not allowed on the beach without a parent or guardian. Children must be supervised for their own safety and that of the dogs. There are many parks and playgrounds in the city exclusively for children, and only a few parks where dogs can come to play with other dogs. Children are welcome to watch the dogs play, but must be watched closely.

14. Only three dogs per person allowed.

There is a strict limit of three dogs per adult. It is too difficult to watch over, control and clean up after more than three dogs. Got more than three dogs? Bring a friend to help! Professional dog walkers with more than three dogs are expressly prohibited.

15. Puppies under four months old and female dogs in heat are prohibited.

Puppies are at risk of catching dangerous diseases and parasites until they have completed all their puppy shots and boosters, usually by around 4 months old (check with your vet before bringing your puppy to the beach). Because of the number of large dogs on the beach, puppies are more vulnerable to injury. Additionally, when the waves are high it is more dangerous for puppies to be in the water as they could easily drown. Dogs in heat, or near heat, should not be taken to socialize with other dogs. They are a fight hazard and present a danger to themselves and other dogs.