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Nashville Looks To Create Separate Dog Parks for Smaller Breeds

In Nashville, a new initiative is underway to create a more secure small dog park. Dog parks are a hit among pet owners on sunny days thanks to their walking trails and wide-open spaces. However, the blend of big and small dogs in the same space often leads to uneasy interactions.

Nashville dog park for smaller breeds considered after small dog was killed by larger dogs

At Two Rivers Dog Park, despite its amenities, there’s a notable absence of a dedicated area for small dogs. Local resident and pug owner, Crystal Johnson, has become an advocate for this cause. After witnessing large dogs mistaking smaller ones for toys, leading to potential harm, she presented her case at a metro council budget hearing. Johnson believes the cost for such a section would be minimal compared to the benefits it could bring in safeguarding smaller breeds.

Supporting Johnson’s proposal is Councilman Russ Bradford of District 13, a member of the metro Nashville pet caucus. Bradford sees the importance of providing pet owners with safe, tailored options for their dogs. He is also optimistic about integrating these changes into the city’s infrastructure — per WKRN. “When we are looking at $2, $3 billion budgets, something like this would probably just be a drop in the bucket…It’s very much a safety issue.” said Bradford.

Recent events at Two Rivers, where a small dog was fatally attacked by larger ones, underscore the urgency of the situation. The McKinney family are owners of a large dog named Waya. They agree that creating separate spaces for small dogs is a positive step. However, pet owners must also be proactive in managing their dogs’ behavior to ensure a safe environment for all.

The initiative for a small dog park is still in the planning stages, but momentum is building. Councilmember Bradford encourages community members who support the idea to reach out to their district representatives. This initiative represents a step towards making dog parks safer and more enjoyable for all members of the community.


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