Fort Steilacoom Dog Park

Ft Steilacoom Dog Park Spring 2011
8200 87th Avenue SW
Lakewood, WA
Operating Hours:
Managed By:
City of Lakewood
Days Closed:
Portable restrooms
Park Size:
22 acres
Type of Park:
Other Notes:

This dog park has a separate small dog area, and is landscaped with bushes, trees, logs, water fountains, shade, and benches. This dog park is supported by Protect Our Pets.

Javascript is required to view this map.
Ramseas's picture
The Good The Bad And The Ugly !

It's a great dog park as long as the owner has more brains then their dog. The other day a lady with a young German Shepard was in the small area when her Shepard kept approaching my small dog he wasn't interested in the Shepard mostly because of it's size. The third time the Shepard got all up in my dogs junk and my dog barked at the Shepard, all of a sudden the sheperd snapped and chased my dog all around the area with the intent to kill or Mame my dog. Luckily someone was able to grab the Shepard before he bit my dog. The owner had no recall whatsoever and insisted her dog was not aggressive. I asked the owner if she would take her dog into the large area but she refused saying her dog has never been aggressive before. It seems to me the right thing to do if your large dog chases a small dog with the CLEAR intent of biting, then the owner should take that dog into the large area. I guess not, the very next day she was back and i had to leave.

jolson's picture
Great fun

I've taken my pups here a couple times now and we always enjoy it. Great big park and lots of room to run and play.
I think people have misinterpreted the meaning of small dog park and big dog park. It's simply describing the size of the park, not the size of the dog. There is always a mix of sizes in each park and I've never seen anyone, dog or human, have a problem. All the dogs play and interact with one another to various degrees. If you're someone to get bent out of shape over size differences then perhaps you shouldn't be visting a DOG PARK.

Jenny C's picture

A good size park which allows the option to separate small and large dogs. (I like this, however, Sometimes large dogs only socialize well with smaller dogs an this can be unnerving to some dogs and owners.)
I enjoy seeing the same people with their pups every Sunday, it makes it very easy to socialize our puppy.
Overall, a good park which is part of a good community.

Old Yeller's picture
Small dogs in the Large dog area

Thank you Miss Tricia Beaver for articulating an offensive, frustrating, and ongoing situation at the park that impacts the quality and enjoyment of my large dogs' visits. I submit that groups of small dogs, often accompanied by multiple owners, frequently display aggressiveness towards large dogs. Compliance of the Park Rules by all responsible dog owners would be appreciated and enhance the Park experience by all parties.

Jenny C's picture
awesome park

Huge, lots of trails, trees and space to run and play!

Tricia Beaver's picture
I take my two huskies here

I take my two huskies here all the time. Fully fenced, water for the dogs, lots of room. Seperate sections for the large and small dogs.
The only problem I ever have is people with small dogs coming into the large dog area. I can understand if you have a large dog and a small dog but when people with only small dogs come in, I don't like it. And because there are so many people with only small dogs going into the larger area, it is a problem. I have dog-friendly cats, so my dogs like playing with smaller animals. Cats run, toy dogs don't. It is really annoying when someone with a small toy dog walks up to the covered benches (where lots of dogs usually are), the other dogs try and play with the dog, it freaks out and the owner gets angry.
I have to leash my dogs every time I see a small dog coming in or getting close because my dogs love to play with all dogs, large and small. I am so tired of the owners acting like my dogs are a threat to humanity for just trying to play.
I have nothing against small dogs but if you own one, please understand that larger dogs often have prey drive, which isn't something we can just train out of a dog, its bred into them. we can train the dogs not to mouth, nip and bite but if your little dog starts running, larger dogs will chase. Its how they have been for thousands of years. Most dogs wouldn't hurt a small dog intentionally, they just want to run off energy and play.

Old Yeller's picture
Not the Dogs Fault

Love the park, dislike small dog owners socializing in the large dog area. My dogs should not be required to be on leash in their designated area. Remember the Golden Rule? Grrrrr.

Jenny C's picture
dog park, not baby park!

Please don't bring in your toddlers in a stroller into the dog park. For I hope obvious reasons!

EVRiley's picture
Great park overall!! It is

Great park overall!! It is worth the drive to be able to bring my dog there! Its where she was first socialized and it was such a great atmosphere. Depending on the time of day you go too, you can run into tons of doggies or only a few. I like to run the perimeter of the large dog area because it is about 1 mile, so I get mine and my dogs exercise in all at once!

jdeharo's picture

I love this dog park, My dogs love this park. It's a great place to let my dogs get all of their energy out. I have a Lab and a Boxer, and they love all dogs, Some owners will bring their little doggies to the big dog side, which is fine since some people have small and large dogs. but what my point is that I always have issues with little dogs attacking my dogs, and they tend to think its funny.. NOT... if it were the other way around, they would look at me and think my dogs are being aggressive, but not at all, they won't attack unless they are trying to defend themselves. My boxer doesn't know the difference between little dogs and big dogs, she's 8 months old and needs a little help so everytime she does see a small dog she tends to chase them around and the little dogs will cry or even bite her. Therefore I would have to leash her right away,because the other owners will yell and look at her and thinks she's done something wrong which is sad because I go there so she can play with other dogs.

These owners need to understand to try and correct their little dogs..I try to always protect my dogs every time I go, and I don't want to stop coming here because bad owners don't know how to teach their dogs ,.. It's funny because every time I walk into the park and look to the small dog area, dogs are always fighting rather than the big side. You would think it

kendramarie's picture
This is a really GREAT place

This is a really GREAT place to take small and large dogs for a day of fun, running and playing. I go here as much as possible with my two little ones. It's clean, safe and a great history lession all in one. Located on the old grounds of Western State Hospital this dog park is a wonderful place to spend your day with you furry friend.

Jenny C's picture
love it

Great park we have been going here for 5 years and it's always a great experiance!

springer13's picture

I love the fact that they have a small dog area. It's been difficult getting my new pup used to being around other dogs, especially big ones. I think this will help us work our way up to her being comfy around all dogs. Thanks!

kayla85's picture
small dog area

I was here with my parents' dog, Lizzie, a Pembroke corgi. I understand what they were saying about the small dog/large dog debacle - it isn't mandatory to go to the small dog area, but I do recommend it. Lizzie is a bit older & doesn't play the same as a lot of the younger dogs, so I'm glad that there was a space for her to ...chill. Those with larger dogs did note what that area was designated for & for small dogs. The only misbehaved dogs were really puppies, & that's simply because they probably weren't used to the environment.

kdogl's picture
One of the nicest parks we have taken our dogs to.

We have been taking our dogs to this park for a couple years. It†s funny; I always thought the small fenced area was a small dog-park, not a small-dog park. :) I will have to take a closer look the next time we go.

Anyway, awesome park, has benches, running water, lots of room.

CoTTer's picture
I have to say that this park

I have to say that this park is amazing. My girl friend and I take our 11 yr old daschund and our 2 yr old beagle there to play (Even though the daschund could care less) I have to say that every one there is friendly as can be. We always take our dogs into the big part just so we can walk on the side of the whole area (Lets us practice the whole dog following by side without a leash. Also being able to really get in some good throws with the ball and let my dog really run for it) The only down side to this park. Is that several dogs have been stolen from there in the last few weeks. So keep an eye on your dog.

Visitor's picture

I've been to the park several times and the big dogs have always been in the big dog part. I was just there yesterday and there were two little dogs in the little dog part and dozens of larger dogs in the big dog part.

This is a great park! Responsible owners. Very few non-socialized, aggressive dogs. Well maintained.

Visitor's picture

Ive never visited the park yet but Ive heard so many great things about it so Ive been wanting to bring my puppy. I was thrilled to find out froma friend that they had a specific area for small dogs. After reading the reviews on "Segragation" It only makes sense to me that if thier going to have a designated area for each that they be labeled, or whats the point?

Visitor's picture
Great Off Leash Park for Small and Big Dogs

I go to the park every chance that I get weather permitting. This is a great place for dogs to run and play. I especially like that there are two areas one for small dogs and one for big dogs. I have a small dog and find that most people with big dogs don't realize that there is a place for big dogs. They just bring there dogs into the first place they see which is the
small dog place and let there dogs run around and run over the smaller dogs like mine. Most of the time I have to get my small dog and leave, I don't like being confrontational about there dog being in the small dog park, when it should be in the big dog park, especially when there are no signs letting dog owners know.

What about getting a BIG readable sign with arrows that how where the big dog place is and where the small dog place is, posted right by the entrance to the small dog park..???


Visitor's picture
Small Dog Playdate

Some other ladies and myself love this park and would just love our dogs to meet some other fun and crazy little dogs.

To the person who said that they have a problem with small dogs attacking their larger dog, a lot of times its out of being scared and trying to protect themselves. They may feel threatened because they are so much smaller. :) i constantly have larger dogs pushing and running over my little dog and it scares me at times but we still come for the fun of playing with other little dogs, this is the only area I know that dedicates an area for small dogs and I think it should stay that way.

Visitor's picture

As an owner of a large breed dog, I don't think it is mandatory to have a small dog to go into the un-offical small dog part of the park. I have a small dog and a large dog...we usually go to the larger part of the park to get energy run off and then on the way back to the car, we go thru the small dog part. As long as the dogs are non-aggressive, I don't really see the problem. Furthermore, I have had more problems with the smaller dogs attacking my large breed than the opposite. just my experience and my opinion.

Visitor's picture

I think the Off Leash Dog Park is a great place for dogs to have fun and interact. However I have a mini Schnauzer which is a little dog and there were several big dogs in the little dog area. I even had to hold my dog several times to avoid being bitten, even though the dog owners said her dog was only playing, it was clearly not a small dog. I think maybe a VERY BIG SIGN should be posted in the front entrance indicating small dog or big dog park with a stick a line, etc. indicating the height requirements. Maybe even having a park official or an employee present making sure park rules are followed. I know I am speaking for small dog owners, because they share the same feelings as me. I will still bring my dog to the park because she has a good time. -Roger E. Proud Dog Owner