Home > Montrose Dog Friendly Off Leash Beach - Chicago, Illinois
Montrose Dog Friendly Off Leash Beach - Chicago, Illinois
Montrose Dog Beach - Chicago, Illinois
The Montrose Dog
Beach is Chicago's first legal off-leash beach. This dog beach is located on
the Northwest corner of Montrose Beach (the point closest to the city). Just
follow Wilson Avenue until it curves to the left at the lake. Look for the
big corrugated steel walls of the old Boat Launch, and you’re there.
There's a nice handicap accessible ramp located in the boat launch, or the old
entrance to the beach is to the right (south) of the boat launch, at the end of
the path, and down the rockwall. There’s a gate in the black fence.
The Dog Beach is open during all regular Chicago Park District hours, roughly
from sun-up till 9 P.M. Morning hours are the most popular with dog beach users.
The Dog Beach is free, but DFA tags are required for all dogs, and that will
cost you $5.
Montrose Dog Beach Etiquette
In the interest of keeping Montrose Dog Beach safe and clean for everyone, we
are providing a gateway for peace between owners, their dogs and the environment.
Here is a guide to Dog Beach Etiquette.
To seasoned dog beach users, much of this will seem like common sense. Newer dog
owners, and those new to the Dog Beach may need some guidance. All dogs do not
behave the same manner to the same stimulus. You have to expect the unexpected.
What is considered acceptable behavior at home is not necessarily acceptable at
the Dog Beach.
1. No food on the Dog Beach.
Please, No picnicking within the designated Dog Friendly Area. Keep the MickyD's
and KFC outside the fence. Feed Rex and Fluffy at home. Dog treats are OK, but
only share with permission of the dog's owner. Most dogs are highly food
motivated, and having a dog steal your lunch, or fighting with your dog over his
food is highly likely. So why invite trouble? The Dog Beach is the only safe and
legal off-leash place for dogs to play and swim in the City. You can eat
anywhere. Eat somewhere else.
2. PROMPTLY clean up All dog waste.
Please discourage your dog from "WATER POOPING", as it is strictly forbidden.
Cleaning up after your dog is mandatory for keeping the beach safe and clean for
everyone. Fecal matter contains many different strains of bacteria and
parasites. The ones we're most concerned with are e-coli, salmonella, and
giardia. If fecal matter is left on the sand to decompose it will eventually
make it's way into the water, or even worse, if dogs are allowed to deposit
directly into the lake then we are directly contributing to the contamination of
the lake water and helping foster an unhealthy environment for every one. Think
about it, we are all wading in that water, are dogs are drinking it, and
children are playing in it. It's extremely inappropriate and inconsiderate to
allow a dog to poop in the water. You would not stand by and watch your dog poop
on your favorite rug unpunished, why would you think it's OK to do nothing if he
poops in the lake. Pull him out, tell him he's bad, leash up and go to a more
appropriate area. It's a training issue, and it's up to you to train your dog.
So please make every effort to pick up all dog waste, even if it's not yours,
and no water pooping.
3. No Prong or Pinch Collars
Please remove metal training collars when dogs are off-leash. Prong style
collars can be hazardous to dogs playing off-leash. Metal prong collars can get
caught on another dogs collar and seriously choke them as they try to get away.
Teeth can be chipped during roughhousing and prongs can be forced through the
flesh during a hard fall or tackle. Training harnesses and muzzle style training
leads are also inappropriate for play and could injure your dog by restricting
Mondog recommends removing training equipment while at the dog beach. A sturdy
flat collar with your dog tags is all that is required.
4. Dogs should play with dogs of appropriate size and energy level.
Smaller dogs, puppies, and older dogs can be injured by the over-exuberant and
rough play of larger dogs. Don't let your dog harass or intimidate other dogs.
5. Immediately leash and remove dogs exhibiting aggressive or potentially
Aggression in dogs is a tricky, and often very subjective issue. There are dogs
who just do not like other dogs period, and those dogs are prohibited from all
DFA's. There are also dogs who on occasion will act out aggressively towards
other dogs. It's not Mondog's intent to define exactly what is and what is not
aggressive behavior, but we do believe it is extremely important to understand
your own dogs behavior, recognize when he is crossing the line, and discipline
him appropriately. Allowing a dog to remain on the beach after a serious
transgression only reinforces to him that his behavior was acceptable. We
advocate a Zero Tolerance policy. Leash up immediately and go home. No time
outs, no fu-fu "bad dog, mommy still loves you", no moving to another area.
Leash up and unceremoniously leave. Let Rex or Zoe know you are MAD, and they
were BAD, and it will NOT be tolerated.
6. Respect other dog owners requests to separate your dogs!
Every owner has to know their dogs limits, and if someone is uncomfortable with
how dogs are interacting, you have to respect their request and make your dog
back down or leave the area. What you may view as normal roughhousing between
dogs can be threatening and dangerous to other. Stop the fights before they
7. No unaccompanied dogs and no more than 3 dogs per adult.
Do not leave your dog on the beach unattended. This is not a daycare. Do not
leave your dog while you go jogging, or to the bathroom. That's just
irresponsible. 3 dogs per adult is a Park District rule. Dog walkers bringing
more that 3 dogs onto the beach is forbidden. You are responsible for your dogs
safety, and for his actions. If you are not there, or have too many dogs to keep
track of, you can't clean up after them, or pull them out of a scuffle, or stop
them from running off.
8. Close the gate behind you!
This should be self explanatory, yet people are always leaving the gates open.
9. No muzzled dogs.
Sometimes there is a need to muzzle a dog with aggressing issues, but please,
don't bring them to a Dog Park. No good can come from it. Muzzles may protect
everyone from your dog, but they don't address the dog's issues, and may only
foster his frustration and aggression by restricting his ability to communicate
and defend himself. They also restrict breathing and water access, and no dog
should be allowed to run or play of leash with a restricting muzzle. If your dog
has aggression issues with people or other dogs, seek the help of a trainer, and
leave them at home.
10. Dogs only on the beach...no other pets allowed.
Bringing non-canine pets to a Dog Park is horribly bad idea. Cats, ferrets, and
a pot belly pig have been seen on the dog beach. Many dogs have a strong prey
drive. That means they like to chase and capture things smaller than them.
Introducing non-canine pets into a crowd of dogs is just asking for trouble.
11. Dog Toys are shared, whether you like it or not.
Dogs like toys. Dogs steal toys. Dogs sometimes destroy toys.
If it can't be shared, lost, or destroyed, leave it at home. If your dog is
aggressively possessive of it, leave it at home. If it can't get wet, doesn't
float, or is full of fluff, leave it at home.
That said, if your dog is the thieving type, be considerate of others, and make
efforts to return toys to their owners.
12. Toys left on beach are garbage.
If you bring toys with you, please make every effort to take them home with you.
Leaving a toy for the next dog may seem like a good deed, but that is not always
so. One dogs toy is another dogs snack. Racquetballs are a dangerous choke
hazard to larger dogs, and plastic toys are easily chewed and swallowed.
Tennis balls and Frisbees are great toys, but if they float down the beach, they
are garbage. If they are chewed up and torn into pieces, they are garbage.
Please pick up the pieces and through them in the trash. Help keep the beach
clean and safe for everyone.
If you don't have the heart to throw away found toys or tennis balls, at least
stick them in the fence so others know it's up for grabs.
13. If it's unattended on the ground, it's fair game.
Dogs will pee on ANYTHING on the ground. Shoes, back packs, chairs, bags of poo,
coolers, you name it. Once one pees on it, they all want to pee on it. Or one
will drag it off as a toy. So put stuff on the ground at your own risk. It's a
better idea to hang it on the fence.
14. ON or OFF LEASH?
There is no rule that dogs have to be off leash within the area. On the
contrary, it is up to you to judge if your dog can be trusted to be off leash.
An open beach full of new dogs, smells, noises, and temptations can be extremely
overwhelming, and not every dog can be trusted every time. Snowball and Rex can
still enjoy a nice cool dip in the lake and some socializing while on the leash.
However, keep in mind that some dogs can be more aggressive/defensive when they
are on the leash and other dogs aren't. And some other dog owners get bent out
of shape if their dog gets tangled up, or "clothes-lined" by a leash. If you
chose to keep your dog on the leash, steer clear of large groups and
rambunctious dogs, and keep the extension leashes short.
15. TRAINING WHISTLES
Whistles can be a great tool for dog training, but on the beach, they are tools
of the lifeguards. Please don't uses them during swimming hours.
16. No Kites within the Dog Beach
Kites can cause an unnecessary distraction for dogs who don't know what they are
or insist on chasing them. They can also injure a dog if they come crashing
down. Remember, dogs don't understand "Watch Out!! Get Out Of The Way!!"