Elizabeth Barthel and dog park crew early in the morning . The dog park offers great opportunities for both dogs and owners to develop social skills.

1919 2nd Street (near Sudwerk)
1.0 hectare (2.5 acres)
Dawn to Dusk, closed when flooded
Call (530) 757-5656 for closure info or
sign up for email notices

Toad Hollow Dog Park is a fully fenced off-leash area with street parking along the southern periphery as well as limited parking within Toad Hollow. It is accessed via Kendall Way. This facility has a double-lock entry gate leading into the large dog area and a new double-lock entry gate leading into the small dog area, drinking fountain with additional hose bib for pets and trash stations with plastic bags; park users are encouraged to bring their excess plastic grocery bags to ensure a steady supply of bags. There is a limit of three dogs per person. Parking includes two disabled parking spaces and ten regular spaces on site and thirty-four spaces along 2nd Street. The park is expected to be open year-round except when flooded. Important Notes: The pond area of Toad Hollow is off limits to dogs. Additionally, if the city finds that more than 75% of users fail to clean up after their dogs, a site monitor will be assigned to police the facility. On the afternoon of April 30, 2005, the City of Davis formally hosted the grand opening celebration of Toad Hollow Dog Park preceded by a four-hour SPCA fundraiser walkathon. For more information about the dog park or other off-leash areas, contact the "City of Davis Parks & Community Services Department" (530/757-5626).

Toad Hollow Dog Park was won through years of Davis dog owners attending City Council meetings that often left owners in chambers until almost midnight, hours spent planning and identifying potential locations that weren't wanted by any other local groups, meetings with Parks officials and reviewing strategies used in other cities, and even calculating the number of dogs in town per capita. Locations identified years earlier were snatched away mid-process by groups such as the Sierra Club. This project received tremendous support and encouragement from the Parks department while councilmembers were pretty lukewarm on the concept of a city-sponsored dog park. Park users should keep in mind that this park exists only by virtue of all those who continued the struggle in a public and very divisive forum and, as history has shown us, it takes just a few persistent voices to lose this valuable resource.

The name referred to on the signs is the "Core Pond Dog Park". The more common name "Toad Hollow Dog Park" comes from the fact that the Toad Tunnels empty out into the area.

See also Davis Dog Owners Group which maintains a list server for group updates or consult the comprehensive info for Davis parks, Maps




Signs, signs, everywhere signs... Happy puppy at the dog park Park after major storm on 10/13/2009

News & History

Overview of the park from the southwest corner Toad Hollow Dog Park can be seen looking west from 2nd Street.

  • On the afternoon of April 30, 2005, the City of Davis formally hosted the grand opening celebration of Toad Hollow Dog Park preceded by a four-hour SPCA fundraiser walkathon. The 3-kilometer walk began at Community Park at 8am.For more information about the dog park or other off-leash areas, contact the "City of Davis Parks & Community Services Department" (530/757-5626).
  • In early 2006 the City of Davis Parks & Recreation conducted a user survey at Toad Hollow Dog Park. The Recreation & Park Commission reviewed results of the 300+ Toad Hollow survey respondents and made recommendations to the City Council in June concerning proposed amenities to be included in the Dog Park Master Plan, communication and signage, and additional potential master plan amenities.
  • On July 6, 2006, the public was invited to attend and comment on proposed improvements to Toad Hollow and to help develop a master plan for the park based on user desired gathered in a survey staged earlier in the year. Additional community input was gathered and discussed with Parks representatives who will draft a proposed sketch of the area for presentation and further discussion at a follow-up meeting on July 20 at 6pm [most likely at the Hattie Weber Museum]; the results of this second meeting will be presented to the City of Davis Parks & Recreation Committee at their August 17 meeting, and the community is strongly encouraged to have a presence at that meeting. Proposed improvements include
    • a 6-foot wide ADA-compliant walking path along the park perimeter with distance markers for users who would like to incorporate an human exercise aspect
    • more trees outside the fenceline to provide additional shade
    • permanent benches just inside the fenceline as well as permanent conversation benches beneath existing tree clusters
    • a fenced "small dog" area immediately adjacent to the drinking fountain and including the southeast corner of the park - this area would have a separate entrance and access to drinking water for small dogs
    • additional trash cans
    • a permanent bulletin board and area for lost/found items as well as some landscaping in this area
    • a sign on the pole at the park entrance identifying the park as well as a highly visible flag indicating open/closed status
    • a phone number users can call to find out when the park is open/closed

The watering hole is a great place to meet others.

Some user requests including an additional drinking fountain, plastic bags, restrooms, additional parking, lighting, water feature and dog training equipment were set aside because of logistical issues. Meeting attendees were reminded that the City of Davis does not provide additional funding to support improvements to the area for dog park users; the cost of these improvements are likely to be borne by park users unless alternate funding sources can be identified.

  • On July 20, 2006, the public was invited to attend and comment on a master plan for Toad Hollow drafted following a July 6 public meeting. All items proposed at the July 6 meeting were incorporated as well as a dog rinse station in the parking lot. Additionally, the proposed open/closed flag will be flown whenever the dog park is open and taken down when closed. Attendees were very pleased with the finalized plan which was to be presented to the City of Davis Recreation & Park Commission at their August 17 meeting — interested community members were strongly encouraged to attend that meeting. [Note: The August 17 meeting of the City of Davis Recreation & Park Commission never happened — the finalized Toad Hollow master plan would be presented at the commission's September 21 meeting.]

The park entrance can be very muddy during the rainy season, so wear your boots!

  • On September 21, 2006, the City of Davis Recreation & Park Commission heard a presentation of the Toad Hollow Dog Park master plan and unanimously voted to support it with the addition of educational signage about the dangers of rinsing shampoo products into the environment. A suggestion was also made and noted by Parks staff that a hitching post be added to the dog rinse station to protect against runaway dogs. Lamar Heystek expressed concern over the potential cost of improvements to the facility but was reassured by commission members as well as Parks staff that the city would not be expected to provide financial support. Instead, funding for amenities will fall upon dog owners and the community — community members interested in helping raise funds or donate toward completion of the master plan should contact Davis Dog Owners Group, who have established a close working relationship with the City of Davis Parks & Community Services Department and can best facilitate funds planning.

Size is no obstacle.

  • On October 28, 2006, a Hallowe'en party was held at the Toad Hollow Dog Park from 3:30pm-5pm. Many dogs arrived in costume, including Mr. Furley (from Three's Company), an escapee from the psych ward in straightjacket, a pimp dog, cookie monster and the Coppertone dog. Prizes were awarded for best costumes in several categories and best dog trick. Photos taken at the event were emailed to attendees at their request. DDOGS and event sponsors had information available for attendees, home baked pupcakes were distributed to all dogs desirous, and everybody went home with treat bags. Event organizers were Desirée and Kush gave a big thanks to sponsors, Acorn Veterinary Clinic, Animal Kingdom, Fo' Paws Grooming, Luhdorff & Scalmanini Consulting Engineers, Premier Chiropractic of Woodland, South Davis Veterinary Center and Watch Dog Pet Sitting Services.
  • On May 21, 2012, the City of Davis installed a new gate leading into the small dog area of the dog park. Funds for the gate were raised at two fundraisers held at Monticello Seasonal Cuisine. The fundraising planning team consisted of Jan Chess, Lori Malyj, Donna Provenza, Leslie Kurtz, Diane Crumley, and Rhonda Gruska. The Gravem's, owners of Midtown Animal Clinic donated the remaining funds needed for the city to move forward with the gate installation. Go Team! Due to the success of this team effort, future fundraisers will be held to improve the dog park. Contact the Davis Dog Owners Group so you can stay informed about upcoming fundraising events for the dog park.

Read the Puparazzi section of Davis Life Magazine each month to see Davis dogs and their owners around town, usually at Toad Hollow Dog Park.

More information

Please visit Dogs for more information about dog ownership in Davis.


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2005-04-25 15:05:00   Groups of saplings were recently planted in three corners of the park, so while visitors shouldn't expect much shade this summer, next summer should offer some shelter! —AlphaDog

2005-12-11 21:04:44   A sign at the entrance would be nice - I know where this park is and still it is a bit hard to find the entrance. —PaulThober

2006-10-19 09:22:24   A sign has been posted at the entrance for those who keep overshooting the driveway! —AlphaDog

2006-03-06 22:28:29   I LOVE DOGSSSSS —JesseUnger

2006-09-01 12:05:20   This Place is incredible. I live in a small house with no yard on the otherside of Woodland(which is not as dog friendly as Davis)and I make a pilgrimage to this park at least once a week when it is open. Being on a fixed income, Public Facilities Such as this are a godsend. —MurlinLenard

2007-01-25 20:28:29   So fun!!! This was a great time for my little pug. —RachelCakes

2007-02-28 15:49:57   My dachshund has a bad habit of barking and snapping at other dogs...would it be a bad idea to bring him here? —CourageCowardlyDog

"2007-02-28"   I'd advise against it if your dog isn't "dog friendly". There can be a lot of dogs in the area, and when two of them get into a fight it's often a mass of dogs that is very hard to get safely at your dog to separate them. (I've also seen dogs that do better when off leash then when on) — WesHardaker

2007-05-15 15:33:09   Well, I now have a dog and we have visited the Toad Hollow dog park twice. Already my buddy knows what "dog park?" means and nearly falls out of his skin in his excitement. The dogs are great, the people are nice. —SharlaDaly

2007-10-14 12:14:34   There will be a Howl-o-ween Party at Toad Hollow Dog Park on Saturday, 27 October from 3:30pm-5pm! This event is a fundraiser as well as a community-building event. There's no entry fee, so dress up your pup and come out for some fun! But if you'd like to help support park improvements, bring along some spare dollar bills and maybe even your checkbook! A dog behaviorist from the VMTH will be available to provide animal manners advice, we'll be having a bake sale for dogs, and of course, the costume contest! Prizes include dog sitting services, Newsbeat donations and more! —AlphaDog

2007-10-14 12:19:06   A generous individual within our community has also donated a dozen trees to Toad Hollow, so we now need a few hearty souls to help plant these trees around the end of October. If you can give us a hand, please join the DDOG list server at davisdogpark-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and post a note indicating your willingness! We're hoping to coordinate plantings either right before or immediately after the Howl-o-ween party. —AlphaDog

2007-11-12 19:31:47   Does anyone know why there is no sidewalk into the park? Dogs and people like to walk, why don't they make it safer and pleasant to walk into the park with your dog? —TedBuehler

2007-12-05 10:33:13   how about a conveyor belt? —GregFurnish

2008-03-10 11:54:53   My dog loves this park. The only problem is with the drinking fountain. It needs some better drainage or grass — it's muddy as hell and the dogs love it! (my car does not!)


2008-08-12 13:07:30   This is an excellent dog park, lots of fun. The plastic lawn chairs are a nice addition. My dog prefers the smaller dog run at Community Park -somehow she is more playful there, maybe she can "connect" better when there are fewer dogs. I have heard a A LOT of talk - from small dog owners mostly - about being afraid to bring their dogs here because of aggression. I know one dog that was attacked, unprovoked, twice. I don't know the specific circumstances but plead with people to be responsible when they go here & not ruin it for others. Many people plant themselves somewhere to socialize, text message, read, etc without attempting to monitor their dog. The park is huge & things can get out of hand quickly. Also, lack of attention is no excuse for missing dog poops - the corners of this park are frequently peppered with poops. I know that saintly volunteers pick up regularly after these people's dogs, so I can only imagine what the place would be like without them. —Dora5

2009-01-13 23:54:58   RE Fencing & Gravel: While I also was opposed to creating a smaller park w/in a park, the small dog area was a major issue for many community members and came out of many, many community meetings that formed the basis for the Toad Hollow Master Plan. Both this fenced area and the walkway were requested by the community and were incorporated into the master plan. Perhaps more importantly, the walkway makes Toad Hollow more friendly to the elderly/frail and folks with disabilities — the walkway brings Toad Hollow in compliance with the ADA. It's all about compromising to meet the needs of many, right?

Oh, and the lights just aren't going to happen. We asked for them throughout the master planning process and were told it's not an option, and we continue to bring up the lighting issue. One of the issues with installing lights is that Toad Hollow is the lowest point in Davis... it's a natural drainage for the entire downtown area. So it's the first place in town that floods. All it takes is one good day of heavy rain to flood the area. We even asked about using existing street light standards to flood the park, but that was nixed as well. We'll continue to push for lights, but don't hold your breath. (Let's not even talk about bathrooms! Can you imagine what would happen when the floods come?)

If you really want to effect changes, I encourage you to join Davis Dog Owners' Group, or at least subscribe to the list server, where you can find out about opportunities to get involved. In fact, the city of Davis Parks Master Plan is currently being updated (there have already been several community meetings and surveys), and the Parks Commission is scheduled to make decisions regarding the updates this Thursday, January 15.

Oh, and IMO, I also agree that segregating aggressive dogs can be counterproductive, unless the dog truly cannot be controlled. Rather than setting up an aggressive dog for a lifetime of limited contact with other dogs and humans, it seems preferable to invest in additional training. If the training methods these owners have used are not working, they may want to consider different training methods. Some dogs are just smarter than their owners, making them difficult to control! [sorry for the overly long post... it's been two years coming!] —AlphaDog

2009-01-19 10:51:43   My dog loves coming here for an hour a day of play. This place can be overwhelming with so many dogs, but is well worth it if you are attentive and always on doggie patrol. —AnneBrowning

2009-05-31 19:13:13   I love to take my small dogs to the dog park. The small dog area is perfect on days when there are many large dogs. My 9 month old chugs (chihuahua/pug mix) Simon and Bowkey can be timid around large dogs. However they love to watch all the dogs and will run with the pack after a warm up time. The other great thing about the dog park is that you don't have to worry about the people there, as they for the most part are reasonably well adjusted, as evidenced by their love of dogs. —HazelWatson

2009-09-23 09:19:52   New to Davis with an adopted German Shepherd from the SPCA who apparently has some anxiety and socialization issues. I'm trying to break him in and slowly build his social skills safely. What is the best time to visit with the LEAST amount of traffic for undistracted training and socialization? —Kiefer

2009-10-15 15:25:56   There's usually hardly anyone there if you go sometime in the middle of the afternoon...like from 12pm-3pm. It's the most crowded in the couple hours before sunset. My dog used to be kind of scared and antisocial when I first started bringing her, but I did the same thing and eased her into it during the really dead hours...and then eventually she worked her way up to being comfortable with all the dogs. —sam120287

2009-10-16 20:17:37   Some friends of mine at the dog park and I have discussed a really different "fix" for the bathrooms and pedestrian access issues. Midway down the south side, a pedestrian ramp bridge with it's own gate (for closing after dark) could be installed, elevated over the protected wild area, and lead to another doggy airlock gate. Doing this would allow space for a potty at the top, on the level of second street. Peds and pups would also no longer have to dodge 2 cars on a 1.5 lane road walking down to the park. —PopeChristof

2010-05-17 21:13:38   Flat out: This park is horrible for a good number of reasons...and I relocated from a town where their version of a dog park was a dirt field. NOBODY picks up their dog's poo; there are plenty logs waiting to be stepped on every direction you turn. The grass surface is literally a minefield of potholes and poo. I stopped going after my dog ran through a huge hole in the grass and came up severely limping...and after I stepped in a nice fat pile for the 174th time. There is a "track" going around the park if you want to walk, but the entire entryway is made up of crushed river rock, which I'm certain cannot be comfortable for dogs to walk or run on. Most owners are responsible, but there are quite a few irresponsible ones who like this park. There are a lot of people who have no idea how to handle, train and control a dog, yet they still bring them to this park. You are pretty much guaranteed to see at least two dog fights if you spend more than 15 minutes there during twilight. Because the park is so small, you can't throw a ball to your dog without at least three other dogs trying to chase it, and when another dog does get it, it's owner will typically act like "hey pal, it's your problem." Then there's the "Grandma Mafia", usually a group of 5-10 spinsters who bring their own lawn chairs and believe they hold court over the entire park. They will not hesitate to give you grief about ANYTHING your dog does, and will wax their own egos amongst themselves. They are usually there every weekday evening. The city decided to install a "small dog playpen" in the southeast corner, which effectively removed about 30% of the park. The grandmas take up one entire corner for themselves typically, and the other corner is by the entry way, so you have very little open space for your dog to run around in unless you are able to go in the middle of the day or early in the morning. I will say however that the small dog area is the only good thing this park has going for it...if you have a small dog. I've heard of numerous cases of cars being broken into in the parking lot, so be wary of that too. Bottom line, there are other off-leash areas around Davis that are head and shoulders above this designated debacle. And typically the people and dogs at these other parks are generally A LOT nicer to be around.


2010-06-22 13:39:29   So far as dog company, this place is hit or miss. Sometimes it's loaded with great dogs and owners and sometimes not. Last week some lady talked on her cell phone the entire time she was there while her dog was being aggressive with the others. Guess I figured out why some people leave after only being there for a couple of minutes. Facility has been clean for the most part, but beware of the "land mines" if walking through the grass. Wish the water hose was a little closer to fill up the buckets with clean/fresh water. Oh yeah, if your dog knocks over the water bucket, please be courteous and refill it for the others. —103

2010-10-23 19:15:59   I have nothing but good things to say about this dog park. I own and operate a pet sitting business and come to Toad Hollow at least once a day sometimes as many as 3 times a day. The dog park provides a wonderful social opportunity for dogs and their owners. Puppies learn to interact and play with older dogs and puppies a like. Owners can chat about their dogs and behaviors. Most dogs that come to the park are well mannered and owners are very responsible about picking up after their dogs. Out of my three years of coming to the park, I have only seen one small fight as they are very rare. For the best experience go early in the morning between 7-11 or after 8pm when the work crowd has left to avoid any potential problems. DDOG puts on a wonderful fundraising opportunity to raise money for the park around Halloween time . On the weekends, there is doodle day and sometimes the dog park regulars have a breakfast social. It really is it's own community and you should come out and meet all the wonderful people and watch the dogs at play. —ElizabethBarthel

2010-12-13 12:32:59   Overall this park is a positive place. Most people I've met are friendly and know a little bit about dog behavior. My biggest pet peeve is probably the people who bring their dogs and freak out when they playfully wrestle with other dogs. Get a grip people. Dogs wrestle. 99% of the time a dog will yelp/whine if it wants to stop and the other dog stops. I hate the people who get mad when their dog is happily playing and either yell at their own poor dog or yell at you. I occasionally see scuffles where dogs need to be separated but in my experience most owners separate the dogs, let them unwind for a bit, and everything is fine again. I think I've seen 3 actual dog fights in 3 years. In all cases their was a particular dog with a serious issue and the owner ignored the signs. The most memorable was a large, muscular, aggressive dog (I'm not talking about play growls, wrestling, etc, I mean a dog that was trying to pick fights and had to be pulled away several times). The dog attacked another well-socialized dog that I've seen multiple times. The well-socialized dog beat the crap out of the other dog, and when the owners of the aggressive dog left the other dog went right back to happily playing.

Another tip: it's generally a bad idea to bring an on-leash dog to an off-leash dog area. Sometimes it works ok if you have an attentive owner bringing a dog during off-peak hours if the dog needs a minute to unwind. However, a lot of dogs are fearful on leash, especially when you have a lot of off-leash dogs running around. Also, if something does happen you are more likely to be liable because you are the one causing the issue (off-leash area and not following that guideline). Take your dog during off-hours. Most people are very friendly. I've had several people warn me that they were trying to socialize a newer dog and it's always been fine. We have dogs too, and we understand the need to socialize :) If you are attentive to your dog you can give your dog a positive experience by praising good behavior and stopping bad behavior before it has the chance to cause a problem.

Unfortunately you always have the occasional idiots who bring their leashed dogs to off-leash areas and freak out when other dogs approach. But hey, you can't please them all.—themichelle

2011-04-14 14:02:07   So I recently got a puppy and he just turned one this dog park has really changed his shy timidness he still is fearful of the big dog area but loves the little dog area iv tried another dog park in Davis and was so grossed out there was poo everywhere and so small this dog park is pretty clean and owners are very friendly and really good with there dogs if it wasn't for these people my dog wouldn't have ever gotten over being scared he is doing great now I do have one concern though iv recently been noticing a women who brings her group of small dogs like five of them and recently was there with an older lady these dogs are not friendly and only want themselves to be in the small dog area and this older lady had a dog that would bark and snarl at my dog when he wanted to play and if he came near any of these dogs they all start barking and chasing him away I understand some dogs need the socialization I know because I had one who is doing great because of this park but this women or these women are horrible and think it's funny that there dogs are so miss behaved so just a warning if you here a constant barking and a women with a lot of little dogs come back later and lady if you are reading this go somewhere els don't ruin other people's Time —Nicolecooke

  • Well, she shouldn't be bringing five dogs by herself; the rule is three dogs per person, and for good reason. —CovertProfessor

2011-07-18 10:28:18   While this dog park is large and fun for the dogs, the way the city maintains and cares for the park is incredibly frustrating. They removed all of the water buckets for the dogs to drink out of, leaving only a clogged, muddy (people) drinking fountain in the far corner of the park, that many dogs turn their noses up at due to the filthy hot water. They have also removed all lawn chairs that were generously donated for people to sit on. New benches have been installed, however, most of them are in direct sunlight and are uncomfortable to sit at in the summer. The park is closed at the slightest bit of mist in the air, claiming that the "rain" will ruin the lawn if the dogs play on it. It remains closed for SEVERAL days after it stops raining. Also, regular maintenance is done on Monday mornings, during which the park is closed - however, I have yet to see any maintenance work being done during this time. Not to mention the park is NEVER opened up again on time, leaving those of us who frequent the dog park sitting in our cars to wait until the city feels like unlocking the gate. —Jmapplegarth

2011-10-30 21:51:30   We moved to Davis a little more than a month ago and so far we have had a very good experience with this dog park. Our dog is very submissive and got pinned down quite often at the other parks that we have been in in the Sacramento and Los Angeles area. Most of the time in those situations I had to step in to protect my dog while the owner of the offending dog would be somewhere else not paying attention. That hasn't been the case in this park. With a few exceptions, owners seem to be very responsible and attentive. If there is an incedent, it ends quickly and the offending dog gets reprimanded. So our visits to the dog park became more frequent and less stressful. Now I enjoy hanging out there almost as much as my dog : ) —LisaA

2012-03-16 18:03:21   Lots of owners here leave tennis balls on the ground that inevitably get broken apart and swallowed by other dogs. Once, an owner actually gave my dog a piece of broken tennis ball to chew on because their dog had his toy. It's a major issue and most owners ignore the scraps on the ground. Please pick up any pieces you see; it's a big hazard to curious dogs!

Other than that it's a big, open field with friendly dogs (and owners). —TimJ

2012-11-26 22:34:51   Car break in 11/26/12, 5:30 pm. The person smashed a rear window and stole a backpack. It was getting dark at the time and the car was in the rear of the lot. I frequent the park and I hope no one else runs into any more problems. —LauraKlem

2013-08-24 08:35:38   I can't have a dog but am I allowed to just come and admire and play with dogs? Serious question. —HannahToru

2013-12-03 23:45:32   My dog enjoys going to Toad Hollow Park. She always cries when she sees it and gets overly excited at the parking lot. It is very spacious and great for all size dogs. Even the small dog park is big. Best dog park in Davis hands down. The only problem is that when it rains there is alot of mud. And it doesn't seem to go away for weeks. So after rainy days expect your dog to be coming home muddy for frequent baths —LILP'

2013-12-17   We've become frequent users of the dog park since we adopted our pup this fall. He loves the dog park. It's so important to socialize dogs, and this is a great way to do it. The park is very spacious, and we have had nothing but good experiences. —SiobhanOK'

2014-09-11 17:22:28   A very nice park, my dogs had enjoyed going here for years. A word of warning, however, there is a couple who bring their Shiba Inu here and I've seen that dog attack several other dogs, and bite me and at least one other owner. The first time I saw the Shiba bite another dog, the offending owners cursed at the victim dog's human and left in a huff. The second time this aggressive dog attacked my smaller hound, and I picked her up — so the Shiba bit me on the arm. I didn't need any stitches, but my dog needed one — I came back to the park after dropping the dog at the Vet Hospital to see if I could get their contact information but they'd already left. Watch your dogs! :( —digitalnoise

2017-08-01 18:02:49   My dog likes it here. Not so crazy about other dogs smelling her bits and pieces though. Another dog was catching whiffs and my dog sank a tooth or two in to its nose. It's not that she's not friendly. Ah well...we'll see if I get a fun bill. —DavidBarnum