Dog Rules in the Park

Bare Cove Park is not a Dog Park. No matter what you have heard from others or seen on the internet, this is not a "Dog Park". It is hard to understand how anyone could think that 480 plus acres of woods and riverfront has been set aside just for dogs and their owners to exercise and play off-leash. In all public parks where dogs are still permitted, owners must follow basic rules about control, picking-up, vaccinations and license, nuisance behavior and trespass. "Doggie play groups" are not appropriate here.

Bare Cove Park is a wildlife sanctuary and a place for public recreation.
What is Voice Control?

Hingham Police Chief Glenn Olsson & Hingham Animal Control Officer Leslie Badger go over the towns leash laws and demonstrate proper voice command when out with your dog.
What Is Expected Of You As A Dog Owner When In Bare Cove Park

January 25, 2016
  A Letter from the Hingham Police Department and Hingham Animal Control

  • Voice Control: Your dog must be 10-15ft in front of you at all times. Your dog must be able to recall immediately to a command “come, here”, etc and return to your side so you can safely leash him or her. If your dog is not able to do this then your dog needs to stay on leash in the park at all times.

  • Allowing your dog to approach another person(s) or animal without permission from the person(s) or animal’s owner is not allowed. It is not allowed to let your dog jump, lunge or chase after another person(s), strollers, bikes being ridden or other dogs being walked on leash.

  • If you are using a electronic device like a phone, tablet, headphones etc and have a dog with you it must remain on leash at all times.

  • If you choose to hang out in one area of the park with a larger group of dogs or even on your own with one dog please move off the main path and into a field or an area that is safe, so others with or without dogs can pass freely without having to dodge your dogs. This park is for EVERYONE to use safely at all times.

  • You must pick up your dog’s poop anywhere in the park, whether it is paved, dirt, grass or leaves. Be sure to pick it up! Winter weather also permits to this rule. All poop bags must be thrown away or taken with you. Do not leave them on the ground or throw them in the woods. This is considered littering. Both offenses come with fines.

  • If your Dog gets into a fight or bites another dog or human, it is the responsibility and the law of all parties involved to swap information especially your dogs current rabies status. If this can’t be done immediately you are asked to call 911.  Avoid confrontation and be sure to obtain a full description of the dog, their owner, and any vehicle information if they are driving.

Please remember Bare Cove Park is NOT a dog park, ONLY good dogs and responsible dog owners are welcome. Please be respectful of others and the “My Dog Can Do No Wrong” attitude will not be tolerated. Please be responsible for your pet and follow these rules and make sure that your dog is wearing his or her updated rabies and town dog license tag properly on their collar. Always have a leash and poop bags present with you. Failure to follow any of these rules will result in a $50.00 fine or higher.

Thank You,
Hingham Police Dept and Hingham Animal Control

Respect the Park's Rules
Owners are personally liable for any injury or damage caused by their pet. When you are here with a dog, go out of your way to be sure that you and your canine best friend don't spoil the outdoor experience for anyone else. Dog Owners must improve their behavior here, or yet another wonderful open space will become off-limits to people with dogs.
  • All dogs leashed upon entrance/exit between your vehicle and yellow lines near all gates
  • Dogs must wear current rabies/license tags
  • Dog waste must be picked up and properly disposed of
  • Owner must carry a leash* for each dog (*electronic collar is not a substitute)
  • Dogs must be under control and in sight at all times
  • Dogs may not trespass on private property
  • Dogs may not disturb other Park visitors, neighbors or wildlife
Each rule carries a $50 fine, which are cumulative and apply to each dog involved. The rules are for everyone's safety and comfort. Our Animal Control Officer (ACO) is in the Park often to monitor and enforce the rules, which conform to Hingham's bylaw and those of neighboring municipalities, as well as other Parks and Massachusetts General Law. Large signs are posted prominently at Entrance and Emergency gates. Ignorance is no excuse. Our Ranger and the ACO are happy to clarify the rules for you.

Dogs may enjoy the Park off-leash only when:
  • The owner carries a leash and keeps the dog in sight at all times
  • The dog is under voice control and will come or heel immediately on command
Note: When your dog won't respond to commands, leash it quickly and leave the Park; try again another day. Always have control of your dog when out in public.

A Privilege, Not a Right
Walking a dog on public property is like driving a car in that it is a privilege, not a right. Just like drivers, dog owners have responsibilities, training is required, and there are rules to be followed. And like drivers, when dog owners break the rules or don't live up to their responsibilities, they will be fined, and eventually lose the privilege.

Control & Pick-Up After Your Dog
People who visit here -both with and without dogs - simply want to enjoy this property without being bothered by piles of dog waste left in the paved roads, grass and woods, or being disturbed by unruly or aggressive dogs with irresponsible (and often belligerent) handlers. Neighbors simply want Park visitors to stay in the Park, and to enjoy it quietly. There has been no criticism of responsible owners with well-trained dogs. But, even the most devoted dog lovers lose patience and complain to authorities when someone will not control their pet. And no 1 smiles when they see, smell or step in "doggie doo". Owners who don't control their dogs or don't pick up after them are not allowed to walk in Bare Cove Park.

Remember to Come Here Prepared
Unless you forgot your dog, it makes sense to not forget the pick-up bags, leash and collar with tags you need to walk a dog in Bare Cove Park.

Dog waste bags range from free (plastic grocery bags) to fancy, so try keeping your supply near the leash or in the car to help you remember. Tie bags to the leash for easy-access while you walk; carry extras. Seal the bag and take it with you, or put the sealed bag in a trash barrel.

Leashes are readily available at various prices - some runners wear "hands-free" leashes - and it's easy to keep an extra 1 in the car.

Collars / Harnesses
A collar/harness with current tags shows everyone that a dog is owned and vaccinated according to State law. Rabies and license tags usually can withstand normal wear-and-tear for as long as the tag is valid. When lost, replacements are available at the vet or Town Hall that issued them, for free or at a nominal cost. Don't leave home without them.

More Than Basic Training Is Needed
Barbara Woodhouse, the famous British dog trainer, said: "There are no bad dogs, only inexperienced owners." People who have lost patience with the foolish behavior of some dog owners have replaced "inexperienced" with "bad", for good reason. With nearly 500 acres of unfenced public land and river, many visitors and active wildlife, this Park is much more complex than a typical kitchen, back yard, or fenced ½ acre "dog park". Anyone hoping to walk a dog here safely - leashed or off-leash - must be able to control the pet with a very good heel and recall, plus sit, stay, off, leave it and drop it. Well-known local dog trainers offer classes, as do many town Recreation Centers, Pet Co, and PetsMart. Even with the best of training, dogs can be distracted - by other dogs, wildlife, thunder, children, bicycles, etc. Good dog owners are ever-vigilant about their pets' actions, ready to leash their dogs immediately.

Control Means Be Aware
It is very important to pay attention while walking a dog in a large unfenced public park, especially when you walk with 2 dogs or more. Reduce your distractions: leave your music in your car and keep your cell phone in your pocket. Whether it's keeping your dog away from a smelly low tide, private property, or from bothering someone, controlling your dog insures that everyone else can enjoy the Park while you are here.
  • Keep your dog in sight and look around you.
  • Control your dog, with a leash or voice command, when you see:
    • Any stranger, without a dog or with leashed dogs;
    • Someone with a baby in a stroller or a person walking using a cane;
    • A child riding a bike with training wheels;
    • People who move away or leash their dogs when they see you and your dog
    • Bicyclists coming toward you, and you hear joggers coming from behind.
No matter how friendly you think your pet is, you may never allow your dog to:
  • Rush up to people or dogs, especially leashed dogs, or be aggressive;
  • Harass cyclists, picnickers or joggers;
  • Bite, jump on people or knock anyone down;
  • Cause any injury or damage.
These behaviors are rude, and can be very dangerous as well as frightening. When you do not have verbal control the dog must be on a leash at all times. Be aware, or you can expect a fine and be banned from the Park.

Get a Clue / Bare Cove Park Is Not for You

Be courteous, considerate and sensible. Many good dog owners walk pets here off-leash regularly, and would hate to lose the privilege. They follow the rules, are considerate of other people and property, and wonder why others won't do the same. Thoughtless actions by a few people are reflecting badly on an entire group.