Shake it off: That's our general stance when we read studies that seem unbelievable.
But a list from January was a real bummer. Care.com, an "online resource for family and pet care," ranked Dallas low -- really low -- when it comes to walking your dog. It's weird, because Walkscore.com finds several Dallas neighborhoods relatively good for walking a person. But we're not here to kibble, er, quibble.
We think Dallas and its suburbs are great spots for stretching your furry friend's little legs. Here are the best dog parks in D-FW:
If your pet has impeccable manners
It takes a lot of energy and effort to raise a well-behaved pup. Nice job. If your pet gets along well with others and enjoys playing with new friends, high-volume parks could be a good choice.
White Rock Lake Dog Park is the quintessential Dallas destination for active families and their four-legged friends. This double-gated, fenced park is separated into three areas: one for big dogs, one for little dogs and one with waterfront access and a fenced-in swimming area. This is a good spot if your dog is well-socialized. Of note, the park is closed every Monday for maintenance. 8000 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas.
My Best Friend's Park at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas wins points for location, location, location. The wider Klyde Warren complex is usually full of fun people, with special events happening almost every day. The off-leash dog park itself is cozy. (Read: Probably too small if you've got a large dog.) It's a good place to splash around in the fountains and meet other cosmopolitan furbabies with swinging social lives. 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas.
If your high-energy dog needs lots of room to roam
If your dog is more like a bull in a China cabinet, NorthBark Park near George W. Bush Turnpike and the Dallas North Tollway is big, especially for apartment-dwelling beasts. NorthBark boasts more than 22 acres of off-leash play. There are rugged trails for exploring, a manicured lawn for playing catch, a dog beach and pond for swimming, plus doggy showers to clean up after exuberant adventures. There's a fenced-in area for those less proficient in coming back when called, and pup parents can relax under a shady pavilion or even cook on a grill while Rover roams. Parking is no problem. Closed when it is raining and on Tuesdays for maintenance. 4899 Gramercy Oaks Drive, Dallas.
Those closer to the heart of Dallas can find freedom to run at Bark Park Central in Deep Ellum. Sitting beneath the highway, the shade cast by the overpass and its ample benches and spacious 1.2 acres can make Bark Park feel like an oasis in a concrete desert. Six-foot-tall fences mean that bigger dogs and jumpers are safe in the off-leash area. Pup parents with smaller breeds should note, though, there's no separate area for little dogs. Parking at nearby city meters can be a challenge, but its proximity to hot restaurants and bars (many of which are dog friendly), and the commissioned graffiti artwork add a bit of atmosphere. The park is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed on rainy days and Tuesdays for maintenance. 2530 Commerce St., Dallas.
If you want a snack or adult beverage while Fido frolics
In Dallas, Mutts Canine Cantina is the obvious choice for a patio experience while your pet plays. The Uptown spot features a patio with craft beer, plus a menu featuring hot dogs, burgers and milkshakes. Dogs must be on-leash on the patio, but those with a membership can also let their dogs run off-leash in the adjacent one-acre park with 6-foot fences. You can even throw a private "pawty" for a special occasion or enjoy "Yappy Hour" from 4-6 p.m. every Monday through Friday. 2889 Cityplace West Blva, Dallas.
Outside Dallas proper, Lazy Dog Restaurant has locations in Addison, Plano and Euless. Sit and stay awhile: Lazy Dog sells entrees such as brick oven pizza, lamb ragu, baby back ribs and steaks. But you're not the only one who gets a hearty dinner, as dogs are welcome on the patios and have their very own menu (in Addison and Euless only), which includes a complimentary bowl of water plus an optional choice of grilled hamburger patty or grilled chicken with brown rice for $4.95. Here are the specs. 5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 500, Addison; 8401 Preston Road, Plano; 2521 State Highway 121, Euless.
The Pooch Patio in Oak Lawn offers daycare, grooming and boarding services in addition to its Watering Bowl bar. For humans, that means domestic and imported beer, wine by the glass or bottle, "Mutt-mosas" (that's orange juice and sparkling wine, like a traditional mimosa), and coffee and espresso drinks with patio seating. 3811 Fairmount St., Dallas
If your furbaby needs to warm up to others
Dogs are like people: Some are more tightly wound than others. But, just because a pup is a little high-strung doesn't mean she doesn't want to play ... eventually. Our Shannon Sutlief reports that Canine Commons Dog park at the Village at Allen is shady and relaxed for a dog who needs the opportunity to ease into a social situation. Like many parks, there are separated areas for small and large dogs, and reviewers tend to agree the vibe is easygoing and low pressure. Online reviewers often comment on its cleanliness. Also, parking is usually no problem, due to its location near retail shops and restaurants. One thing to know: The mulch can be a grooming problem for long hair breeds. 190 E. Stacy Road, Allen.
If you've got a problem child...
You adopted the cutest baby you've ever seen, but past owners weren't all that loving. Maybe it manifests in your pooch as fear-based aggression.
One, thanks for adopting. You did a good thing. Two, consider a breed specific event on MeetUp.com. Some breeds -- sighthounds, for example -- tend to feel more relaxed around their own kind. It can be a stepping stone toward a more public social experience, or simply a long-term socializing plan for your dog.
Or, your own fenced-in backyard might just be the best place to play. Hey, the beer's cheap and the treats are endless.
Know something we don't?