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  • Official Caretakers of Central Park

Dogs in the Park


Dog owners using Central Park have both the privileges and responsibilities established by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. See our Dog Owner’s Guide to Central Park for details on when and where dogs can be off leash in the Park, locations of dog-friendly drinking fountains, and other important information dog owners need in order to practice being good Park Citizens.

You can help us to keep the Park clean and safe by respecting these rules:

  • Dogs must be under the control of their owner at all times
  • Dogs must have a NYC license tag and valid rabies tag
  • Dogs must not dig, chase or harm wildlife, damage Park property, or interfere with other Park users
  • Always clean up after your dog, including dog hair that you brush off in the Park
  • Please respect signs, fences, and red flags that may indicate temporary closures due to restoration, maintenance, or weather conditions

Dogs are allowed off-leash when the Park is open from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am when the Park closes. Dogs must be on-leash at all times from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm.

Even during off-leash hours, dogs must always be on-leash in the following areas:

  • All Lawns posted as 9:00 am areas
  • Arthur Ross Pinetum
  • The Bridle Path
  • Cedar Hill
  • Children's Glade (Great Hill area)
  • Conservatory Garden
  • East Green
  • East Meadow Oval
  • Kerbs Boathouse Plaza
  • The North Woods and The Ravine
  • The Ramble
  • Shakespeare Garden
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Turtle Pond Lawn

Dogs are never allowed in the following areas:

  • All Ballfields and Recreational Courts
  • All Playgrounds
  • All Sand Volleyball Courts
  • All Water Bodies, Streams, and Ornamental Fountains
  • Elm islands at the Mall
  • Great Lawn Oval
  • Hallett Nature Sanctuary
  • Lilac Walk
  • Reservoir running track
  • Sheep Meadow


The rules above are part of NYC legal code; dog owners may be fined for any violation of these laws.