Here are some questions we often hear regarding Friends of Winnebago County Dog Parks, Inc. and the Dog Parks. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please CONTACT.

Q: What are the rules at Best Friends Dog Park?

A: We have both rules and etiquette to observe. Rules are enforceable by the Oshkosh Police Department (OPD) at the dog park. Etiquette is guidelines for park users that encourage a safe and happy time for all visitors.


  • Dogs must be licensed, with current rabies vaccination per state law.
  • Dogs must wear owner identification tags.
  • Dog owners must carry a leash and clean-up bags.
  • Dogs that are aggressive must be kept on a leash.
  • Dogs must be under supervision and voice control at all times; never leave your dog unattended.
  • Dogs are not allowed on tables or benches.
  • Owners must immediately clean up feces deposited by their dog.
  • Owners must stop dogs from digging holes and must fill any holes created by dogs.

Dog owners, please remember that you will be held responsible for the actions and behavior of your dog.


  • Be present with your dog at all times.
  • Keep your dog leashed until it is inside the front gate.
  • Have your dog licensed annually?
  • Have proof of your dog’s current rabies vaccination.
  • If your dog is “in season”, please do not bring her into the park.
  • If your dog is “unaltered”, please keep an extra eye on him.
  • Keep children at your side within arm’s reach; not all dogs in the park are familiar with kids

Remember this is a public dog park. If someone’s dog doesn’t want to play or does not get along, please be respectful and redirect your dog’s attention immediately.

Q: My kids want to run and play with my dog and someone yelled at them!

A: Best Friends Dog Park is a public off-leash DOG Park. Your children are welcome.  Please remember that this is a dog park and some dogs may not be used to running and loud children and will react.   Also, note that other dogs may want to run and play with your children as well and may accidentally knock your child down.  We do advise that you keep your children close to you to avoid injury while the dogs play.

Q: Another dog keeps bothering (humping, barking, licking, pushing, etc.) my dog. What do I do?

A: Calmly, please try to talk to the other owner(s) to resolve the issue.

Q: What should I do if there is an altercation at the dog park?

A: First, remain calm. Emotions tend to rise quickly. Talk with the other dog(s) owners, calmly, and try to resolve the issue. Remember they are dogs and unless you were watching your dog 100% and acted appropriately, you are at fault also.

If there was blood drawn the police should be called at 920-236-5700.  Please note all dogs involved will more than likely be placed under a 10-day quarantine. This means your dog can’t be around any other dogs for 10 days and can’t be at the dog park. You are also responsible for having three (3) vet visits to make sure your dog is OK. All of that documentation will need to be turned into the police department at the end of the 10-day quarantine period.

Q: What law enforcement entity is responsible for the dog park?

A: Winnebago County Community Park (and Best Friends Dog Park) fall under the Oshkosh Police Department jurisdiction. Oshkosh Police Department makes regular visits and drive-throughs.

Q: Where is the Dog Park located?

A: Best Friends Dog Park is located within Winnebago County Community Park at 501 East County Rd Y, Oshkosh Wisconsin in the northeast corner of Winnebago County Community Park.

Q: When is the Dog Park open?

A: Best Friends Dog Park is open 7 am-11 pm, 365 days a year. Winnebago County Parks Department reserves the right to close the Park, in whole or part, if unsafe conditions arise.

Q: Is there a fee to use Best Friends Dog Park?

A: There is no user fee to Best Friends Dog Park. We gladly accepted and appreciate any amount you wish to DONATE online. If you prefer to mail a personal check, it may be sent directly to our Treasurer.

Q: What is the relationship of Friends of Winnebago County Dog Parks, Inc. (FWCDP) to Winnebago County and Parks Department (WCPD)?

A: FWCDP and WCPD have a partnership. The two entities are in regular contact. A solid working relationship has been forged between the two entities. FWCDP provides labor while WCPD provides materials and labor when they can. regular mowing is done by WCPD. Both entities find ways to improve Best Friends Dog Park by working together within their means.

Q: How does FWCDP raise funds to maintain the current dog park?

A: Best Friends Dog Parks, Inc. holds various types of fundraisers throughout the year. We welcome new ideas and people who would like to take the lead on the event.

Some fundraisers we have done in the past:

Q: What are the state and local laws regarding dogs in the dog park?

A: You can find details about dog laws for the State of Wisconsin and City of Oshkosh along with advice from legal professionals at Wisconsin Dog Bite Law. Also, see How to Register my Dog below for additional information.

Q: Why isn’t the swimming pond open more frequently for Doggie Paddles?

A: It takes 80+ volunteer hours per day when the pond is open for a dog swim. This does not include the hours of raking weeds from the water, grading the sand, cleaning the beach or fence maintenance spent in preparation for the event. Sadly, we simply don’t have the time or ability to staff additional days.

If you would like to help prepare for or staff any of the upcoming Doggie Paddles, please submit a completed VOLUNTEER form or CONTACT.

Q: Who is responsible for the maintenance of the Best Friends Dog Park?

A: Everyone in our community! Ultimately it falls to Winnebago County Parks Department. Friends of Winnebago County Dog Parks, Inc. provides as much support as it can within its means, both physically and financially.

Q: Where and how do I register my dog?

A: Most clerks of courts offices of your local community can help you register your pets. It is Wisconsin State law that your dog must be licensed.

Q: Do I need to have tags on my dog?

A: In Oshkosh*, cats and dogs must be licensed and wear both a Rabies Vaccination Tag and an Animal License Tag.

*note that Best Friends Dog Park constitutes Oshkosh.

Q: What are the fines for infractions?

A: City of Oshkosh Ordinances Involving Dogs

Oshkosh Ordinance Violation Penalty (Fine + Court Costs)*
No Rabies Tag (5 months or older) $295.00
No License (5 months or older) $232.00
Animal at Large $232.00
Barking Dogs $232.00
Clean and Sanitary Pens $295.00
Cruelty to Animals $295.00
Pet Littering $200.50
Prohibited Animals $232.00
Prohibited Areas for Animals $200.50
Rabies Control Program $295.00 – 484.00
* Penalty is subject to change.

Q: How did the “Friends” group get started?

A: Friends of Winnebago County Dog Parks, Inc. was established at the request of Winnebago County Parks Department (WCPD) in February 2011. Due to heavy usage, an additional park is needed.   It was estimated in 2012 that there are over 100,000 users at Best Friends Dog Park annually. WCPD has been trying to build another dog park in Winnebago County for the 12 years prior. Various lands were located and nothing could be closed so it was decided to ask for the help of the public. In early 2011 public meetings were held to gauge interest. Later that spring, the group FWCDP was formed and a board was elected. Then early summer FWCDP became a legal entity and 501(3)(c) paperwork was filed.

In the summer of 2011, the friend’s group cleaned up Best Friends Dog Park, inside and out and raised up the path from the front gate to the back section as much as 18 inches in places providing an alternative to wet feet.