SMART Dog Park is the Future of Dog Play



SMART Dog Park Spark Bundle

Get a jump start on your SMART Dog Park journey with these valuable resources.


Welcome to the Future of Dog Parks

So, you want to be part of better dog parks, but you need help figuring out where to start.

Whether you’re looking to create a brand-new dog play environment or to improve an existing dog park, SMART Dog Park’s professional certification and training program will provide you with the tools you need.

Our online courses offer education, support, and community resources that will guide you through each stage of dog park experience design and best practices management, from planning to creation, evaluation, and improvement. All of this under one “ROOF” makes the process simple, easy, and fun. 


Your community, your economy, and your dogs deserve a better dog park—one built and managed with the support and resources of the SMART Dog Park ecosystem.

What makes a SMART Dog Park… SMART?

Safer environment
Manners and humility
Awareness of human and dog behavior
Responsibility in design and operations
Training opportunities for both dogs and owners


Get excited! You're about to be a part of the future of dog parks.

Meet your instructor – The Dog Friendly Expert

Beth Cherryholmes Miller

Beth Cherryholmes Miller is the expert behind SMART Dog Park™ and the founder and CEO of Ohio-based non-profit Wagtown. Miller is recognized as the #1 national leader in dog-friendly community expertise. Through her work with Wagtown, Miller has conducted more than 700 interviews across the country and beyond, amassed the nation’s largest dog-friendly research base, and become a sought-after subject matter expert, award-winning animal advocate, speaker, and author.

Current Course Offerings

SMART Dog Park's courses offer a flexible way to build up your dog park expertise. Set your own pace with our self-guided course options or schedule a consultation call directly with Beth Cherryholmes Miller.

6 Key Things You Need for a Great Dog Park

Welcome to the better way to dog play. This fun and actionable course will get you started as you work to bring a dog park to your community or support existing dog parks.

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Create Your Dream Dog Park Team

Be sure to bring the best resources possible into your dog park project. Taking the time to identify, recruit, and manage key relationships is what this course is all about.

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Crisis Management & Communication At Dog Parks

Understand the potential threats to safety and reputation at a dog play area and learn how you can predict & prepare for incidents at your dog park.

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See all SMART Dog Park offerings

Why SMART Dog Park?

Communities across the United States are clamoring for more and better dog park experiences. Despite this demand, there’s surprisingly little expertise available to prospective and existing creators. A 2021 study by Wagtown found that 77% of parks and recreation organizations do not have a master plan to build their dog parks. Moreover, 67% of leaders report that training for dog park play development and management is “Learn as you go, with no real structure.”

This lack of resources can spell disaster. Dog parks that are created in silos miss deadlines, cost more, lose revenue, neglect considerations about land use, exhaust staff, and negatively impact user groups. Worst, they fail to make the most of an amenity that has been proven time and time again to benefit community safety, responsibility, local economy, infrastructure, and overall health.

Beth Cherryholmes Miller created SMART Dog Park to help dog park creators and administrators avoid these common pitfalls in both new and existing parks. Miller’s years of experience in reimagining livability and vibrancy gives her a unique perspective on how to create the right dog park environment. Better for dogs. Better for business. Better for communities.

SMART Dog Park is dedicated to helping YOU – businesses, municipalities, and foundations, as well as private entities & community champions. With SMART Dog Park, you’ll find much needed expertise & resources for off-leash dog play areas.

Get the edge. Join SMART Dog Park.

Become a dog play guru.


Minimize the risk of bad experiences in dog play areas. Keep employees, volunteers, vendors, and users safer with pro tips.


Learn with self-paced videos, handbooks, interviews, templates, ask-me-anything sessions, and collaborative innovation challenges.


Collaborate, share ideas, and innovate with SMART Dog Park students and graduates who are a part of your member network. 

SMART Dog Park is a product of Wagtown

SMART Dog Park was created by Dayton-born nonprofit Wagtown, Inc—the national leader in authentic dog friendliness research, outreach, and collaboration. A portion of the proceeds from SMART Dog Park finance Wagtown’s mission to help communities maximize the benefits of dog friendliness and animal welfare across the United States. Learn more at

NOTE: The information available here is professional opinion based on years of research and subject to interpretation. The organization providing this information cannot be held liable for it in any manner.