Knowledge Base

Where can I play with my dog off-leash?

Dogs are to be walked ON LEASH on all public properties, sidewalks and parks EXCEPT in designated dog park areas. 

Essex County's Brookdale Park has a dog park where your dog may play off-leash. Dogs must remain on leash when not within the confines of the fenced in dog park area. Please respect the size requirements of the dog park areas, do not bring large dogs into the small dog area and do not bring small dogs into the large dog area. This is for your pet's protection. No matter how "friendly" your dog may be with dogs of different sizes, a small dog in the large dog area might trigger the prey drive of a larger dog in that area, which could result in injury to one, both or more dogs present. 

County reservations are NOT off-leash areas for ANY dogs. Complaints should be directed to Essex County Sheriff Officers at 973-621-4111, as violations of off leash rules within county parks is handled by the Essex County Sheriff Department.

Rules for dogs within Essex County parks/reservations can be found here:

Essex County Dog Park (Brookdale) rules can be found here:


Montclair Dog Ordinances Overview:

82-13:     Dogs at Large Prohibited  

No person owning or having the control, custody or possession of a dog shall permit or suffer such dog to run at large or to go or be upon the public streets, sidewalks or other public places within the Township unless said dog shall be on a leash and in the custody of some person or persons capable of controlling such dog.


82-17: Interference with authorized persons.

No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article.


82-18: Removal of dog feces.

No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog shall permit, cause or suffer such dog to soil, defile or defecate on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, street, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk, or upon any public property whatsoever, or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of said property. The foregoing restriction shall not apply to that portion of the street lying between the curblines, or the sides of the street bed if there are no curblines, provided that:


The person with and in charge of such dog shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog by any sanitary means approved by the Township Health Department.


The feces removed from the aforementioned designated area shall be disposed of by the person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of such dog in a sanitary manner approved by the Township Health Department.


82-19: Violations and penalties.


Any person who violates or fails or refuses to comply with § 82-282-682-882-982-1082-12 or 82-17 or with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Department of Health governing the sanitary conduct and operation of kennels or pet shops, to preserve sanitation therein and to prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases of dogs within and from such establishments, shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $5 nor more than $50 for each offense, to be recovered by and in the name of the Director of Health of the State of New Jersey or by and in the name of the Township, as the case may be, except that for the first offense in case of violations of §§ 82-282-6 and 82-8, the penalty shall not be less than $1 nor more than $50, to be recovered in the same manner. A person who refuses or neglects to pay forthwith the amount of a judgment rendered against him or her and the costs and charges incident thereto may be committed by the Judge to the county jail for a period not exceeding 10 days in the case of the first conviction, and in the case of a second, subsequent or continuing violation, for a term not exceeding 30 days.


Any person who violates any provision of § 82-13 or 82-18 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment in the county/municipal jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof as determined by the Municipal Court Judge. Each day on which a violation of an ordinance exists shall be considered a separate and distinct violation and shall be subject to imposition of a separate penalty for each day of the violation as the Municipal Court Judge may determine.


Full Montclair Dog Ordinances can be found here:


Updated 8/22/2022 10:21 AM
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