John Day Fossil Beds Dog Policy
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is Somewhat Dog Friendly
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument preserves a number of plant and animal fossils in colorful rock formations. The Monument hosts exhibits and an active lab and offers scenic drives and hikes through the area.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is somewhat dog friendly. Dogs are allowed on trails and at developed areas while on a leash. However, dogs are not allowed inside buildings, so you'll miss the exhibits if you bring your dog along and don't have anyone to watch him or her. Please note that the temperatures can rise quickly here, so please take care and do not leave your dog unattended.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument also runs the BARK Ranger Program, where you can earn a special dog tag by learning and following responsible practices (see the BARK Ranger section below).
Bark Ranger is a really great program that some National Park Service destinations run. The Bark Ranger program teaches dog owners responsible behaviors with their dogs, and in return you get a special dog tag that’s different for each park (note: some parks require you to purchase the tag at the end). You start the program by going to a park office and picking up a checklist. When you complete the checklist (see the link below for more details), you can get your special dog tag.
B.A.R.K. is an acronym for:
- B: Bag your poop
- Help keep the park clean by bagging and picking up your dog poop, and properly disposing of it. Don’t leave your bagged poop on the side of the trail, hanging from branches, or throw it into the woods. Please note dog poop is not a natural fertilizer — it can carry disease that can spread to wildlife or other dogs.
- A: Always wear a leash
- Dogs must be restrained on a leash no longer than 6'. Retractable leashes that extend beyond 6' are not allowed. Not everyone appreciates a dog running up to them, and many people are scared or allergic to dogs — a leash prevents uncomfortable situations between your dog and others. Leashes also help protect your dog from running off if anything spooks them.
- R: Respect wildlife
- Dogs can chase or scare wildlife such as birds and turtles. They can also damage nesting areas. Some parks have wildlife, such as bears, coyotes, or wolves, that can threaten your dog. Please be respectful of wildlife with your dog, and if you do encounter wildlife, keep dog at distance to protect both your dog and the wildlife.
- K: Know where to go
- Know which trails allow dogs, and which don’t. Don’t leave dogs unattended in vehicles while you go off to hike. See the link below for more details.
For more information on the Bark Ranger program, please see: https://www.nps.gov/joda/planyourvisit/pets.htm
We also have a list of all parks that run the BARK Ranger program.