We are fortunate to live in a city with plenty places to go stretch our legs, in the company of dogs or without them. We have a rather well kept city center, a very neat boulevard, a few squares, and a nice pedestrian zone. There are days and times, however, where we better stay away from there to spare our pets the stress: strollers, skateboards, and scooters flying by, and people on foot too distracted by the good company to pay attention to what goes on at shin level.
So, the best of Sant Cugat for dogs are the parks: Collserola, la Pollancreda, Ramon Barnils, the gardens around the Monastery, Can Vernet and Volpelleres, Víctor Català, Parc Central … Each one has its character, culture, and usual suspects.
We would not be doing our duty, however, if we did not remind to you that there are city ordinances to comply with. In all public areas dogs must be on a leash, except in the “socialization areas” (otherwise known as dogs parks) set up by the council. If our dog is considered potentially dangerous according to the law, they must wear always a muzzle, too, even inside these areas. Dogs are forbidden in children’s playgrounds; they can’t even get closer than 5m. It is also obligatory — as well as a civil duty — to pick their poop wherever it lands (lawns included: children play, and families picnic there!).
This last part is easier to comply with: if you are not ready to pick your dog’s poop, you should not have one. But to deprive them of a good run around the park, unleashed… That is much harder! Well, be aware that if you unleash them, and you are caught by the police, you are up for a nice fine.
General Advice for Our Dogs’ Socialization
Ideally, dogs should have the chance to meet other dogs of the same age and size, so they can engage however they feel like. Puppies want to greet everything that moves, play, and roll about with others. Adults often are content with just scenting each other a bit, and taking off to do their own thing alone. It depends on their individual personalities, and nobody knows them better than we do. We adapt to their ways with other animals.
For that same reason, we should be cautious when letting our dog approach an unknown one. That is very important when walking an enthusiastic pup, or if the dogs are unevenly sized. A big dog, or a very energetic medium one, can hurt easily a small dog while playing — unintentionally. This makes life harder to owners of small dogs who want them socialized, and having fun. They need to find the right place and time zone to make it happen — if they can choose, that is.
Dog Parks in Sant Cugat
Currently, there are three dog parks in Sant Cugat, meaning fenced areas where we can unleash them so they can run and play. All of them have general areas, and one or two smaller enclosures for small dogs. The main problem with these small dog areas is that there is no room for a run (or anything at all). Many tiny dogs like running like any other!
Dog Park by the Pont de Can Vernet
It lays between Av. de Can Vulpelleres and the Sant Cugat creek. It was the first one to be built and, for now, the best. It has slopes, lawn, trees, shades, and a fountain to freshen up after playtime through the circuit. Being around 1,000m2, it is not the largest one i town. However, it is the one offering the most possibilities of interaction with the environment.
Its extension is not great in any case, so usually the dogs inside are medium-sized (15-30 Kg), and the bigger ones are outside, in the open space by the bridge.
Víctor Català Dog Park
It is located in the Parc de Víctor Català, just beside the Volpelleres FGC station. It was built in 2015, so at the moment is pretty much a desolate 1,088m2 piece of land. It will be a few years before the trees there provide some shade. It is a flat area, with just a slight inclination. It has two enclosures for small dogs, a few benches, and little else. The proximity of the rails is another flaw, as the passage of trains might make some dogs nervous.
La Pollancreda Dog Park
Being 1,362m2, it is the largest of the three dog parks (if we are not mistaken). It is close to the crossroads between Rambla del Celler and the road to Cerdanyola, by the Camí de Can Calders. It was built at the same time as the one beside the Volpelleres railway station, so it is very much alike. The upside is that it lays at the feet of a building that throws some shade. Currently, you will find more dogs outside than inside its fences.