BOISE, Idaho — Between the Treasure Valley beginning to feel more like summer and the consistent population growth, it can feel like everyone and their dog are at one of the City of Boise's off-leash dog parks.

Idahoans love their dogs and being able to have them roam free at dog parks. The City of Boise has taken notice. Currently, the city is building a new dog area at Ann Morrison Park, called Dog Island. Moving forward, Boise Parks and Rec will include an off-leash area for dogs at every new city park.

"We hear a lot from our citizens, our customers, who say we want more areas for our dogs to run off-leash," said Doug Holloway, the director of Boise Parks and Recreation.

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"So we'll just have an area that will be fenced off that will have an area that you can bring your dog and have your dog run free in that fenced off area inside the actual park," he said.

It's the kind of news that dog owners love to hear, but more dogs and people in parks could mean more potential conflict, especially if not everyone follows the rules.

Rules are posted at the four designated off-leash dog parks in Boise. The two main rules - if your dog is aggressive, they're not welcome at all, and owners are legally responsible for their dog's behavior and any injuries that they may cause. At all other city parks, city code requires dogs to be on-leash.

"The biggest thing is just common courtesy with your pet," Holloway said.

Also, don't forget to pick up after your pet.

Dogs aren't allowed in three Boise parks: Quinn's Pond, Veterans Park Pond, and Esther Simplot Park.

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The city has four animal compliance officers across its parks. Last year, they issued about 600 citations.

"We're all going to share the same place and if we share it appropriately, our dogs will get along and humans will get along as well," Holloway said.

The bottom line is if we all use our city parks responsibly, the better chance that everyone and their four-legged friends will have fun.

Editor's note: Growing Idaho is a month-long series of KTVB special reports. 

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