Celebrating in Sydney Park with a dog that will (finally) walk!

We have had a breakthrough with the walking issue. It’s not been easy and it’s still not perfect, but it is significant progress – and definitely worth celebrating with a trip to one of Sydney’s most expansive and dog-friendly parks, Sydney Park in St Peters.

Hiking the hills at Sydney Park.

And here’s how we do it:

  • We’ve scrapped the harness and use only a collar. Harry reacts so badly to the harness; looking sorry for himself at best, going rigid with fear at worst. Since he’s still not such a keen walker that he half-strangles himself with eagerness, we think the collar is best for him.
  • The leash never goes on until we’re out of the front door. Putting the leash on while Harry’s inside seems to create some kind of mental block and he’ll resist immediately. Only once we’ve walked out will I clip the leash onto his collar – and he seems perfectly happy with this arrangement.
  • I am always in a good mood when we go for a walk. You would think it’s the most thrilling part of my day as I skip out of the door in a bid to encourage Harry to do the same.
  • Harry gets a treat when we make it out the door. But only one (otherwise he stops and looks up at me expectantly every two minutes) – and then we walk.
  • We have followed the exact same walking route daily for several months. Harry seems to feel more secure when he knows what direction we are heading in, and that the trip always ends back at home.

And so we are making the most of this new-found enthusiasm for trotting out the door – as opposed to being dragged, bribed or tricked – with longer and more frequent walks.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better dog-walking spot than Sydney Park. Dogs are allowed off-leash at all times on the former brickworks, but are not allowed in the wetlands, the oval, cycling centre, playground or barbecue areas. With 40 hectares to roam, there’s plenty of space for everyone.

Taking in the city skyline.

Taking in the city skyline.

We loved the rolling hills and shady woodland areas, views of the city skyline and water dishes for dogs.

A woodland walk.

A woodland walk.

There’s heaps to keep non-canine walkers entertained too. Fitness equipment, a café, and an amazing kids’ playground and bicycle track, complete with miniature traffic lights and road signs.



till struggles to rise for an early morning walk. We shall soldier on with that particular problem. Sydney Park, Sydney Park Road, St Peters. For more information visit the City of Sydney website.

4 thoughts on “Celebrating in Sydney Park with a dog that will (finally) walk!

  1. Pamela Davis

    This is wonderful news. Olivia is also about to go on walk training but her issues are called “spoilt spoilt spoilt” and wants to greet every stranger and go walking at the drop of a hat. I hold to an ideal of us both calmly walking with no effort on my part. Just bought some beef liver treats to help towards this aim and my plan to get out of bed on these cold mornings and go walking. You do inspire me!

    1. Sydney Dog Post author

      Oh, Olivia has such a gorgeous friendly nature! Good luck with the morning walks. Ps if you haven’t sold Kookaburra Hill by spring we’re hoping for a return visit – just waiting for the weather to warm up.

      1. Pamela Davis

        Olivia will do anything for food so I live in hope .
        Spring is slow to arrive here and the pool does not get warm till mid or late September
        I’ll let all previous guests know when there is a buyer but my guess is that I’ll be here for a year or so. Just email me when Harry suggests a return visit 🙂

      2. Maralyn

        Emma your honeymoon and UK trip must have inspired you as I’m loving all your Blogs!
        Think about little Harry and I’m so pleased to read the progress you’re having with him:-)


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