Response to the survey has been good so far. There's a good variety of people responding, and there's been a lot of interesting and insightful comments. It's interesting to see that over 80% of respondents say they purchased DFA tags last year, but when you look around the beach, maybe 25% of people have tags. So it looks like we have a lot more people to reach with our survey:)
Here's a random sampling of comments and questions. Thanks to everyone who's participated, and keep the comments coming!
About the cafe-
"The café would undoubtedly earn someone a nice profit, but I don't
think it will improve the dog beach atmosphere. In fact, food nearby
will make the beach worse. The presence of the café might encourage
people (with or without dogs in tow) to bring food to the adjacent dog
beach. There are enough people doing this already (although kudos to
Mondog and the Park District for posting rules telling people not to
do this). Many dogs become excited, if not downright aggressive, in
the presence of food"
"It will result in more trash on the beach"
"morning coffee would be great on blustery mornings....or any morn!!!"
"higher chances of dogs getting sick from eating human food. dogs
being more aggressive trying to get food. littering. there is a
concession stand not to far on montrose and foster beaches"
"I use the hotdog vendor and would rather have coffee and pastry"
"This is a TERRIBLE idea! There is already too much trash, and you
can't even keep the fence fixed! It will be overrun by thugs and
"But not at the expense of any handicap parking spots."
"as long as there is parking available for dog owners!"
"This really depends on management of the cafe; they need to be
responsible for garbage and this is not being done at the other cafe
"Lost parking, more people bringing food on the beach, and you just
know there are going to be sitting at the cafe "watching" their dogs
on the beach. "
"I'd rather see a licensed food wagon/lunch truck schedule a stop vs. a
permanent cafe structure."
"Why would a cafe have to be in the parking lot?"
About aggressive dogs- (Q- Do you feel there has been a problem with overly aggressive dogs at the Dog Beach?)
"No, but it seemed every week there would be an aggressive dog whose
owner was not paying attention to their dog. But as a whole I was
always pleased with my experiences."
"Yes. Only because an idiot dog owner brought food on the beach."
"There was a pit with a muzzle running around once. He pinned a dog
even though muzzled. We turned around & left & I called 911."
"I have thought some dogs to be overly aggressive, but my dog and the
others have seemed to "work things out"."
"Yes, I have had a few instances with aggressive dogs trying to steal
my dogs toys while their owners don't pay attention or try to
"No. We stay away from the large crowds. This just comes with people
not knowing their dog is aggressive, which unfortunately can sometimes
only be determined at a location like this. There are some people who
can't handle their dogs, and that responsibility falls on them to be
good dog owners."
"No but I have been taking my dog less frequently than I used to
because of the behavior of both dogs and owners at the beach."
"We recently had some trouble with an un-neutered male who was
aggressive and my dog got upset back. I find this happening more and
more and summers are a nightmare! Making owners responsible for their
pets behavior would be huge blessing. But I still LOVE this beach and
overall people are WONDERFUL!!!"
"There should be some type of enforcement to make sure that the dogs
that play at the beach have their rabies shot and DFA tag."
"I would like to see more attention to no pooping in the water. So
many dogs do it & it is not uncommon to poop floating in the shallow
water. We need to make it uncool to let your dog do this."
"Train the owners"
"I think you need more patrolling of DFA tags. I do not live in the
city but was able to get the tags for my dog. Others should do the
same no matter where they live. It's only fair!!"
"The DFA dog tags should be mandatory, and checked upon arrival at the
beach. Let's make our beach safe for friendly dogs and owners."
"Not sure what could be done, but after 3 years of attending the
beach, my dog and a friends dog (both at the beach that week) got
horrible bacterial infections.. anyway to keep it cleaner? "
"There are no dog problems only people problems. People problems come
with living in the big city. If can't legislate away stupidity."
"I thoroughly enjoy the dog beach and am impressed how (most) people
are very courteous and conscientious."
"I would love to see some more regulations put in place. I think it
has got out of control especially on the weekends. Just because your
dogs are free to roam does not mean the owners are free to take a nap
on the beach. Owners need to stay with their dogs. I avoid the beach
on the weekends because if the regular beach is crowded then people
move to the dog beach and set up camp. This increases the population
on the dog beach and makes it more difficult for our dogs to run
around. These people usually have food with them and it is hard to
keep dogs away. I would love to see something put in place where it
is DOG BEACH ONLY! There are plenty of beaches in the city that these
people can go too."
"Dog beach needs work on the fences after all the snow and ice. Like
everything, the beach is becoming so popular it is having issues.
Having enforcement of the rules is always a good thing. I would buy a
tag if it was offered at the MonDog cafe and I would even pay a
premium as part of a MonDog owners package. Such as a contribution to
MonDog or if it were part of the fee to be a MonDog member. Just a
convenience thing. I do not have one because I do not use a vet in the
"People with small children should not be on dog beach!!! Garbage cans
should be on beach not just at entry."
"The fencing needs to go all the way into the water until it's decently
deep... as it is now the dogs can just walk right out if they want to."
"Summer water contamination signs would be GREAT. I subscribe to the
park district Facebook feed but there isn't signage that warns of a
potential issue. Also an issue that requires more volunteer help!"
"We love the dog beach! I wish there was a small area to rinse dogs off
though...even just a hose!"
"With more people using the beach, you are going to have more
incidents. The biggest issue is people who come to the beach to
socialize and not interact with their dogs. As a result, their dogs
are not being supervised and are more prone to get into trouble. I
also think it would be wise to prohibit intact males from using the
"Would love an area for small dogs. The beach is so big--it seems like
this is a no brainer! Please, please set up a small dog area!!"
"We LOVE going to the dog beach in the summer - it's one of our
favorite places in the city! Keep up the great work!!"