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Top Five Cities for Dogs To Live in Harmony With Humans

Updated on August 31, 2016
A rescue Newfoundland named Ebony.
A rescue Newfoundland named Ebony. | Source

Runaway statistics show that just 16 percent of lost dogs make it home again. These can be loved pets, neglected home companions, or unlicensed puppies.

The Top Five Dog-Friendly Cities of the United States may come in surprising locations, but they are more likely to facilitate the return of a lost pet because dog companions are well known in these communities.

New Lost Dog Tracking Systems

Losing track of a pet can be a devastating experience. According to the October, 2011 issue of DogFancy magazine, new GPS systems attached to pets' collars make even better trackers than the previously introduced information microchips that are embedded under the skin of a licensed animal. The GPS systems are updated from underground or geofencing, which establishes perimeters dogs will not cross when they are elecronically shocked, an unfriendly signal to halt.

The important difference in the GPS systems is that no sensors need be installed in the dog's yard, or safe zone, and painful shocking has been shelved. Instead, an owner is sent a text message or an e-mail tracker that lets him know not only that his dog has strayed across his borders, but the exact location of the wanderer.

Another version of the GPS systems features a "call" button on the collar that will send a message to either the dog's human, or a monitoring service that can locate the pet owner.

As dog travel with families is on the increase, these GPS systems can render invaluable assistance in the concern for an animal companion lost on a trip or vacation. Safe returns of pets to families are more likely than ever before if the animal is equipped with a GPS systems retriever.

The Top Five Cities for Dogs Are:

Once again, Susan Chaney, a former editor of DogFancy magazine, shares her investigative information on the best cities in America to live with a canine companion, where dogs can do doggie things off leash -- jump, run, sniff, and make friends -- while remaining safe and welcomed in the community.

Chaney's Top Five "Dogtown USA" cities where dogs best can be dogs are:

  • No.1 -- Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  • No.2 -- Bend, Oregon
  • No.3 -- Knoxville, Tennessee
  • No.4 -- Santa Cruz, California
  • No.5 -- Doylestown, Pennsylvania

In September, 2010, the following cites earned DogFancy's top dog status for canines:

  • No.1 -- Provincetown, Massachusetts
  • No.2 -- Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  • No.3 -- Madison, Wisconsin
  • No.4 -- Benicia, California
  • No.5 -- Fort Bragg, California

Coeur d'Alene, Utah -- Central Bark Park

With 47,000 residents, Coeur d'Alene is not new to pleasant surroundings for dogs, but in 2008 homeless canines in the area were given second chances when the city and the Kootenai Humane Society aligned its dog consciousness to establish better adoption services. In 2009, the city created a "Dog About Town" website, which got the word out about doggie events.

Last year, the city of 17,000 canine residents opened a dog park, named Central Bark Park, made possible through the combined efforts of city officials and the Kootenai County Dog Park Association. The park is for the off-leash benefit of dogs and humans who love dogs.

An association member, Terry Wright, states in DogFancy that the park always has been busy from its opening day.

Dog d'Alene, held in May of this year for the third season, features live music, doggie contests, doggie-thing demonstrations, vendors, a dog rescue booth, and a Dachshund Dash.

Coeur d'Alene's Tubbs Hill offers hiking with canine companions, and events like social walks and refreshments at Bakery by the Lake, and Christmas by the Lake, bring the community's dogs downtown.

Lost or homeless dogs in number one dog-friendly Coeur d'Alene need not claim that status for long.

Rescue Smokey, before a Sheepoo was invented!
Rescue Smokey, before a Sheepoo was invented! | Source
A Columbus, Ohio, rescue, Mick.
A Columbus, Ohio, rescue, Mick. | Source

Bend, Oregon -- DogPac

The 82,000 residents of Bend, Oregon have 16,090 canine companions living in their homes. DogFancy states the city's "DogPac" board membership, according to spokesperson Bob Wenger, worked to allow canines off leash in the surrounding Bend trails where hiking and nature walking is prevalent.

Animal placement groups, an active humane society, and avalanche, as well as search and rescue dog groups all help make Bend a dog-friendly and dog-worthy community. The Humane Society of Central Oregon boasts an 87 percent adoption rate for its homeless canines. Clinics sponsor as much as a 70 percent spaying and neutering rate for area-owned dogs.

Knoxville, Tennessee -- Smoky Mountain Dock Dogs

PetSafe, a pets product company, is housed in Knoxville, helping to make the city a canine-support group. Three of five planned dog parks for the area are completed, with PetSafe having donated $500,000 to the effort, according to Tim Adams, an official of the Young-Williams Animal Center, DogFancy reports.

In 2007, a spaying and neutering clinic was opened, sponsored by a $2.5 million grant from the Aslan Foundation. The clinic has handled 23,000 operations since then.

A dock-diving association, the Smoky Mountain Dock Dogs, practice in Knoxville to travel to regional contests.

Knoxville's shelter dog adoption rate is 50 percent. Residents numbering 182,337 home 72,635 dogs.

Santa Cruz, California -- Woofers and Walkers

Woofers and Walkers pack leader Whitney Wilde told DogFancy canines share hiking and trails around Santa Cruz, California, where 80 percent of homeless dogs find new situations in which to be loved. Surrounding forests and beaches alike are open to humans and their canine companions. Mitchell Cove Beach and Big Basin Redwoods State Park are popular dog-friendly places to enjoy nature.

Water taxis, a surfing museum, and the Roaring Camp Railroads' beach train also accommodate canines.

Seventy-five percent of the city's 12,912 dogs are spayed or neutered in an area of 59,684 residents.

Doylestown, Pennsylvania -- March Muttness

Three acres of land designated for a dog park will soon be opened in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where a smallish population -- 26,700 residents -- has joined forces to care for its canine populatin of 5,000. March Muttness, with the participation of 60 area businesses, raised the funds to establish the park.

DogFancy reports through Doylestown's Parks and Recreation Director Karen A. Sweeney that dogs are welcomed with their families in nearly all the city's community events. Local "yappy hours", Pups & Pizza Night, Bark & Wine, and Howl-O-Ween are some of the activities that readily include canines and help fund canine support.

With an 80 percent spaying and neutering rate in place for its canine companions, the city of Doylestown also organizes dog walks and canine holiday photography to continue to support its furry friends.

All Dogs May Benefit Everywhere

Humane societies and city officials have worked together in DogFancy's annual DogTown USA-winning communities to improve the lives of canines, which is a goal of every dog-friendly city. These examples of unselfish cooperative effort may continue to benefit dog companions everywhere.

Presenting Cee-Cee, a Border Terrier mix and the author's current rescue.
Presenting Cee-Cee, a Border Terrier mix and the author's current rescue. | Source


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    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Anne Helberg 

      5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @bodylevive...Thanks for your visit here, and the positive feedback on training. Teaching a dog to do as you ask is an essential part of keeping him safe!

      All my dogs have been rescues of one kind or another, and all have been superb life partners.

    • bodylevive profile image


      5 years ago from Alabama, USA

      I'm a dog lover also, a pit and a lab. I don't have any tracking devices on them. They are pen and house kept. Outside they roam around the yard but never leave outside my property line. When they were babies, my husband and I walked them around the yard never going outside the property line so they naturally stay inside the property's boundaries. Our lab is a rescue dog that I found as a puppy and we trained her the same.

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Anne Helberg 

      6 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @writer20...Where have you gone?? Thanks for checking in here. Every comment helps a doggie somewhere!!

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Anne Helberg 

      7 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @anglnwu...Yes, California is a top dog for dogs, although it landed three cities in the top five last year and just one this year. I was surprised myself to see Knoxville on the 2011 list. Thank you for your comments!

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Anne Helberg 

      7 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @FloraBreenRobison...I'm happy to share more unique places of the United States! Thanks for commenting on this Hub!

    • Barbsbitsnpieces profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Anne Helberg 

      7 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

      @funmontrealgirl...Good for you and Bailey! It's always nice to meet another dog lover. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

    • anglnwu profile image


      7 years ago

      Looks like California is very dog-friendly. The GPS gadget is definitely important for dog safety. Thanks for sharing.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      Most of these cities I've not heard of before. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • funmontrealgirl profile image


      7 years ago from Montreal

      I am a huge dog lover. I have a 4 year old Rottweiler named Bailey. Those sound like places where humans would be well off too. Fresh air and open space. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub to help people find a doggie they want

      and about GPS.


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