Gwinnett County Parks

Hi! I’m Robin and for those who don’t know me, I’m the owner of Gwinnett Pet Watchers. When I am not taking care of your pets, you can typically find my own dogs and I at one of Gwinnett County Parks. I’ve had several people ask what park we like best, so I will be covering all the great parks we have in our area to give you an idea what the county has to offer!

Rabbit Hill Park is located at 400 Rabbit Hill Rd, Dacula Ga 30019 and is at the cross roads of Rabbit Hill Rd and Hurricane Shoals Rd . You can also get to the park using Fence Rd.

Rabbit Hill Park has wonderful paths for walking or running. Also, they have a few youth soccer fields, baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, a playground, pavilions, and several restrooms. The park has three different dog parks to suit your needs. One is for all dogs, one for larger dogs, and the last is for the small dogs. Inside the dog park areas there are dog friendly fountains and some agility play activities. It’s a great park for your whole family to enjoy!

My crew loves to walk the trails and play in the dog park here. The people who use the dog park, for the most part, are very responsible owners who pay close attention to their pet(s) and calm things down when the pups get rambunctious. Owners also tend to be very good about picking up after their pets which unfortunately isn’t the case at all dog parks.

Some of you may know that I have a young German Shepherd, Gabby, who loves the dog park! She especially loves Rabbit Hill since she has lots of friends to play with and there is even a group of German Shepherds and their owners that get together there. They even have their own Facebook page called the German Shepherd club of Rabbit Hill. How fun is that?!

Not only is this park close to my dogs and I, it’s definitely one of our favorites! Please let me know if this is helpful and what park you would like us to visit next.
If you are new to the dog park experience I suggest you read a great article from The Bark; Behavior; Dog Park Tips. When you know what to expect it will be a great experience for you and your best friend.

left to right; Lucy, Jake, Gabby, George

left to right; Lucy, Jake, Gabby, George

2015-01-16 10.56.12

Bogan Park in Buford

Has anyone ever been to Bogan Park in Buford?  It is located off North Bogan Road and has easy access from Hamilton Mill Road.  The park is 83 acres of pet friendly walking trails and a huge indoor aquatic center.  There are multiple playgrounds, outdoor basketball courts, a seven field baseball/softball complex, and a football field.  They also have sand volleyball courts and some outdoor pavilions available to reserve.  The two miles of walking trails are beautiful and are situated in a wooded area surrounding a small body of water.  You will always see multiple dogs getting walked on the trails or hanging out under the pavilions during family get togethers or events.   The park is very shaded, so even in the hot summer, it is comfortable to walk your pet.  I have not seen an off leash dog park at this facility, so that is something that they can look in to adding in the future.  I have taken my dogs to this park before and they really enjoyed the atmosphere and there is no shortage of people to interact with on days with nice weather.  Plus, if you have children, there are many activities for them to partake in, so you will have entertainment for your two legged and four legged children.  I give this park four out of five paws up!

Scoop that Poop at the Dog Park!

With the bipolar weather in Georgia, we have to take advantage of the nice days for our pooches and venture out to the dog park when the weather permits.  I have noticed that, despite signs, a doggy clean up station, and free disposal bags, not everyone thinks that they should have to clean up after their dog.  This is not okay!  Some dogs may carry contagious bacteria in their feces.  This may spread to other dogs and cause an unnecessary trip to the vet where money must be spent, again, unnecessarily. Also, I do not want to step in poop and neither do my dogs!  Some people may see someone else not pick up their dog’s waste, and assume that it is okay for them not to do it as well.  Let’s all set a good example and prevent unneeded catastrophe at the dog park.  Please clean up after your pooch!

How to Choose a Dog Walker

How do you choose a dog walker?  What a great question.  Well, like any business, not all dog walkers are the same.  Everyone does business differently and some are more qualified and more experienced than others.  You and your dog may have a better connection with one more than others.  Before signing on the dotted line, here are some steps to follow for finding the right person.  The best way to start is by word of mouth and referral.  Talk to your friends, coworkers, people at the dog park, and other animal lovers.  Look up their suggestions on Kudzu and Yelp and see what their ratings and reviews look like.  Also, talk to people you trust in the animal field, your groomer, your vet, or pet food store employees.  If you still can’t decide or you want to check out some of your referrals, you can always go to the local parks to observe dog walkers.  If you are really dedicated to finding the best dog walker, you can head out on rainy days to see which dog walkers actually walk the dogs and which ones sit in their car smoking giving the dogs not a walk, but a good dose of secondary smoke inhalation.  Luckily, just by reading this blog, you have taken the right step in finding a great pet sitter for your beloved animals, Gwinnett Pet Watchers!  We fit the bill in all of these categories and have the ratings to prove it!

Another reason I love my dogs!

Miss Jennifer is back from vacation this morning and has taken over her accounts. That means I only have one kitty cat sit today and one meeting with a new client.
The house is a wreck as you can imagine after a week of 14 and 16 hour days. My office looks like a hurricane has gone through, with files stacked here and there, and the inbox, well we won’t even talk about that. But as I look around trying to come up with a game plan to dig out, I see five beautiful faces, saying “Mom, please we have missed spending time with you, we have missed our nice long walks, and when was the last time we went to the dog park together. The dirt will be here when we get back and really we don’t care, we just care about being with you and having some fun!”
Just another reason I love my dogs, they help keep me grounded, they remind me of what is really important and today that is spending time with my pets and visiting my mother, everything else is just noise. So with that said we are off to the park …

Are You Ready for a Rescue Dog?

Lucy, Jake, George and I were at the park going for a walk today when we came upon a woman who had two small dogs. One of the dogs was barking and just uncontrollable, not behaving very well. We stopped to talk to the woman about it and her instant explanation was that he was a rescue. What a cliche that has become. It seems everywhere I go when a dog is misbehaving the owner says “She is a rescue,” and that is somehow supposed to excuse this bad behavior. Now we all understand that when we do take on a rescue dog sometimes there are some behavioral problems, but it’s not an excuse for a lifetime of this behavior. When we take on a new dog we take on the responsibility of training and spending time doing what you need to do to make that dog both a good companion and a good community dog.

I know this stance will not make me very popular, but if you’re not willing to take the time, or invest the money in training, then maybe a rescue is really not the type of dog you need. You might be better off going to a good breeder who has started the training for you; someone who has already done the beginning of socialization and has raised the puppy in a loving family environment that will fit in with your lifestyle. You will still need to invest time and money in training but you know you are not dealing with a dog that has been abused or mistreated.

A great article to read before going forward with pet adoption is this one from the Humane Society: Are You Ready To Adopt A Pet? Ten Questions

That said, there is no better feeling than taking a rescue dog and working with that animal to help it overcome its past — to watch an animal that has been abused learn how to be a dog, learn how to be a pet and learn how to be well behaved part of your family. What a wonderful feeling when you see this animal blossom; but don’t think that comes without a lot of work and money. Sometimes you will have to hire a private trainer or someone who specializes in animals with behavior problems. But being a rescue is not an excuse for animal to continue to misbehave.

Before you adopt a dog that has been abused or traumatized you need to take a good look at yourself and your family situation. You need to be honest. How much time are you willing to dedicate to this dog? How much money do you have to put into rehabilitation? How much experience do you have? One question that I think is overlooked most of the time is whether the whole family has agreed to be part of the rehabilitation of this animal. These are questions that should be answered before anyone takes on an animal that has behavioral problems.

If you don’t have the experience, the patience, or the money, then you need to give a second thought to rescuing a dog that has emotional problems. It does not make you a bad person or any less of a dog lover, it’s just a reality. The last thing we want is to add to the problems this animal already has. Try and make sure that the dog that you adopt does not have problems that you are not ready to handle. After all, it’s a lifetime commitment.

Here is a great website for training rescue dogs and a great place to start out: Rescue Doggie

Be safe and have fun!

Rabbit Hill Park, Ducula GA

Rabbit Hill Park Entrence

Rabbit Hill park, Gwinnett County

Rabbit Hill Park

400 Rabbit Hill Rd, Ducula 30019


Rabbit Hill Park is one of the newer parks in the Gwinnett County park system.  It covers 107 acres, has five soccer fields and some multipurpose fields. There is a 2.5 mile paved multipurpose trail. It has three dog parks, one for small dogs, one for large dogs and one all dog area.

The dog parks are very nice and of good size. They left the trees so there are nice shaded areas (but some owners think if their dogs defecate in the woods they do not have to pick it up). There is plenty of room for dogs to romp and play. There are water fountains for the dogs, agility equipment, and a nice sandpit for them to dig in.Map of Rabbit Hill Park

The only other problem that the dog park has is that it stays wet after a good rain. It can take 3 to 4 days for many areas to dry out. The multipurpose dog area stays wet most of the time and is not really very useful. The good news is that when I was out at the park this week there was a county employee taking pictures of the wet areas and they are planning to fix this.Open space at Rabbit Hill Park

From a dog’s eye, I rate this as a two wag, because they do have dedicated dog parks. However, they have nothing else for a dog to do: no hiking trails, no soft trails, and no lakes or streams for them to frolic in.

Freeman’s Mill Park

Freeman’s Mill Park

1401 Alcovy Road, Lawrenceville 30045

Park Hours: Sunrise until sunset unless posted otherwise
Amenities 12 acres Restored historic gristmill Playground 0.5-mile paved multi-purpose trail Restrooms

This is a terrific little park that is close to my house where I like to walk my older dog Suzie; she is a 15 year old Border Collie. I also like this Park for training purposes. The path is 0.5 miles long and wanders around the perimeter of the park. At some points it is nice and quiet which makes it a great place to work on new commands with only a little bit of distraction from the outside world.

The path wanders over by the playground giving your dog an opportunity to get used to all the sounds kids can make. I have used this area to help socialize dogs that do not have any young children in their families. It helps them get used to the sound of balls bouncing, laughing, squealing, running and the rest of the noises children make while at play.

Next, the path runs close to Alcovy Road. This is a busy road that can help your dog get used to the sounds of traffic. If a dog that normally lives in a quiet neighborhood finds themselves on a busy street, they may become frightened and be unable to follow your commands, putting them in danger. It is very important for dogs to be comfortable in all situations. Taking the time to work with your dog and getting them used to different sounds will help keep your dog safe and make life much more enjoyable.

All in all this is a great little park. Good for short walks or training. I hope you will take the time to visit it soon. Our next stop will be the Rabbit Hill Dog Park. See you there!

About the Park:

The mill was built sometime between 1868 and 1879 by brothers John Griffin Loveless and Levi J. Loveless. In 1913 W. Scott Freeman and his son, Winfield, owned it until it was purchased in 1915 by Newt Pharr. Winfield descendants continued to operate the mill through the twentieth century. In the late 1990’s the mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in architecture, engineering, industry, and social history. As of 1996, the mill was the only working grist mill remaining in Gwinnett County.

The mill changed hands several times over the years until Gwinnett County purchased the mill and surrounding property in 2002 with funding available from the Georgia Greenspace Program and the 2005 SPLOST. In 2009, the county raised and restored the mill and surrounding 12 acres for educational and recreational use offering Gwinnett County citizens a sense of the agricultural past.

Gwinnett County Park System From a Dog’s Eye

As I go about my business as a dog sitter & pet walker, I travel all around Gwinnett County and spend a lot of time with my dogs hanging out in the parks. Just read what J. Faith Meader writes in the Examiner,

Gwinnett County boasts one of the largest park systems in Georgia. At the national level, it has one of the most successful greenspace programs in the country, made possible by the one-cent sales tax of SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax). Fortunately, the efforts of the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department have not gone unrecognized. The National Recreation and Parks Association presented the county with the 2008 Gold Medal Award for its excellence. In 2009, Park Pride announced Gwinnett County as a winner of its inspiration award.

In this series we will be exploring Gwinnett County’s Parks from “a dog’s eye.” We will be taking a look at how pet friendly they are and all the cool things you can do at each of them. We will also keep you aware of upcoming events that you and your dog(s) might enjoy.

Below is a map of the parks in the Gwinnett County area. Take a look, I’m sure you can find one close to where you work, live or play. Let us know what’s going on in the park that you frequent the most.

Note: Numbers next to park name indicate location on map.  

Map of Gwinnett Parks