Laura Huelin

Written and verified by the dog trainer Laura Huelin.

Last update: 18 November, 2023

There are actually few cities where you can walk your dog off leash. However, there’s always the option of going to a dog park in areas where it’s mandatory to use a leash.

State law says that dogs must be on a leash during walks. However, did you know that some cities have changed regulations and now you can walk your dog off leash ?  Find out if your city is one of them.

Regulations about dogs

State laws regulate animals, the central government makes them, which apply to all of Spain. However, Autonomous Communities and city councils can make their own regulations. Therefore, although there is one alleged law for all residents, they can change the details in certain areas of the country.

State law provides that all dogs must be on a leash when they are in public areas, with the exception of enclosed dog parks. However, some city councils have legislated permission for dogs to be off leash under certain conditions.

dogs in park off leash

However, it’s different for dog breeds that have been classified as potentially dangerous. The regulations that allow dogs to be off leash do not apply to these breeds. So check at your city hall to see if this law apply to your dog before letting him loose and risking a fine

Places that haven’t amended state laws to allow walking dogs off leash can penalize the owners financially. Again, the amount of the fine varies depending on where the violation takes place: in Pamplona it goes from 90 to 150 euros, while in Cartagena, the fines are higher, they can vary between 1,700 and 3,000 euros.

Cities where you can walk your dog off leash

The conditions for walking the dog off leash are different in each city, but they have several things in common. Most of these places enforce a schedule, and it’s necessary to use a leash after certain hours. There are restricted places that dogs cannot access, like children’s playgrounds and other marked areas.

dog off leash with owner

As it is in other places, owners are responsible for what their dog does, whether if he is unleashed or not. They must also pick up the dog’s feces and keep public places as clean as possible.

Before walking with your dog off leash, remember to always have common sense: teach your dog a command that will make him come when you call him, don’t let him wonder off too far. If your dog is nervous while being on the street, then never let him off the leash because he might run away.


In Madrid you can walk with your dog off leash during a specific schedule: from 7pm to 10pm in the winter and 8pm to 10pm in the summer. Likewise, there are many enclosed dog parks throughout the city and they’re always open if city hall doesn’t say anything about it.

Huesca and Zaragoza

Huesca has almost the same schedule as Madrid: from 8pm to 9pm dogs can walk off leash, but only in public parks. In Zaragoza they specify a bit more: you can walk the dog off leash during those times in squares and parks that are more than 1,000 square meters.

Bilbao and San Sebastián

In Bilbao and San Sebastián there are two types of parks and schedules. Some allow dogs to be off leash from 6pm to 12am, and others only at night from 8pm to 10pm. Each city hall has created several guidelines and maps in order for you to know what schedule apply to different parks.


The regulations that apply to animals and pets in Vitoria-Gasteiz still needs authorization, so there are no specific details yet. However, it is expected that you can walk your dog off leash at any time of the day or night. It will only restrict places where the leash is not necessary.

Walking with our dogs off leash has advantages for you and your dog. However, in most of the country, legislation requires keeping them on a leash. You are in luck if you live in one of these cities For everyone else, use a long leash to give your dog some extra freedom, or contact your mayor and request for a change of regulation.


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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.