BEND, Ore. -

As part of renovations of Ponderosa Park in southeast Bend, a new off-leash area designated specifically for small dogs is now open, the Bend Park and Rec District said Thursday.

The new, fully-fenced area features a grass surface and is accessible via either the 15th Street or Wilson Avenue entrances.

Ponderosa Park is the second of Bend’s seven off-leash areas to have a section just for small dogs. This fall, a third small dog off-leash area will open at the Bob Wenger Off-Leash Area .located at northeast Bend’s Pine Nursery Park.

The park district’s first small dog park is at Riverbend Park in southwest Bend. For park users, a small dog is defined as under 25 pounds and less than 15 inches at the shoulder.

“Oftentimes, small dogs can have a better off-leash experience when they are separate from larger dogs,” explained Jan Taylor, the park district's community relations manager.

“Each of the district’s seven off-leash dog parks provides a slightly different visitor experience," she added. "The small-dog areas offer additional park features and benefits for park users.”

To view a map and list of all the off-leash parks in Bend, visit to www.bendparksandrec.org .