Sarah, and her two Border Terriers, Edwin and Barnes. | Phoenix Media Mallorca

There’s a place, one of its kind in Mallorca, to be found in the country lanes of Calvia. Safely behind some big metal gates and a high stone wall you will find The Olive Fields, a private dog park owned and run by Bulletin writer, Sarah Forge. I went along to meet Sarah, and her two Border Terriers, Edwin and Barnes, who were the catalyst for the park.

What gave you the idea for the dog park?

I started to first think about it when Barnes was a puppy. I am a hyper-vigilant mum and I was always worried he was going to run off. Before I had Edwin and then Barnes I had not had dogs before. I had a rabbit when I was a kid, but it died very soon after. So I am a worrier anyway but the thought that Barnes would just run off was a concern. He is a very friendly dog, loves people, loves food. So he was in the situation where he just had to have his lead on all the time when we went out. And Edwin’s gone deaf so he can’t hear you so you can’t call him back.

I discovered that in the UK that private dog parks are very popular. There’s thousands of them. And I wondered if there were any in Mallorca. And of course, there weren’t. And the reason there were none here is that land here is really expensive whereas in the UK it’s much less. So I had this idea and a lot of reasons not to do it, but the idea wouldn’t go away. They say that the best businesses are ones that solve a problem that you’ve got, and I had the problem that I couldn’t let my dogs off the lead. I want them to have fun, but I can’t. And they also say the best business ideas are the ones that even after a year, you’re still thinking about it. After I had made the decision it took me about a year to find the land.

Did you surprise yourself that you became a “dog person”?

When I met Howard, my husband, Edwin was his. I was brought up in a family without dogs, and I didn’t understand them, or trust them really. So when I started to get to know Edwin I just wasn’t used to them. But he completely won me over. The first time Howard brought Edwin to my apartment, when we were dating, I laid out a towel expecting the dog to sit on that towel, but he completely ignored me and sat on the sofa and started scratching it to make it more comfortable! I was thinking, “Oh my god he’s only been here three minutes and he’s ruined the sofa!” But then he looked at me with his cute face, and then I tried stroking him and getting to know him, and the next thing you know I’m suggesting we get a second dog! So I have gone from being a non-dog person to the biggest dog lover you could imagine! I mean, I opened a private dog park for him and his brother, you can’t get more devoted than that.

How much land did you buy?

It’s just over two acres, around 8,500 square metres. The land is enclosed with a dry-stone wall and metal fence. We had to put a lot of work into the fencing, and we did quite a lot of landscaping. When people come to visit they say it feels like more of a garden. I wanted it to look pretty, we have flowers and lavender and even roses! I love gardens and gardening and I’m learning more. I can prune now which is a skill that I’ve had to get recently. I do quite enjoy it, it’s therapeutic and peaceful. A bit of nature is quite good for the soul I think. You can sit here and your dogs can play and you don’t need to worry about them and just soak up a bit of countryside. It’s pretty lovely, even if I do say so myself!

What kind of dogs come to use the park?

Everyone’s just been so positive about it, and it does solve problems for so many people. It’s very safe, there are no pine trees so the risk from the processionary caterpillars is limited. We have quite a lot of people who come here with dogs that have problems socialising with other dogs. The dogs might be from a shelter and the owners have tried everything but they still need exercise and this is offering them a safe place which is controlled. They can just run around and have a good play. I also have people coming to specifically train dog agility, they use our stuff and bring their own as well and set it up. The space is perfect for jumpers, diggers, reactive dogs, nervous dogs and those with recall problems. In fact it seems to suit any dog who enjoys a good run and a sniff, and their owners can relax a bit knowing their dogs are safe.

So The Olive Fields really did solve a problem.

We have loads of regulars now, and more and more people finding us as well. It’s strange because people pay for the hour and they are so grateful and thank me for letting them use it. I’ve got a family that comes with their dog. They said they’ve literally never ever, ever seen it run free before. I’ve got another family that has two dogs, one that lives upstairs and one that lives downstairs because they fight. They brought them here, both with muzzles on and she sent me a video within a few minutes of them playing together! She didn’t take the muzzles off, but she said next time that she would try without them. So it’s this territorial thing that you don’t have here because they’re free. They can do what they want and it’s neutral ground. It’s like a perfect space. It’s really nice to be here. The majority of people can’t afford to have a private space like this, so it feels like a luxury.

How does the booking work?

You look on the website ( and find a day and time which suits you and you book it. Then when you come for the first time there is an induction which I give to make sure you understand everything. After they are familiar with the space it is self-service and self-policing, and people have been really good, they are so considerate of the land. I always ask them to pick up the poo, and I hardly ever find one left behind. Some people bring their dogs here literally at the same time every week. And there’s other people who come once a month or once in a while just to do something different.

You have started to organise dog social and training events?

Yes, I’ve been organising small dog socials, and we have a training event coming up on Saturday November 18th which will be run by Social Dogs who are really excellent dog trainers. There will be a dog social, a training demonstration and a workshop with the trainers. The aim is to learn more about how your dog thinks, and become a better dog parent. The invitation is open to a maximum of 12 dogs, and it will be 20€ per dog. Your dog must be great around people and pups, with no behavioural issues. If you’d rather leave your dog at home, and just come and listen, this is also ok. No females on heat, or immediately after being on heat. Please leave toys and food behind. You can WhatsApp me to book on +34 607 564 726. If you can’t make it to this one, then we will definitely do more in the future.