Erika Rozsa-Atkinson

Erika Rozsa-Atkinson says she has wanted a dog park for many years but people have questioned why one is needed in Whitehorse when there is so much open space. (CBC)

Whitehorse's first off-leash dog park officially opens Saturday, and a local dog trainer says it's long overdue.

Erika Rozsa-Atkinson says she has wanted a dog park for many years but people have questioned why one is needed in Whitehorse when there is so much open space.

"The truth of the matter is that dogs are social," she said. "It is absolutely necessary to associate with dogs therefore they won't be so territorial and edgy and excited when they see another dog."

The park at the top of Main Street is also known as a place where people go to drink but Rozsa-Atkinson says it's not been a big problem.

The park's been open for about a month but the official opening is Saturday at 2 p.m.