The Original Dog Beach in San Diego is nationally famous and one of the first official leash-free beaches in the United States.

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Dog Beach is a landmark in the community of Ocean Beach at the end of I-8 and the mouth of the San Diego River. Dog Beach is a special place where people, pets, beach lovers and surfers celebrate the spirit of Ocean Beach — one of southern California’s last true beach towns.

Originally, the beach itself was unexpectedly formed after the addition of a jetty between Mission Bay and the San Diego River channel. It developed cult status among dog-lovers who wanted a beach of their very own. It quickly became known unofficially as Dog Beach, and later achieved official status as a leash-free beach, one of the few remaining leash-free areas in San Diego.

The site was formally adopted by the Ocean Beach Town Council in 1972 to protect it as a community asset for the future. By the 1990s, after years of enthusiastic (and round-the-clock) use by dogs and their partners, the beach fell into ill repair. The OBTC planned improvements to Dog Beach to make its 25th anniversary even more special — and it worked!

The OBTC works to raise funds that will improve Dog Beach for future generations. We are a participant in the California Coastal Commission’s Adopt-A-Beach program and hold a seat on the San Diego River Coalition. We also work closely with the San Diego City Park and Recreation department, city council offices, Ocean Beach community groups, and business partners.

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