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 > East Bay Regional Park District | Healthy Parks Healthy People > Activities > Dogs > Frequently Asked Questions - Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions - Dogs

  1. "Where may I take my dog?"
  2. "Where are dogs not allowed?"
  3. "Where must my dog be on-leash?"
  4. "Why we have these rules?"
  5. "Do these rules apply to service animals?"
  6. "Am I required to purchase a permit to walk my dog?"
  7. "When is a dog considered under control?"
  8. "What should I do if a dog gets out of control?"
  9. "Is my dog required to have a license and rabies vaccination?"


  1. "Where may I take my dog?"

    Dogs are permitted in nearly all East Bay Regional Parks. There are a few exceptions. See "Where are dogs not allowed?".

  2. "Where are dogs not allowed?"

    Dogs are not permitted at:

    • Ardenwood Historic Farm
    • Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve
    • Round Valley Regional Preserve
    • Redwood Stream Protection Area as fenced or posted
    • Ohlone Wilderness
    • Ohlone Wilderness Trail
    • Overnight at Sunol Backpack Camps
    • Brooks Island Regional Preserve
    • Las Trampas Stables
    • Redwood Arena
    • Redwood Regional Park group campsites: Girls Camp, Fern Dell, and Trails End
    • Regional Parks Botanic Garden (in Tilden Regional Park)
    • The Ranch at Little Hills - Wedding and Event Facilities
    • Tilden Nature Area (in Tilden Regional Park)
    • Tilden Regional Park group campsites: Wildcat View and New Woodland
    • Vasco Caves Regional Preserve
    • Swimming pools
    • Swimming and bathing beaches
    • Tot lots and children's play structures
    • Wetlands or marsh areas
    • Resource or wildlife protection areas
    • Designated nature study areas
    • Golf courses (Tilden Regional Park and Anthony Chabot Regional Park)
    • Any area so posted
    • Any other area specifically designated by the Board

    These exclusions are due to the sensitive nature of these habitat areas, and to the presence of endangered or threatened species. See also Ordinance 38, Board adopted parks or areas of parks where dogs are prohibited. 

  3. "Where must my dog be on-leash?"

    Dogs must be leashed (six-foot maximum) and under control at:

    • all parking lots and staging areas
    • all public roads open to vehicular traffic
    • all picnic areas and picnic sites
    • all lawns, turf areas or play fields
    • all developed areas
    • all decks and patios
    • all concession areas and facilities (snack stands, equipment rental areas, etc.)
    • all equestrian centers unless posted "No Dogs"
    • all archery ranges
    • all gun and marksmanship ranges
    • all campgrounds
    • any area posted "Dog on Leash"
    • all (Board designated) paved multi-use regional trails (Attachment C, Ordinance 38)

    DOGS MUST BE ON LEASH in the Serpentine Prairie Resource Protection Area along the Dunn and Serpentine Prairie trails. The leash requirement is for designated portions of these trails, about 1.5 miles from the Trudeau Center south the Redwood Equestrian Arena at the Southern end of the prairie.

    Point Isabel Regional Shoreline is an exception to the leash laws and has its own posted rules regarding dogs being off leash. To learn about Point Isabel exception, visit Ordinance 38 Link, (Section 801.2).

  4. "Why do we have these rules?"

    The East Bay Regional Park District provides permanent sanctuaries for native wildlife and vegetation. Once abundant, these irreplaceable resources are rapidly disappearing. As pressures from the expanding human population increase, the parklands become even more important as refuges for wildlife. Most parks have reports of dog attacks on animals, particularly deer, ground-nesting birds, and recently, fish spawning areas in Redwood, Wildcat and Alameda Creeks. When dog owners cooperate with the rules, the impact of domestic animals on wildlife is reduced. We need to work together to protect the healthy and diverse wildlife population.

    The Park District allows recreational use consistent with resource protection and preservation. Hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, runners, small children, senior citizens, dog-walkers, photographers, people in wheelchairs, bird watchers, and other nature study groups are all out on the trails, seeking a chance to get away from the urban environment. To help make multiple-use trails work, each user must be aware of the needs of others. All District visitors are required to comply with rules that have proved effective in providing for resource protection and a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

    Dog owners are a minority, so responsible owners should go slightly beyond the requirements to leave a positive impression. Every time dog owners bend or disregard the rules, they jeopardize their and other dog owners' continued welcome. It's perfectly appropriate to remind a fellow dog owner to pick up after his or her companion, or to leash their dog. It's a small step toward supporting the privilege of sharing and enjoying the parklands with your dog and other park users. 

  5. "Do these rules apply to service animals?"

    With the exception of the excluded parks, the restrictions listed do not apply to service dogs (animals) trained to assist disabled persons and whose presence is reasonably necessary.

  6. "Am I required to purchase a permit to walk my dog?"

    The East Bay Regional Park District has set up a dog permit program for commercial dog walkers and for people who walk more than three dogs at a time in the Regional Parks.

    Here are the major points of the dog permit program:

    • Six dogs at a time is the maximum number allowable to walk in the Regional Parks.
    • Commercial dog walkers are required to obtain a permit, regardless of how many dogs they walk at one time (limit of six).
    • Private individuals or families do not need a permit in order to walk up to three dogs at a time. Those who wish to walk four to six dogs must obtain a permit to do so.
    • Regardless of the number of dogs they are walking (maximum of six), commercial dog walkers will be directed to certain designated trails within each park.
    • Private dog walkers who have a permit and are walking more than three dogs (maximum of six) will also be directed to these trails.
    • Leash laws remain in effect. Dogs must be on leash in parking areas, picnic areas, and other places where so posted. Dogs can be off-leash in Regional Park open spaces, but they must be under their owner's or walker's control at all times. At Pt. Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, dogs can be off-leash except where otherwise posted, as long as they are under their owner's control. Special plastic bags are available in dispensers, so that dog walkers can pick up their dog's waste.
    • Permits are valid for a year from the date they are issued.

    You can obtain an application and more information by phoning the Police Department at (510) 690-6508. Or you can request an application by writing the Records Clerk, East Bay Regional Park District Police Department, 17930 Lake Chabot Road, Castro Valley, 94546. Or you can obtain one in person at the Police Department. For fee information, visit the Permit page

  7. "When is a dog considered under control?"

    Dogs are considered under control when they are within direct eyesight of the owner/handler and when they have the ability to quickly return to leash when called. Dogs that annoy, harass, or attack people, wildlife, livestock or other dogs, leashed or unleashed, or which enter leash-required or dog-prohibited areas, are presumed to be not under control.

  8. "What should I do if a dog gets out of control?"

    It is the responsibility of the handler (or owner, if present) of any dog involved in a dog bite or dog attack to:

    1. Stop and offer assistance
    2. Provide the other involved party(ies) with the involved dog's(s') license number(s) and/or rabies vaccination number(s)
    3. Provide the other party(ies) with their name and address, and if serious injuries are involved
    4. Immediately report the incident to emergency responders (ranger, police, or fire staff)
    5. Remain at the scene until responders arrive, and
    6. Provide the responders with their identification information.
  9. "Is my dog required to have a license and rabies vaccination?"

    Any dog found without a license or proof of rabies vaccination identification tag may be impounded by members of the District's police force, or other authorized employees in assisting the police.