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Founded in 1976 by a group of friends, SFDOG organized more formally in 1997 in reaction to the closing of Ocean Beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to off-leash recreation. While continuing to work for off-leash recreational opportunities for responsible dog owners/guardians and their companion animals, we have expanded our mission to include a variety of programs designed to educate the people of San Francisco about dogs and their place in our culture. We work with dog owners/guardians about what it means to be a responsible dog owner/guardian. We help non-dog owners understand dog behavior to alleviate any fears or misconceptions they may have. We educate elected and appointed officials about dogs and the benefits of off-leash recreation. We share the "joy of dog" with others, and provide a central clearinghouse of information about neighborhood dog groups, responsible dog ownership/guardianship, and off-leash recreation.
SFDOG has worked with officials from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) to protect off-leash access on lands in the GGNRA. We also monitor the way the SF Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) administers its dog policy, which requires dogs to be on-leash in City parks except in designated off-leash areas. We continue our efforts to change RPD's dog policy.
SFDOG has held workshops on how to correct common dog problems found in parks (poor recall, resource guarding, jumping). We organized a workshop to train dogs to ignore horses, with horses and riders provided by the SF Police Dept. Mounted Police Unit. We organized a seminar for the SF RPD gardeners and rec center staff to help them better understand dog behavior and dog body language.
SFDOG has periodic membership meetings with speakers on topics such as emergency medicine for dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, positive approaches to controlling barking, and other topics of interest to dog owners/guardians. We publish a periodic newsletter "The Wag", and help with park clean-ups and other special events. SFDOG is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to SFDOG are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.