Marin County Open Space District preserves are set aside to provide habitat for native wildlife. Wild animals become accustomed to the presence of people and dogs encountered on roads and trails, but when unleashed dogs explore adjacent areas, wild creatures perceive them as predators and react with fear or flight. MCOSD regulations governing dogs are intended to protect native species that depend on these remaining tracts of undeveloped land and to ensure that all visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. Be respectful of others, be in control of your dog(s) at all times, and always clean up and pack out.
Section 2.05.010 - Dogs and other animals. Dogs and other domestic animals are allowed on District lands when under the direct and immediate control of a responsible person. Up to three dogs per individual are allowed, with exceptions beyond that number granted only through issuance by the District General Manager of a Special or Commercial Use Permit. On maintained and designated fire protection roads three dogs off-leash per individual are allowed. In all other areas, dogs and other domestic animals must be fastened to and restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length. No person shall do any of the following on District lands:
Visit Rules and Regulations to view the entire Marin County Open Space District Code.
Dogs must be on leash at all times at the following MCOSD preserves, either because there are no fire protection roads or because of the presence of sensitive wildlife habitat:
Note: Dogs are not permitted at Santa Margarita Island Preserve, except service animals.
The Marin County Parks and Open Space Department does not have a formal dog park or, as the Marin Humane Society describes, “a place where dogs can socialize and run off leash in a safe, secure environment.” Please visit the Marin Humane Society for information about dog parks in Marin. Check out DogFriendly.com for a comprehensive guide to dog-friendly locations in Marin and the North Bay.
A mix of local, state, and federal agencies own public land throughout Marin. Each agency has unique and different rules concerning dogs. The following links are provided to help dog owners locate information and understand which public agency has jurisdiction over the area(s) they want to visit with their dog(s).
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