Date and area restrictions apply to bringing your dog with you to the beach. From April 1 to September 30, dogs are prohibited in all areas of Compo Beach, including the off-leash dog area. From October 1 - March 31, however, the off-leash area is free game and consists of the space south of the brick-houses (designated by signs and fencing).
Here, your dogs can run their hearts out and play off-leash, as long as they are kept under the control of and are in sight of their owner at all times (even if the dog is not on a leash, the owner must still have one with them). Outside of the off-leash area, a dog must remain on a leash (in parking lots, the roadways, and grass areas). Animals are never allowed to be on boardwalks, the playground, volleyball courts, or in the pavilion whether on or off of a leash.
The one downside of the park is its high parking prices that range from $40-65 depending on the day of the week (weekends are more expensive). Beyond the prices, this is a great area for your dog to run and play with other puppies while also dipping into the water.
Be sure to bring extra water and shade for your dog to ensure it has a place to cool off. Also, it is California law that you pick up after your dog. Be sure to bring bags just in case the park doesn't have any to dispose of any waste your pooch leaves behind.