San Francisco’s southern border includes several primarily residential districts, including the Ingleside Heights district. The community there is tight-knit and comprised of longtime San Francisco residents. A small group of mini-parks along Brotherhood Way host several small off-leash dog play areas and many locals regularly take their dogs to play, meet, and run off-leash with other dogs.
The Head and Brotherhood Mini Park—named for the specific cross streets where the park is located—is home to one of San Francisco’s off-leash dog play areas. The whole of the park occupies less than a full acre, but local dog lovers report that this is more than enough space to play games and allow your dog to run free for a short while. A playground and basketball court are the only landmarks in the park; the rest of the area is unenclosed dog play space. Depending on the season, the terrain is either dirt or patches of grass. There are no restrooms, but there are water fountains, benches, and trees where you can find shade.
Due to the park’s limited size, it can get crowded with dogs pretty quickly during busy days. Children from the nearby neighborhoods and schools come to play basketball or play on the playground, so if your dog isn’t used to children or well-trained, it might be a good idea to stay on leash in these areas. The park is open to the public and managed by San Francisco Recreation and Parks. They do require that you pick up after your dog, but no poop bags are provided, so you will either have to bring your own or ask one of the community of members for a helping hand.
Whether you are a longtime resident, or simply passing through, the park offers your dog the opportunity to go off-leash and mix with other local dogs. If you bring your dog by for a visit, you may find yourself in conversation about the city’s changing cultural landscape, or simply appreciating the homelike, comfortable feel that the mini park has to offer.