photo by mk30

Dogtown is a neighborhood in West Oakland.  Both the boundaries and the source of the name are in dispute.  Most sources say that the name came from the dogs that guarded the many junkyards in the neighborhood, even suggesting that there were more dogs than people, although many of these sources also mention the story reflected in the Wikipedia entry for the neighborhood, which states that "Oakland Police officers coined the phrase due to a large population of stray dogs dating from the early 1980s" (no source is given for that information).)

Finally, Oakland native Donnell Stevens gives a third source for the name, stating that the name "Dogtown" first started to be used to describe this neighborhood in the late 1960s. Apparently he and other young men who often played basketball in the neighborhood would know when it was dinner time when the dogs started to take over the streets. Everyone put their dog out during dinner so that they wouldn't beg and as a result, around dinner time, it became "dogtown time." Eventually the name was just shortened to Dogtown. 

Dogtown map from SF ChronicleThe boundaries are also in dispute.  Some say the neighborhood is bounded by 34th, Hollis and 32nd Streets and Mandela Parkway, while most other sources agree with this map from an article in the October 26 San Francisco Chronicle about development in the neighborhood, and say the northern boundary is the MacArthur Freeway, the eastern boundary is Adeline Street, and the southern boundary is 28th Street.



The Dogtown Neighborhood Association's old and inactive website is at  They are also on Facebook, but the group's information is only visible to its members.



photos below by mk30

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