|Barked: Sun Oct 2, '11 10:43pm PST |
|I'm with you on this, Abner. My dog is a scenthound. I simply will not risk it. He has a long line if I want to give him some 'freedom' while on hikes away from roads and even then, I have access to the end of the line or can hold the very end of the line and he has a good 40-60 feet to roam, depending on the long line I bring. He's great on that and it's so much less restricting that he absolutely loves it.
That said, never would I risk ANY dog off leash near a road, ever. Hiking trails, dog parks, etc, depends on the dog, but near a ROAD? Heck no.
I actually had a lady once who saw Charlie trying to drag me(towards a rabbit hiding under a bush that she could not see from her balcony) and she actually started shouting obscenities at me about how I should 'let him be a dog!' and who did I think I was to 'not let him loose to run'. Uhm... Hey, Crazy lady, clearly you have NEVER owned a Beagle, and CLEARLY, you don't care about the EXTREMELY busy main road right down the block. As soon as I started shouting back at her, she shuffled off into her apartment and hid away again. Sigh.
What I don't like is the dogs that are loose in areas that are not designated off leash areas - such as my neighborhood. Why? Because Charlie is leash reactive. I DO NOT want a strange, loose dog coming up to my dog. To me, you don't have nearly as much control over what happens with a dog off leash, than a dog that is on leash. At least I know if a fight breaks out or if my dog manages to set off your dog, I can still pull mine into the clear with his leash - but what are you gonna do about YOUR dog? That scares me because I've seen MANY dogs end up in fights or get attacked by strange, loose dogs, even after the owner has said "Oh, he's fine!"
I have seen people with almost no control over their on-leash dog. These dogs are probably more likely to get away from their handlers than the off-leash dogs who are under a lot of training and time.
If your dog is pulling and reacting to other dogs on a leash, you really have no business telling off-leash dog handlers what to do. If your dog is under control than you do have some leverage. I am more concerned about people with highly reactive dogs who pull towards my dog than the off-leash dogs.
This depends entirely upon the owner and the dog. Charlie is very leash reactive, but with extensive positive reinforcement, I've gotten him from reacting 10/10 times, to only reacting 5/10 times and in those 5/10, it's typically only if the dog is within ten-twenty feet, or already reacting to him to begin with. If there are people with reactive dogs that are getting pulled toward your dog, they obviously have some work to do and need to keep their eyes peeled for other dogs. I am constantly aware of my surroundings, for anything that might set off Charlie - whether it's a rabbit or another dog. And I always get under his threshold to prevent him from reacting and trying to pull towards that dog. While yes, my dog is leash reactive, I DO appreciate people with their off leash dogs to either let me steer clear of them(which some DON'T because clearly me trying to move my dog under threshold means let your dog approach), or that they have ENOUGH control over their dog, regardless of leash or no leash, that the dog leaves my dog alone. I'm sorry, but regardless of on leash or off leash, I fully expect people to give me and my dog the space if I make it clear I want it and considering we DO have leash laws in my city, I don't like to see off leash dogs in areas not designated for off leash dogs.
Regardless of whether a person trusts their dog on or off leash, letting them off near a road, to me, is too much risk. I'd rather a safe dog on a leash, than a dead dog on the street.
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