Let me be blunt with you, dear reader. We have a big problem in the canine community, and it’s ruining dogs.
We require leashes for valid reasons, No. 1 being safety for all concerned: safety not only for you and your dog but for all of the dogs and humans out and about.
There are leash laws in most cities – you can be fined for not using one in places that require it. And yet … some of you dog owners have decided that this crucial law does NOT apply to your dog.
I read the sad consequences caused by a dog being off-leash every single day on trainer forums. Many responsible owners are walking their dog-aggressive (reactive) dog on leash precisely to keep their dog from having to come face to face with YOUR off-leash dog. You can set such a dog’s training right back to square one if you let your dog greet their dog while off-leash.
This may be breaking news to some, but not all dogs want to say hi to every dog they see every day. Do you – as a verbal human – always want to say hi and hug everyone you see? I didn’t think so.
Also, here are just a few things that can happen to your roving un-leashed Rover:
Yes, my dear dog owner, I understand that dogs DO enjoy and probably need a good run now and again. Just because that’s true, that does not make it okay for you to allow that to happen in a public location where leashes are the law. You are endangering your own dog and every other dog when you do this.
So what can you do to help your active dog out? Here are some solutions:
In case I haven’t been clear enough, here is what I will leave you with:
For the love of Dog, do not be that person chasing after your unleashed dog as he gallops right into the face of someone’s leashed dog, calling out as you come panting up: “He’s friendly! He just wants to say hi!”
It is rude behavior, both in terms of canine behavior and human behavior. More than half of the dogs who end up in my reactive dog class are there because they have been confronted, scared, and sometimes physically hurt by on off-leash dog.
Leash. Your. Dog.
It is the law, and for very good reasons.
And yet … so many dog owners have decided that this crucial law does NOT apply to their dog. Why do those of you who allow your dog to run free in cities feel that your dog is above the law?
What do you think about this? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments.
Read more by Annie Phenix:
Read more on leashing your dog:
About the author: Annie Phenix, CPDT-KA, is a force-free professional dog trainer enjoying her mountain-filled life in Colorado. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild and the National Association of Canine Scent Work. She takes her highly trained dogs with them everywhere dogs are welcome because of their exceptionally good manners. Join Annie on her dog-training Facebook page.