Your dog is well behaved; he never runs off or gets aggressive with other dogs. And that’s wonderful. But that also doesn’t mean your dog should be let off-leash in public spaces. There are so many variables when it comes to taking your dog in public, and you never know what can happen. Keeping your dog —and the people around you — safe starts with keeping him on a leash.
Why you should keep even well-trained dogs on a leash
Even if you’re convinced that your dog is so well-trained that he would absolutely never run off or misbehave, don’t underestimate the temptations and distractions of the outside world. Even the most well-trained dog slips up from time to time if he sees or smells or hears something particularly interesting. And if he does, you don’t want him to be off-leash and out of your sight before you can grab him.
It’s always possible for your dog to get startled by something unexpected. Whether the result is him running into a street, lashing out at a stranger, or just cowering in fear, this is preventable in the first place. Even if all of these are unique or uncommon situations, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If your pet does run off, the last thing you want is for him to get lost or injured, or to injure someone else.
Having your dog off-leash poses risks from other dogs
Beyond risks from a dog running off, there are also risks posed by other dogs. If your dog is unleashed and comes across a more aggressive dog on a leash, that dog or your own may feel more anxious or territorial because one is off-leash. This is more likely to result in aggressive behavior between the two, and one dog being off-leash also makes it harder to keep them separated and safe from an unpleasant interaction.
Remember not everyone you and your encounters are dog lovers
Then factor in the people in the public spaces you visit with your dog. When you’re out in public you have no idea which of the people around you are dog lovers and which may fear or distrust dogs. Perhaps some have bad dog allergies. None of this is your dog’s fault, and though most people may love your friendly dog trotting up to them, not all will.
I personally love dogs but also go out in public every week with a client who is autistic and terrified of dogs. And without fail, every week unleashed dogs come right up to him and terrify him to the point that we have to leave wherever we are. Be conscientious of the people around you. Having your dog on a leash makes this easier to do.
Ultimately a leash is a cheap tool that effectively limits risks to your dog and the dogs and people around you in public places. And a number of states also have leash laws. Leashing your dog in public is the logical step to keeping them safe wherever you go.
Featured Image: SanyaSM/Getty Images
Read Next: How to Train a Dog to Walk on a Leash
5 thoughts on “Why Your Dog Needs to be on a Leash in Public Places”
Absolutely, every time you take your dog out, I don’t care how short of a trip it is, always leash your dog! The leash does many things other than giving human control over the dog. When used as a tool, the leash creates the bond between the dog and the human. The leash is telling the dog that I do not need to worry about being safe because my human is controlling everything. It is very comforting for the dog to be on the leash. Also, the leash is the best tool to use when training your dog. https://bit.ly/best-dog-trainers
We come across off-leash dogs every time we go out for a hike. Our city and state parks do have leash laws, but many people refuse to obey them. I guess they just don’t want their dogs to be on a leash, but it is the safest and legal course.
One of my main concerns is poisonous snakes. We have a few types here in Texas. If I let my dog run off-leash, what is to prevent her from stepping near one and being bitten if not on a leash? It’s just not worth the risk.
I have had to help a woman search for a dog in the past because she was scared by someone and ran off. Luckily, she was found, but not before suffering several scrapes. Sadly, this is a debatable topic – some are for and others are against.
Thank you for posting these gentle reminders! As both a trainer and dog mom, I appreciate when dog owners follow the leash laws and respect others around them.
Then factor in the people in the public spaces you visit with your do
What about off leash areas? Would you still want to them on a leash??