Do you let your dog(s) off leash....

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Linds, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    illegally?

    I was thinking about that today while I was illegally letting Traveler run around a baseball field off leash. We have a rather strict leash law in writing (not enforcedreally though, or at least I haven't been arrested yet) where your dog isn't allowed off leash or on any line over 10 feet long.

    I let Traveler off leash the stage area behind my house all the time (though not if anyone is there). I let him off leash in soccer and baseball fields by a school I bike at. Again, not if anyone is actively in the field, though lots of people walk by with dogs, kids and so on.

    I let him off leash at a pond to swim that's along a bike path I'm on (again, not if someone is fishing or standing there but people walk by) and on a dock off of a park.

    He's become very reliable off leash and so I don't worry but I wonder about what others think. I try to show control by putting him in downs from a distance if I see someone coming with a dog and I walk over and sit down by him until they are passed.

    I always feel hypocritical because if I see someone with an off leash dog I'm watching like a hawk and pretty much being judgmental until I can tell it's completely under control

    So, do you guys let your dogs off leash in places that aren't off leash places? Or do you mind when someone else's dog is offleash if they have it completely under voice control?
     
  2. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    We don't have any illegal places here, thankfully, so no. I probably would let them off though if I knew they would behave.
     
  3. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Um well... pretty sure we have a leash law... and by laws state that her leash can't be longer than 10 feet (or something like that), and must be held by your hand, not attached to you any other way.

    Rosey is off leash often, her leash is 15 feet, and it's hands-free (goes around my waist). I have yet to have a cop actually say anything to me, though... they usually just love on her :p
     
  4. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    Sort of.

    When we work on heeling at parks, I usually have Elsie on a drag line. She's fast enough that if she wanted to, she could take off, though.

    Mostly I don't let her off-leash. She's too fast, and we're usually too close to traffic for me to risk it. Plus, she barks at strangers sometimes (like, one out of a hundred people gets one woof--we're working on it) and I don't want her getting pepper sprayed in the face because of my stupidity (that and it's not fair to the stranger who is potentially getting woofed at).

    Zobby never, ever gets off-leash time. His favorite game is not coming when called, followed closely by chasing small animals, so we don't trust him.
     
  5. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Yes I do let him off leash, but only in empty areas where I can see all around.

    And no I don't mind at all when people have their dogs offleash "illegally." In fact it makes me happy to see.

    I don't even mind if the dog is not under control just as long as it isn't too obnoxious... if I'm not with Roman I actually enjoy a polite visiting dog.
     
  6. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    I came off sounding like a jerk when I said how judmental I am, so I wanted to clarify:

    Typically if I'm out somewhere that someone would have a dog off leash I have Traveler and am biking. We've had a lot of close calls with dogs going after us because we're moving fast so I'm always hyper aware
     
  7. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Kind of. I have a 5 foot piece of boating rope clipped to his harness when he's swimming.
     
  8. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Only Pip, and only in very specific areas where we are away from traffic and most other people. The others... BAHAHAHAHAHA
     
  9. cloudcandy

    cloudcandy Cloudcandy

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    I'm actually not completely sure about laws and leashes in general.
    I do let her out at onto the back of my estate without a leash sometimes,it depends on her mood,if I have treats etc.She behaves but there was one occasion where she heard a noise late at night and let out a howwwwlll and almost ran over to investigate,however she came when called.
    I guess I kind of am like you in the sense when I see a dog off lead I'm all 0_0 "Hmmmmmm whats going on here..ahem....wheres the owner....what are you doing....is it looking at us...oh wait is he coming over...."I would never let Coco out of my site off lead and I generally am not happy with being approached by a dog off lead when I can't see their owner.
     
  10. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    When it comes to empty random spaces (baseball fields, back lots, along walking trails etc..) I don't care. If they clean up after their dogs and their dog isn't a nuisance.. whatever.. I say go by ear. Not that many people around/close by (like a crowded park), it's safe and your dog is under control.. I don't see the harm.

    but when it comes to parks.. personally, it hits a nerve.

    because THE OWNER might know that their dog is under control, but I don't. So even just as a dog owner, my lovely walk in the park is interrupted because I have to watch this other dog.
    I also think it's unfair for people who have kids playing or who picnic in the park.. because yea, your dog might be 100% reliable and under control.. but they don't know that and better safe than sorry, it's not a risk they might want to take and they shouldn't have to.

    Plus other (perhaps even other not responsible/off leash reliable dogs/owners) see this and think "Oh, obviously off lead dogs are ok!" and then it becomes a problem.
    Especially being from the city, where green space isn't widely available.. I HATE when people don't obey the rules when it comes to dogs.
    because if there is a problem.. dogs get banned from the park PERIOD. and that sucks.

    Do I let my dog run off leash in parks that are on-lead only? No.
    My dog is very reliable off lead, he never goes that far.. but I don't want to make other people uncomfortable or get all the dogs in the park in trouble.

    Not to mention, Romeo was attacked and nearly killed by a dog at an on-lead park. He was off leash because "he saw other people doing it and assumed it was ok", the regulars at the park who go off-leash have VERY VERY well trained dogs.. but he didn't know that. and monkey see. monkey do.

    but other kinds of places? I kind of go by ear. In very empty walking paths, back lots, random fields.. ya. There are no other people/other dogs around so eh.. I usually do if I think it's safe and we are alone.
     
  11. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Oh and I must add, it also depends greatly on the KIND of park.

    In Miami, parks are small grassy areas of geometrical shape. There are no barriers or separations really.. just a big patch of grass basically with a sidewalk.
    So letting your dog run around off lead. It's basically within the view/in the same area as lots of other people/other dog walkers/kids playing etc..
    There is no BARRIER between your dog and all these people other than your supposed control over them. and that I think is kind of rude..

    If we had a park with different sections, secluded areas.. I probably would feel differently because my dog, even off lead, is in a way contained. He can't just hang left and hop on somebodies picnic blanket or chase someones child
     
  12. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Nope. I used to be an animal control officer, and I can't tell you how much I hated having to go up to people and write them a ticket because they chose to have their dog off-leash in an area clearly posted as leashed dogs only. When it becomes too much of an issue in an area, that area often winds up being "no dogs allowed". I'm not ruining the fun for anyone else.

    However, in our area, very few places require dogs to be leashed. Most of the towns have a control law (dog must be under owner's control at all times), with only certain parks/bike paths requiring dogs to be leashed. That was the real kicker for me as an ACO. If there are 12 parks in the city, why do you *have* to come to the ONLY ONE that has a leash rule and take your dog off?

    My opinion might be different if our entire area required leashes, because my dogs do enjoy a lot of off leash time. As it is, I get annoyed when people don't follow the leash rules where they exist.
     
  13. cloudcandy

    cloudcandy Cloudcandy

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    I will also add that I have yet to enter an area that states "All dogs must be on a leash"...never seen one yet!
     
  14. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Yeah see, that would be wonderful.

    In our town you can't have your dog off leash anywhere. There are no leash laws posted because the leash law covers everything unless it's one of the couple off leash dog parks in the county. And those you need to pay for.
     
  15. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I've only just started letting Tucker off leash at the park but everyone else is doing it. The park is more of a field...two baseball diamonds, big field for soccer, basketball court in back. It's mostly fenced in. There is a walking trail behind it. The fence says dogs must be on leash but it is a VERY well known doggy place, it's basically an unofficial dog park, if I go I am 100% sure there will be other dogs there. Tucker is pretty much the only one, besides puppies, that is on a leash. The main reason I've started letting him off is because people are having to do jump rope over his long leash and I'm tangling up people's dog's while Tucker is playing with them so it's either he has to come off or he can't play, and the only reason we go there is so he can play with other dogs. When it's just one or two others it's not an issue but when there are 7-10 other dogs like there is from about 3pm to sunset the long leash starts becoming dangerous. I've never heard of someone getting in trouble for having their dog's off leash there, if there was a practice or something and dogs started running on the field I could see it becoming and issue, but so far so good.
     
  16. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    The field that Rosey loves to be in, and is offleash in most of the time (and that we had our photos taken in), apparently has a no dogs sign. But it's apparently not even at the main entrance to it... it is only seen when you come off the street and go up the hill. I haven't seen it yet.
     
  17. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    I've let Riley off leash at the beach but only very early in the morning when there's literally no one in sight. Sis is usually with me and we'll have him run from one to the other, so it's sort of a recall game. He is totally obnoxious if he doesn't get to run. I don't usually have a bike at the beach and it's usually too hot by the time you can rent one, so biking with him to expend energy isn't an option. :(

    I don't really mind off leash dogs at the beach if they look like they're aware of their owners (dogs that will race out for a little bit, play in the waves, then run back). I have more of a problem with owners who don't clean up after their dogs (off leash or on). Kicking sand over poop is not an option!! Grrrrrrrrr.
     
  18. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I let Knox off because I know he wont leave, or I have an ecollar on him for his recall for small animals, but our laws say dog must be under control, not necessarily leashed. He doesn't leave (unless he is chasing a cat, but thats why he wears an ecollar at parks) and I can down him from quite a distance, so I don't worry about it.

    If someone is obviously uncomfortable by him, I will call him to me and leash him up. He doesn't bother any people or dogs though, and does the typical herding dog/GSD thing where he moves in a bog circle usually less than twenty feet from me at all times when he's offleash.

    I do watch other people though, because its been my experience that almost no one but me has vocal control over their dogs. I can down Knox who's in a flat out run to Steven or to see other people and he'll down. The only exception is cats, unfortunately. However, we don't run into a whole lot of cats at the park or the nature center, so I feel comfortable letting him off.

    Plus, off leash he travels about three times the distance I do, so it gives me a break on his exercise. :p
     
  19. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I suppose it just depends.

    Cynder is off lead all of the time, everywhere. She's under perfect voice control (no downs at a distance, but if you whistle for her she will book it back to you) and is small and cute, so typically people don't say anything. But, I've been on the other end for far too long to let her off leash easily - I know what it is like to have a dog that is reactive to off leash dogs, whether they are friendly/ignoring you/not going to bother you or not.

    So I am okay with off leash dogs if it is done legally or in an area where no other people are (or limited number of people who don't mind). Otherwise, the dogs are on a leash as a courtesy to the other people around.

    I also think it is different to have a dog just running around off leash having a good time and having a dog off leash that is doing some kind of activity (obedience/frisbee/etc.).
     
  20. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I don't. Everybody else seems to be able to, but if I so much as think about it, a cop or by law drives by. I used to run Tango off leash in school fields (when school was out and I stayed away from playgrounds) all the time to play Frisbee. I did it for years and nobody minded, she was well behaved, etc. But then one day a cop came and gave me a talking to (while complimenting my dog at the same time), and ever since then I've been too nervous. Which sucks, because aside from off leash dog parks, everywhere here has a "no dogs allowed" rule. Even if the field is nothing for than just that - a field. Dogs still aren't allowed. I wish I had a nice field within walking distance to go play a game of fetch or practice training off leash in that was legal.

    I don't mind if others have their well behaved, trained dogs off leash. As long as the dog is under control and the owner is actually doing something with the dog, then go ahead. But I do have a problem with people letting dogs off leash that shouldn't be, as thanks to them, I now have a leash reactive dog thanks to those dogs grabbing my dog while he was on a leashed walk behaving perfectly.
     

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