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

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

  1. Teal

    Teal ...ice road...

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    Yes, I let my dogs off leash illegally. But I do it in the most responsible way I can! lol

    There is a baseball field that says "NO DOGS IN FIELD"... but we let the dogs run and play there, if no one is there.

    I let my dogs off leash at the county park, again - if no one is there.

    In the past (when he could still fetch), I let Ruger off leash at a public lakefront park to play short-distance fetch. He is the only dog I will unleash in an unfenced public area, because his recall is 98% (you know dogs.. nothing is 100%!)... but even then, I did it only in situations where I knew it was safe.

    Those are the sort of illegal off-leashings I do. And I ALWAYS regain control of my dog/s if someone comes into view. I'm incredibly observant of my surroundings, and I've yet to miss someone approaching... 80% of the time, I see them before they see me. Depending on the circumstances, I'll either leash my dog/s or put them in a down/stay.

    I NEVER let my dog/s off leash when other dogs are present, leashed or otherwise.

    How do I feel when I see other off leash dogs? I prepare to defend my dog from a possible encounter, first. I have seen VERY few off leash dogs with voice control strong enough to warrant being off lead!
     
  2. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Dogs off leash in busy public areas like public parks where there are leash laws do annoy me. I don't care how well mannered they are, that is public space. You never know who might be afraid of dogs or otherwise be anxious at the sight of an off leash dog, they don't deserve to have their day ruined through no fault of their own.
     
  3. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    People let their dogs off leash in (on lead) parks ALL THE TIME here and it drives me crazy because they have no control over them. And I have a reactive dog (Mu) so when I go to any park I have to be even more hyper aware and paranoid than I already am. I have not ever seen someone in this area with an off lead dog that is actually under voice control. Even at the dog park. If I had, I would probably feel different about it.

    I really only let my dogs off leash in really rural areas (which has its own set of risks). Tipper has an awful lot of prey drive and a pretty crappy recall, Murphy has wanderlust, and while Mu has a fantastic recall she's also REALLY into squirrels and I'm not sure which one would win out. I'm just not willing to risk my idiots most of the time lol.

    ETA: I don't care if dogs are off leash in a contained area (like a baseball field) or in an area where there aren't very many people/dogs IF they're reasonably well controlled by voice. But in parks where there are a lot of other people and dogs it annoys me.
     
  4. Skivvies

    Skivvies New Member

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    Nope. Tiffany stays on leash unless we're at the dog park. Even though Tiffany is pretty much velcroed to me, I feel a lot more comfortable with her on the leash. There are also a lot of coyotes where I live, so I want her close to me at all times.

    Tiffany has been jumped by off-leash dogs in our neighborhood before. Only small ones fortunately (big ones could really hurt her eek), but I can't imagine letting my small dog roam around off leash with all the coyotes!
     
  5. nikkiluvsu15

    nikkiluvsu15 Wild At Heart

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    No, not generally.

    I do, however, break other laws...

    Such as the leash length... at most state parks your leash is supposed to be 6' or shorter, but after we finish hiking and head to the river I clip on her long lead so she has more freedom to swim further (though I don't like her to swim THAT far... alligators!).
     
  6. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    Normally no. He would end up taking off with out even meaning to. His nose would get him into trouble. I do take him up to the old school and let him off leash there. They have a pretty big fenced in area for where the little kids used to play. I'm not sure if I should be doing that, but the cops have never said anything. I always clean up any mess he might make.
     
  7. IceyBlueSibes

    IceyBlueSibes New Member

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    Depends on where we're at & if there are people or dogs around. If there are people or dogs I won't let him off leash. He's good about not running off especially when we tell him "leave it" or "Stay" but he has his days where he gets a wild hair up his butt & seems like he's forgotten some of the rules.

    He goes out front of the house with us, if we're unloading groceries or cleaning out the car. We will take a walk and in our neighborhood there is a dirt road leading back to a spot where the water company goes (I have no idea what it is) but there's a ditch between the houses and this road and on the other side is woods. We let him off leash when we get back there. But usually out in public we don't let him off leash unless there's no one else around and it's at a park or what have you. We used to go fishing under neath this bridge down in Florida & as long as there weren't other people around we left him loose because he was so obsessed with fishing it was ridiculous but we always kept a leash in immediate reach if we needed it.
     
  8. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I'm pretty well behaved considering I just moved from north Idaho, a very wilderness type area, where my dogs ran off leash most places we went hiking and considering I tend to be a rather rebellious type. lol. Here in my new place, I'm in the city limits, plus most places would be too dangerous to let them off leash. I wouldn't use a school ball field if a sign said "no dogs" or let them off leash any other place that says "dogs must be on a leash." But there is one place, some kind of park thingy...just a grass walking trail along side the water where there are no signs and there are hardly every people or other dogs there. If there are, they are put on their leashes.

    At another city park there are paved walking trails and big grassy areas, play equipment for kids etc. One day, there was someone with an off leash dog in one of those grassy places. It made me mighty nervous. How was I to know that dog wouldn't come roaring along and attack my Chihuahuas? He didn't, but it still made me a nervous. I don't see any other people letting their dogs off leash, so why should that person? It is clearly marked in several locations that dogs must be on a leash in this park. Surely, there must be somewhere to take dogs to run off leash. There is a lot of country all around this city. If I had a bigger dog, I'd definitely work on finding a suitable place for that. As it is, the Chi's are just fine on a leash. If they want to run, I can run along with them.
     
  9. Blue_Dog

    Blue_Dog Guest

    Yes. There is one dog park in this entire city and it is on the other side of the city. I've been trying to get Sam down there at least once a week, but bumming rides off my parents doesn't work all the time. There is supposed to be a new one coming soon and it is a tad bit closer but no where near walking distance.

    Besides that one park there is a strict leash law and leashes must be 6' or under. It's common knowledge to dog owners around here that we are all considered second rate citizens by the city and by non dog owners. It's not always fun. Oh and dogs aren't allowed anywhere near the lake. Apparently it's cool for humans to muck up our lake but dogs are just too dirty for it. XD

    So there was one park that was known locally as an unofficial dog park and I took Sam there as often as possible. I only let him off leash once we were away from the road and I was certain it wasn't busy. We were usually safe if the off-duty cop with his two dogs were around because the by-law officer would see him and just walk away. :3 Apparently, I've never seen the bylaw there. But I keep hearing that it's being monitored more so we don't go there. There are other wooded areas that I let Sam off-leash at, but only if no one is around and off of the main trails.

    If I didn't then Sam would get next to no off-leash time. There aren't many other options here.

    As for other dogs I don't mind at all and I commend the owners bravery in face of the by-law. :p Unless the dog is out of control, the area is overly busy with people or if it just isn't safe (near a road for example). What I hate is when people let their unleashed dogs march up to Sam and then wait until they get closer to tell me that their dogs are dog aggressive sometimes. >.<
     
  10. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Interesting reading. I'm insanely jealous of you guys that don't have leash laws. I also love the places that have the "either leashed or under voice control" laws.

    I think one of the words that everyone uses differently depending on where they live is 'parks'. I kinda use that word for a lot of things from the stage area they hold concerts at behind my house to the baseball/soccer fields by the school I bike at to the playground near the dock I use. But what I never mean in regards to Traveler being off leash in a park is a place where everyone is close together or having picnics or sight seeing.

    And I hear what a lot of you guys who don't do it are saying about being afraid of dogs or not being able to tell if they are under control or not or ruining it for everyone else. That's kinda why I made this thread and why I didn't/don't do it without a lot of thought.

    But at the same time, when towns and places don't give you anywhere TOO legally let your dogs off leash and you have a high energy dog that needs to run you kinda end up having your hand forced. Especially if you are lucky enough to have a dog trust worthy off lead.

    But I do want to assure everyone that I don't just let him off willy nilly. If I'm at the soccer/baseball fields I only use them if there is NO one in the field I want to use or one of the surrounding ones (They have five soccer fields and four baseball fields so it's rather large).

    At the dock it's away from the field, playground and path. You take a separate path to get there and it's downhill. I don't use it unless no one is near it.

    And the bike path where I let him swim is another you have to take a path down to it and it's much lower than the rest of the bike path and over grown. I only use it if no one is fishing there or near it. It's actually where Sara and I would meet over the summer and let Zuma and Traveler be merle together.

    That being said, a lot of people being around doesn't stop me because I'm away from them. I do feel bad sometimes because of those that might be afraid of dogs, see him from a distance and worry. But, he's under ten times more control and farther away than the dogs of most people who walk around there who think everyone wants their dog up your butt.

    Those who said you don't because your dog isn't trustworthy off leash, would you if you had a dog that was?
     
  11. IceyBlueSibes

    IceyBlueSibes New Member

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    I don't even really know if they have leash laws here. I'm new to the area so I'm not really sure. I know in Florida where I lived they did... but they weren't really enforced unless something happened.

    I actually had gone to the beach with my friend one day. I took my dog Lugar & she brought her rottie (who I used to own and trained since she was a puppy). There's a certain distance between 2 points dogs were allowed on the beach, and they are allowed off leash as long as they aren't bothering anyone. As we were sitting talking, keeping watch over the two of them playing. They were running and chasing each other, but they some how knew their boundaries. Neither ventured very far, and they weren't very far from us either. Well, these 2 ladies were walking on the beach ("speed walking" I guess... as best as you could on sand) and as they were passing Lugar & Lilly came across their path. Well since they were in the general area of these people the dogs stopped their playing to say "hi". They were not jumping and being spastic. They were being friendly, wagging their tails and literally saying hi with their body language. We both were in the process of getting up to walk them back up to our spot and the one lady says "Um.. EXCUSE ME CAN YOU COME GET YOUR DOGS?! THEY NEED TO BE ON LEASHES" I said "Ma'm I'm sorry they ran up to you but leashing them is not required. They're allowed to be off leash here... it's a DOG BEACH" She continued to argue with me saying I was wrong. First off, you're walking on a beach that is KNOWN & called "Jupiter Dog Beach". You are going to run into dogs on this beach... there are always dogs there. Not to mention, there were dogs down the way from us, running loose and playing. Secondly, I've read the rules before & it does not say that leashes are REQUIRED. This is what it says:

    They were under control. The dogs came back to us once we stood up and called them. These ladies just happened to walk in the path of the chasing. They didn't stop their play and run from a distance. They were only about 10 feet in front of us, and like I said the ladies walked within that area.

    There was no one else around us for a good quarter mile. We picked a spot specifically away from a busy area to give the dogs the ability to run and play and not bother anyone.

    Again, we picked a spot to let our dogs play. This lady happened to walk into our area. Get over it.. LOL

    I trust Lugar, I just don't trust other people or sometimes other dogs. He's not aggressive at all, but some dogs tend to hype him up, making him want to run up to them (I can see the WANT in his body language but he usually doesn't) where I do end up having to leash him cause I don't know what that other dog is like. Guess it still comes down for me in that it depends on the place & the surroundings. If there's one or 2 people around I'm not worried about it. But if there are a ton of people around I just don't wanna chance it.
     
  12. Catsi

    Catsi New Member

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    We have fairly strict leash laws here. I don't let my two off lead in public (luckily I have friends with properties.)

    Abby has temperament issues so it would 100% irresponsible for me to do so and I will admit that Grace (parents' dog) has no really reliable recall and she is an annoying friendly dog so I'm not going to let her off lead either.

    The vast majority of people in my town do let their dogs off lead illegally and I personally wouldn't care if they could control their dogs and actually listened when I yell. 'My dog's not friendly. Please call your dog.' I usually get, 'S/he's ok!' and no effort to call them back so I am very suspicious of off lead dogs and I move out of the vicinity very quickly when I come across one.

    I've been abused for stepping in front of my dog (the lady thought I was going to kick her dog, I was just body-blocking at that point, my dog is usually the one that will cause problems.) This was after been asked politely but firmly about four times to call her dog back. And people wonder why I have all but given up on rehab and have moved just management. I just pick Abby up now... not good I know, but it saves a lot of angst, tears and potentially blood and more tears.

    I do have a few spots that are very quiet that I will take them on long lines and at the beach they are on long lines. With my next dog, things may be different, but I hope to find some good off lead places for these activities. I never take Abby into designated off lead areas (asking for trouble) but I do with Grace.

    Edit - I realised that I well and truly had my cranky pants on when I wrote that post. For all my ranting, I think I'm pretty reasonable too. Intent matters. If someone tries to call their dog and is making an effort and has to run up and retrieve said dog and apologise or at least acknowledge the event, than fair enough, I'm not going to feel any ill-will toward them. I'm not some perfect owner/trainer who has perfect dogs (see above post.) Things happens, nobody is perfect. But no one seems to cares around here at all and THAT is what gets on my nerves.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  13. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Quinn - some places. The only offleash places here are the specified offleash dog parks and I don't like them and one beach which we rarely visit.
    I let her off on our road (its dirt and dead end) and I let her off down at the dam near my house (its privately owned but they let all the neighbours use it)
    Other than that no - I don't trust her enough yet. She scares easily and I don't want her to panic and run.

    Buster is never offleash outside our property. His name is on the council's list even though it was shown he did nothing wrong and my states laws scare me too much. He is pretty controllable around other dogs but they council could have him PTS for killing or rushing a bush turkey or stray cat so its not worth the worry.


    offleash dogs not under control dogs annoy me to no end. But there are quiet a few in town that don't worry me at all. A big fat cattle dog mix that hangs around outside his owners shop in town - he never even bats an eyelid in our direction. (Quinn is scared of him anyway) and a BC that belongs to a woman that often is out jogging with it. He just flat out ignores other dogs - can pass you by inches and acts like your not even there, jogs along 10 or 15 metres ahead of her and auto down stays at every curb. I wanted to steal him when I found ouot she was rehoming him because he was 8 and slowing down. Luckily he went to her mum who is about as dog crazy as they come.
     
  14. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    It would depend on where we where. But probably.
     
  15. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    To some extent yes. Never in busy areas. Only where I am almost 100% certain we wont bump into someone and I always leash him to walk passed others if we do bump into them.
     
  16. PitBullLove

    PitBullLove Member

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    All the time now that I think about it. fields, tennis courts, etc.
     
  17. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Yeah when I say parks I mean actual parks with playgrounds and screaming children and stupid adults. :p There are a lot of parks here with huge long walking trails that are INSANELY busy during the summer time and people abuse the crap out of the fact that no one enforces the leash law. There pretty much aren't any empty parks (unless it's the middle of winter).

    It's kind of a catch 22 for me. I mean if we had a nice isolated off leash area to practice recalls my dogs would be a ton more trustworthy and I probably wouldn't be so paranoid about it. But since there isn't, I don't get a lot of chances to practice long recalls, or recalls with distractions so my dogs won't be trustworthy off leash for a really long time. Or ever, in Murphy's case. Lol.
     
  18. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I would under the same circumstances that I do with Pip, in areas that are not popular public areas around other people or around traffic. There are some spots on the river bottoms near my house if I don't feel like driving to the dog park, or when we are camping/hiking in really remote areas, for example. I am extremely paranoid about traffic so really never where they have easy access to any road.
     
  19. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I do. But I'm careful about it.

    There is a very unknown county park by my dad's house that is huge. Both dogs are let off leash there when we hike. I don't bring Classic there on the weekends because I stress out that there might be someone walking around so I only bring him on weekdays, so we can both relax and have a good time. I let Zuma off leash at any of the parks we hike at, but call her back and leash her up if we see anyone. There is also an open field across the street from our house that she's off leash, we practice disc there and randomly lug a couple jumps out to work on. Classic is always on a long line in that field because it is in a residential place with people walking by. He's never shown that he would take off and has an excellent recall but because he is human reactive I won't take that chance. There have been numerous times where there has been a police officer parked right next to the field when I'm working my dogs and they have never said anything.

    I absolutely HATE people who let their dogs off leash in a BUSY park. I leash up when there are people and dogs around and I expect the same respect from them. I don't care if they have verbal control over their dogs, I have verbal control over mine but it is still common courtesy to leash up around other people. Dogs are animals, they are not machines and you cannot expect to always comply with commands especially around uncontrollable distractions.

    I was recently walking both dogs in a very busy park. We were on a trail that led to a lake and a couple with their two dogs were walking behind us. I notice their dogs are off leash and yell back asking politely if they could leash up because my dogs are not friendly (they are, but I don't know if their dogs are). They said ok, called back the dogs and only were able to leash one, the other was playing keep away. I figured they would get control of her and get the leash on so I kept walking. Turn around and the dog is about 15 feet behind us, not leashed. I yell back again, not as politely once again asking if they could leash their dog. Once again they attempt to leash her but can't, however they do say that "She's friendly!". I don't care, leash your dog. I turn around a 3rd time and the dog is now 5-10 feet behind us. I yell back in a not so polite way for them to put a f*#&&!#g leash on their d$@! dog. They start yelling back at me and at that second the dog takes off at a dead run to chase some geese. Classic at this point who has been very well behaved rips the leash from my hand (mind you he was wearing a head halter at the time) and takes off after the dog and the geese. The guy catches up to us and starts screaming at ME for not having control. I about punched him. If I had the number to animal control I would've called them right there. Hate people.
     
  20. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    Argon is never off leash. He runs away and he's DA, which is an ugly combination. The last time eh slipped his collar with my mother, he ended up with a broken foot after picking a fight with a neighbors dog (granted, the other dog was in our yard, but I know that Argon would have just as happily done it had the dog been home)

    Gambit is allowed off in select situations. He has good recall, but poor skills with strangers. At my mothers house, where he is comfortable, he is never leashed in her unfenced yard. At the apartment, where we are more likely to encounter strangers, he is allowed off lead at specific times on weekdays.
     

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