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Leash laws  

68 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you follow leash laws?

    • Yes
      18
    • No
      8
    • Sometimes--More No than Yes
      19
    • Sometimes--More Yes than No
      20
    • Don't have a leash law
      0


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With BC's needing more than the average dogs exercise, I was curious who follows leash laws. We don't when we're running them. On walks they're usually on a leash. They're never in harms way though. Just curious.

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I voted yes because I'm a paranoid dog "mama".

It scares me too much to think of my dogs running after a squirrel or stray cat and getting lost or hit by a car. We're in the middle of a city and I've seen too many doggie corpses on the side of the roads around here to ever let that happen to mine, if I can help it. <shudder>

Plus there's always the chance of a loose dog who wants to pick a fight. At least if my dog is leashed I know my dog won't be far from me, and I can possibly scare the other dog away.

 

The only time we've let Finn off leash is in a completely fenced in area at the local park (double tennis court) where we can let him chase the ball at top speed.

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I have one dog who can't be trusted off lead in any situation without a secure fence and one that can be. The only time my dogs are off leash is on friends' property and at a county park where the law just says they need to be under control and even then, only Z is off leash unless the area is fenced (one is and one is a large wooded property that isn't).

 

I work at the humane society so i figure I need to set a good example in addition to just being concerned about my dogs' wellbeing.

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There is no way you can practice frisbee or flyball around here without breaking the leash laws. Dog parks are out for oh so many reasons, including the fact that one of the park rules states no training inside the dog park.

I don't worry about traffic or other dogs. I worked on his recall very early and he has a strong down. The risk is minimal and he has to be able to go off leash to practice.

For some dogs (like my last one), going off leash isn't practical, but for those who can, I think its important to get out and run so that it isn't such a novelty.

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I follow leash laws religiously in town. But on the trail, Boulder Open Space rules dictate that only two dogs can be off leash. I have three dogs, so I usually don't observe the leash law when I hike with my dogs. Sometimes I leave one home, but I'd rather not do that. Usually, I just leash one when we travel on the part of the trail where the rangers are most likely to be. It's a gamble, but it's worth risking a ticket to me.

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If I followed leash laws, my dogs would never get any exercise. I follow them where I need to and where my dogs safety is at risk (e.g., on the street, around a lot of people, etc.). But, at the beach or on a hike, they are off-leash. Technically, they aren't even allowed on the beach anymore, but we have access to a private area where we are unlikely to get caught. The places that we hike, they are supposed to be on leash, as well. But, if there are no people around, I'm going to let them off.

 

Just one of the many joys of living someplace that is not exactly dog-friendly.

 

ETA: I guess that when I think about it, I leash them when it is in the best interest of my dogs. But, I try to get them off-leash whenever possible. It's the only way they will ever get any exercise, as I don't have a yard big enough for much of anything.

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I do follow leash laws. I live in the city.

 

That is why I am so happy to take my dog to one of the two state parks that have areas just for dogs and dog training, they have hiking trails (well, not serious hiking, but trails nevertheless :rolleyes: ) and I can rest assure he can get plenty of exercise without the risk of getting run over by a car or something. I still need to be on the lookout for riders with horses (luckily my dog is perfectly fine with horses but I can never be too sure, right? ) and the-never-seen-but-heard-about coyotes.

 

I don't have a yard, so the only off leash my dog gets is at the apt. complex dog-run, which is not too large, but enough for frisbee and ball playing, and then at one of the three dog parks we go to - 2 of them being the above-mentioned state parks and 1 being an actual dog park, with enough room and slopes for the dogs to catch balls and get tired.

 

I don't go to any other places where I would be tempted to let him off-leash and still feel safe about this.

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I keep my dog on a leash only when walking around traffic. I am discouraged about this for the following reasons:

 

*we have no dog parks, and my dog isn't really interested in playing with other dogs anyway.

 

*if I take her to an open space to play with her for exercise, she soon tires of fetch and obviously needs more thoughtful interaction.

 

*she hates walking just for the sake of walking, so I don't bother.

 

*we live in suburbia.

 

So, I take her to our local park, break the leash law, and walk the path with her off-leash. I throw the toy, she runs ahead and catches it, brings it back---rinse and repeat. Honestly, she REALLY loves this, does sweeping runs out to come back and meet me with the toy, and I am able to stay fit myself. I tug with her, hide the toy and have her find it, we really have a blast. But. I'm breaking the law and that bothers me. Any person in the park who decides to be a jerk will end our fun fast. We have gotten some dirty looks, which just depresses me when I simply want to be with my dog for a half hour or so and have fun....I am super respectful of others, and make sure we stay out of the way of other folks and dogs, but I really am risking getting in Big Trouble. No other activity we have tried with her keeps her as happy as being able to play and run for 20-30 minutes with purpose.

 

I would never want any other dog but a border collie. I know I sound whiny, but I really feel like I'm not welcome in my own community with Polly. So, unless I buy acreage someday, this will be my last dog. I honestly feel that she needs some full-out running time--she gets really restless if she isn't able to do this, and I'm out of ideas as to where to take her where she can be active. I drive 6 miles a day just to get to the park that is at least safe from traffic, but still under the leash law.

 

I know other people make this work in cities, apartments, etc. but with my lifestyle right now, this is the best that I can offer her.

 

I know you weren't looking for life stories, but this has been bothering me, so it's timely...

 

Charlene

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This is a really interesting poll. I always, without fail, obey the leash laws; no matter how well-trained the dog is, accidents can happen. Mojo has a 100% recall and a super "wait" (freeze in your tracks) command, but it is just too dangerous in the city, and I have always lived with a dog in a large city; however, I have also always been lucky enough to have access to a yard or a designated off-leash area to exercise and play with my dogs, so the temptation to break the leash laws has never existed for me.

 

To be honest, I don't think I ever really *noticed* dogs that were off-leash and breaking the leash laws until I got Mojo, who is very leash-reactive. :rolleyes: Now, I have become acutely aware of how many incredible risks people take with their dogs. On any given day while out in my neighborhood, there are at least two or three people walking their dogs....on the sidewalk...in metropolitan Los Angeles...OFF-LEASH. That is, not in a park, not on a trail, not on a beach, and the owner is not even jogging--the dog is usually trotting way ahead or way behind them, right alongside the street where cars are whizzing by at similarly illegal speeds. Many have poor recalls. Many blow their owners off. I know, because they come barreling at my leashed Mojo from 100 feet away and the owners can do nothing about it, and then blame *me* when Mojo begins to bark, lunge, and growl. Sigh.

 

Once, I made the mistake of politely telling someone who had let their off-leash dog pause in front of MY HOUSE to do her business that it was against the law for her dog to be off-leash, and that it was dangerous for her own dog as well as for other dogs. She spat in my face, "The laws are STUPID!! If your dog attacked mine, I would SUE YOU!!" With that, she moved on to the intersection, and commanded her dog to "Wait." Did the dog wait? You guessed it--she didn't even flick an ear, and she kept trotting happily along without a slack in pace through the four-way intersection. A high-powered sports car went zooming through that intersection not three seconds later, just after the dog and owner had reached the other side. My heart had come up into my mouth for that poor dog. This thought plagues me on a number of different subjects, but it really comes down to the fact that I just don't know why people do some of the things they do. A lot of you have made reasonable comments--you "bend" the leash laws by having your dog off-leash to play Frisbee in a park, or to run on a trail or on the beach--but why on earth would you walk your dog OFF-leash on a CITY SIDEWALK unless you were just BEGGING for something terrible to happen? What would be the benefit of it?

 

ETA: Retractable leashes are not much better than being off-leash, IMHO. I came extremely close to running over a small dog who was on a retractable leash but perhaps twelve feet in front of his owner: there are large bushes/trees on either side of my driveway, making the visibility extremely poor as I am backing out onto the street, and there was no way I could see the dog in the rearview or side mirrors because he was so small, and the owner was nowhere near him. I heard the owner scream in fear long before I ever saw the dog, and thus was able to brake in time. Thankfully, I always back out of my driveway with my driver's side window open at about two inches per hour to protect against situations like this. Sigh, again.

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I always obey the leash law when I'm on the (densely settled) streets around here. It would be crazy not to - what if he chased a cat into the street and got hit?

 

But I always break the leash law if I'm in an enclosed area (our local abandoned college campus, town park, or state forest) where Buddy is safe, even if technically dogs must be leashed at all times.

 

But, because Buddy is reactive, I always leash him right away if another dog or scared looking human approaches, to keep the peace and avoid fights. (Lucky for me, there are local trails where we can meet no other people for up to 45 minutes at a time.)

 

But if an unscared, dogless human approaches, I simply LOVE to show off the "Buddy right here sit wait" command that he's so good at. Then people say, "What a well-trained dog!" and they beam at me. I feel like I'm allowed to show him off like this, because that gives the people who walk without dogs a warm feeling about having off-leash dogs in the park.

 

But my sympathies to Mojo - I know what it's like to have a reactive dog on leash (to protect others, not to protect the reactive dog!), and then have people with leashless dogs let their big, happy, boundy dogs charge at you. That's very frustrating. I can't protect their dog if they let it charge at my dog, even if Buddy is on a leash! In fact, their dogs are much safer on leash while Buddy's off leash - because Buddy would never in a million years approach another strange dog on purpose. He'd avert his gaze and go sniff around in some bushes to indicate his absolute lack of interest in ever meeting the other dogs, which would work out just wonderfully if the other dogs could learn some manners! :rolleyes:

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It really just depends. If I am in my own yard or hiking in a safe area I dont use a leash as I am a firm believer in training them young to stay with me without one. However, if I take Koda for a walk you can bet that I have him on a leash.

 

With my last Border Skyler, I used a leash on walks when he was young. But about the time he reached 5 years I no longer needed one as he was totally under voice command - I just carried it in case of animal control. If I was in a busy traffic area I certainly would use a leash but in my suburban neighborhood he would heel perfectly. A quick sharp command regardless of distraction would immediately stop him cold in his tracks. We will have to see about little Koda as every dog is different.

 

My thoughts are where you are at, what is the danger and is your dog 100% under voice command. If he/she isnt 100% under your voice command then a leash it should be if there is a risk of being hit by a car.

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98% of the time my guys are on leash. But there are a few areas where it's "illegal" to let the dogs off, but it's secluded from traffic/lots of people that I let 2 of my 3 off. My Malamute will never ever be off leash, but he gets to be on his flexi lead.

 

The areas that I let them off are far from traffic and streets in general and it would be pretty difficult for them to get hit; however, I do realize it's a risk and always try to minimize the chance of them bolting. I'm hyper vigilant and luckily both of my girls have good downs so I can throw them into a down and then collect them if I think I need to.

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We walk to our park 2 doors down on a leash and they keep the leash attached. It's really difficult to play frisbee on a 6 foot leash. We also walk back from the park on the leash. So, I voted Sometimes, more yes than no. When we go anywhere else, it's always leash time unless it's the unleashed doggy park or out of the way areas where you don't see a car for hours.

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I would never want any other dog but a border collie. I know I sound whiny, but I really feel like I'm not welcome in my own community with Polly. So, unless I buy acreage someday, this will be my last dog. I honestly feel that she needs some full-out running time--she gets really restless if she isn't able to do this, and I'm out of ideas as to where to take her where she can be active. I drive 6 miles a day just to get to the park that is at least safe from traffic, but still under the leash law.

 

Sorry you are feeling so bummed about not being in a dog friendly environment. I also live in the suburbs and all walks are on leash. I haven't found a park nearby that I can let the dogs of leash, but I do have play dates with members of my club which has several acres for the dogs to run. My yard is 40 x 90 and an utter wreck from Quinn tearing up the lawn, but he still has lots of fun playing fetch, searching for hidden toys, or training for agility/obedience. That's where he gets the vast bulk of his exercise.

 

No sure how big of a yard you have or if there are any clubs you can join to train or find like minded people with big yards themselves. Or for classes in agility, obedience tracking, rally, whatever to give your girl a mental workout as well as physical exercise. I know it helps to have a toy crazed dog, but just a thought.

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I have no idea what the leash laws are, if any, around here. It's a rural area, so I doubt there are any. My dogs are almost never on leash, except for trips to the vet or into the pet store. Of course most of the walks we take our on our property or a neighbor's. If I'm walking them in a city, I would certainly leash them, but around here there's almost no real occasion to do so, so I don't. When I stay in a hotel at a sheepdog trial and need to take them out to walk at night or whenever they are generally unleashed because they will go potty more quickly and are under good voice control. If I must walk them near traffic, I would leash them. I didn't vote because I'm not sure where I'd fit, but I guess in general I pretty much ignore leash laws....

 

J.

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When I have my dogs out in public anywhere, they are always leashed, so I definitely obey the leash laws. We're in the county here, so it doesn't matter, but when I'm in town, they're on lead. It's just way too risky. A friend of mine was telling me about one of her other friends that lost her dog recently. The dog had an excellent recall, wait, and stay. She never broke, but for some unknown reason one night, they were out walking and the dog darted right in front of a car and was killed instantly. This was an older dog that had never done anything like that before, so there is always a risk when a dog is off-lead, and I'm not willing to take that chance. Call me over-protective, but I value the lives of my dogs too much to risk it. :rolleyes:

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We have to. It's a hefty fine if you break it. Besides, Daisy would like to run into EVERY yard and check out EVERY thing within 100 mile radius. We do take her to a fenced in offleash area when she gets a good run in and a dip in the river if it's warm enough, but because she is slightly dog reactive and about 100 black labs are regulars there and they have to be friends with everyone, we always leash her when another dog comes close. She doesn't like it very much when they jump up on us to say hi! And she's been (if you can believe it) attacked by untrained dogs of the toy variety, 3 times. Only once have I been to the dog park and an owner actually said, "leave it, she's on a leash". It was a nice change. This park also has a separate fenced area for training purposes, so that is pretty fantastic.

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Liz,

 

How sweet of you to offer support and understanding. One of my problems is having time to give Polly what she needs, I stand on my head to juggle things to get her to the park once a day. Every dog is so unique and I do know her well enough to know that the park jaunt is the highlight of the day for her.

 

I have posted before that--and maybe this is just where I live--but it is hard to find "playdates" for my dog. Folks that I know and interact with love their dogs dearly, but would NEVER put the activity time that we do with our dog. And as I said before, Polly likes her play/exercise, me and my husband, her new kitten/tormenter :D but doesn't really have much interest in other dogs. I don't think she thinks she IS a dog. I bought agility equipment, and she will do what I ask, but it is not with the joy that I see on agility dogs who really love it. The local agility club doesn't have a good reputation.

 

I didn't mean to be a downer and melodramatic about having a border collie, but we have Polly because we are active like her, we would not want a dog that is "mellow" but it's frustrating finding an outlet for all of us that fits into a busy day, and I really wish I didn't have to feel like a criminal every time we visit the park.

 

Here's the thing in a nutshell, the dog I had previous to Polly was happy with a walk a few times a week for 13 years, I get Polly and I realize that the world has changed, people are sue happy and kind of controlling when it comes to seeing a dog off-leash and I find myself lurking in the local park whispering commands, trying not to draw attention to me or my dog. :rolleyes:

 

We have a great time inside, lots of good thinking activities, but nothing compares to seeing her going like a black and white streak, joyfully running and having fun outside! I swear she smiles all the way home!

 

Thanks,

Charlene

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Guest SweetJordan
This is a really interesting poll. I always, without fail, obey the leash laws; no matter how well-trained the dog is, accidents can happen. Mojo has a 100% recall and a super "wait" (freeze in your tracks) command, but it is just too dangerous in the city, and I have always lived with a dog in a large city; however, I have also always been lucky enough to have access to a yard or a designated off-leash area to exercise and play with my dogs, so the temptation to break the leash laws has never existed for me.

 

To be honest, I don't think I ever really *noticed* dogs that were off-leash and breaking the leash laws until I got Mojo, who is very leash-reactive. :rolleyes: Now, I have become acutely aware of how many incredible risks people take with their dogs. On any given day while out in my neighborhood, there are at least two or three people walking their dogs....on the sidewalk...in metropolitan Los Angeles...OFF-LEASH. That is, not in a park, not on a trail, not on a beach, and the owner is not even jogging--the dog is usually trotting way ahead or way behind them, right alongside the street where cars are whizzing by at similarly illegal speeds. Many have poor recalls. Many blow their owners off. I know, because they come barreling at my leashed Mojo from 100 feet away and the owners can do nothing about it, and then blame *me* when Mojo begins to bark, lunge, and growl. Sigh.

 

Once, I made the mistake of politely telling someone who had let their off-leash dog pause in front of MY HOUSE to do her business that it was against the law for her dog to be off-leash, and that it was dangerous for her own dog as well as for other dogs. She spat in my face, "The laws are STUPID!! If your dog attacked mine, I would SUE YOU!!" With that, she moved on to the intersection, and commanded her dog to "Wait." Did the dog wait? You guessed it--she didn't even flick an ear, and she kept trotting happily along without a slack in pace through the four-way intersection. A high-powered sports car went zooming through that intersection not three seconds later, just after the dog and owner had reached the other side. My heart had come up into my mouth for that poor dog. This thought plagues me on a number of different subjects, but it really comes down to the fact that I just don't know why people do some of the things they do. A lot of you have made reasonable comments--you "bend" the leash laws by having your dog off-leash to play Frisbee in a park, or to run on a trail or on the beach--but why on earth would you walk your dog OFF-leash on a CITY SIDEWALK unless you were just BEGGING for something terrible to happen? What would be the benefit of it?

 

ETA: Retractable leashes are not much better than being off-leash, IMHO. I came extremely close to running over a small dog who was on a retractable leash but perhaps twelve feet in front of his owner: there are large bushes/trees on either side of my driveway, making the visibility extremely poor as I am backing out onto the street, and there was no way I could see the dog in the rearview or side mirrors because he was so small, and the owner was nowhere near him. I heard the owner scream in fear long before I ever saw the dog, and thus was able to brake in time. Thankfully, I always back out of my driveway with my driver's side window open at about two inches per hour to protect against situations like this. Sigh, again.

I agree w/ you Mojo. And I hate those retractable leashes. I think they are okay if you are in a rural or wooded area and you can't trust your dog off leash but for the city they are no good. People just don't have any control over their dog when they use them. It's been my experience esp. when it's dark that a dog on a retractable leash looks as though he/she is off leash and my dogs have never liked that. Now I get really mad when I see someone off leash w/ their dog and I'm out w/ Riley because she gets really upset, and I get worried as my lab has been attacked by loose dogs on more than one occasion.

Not using a leash in a wooded or rural area is one thing, but not using it in the city is another. It's a pet peeve of mine that some people think they don't have to follow the laws or that they somehow think that they don't apply to them.

Even if they didn't have leash laws in the city I'd still use one no matter how trustworthy the dog. In my opinion it's just too dangerous and I'd rather keep my dogs safe than be sorry. Outside of the city it just depends. If I were living in a rural area but by a highway I'd use one. If I were hiking in the woods and I could trust the dog not to wander off or to come back when called then I wouldn't feel the need.

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It's a pet peeve of mine that some people think they don't have to follow the laws or that they somehow think that they don't apply to them.

 

It used to be a pet peeve of mine too when I had a dog aggressive dog. I still think people who let their dogs run up to a leashed dog are inconsiderate, but I don't think letting a dog off leash when it isn't bothering anyone and is only focused on its ball or frisbee is a bad thing. There are plenty of dog parks around but they're not the best place to take a dog for exercise. At one visit, a pack rushed my puppy at the entrance and pinned him against the fence (where he screamed in fear) and only one dog's owner even bothered to call it away. I won't risk my dog becoming reactive because of incidents like that. I'll risk the ticket instead.

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Most of the time, we walk Fergie at our end of the neighborhood: several dead-end streets and a pond , woods, & field that we were instrumental in buying from the city for back taxes. So Fergie is off leash - unless we spot a stranger or someone with a dog on leash. I feel dogs ought to be on equal footing - even if they are friends.

 

But anywhere else, she's on leash. Especially if we are in a state park. Oh, we know that most people let "trustworthy" dogs off leash. And we used to - Fergie is better than we are at staying on the path. But we now have a son-in-law who is a state park ranger. It would be embarrassing to him to have us ticketed by another park ranger. and even worse for him to have to ticket us. So, when they had us over on Xmas for celebration and dinner, I had Ferg on leash for the walk in the woods behind their house. Because it was park land. But she and the grandgirls get to play all over the fenced acre of backyard.

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One dog is ALWAYS on leash, actually with two collars (prong and backup). Zeeke cannot ever be trusted off-leash, he loves to run off. (We use a very long line for him.)

 

Zoe I let off-leash in our own yard (we have an acre). She knows the property boundaries. (When someone walks down the street in front of our yard she'll run to the edge of the yard barking... and won't step foot out past it. Invisible boundary.) I do leash her everywhere else however, because she gets so nervous when off our property that all training zooms right out of her ears. If startled, she'd bolt. (At home when scared she runs to the front door.)

 

Oreo we've been letting off-leash for years now. At this age she isn't going to go anywhere - she can't, really. She too knew the property lines so she'd just lay on the front lawn while dad did gardening or we were working on our cars or whatever. We used to go camping a lot when I was little... if there were other campers nearby we'd have her on a long line. But I remember one infamous camping trip in the early spring where there wasn't a single other person in the huge camping grounds. She spent the entire time off-leash, playing tag with us in the woods and around the ponds. Acres upon acres and not a soul within miles. It was fantastic. Oreo is always leashed anywhere around cars, however, just for safety's sake. In public parks we usually leashed her because she was a little dog-aggressive (granted she was more dog-aggressive when on-leash, but at least then I had control of her). But she always looked so cute and calm that other people would let their dogs go running up to her. When she's on-leash. Yeah, that never went over well.

 

So... yeah, for the most part I do follow the leash laws, except in certain situations.

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