Off Leash Responsibility
Updated: Aug 19, 2022
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When you have built a strong relationship with your pet and proofed their behaviors so much that they are finally reliable off leash… it's one of the best feelings in the world! Watching your pet frolic across a field, exploring in the woods together, or even just chilling in your yard together reaches a whole new level of enjoyment when you don't have to rely on the leash anymore.
You may have the sweetest, most social, and extremely well-behaved pet in the world.
But guess what?
You should still leash your well-trained pets and keep them at your side when you encounter others on your adventures.
In fact, you may even be legally required to keep them leashed the entire time! Most cities, towns, parks, and recreation areas require that dogs are leashed at all times. In fact, they likely even have a limit on how long your leash can be! That's right – even if your pet is on long line or retractable leash, you may still be breaking the law 😳 How do you avoid a leash law snafu?
Know before you go!
If you're visiting a National or State Park, check their website or call the office! Heading to a local or county park? Check with your local Parks and Rec department! If you need to figure out your local leash laws, try searching "Your City Name" + Municipal Code and then head to the Animal section to find your leash laws!
Whether leashes are legally required or not, leashing when you are near other people or animals is always a good idea.
If you're getting close enough to someone to wave or nod (like this friendly Midwestern girl always does!), it's time to leash your pet – ideally, before you even get that close.
Yes, even if you have the friendliest pet in the world.
Yes, even if your pet would never leave your side.
Yes, even if other people have told you that you have the most awesome pet ever.
Any time you're getting close to another person or animal, leash your pet.
We leash our pets out of respect for those around us.
We leash our pets in case we encounter those people that don't like pets or are even afraid of pets.
We leash our pets because the vast majority of pets are NOT entirely social.
We leash our pets for safety.
As responsible pet owners, it's important to remember that our presence impacts those around us, whether or not we physically interact with them. If you come across someone that is uncomfortable around pets, they will likely be even more uncomfortable if they see your pet is unleashed. Clipping that leash on your pet can give them peace of mind much more quickly than you trying to shout towards them about how well-behaved your pet is!
And we don't want to just think about the other people around us, we also want to be considerate towards the pets we may encounter on our adventures. While there certainly are many social pets out there that get along well with almost any other pet, there are almost certainly more pets in the world that are not that social. Pet sociability generally follows the shape of a bell curve: