Leash or no leash?

Do you leash your dogs on walks?

  • Yes

    Votes: 63 74.1%
  • No

    Votes: 15 17.6%
  • No, but they've got a muzzle

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 7 8.2%

  • Total voters
    85

Huskeroni

Tourist
Hey there, walks are an important part of the daily routine for people who live with dogs. I wondered how many of you leash their dogs while going for a walk.

I walk my Husky gal almost exclusively off-leash. Luckily, she listens to all commands (which is important if she has to stop immediately). Passing other dogs is no problem at all and she stops at the edge of the pavement. Acutally, after reading a lot that Huskies are free spirits and will use each opportunity to run off, I'm rather surprised and pretty happy it turned out that well.
On the other hand, there's no way I would let our senior boy off-leash. It's already hard to keep him from steering into traffic while on-leash because he spontaneously decides, "oh that car looks nice, better inspect it from up close".
 

Huskeroni

Tourist
Unfortunately, the municipality I live in requires dogs to either be leashed or to be muzzled in public space (except for the few small-ish dog parks) and the public order office actively visits parks to cash in fines if owners violate the law. So while it is technically "illegal" I have never been caught.
For that reason, I'm thinking about moving after I'm done with my studies to some place that has more lenient regulations.

However, considering irresponsible people will probably let their untrained dogs off-leash and in the worst case put their dogs in danger, these regulations somewhat make sense. But I wish there was just a way to certify that a dog is able to walk off-leash…
 

FloofyNewfie

The Floofy Moderator
Staff member
I always walk my girls with a leash, while my newfie might do okay off leash just because she's good with listening to commands, (I haven't tested her.) My mutt mix is a very stubborn dog, and as it stands now, I wouldn't trust her.
 

dartel

Esteemed Citizen of ZV
Kain is too interested in investigating everything that grabs his attention, and I'm a total hermit so he was never properly socialized so he gets super excited to see other people and dogs. Can't trust him off leash.
 

aragos32727

Citizen of Zooville
If I'm in town or its busy always on a leash. Not so much because it's the law or I don't trust my dogs, it's because I don't trust other people's dogs and do trust in their lack of training.
 

Mare Lover 1975

Neighborhood Watcher
Staff member
Off leash as I live in the country and have plenty of room for her to run around in, no worries about her running into the road or anything like that here.
 

FeralLovin'

Citizen of Zooville
I kind of do both. In town and on busy hiking trails, the dogs are leashed, but on lesser known trails and out at my folk's place, they're free to run whenever they want.
 

Labraguy5

Citizen of Zooville
Usually always leashed, short leashes in urban areas and long leashes in the countryside. Farmers here are legally allowed to shoot dogs if they bother their animals, and it's common courtesy when hiking through another animal's habitat and another person's property.
 

Areion

Zooville Settler
The boy is too unpredictable regarding making archenemies, on average he attacks once per week and that's a too high risk to be off leach, it's a 5m retractable and it's attached to my belt, I don't regulate the length, just use commands it's just a range limitator.
The girls are free dogs, never showed any reason of needing a leach.
It's illegal tho... don't care
 

petite-pony

Citizen of Zooville
I haven't had my boy for eight years now, but when I did, leash 200%. Due to his breed I could never trust him not to run off like a bat out of hell.

Even still, I would leash, because I don't trust other people and their dogs with likely minimal training...
 

Huskeroni

Tourist
Hey y'all, thanks for all your responses and votes! I assumed it to be more in the range of ~66% leashed and ~33% unleashed, especially because I think a good chunk of zoos live in suburbs or rural places, but it seems my guess turned out wrong. So far the replies seem very reasonable.

If I'm in town or its busy always on a leash. Not so much because it's the law or I don't trust my dogs, it's because I don't trust other people's dogs and do trust in their lack of training.
Yeah, definitely! Our senior boy has been bitten before, sadly, and I'd love to have him off-leash as well so that he could run off if he'd be attacked again as his leash wound up around a tree trunk last time. But alas he's absolutely unpredictable, so on-leash he'll stay.
Because of the danger and due to the fact that people are probably very unconfortable when another dog approaches, I don't let my gal roam too far ahead. If another dog is coming, I tell her to go heel slowly (or take him on a short leash, in the boy's case) and ask the owner before they can meet and greet. If the dog seems unconfortable or downright aggressive, we just move on.

Farmers here are legally allowed to shoot dogs if they bother their animals, and it's common courtesy when hiking through another animal's habitat and another person's property.
Leashing dogs on animals' habitat and foreign property I fully support. And I understand that farm animals can get absolutely distressed by close-by dogs and thus I would keep my gal on distance, but as long as there is no imminent danger to them, taking it out on the dogs and plain shooting them seems barbaric, not to mention their own animals and those stupid dog owner as collaterals. The dogs are victims of such owners as well. Wouldn't it suffice to fend them off and call the police?
 
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chrispbacon

Zooville Settler
My boy I too fast and stubborn to have him without a leash outside, unless I'm alone on a field :) pretending to walk away from him does wonders
 

Labraguy5

Citizen of Zooville
Leashing dogs on animals' habitat and foreign property I fully support. And I understand that farm animals can get absolutely distressed by close-by dogs and thus I would keep my gal on distance, but as long as there is no imminent danger to them, taking it out on the dogs and plain shooting them seems barbaric, not to mention their own animals and those stupid dog owner as collaterals. The dogs are victims of such owners as well. Wouldn't it suffice to fend them off and call the police?
Most farmers would rather not shoot a dog but there are those who will, especially if irresponsible owners are a frequent problem allowing their dogs to bother or even attack their animals (mainly sheep). Gun laws are strict here and farmers don't open carry, but you would be you would be fending unarmed against someone with a shoot gun. And as the farmer is acting within the law and having a dog dangerously out of control is a crime, you would be in the wrong if the police were involved. Using common sense and being respectful is the best way and most owners are good with this, so dogs getting shot at is rare.
 

Austral

Zooville Settler
I used to use a leash with my girl when she was a pup until she was 2 or 3 years old, specially since I live in the city centre. But after that, I started having her unleashed, since she was already trained and walked by my side, waiting for me before crossing the street, and she didn't want to get close to other dogs. But I kept carrying a metal chain in my hand just in case, both if I need to leash her because the police ask, but also mostly for self defence, since there were lots of untrained dogs with irresponsible owners that attacked her (and me for defending her), or in case of felons.

Where I live now there are a few stray dogs that are really friendly with me and started following me around, and I already had problems a few times since they like to chase cars, and sometimes fight with other stray dogs. I don't know how to repress that, but I can't leash them (they won't let me, and they are 3 of them), neither I can't pretend to be unaware of it since people don't buy it and insult me (and I don't want to look like an irresponsible owner, even if I'm not their owner), one person even call the police today because of the dogs. :husky_nervous:
 

Fiber

Zooville Settler
My older girl (14+) has always been good off leash. I have started to muzzle her lately because she likes to eat random things from grass and I don't want her to eat poop or something poisoned. Her daughter (11) does fine on and off leash.
I can't trust the 3rd girl because she likes to run away. I had to chase her a few times when she managed to escape it someone wasn't quick enough closing the front door. So she goes leashed always.
And the boy pulls a lot so he is leashed too.
 

Lokissimo

Citizen of Zooville
Depends 100% on the dog!

I've had four dogs in my lifetime. Three of them could only be walked off-leash in safe environments, such as on my parent's ranch or on deserted beaches. No matter how much training they had, they just couldn't be trusted not to get distracted off-leash in the city. Two of those pups were huskies, and those boys -- as awesome and obedient as they were -- just couldn't help their instinct to run. More than once I had to run a few extra miles down the beach when they took off after sand pipers!

My last dog was totally different. She was a American Eskimo (Spitz in some parts of the world) and VERY smart. I didn't train her, she was just attuned to her environment (the city) MUCH more than her predecessors. This girl would trot up to a street corner, sit down, and wait for me to cross. She was a rescue dog and maybe her previous life on the streets had something to do with it. She was also so attentive to us, as her people. So, we quickly got into a rhythm of walking off leash, even on busy streets.

The result was a LOT of confrontations with other people and dog owners. Even though she was totally non-aggressive (shied away from aggression, actually) and very friendly to people, we had many encounters with people who wanted her on-leash. Sometimes there was an obvious reason, such as someone who was afraid of dogs, or had an aggressive dog themselves. In those cases, we would immediately leash up, no questions asked. However, there were a few people... neighbors who fancied themselves "animal lovers" who had the biggest problem with our off-leash activity. One even ended up calling animal control on us-- twice. She thought I was being irresponsible because no dog can be trusted to be off leash. She had no idea how much I loved my girl, or how protective I was. She only knew how untrustworthy her dogs were. I should note we always cleaned up after ourselves... always walked with two poop bags just in case - so it wasn't a matter of irresponsibility.

I elected to continue walking my dog off-leash, because her twice daily walks were her only windows of true freedom in her day. I always believe you shouldn't have a dog, unless you can allow them to "be a dog" from time to time. They aren't supposed to be locked up 24x7 only to be walked on a tight leash. Always infuriated me to see people yanking their dogs around on leashes! I felt fortunate my girl could be trusted to run off-leash and have some freedom. The occasional confrontations were worth it.

My girl had a wonderful "retirement" when we moved to Germany last year. Here we found a nation of true dog lovers! People routinely walk their dogs off-leash here in the city! Dogs are welcome in most shops and restaurants, and they aren't treated as pests of after-thoughts. And surgically "altering" your dog is illegal unless there is a medical reason -- something my girl and I BOTH enjoyed. (ahh... dog balls!). Just goes to show that if society allows it, we can all happily co-exist.
 

Maui69

Citizen of Zooville
Leash, always when in places they can get hurt if they get startled and run off (basically any urban environment)
When in rural areas, I take the leash with me just in case but they're free to roam around
 

Huskeroni

Tourist
I used to use a leash with my girl when she was a pup until she was 2 or 3 years old, specially since I live in the city centre. But after that, I started having her unleashed, since she was already trained and walked by my side, waiting for me before crossing the street, and she didn't want to get close to other dogs. But I kept carrying a metal chain in my hand just in case, both if I need to leash her because the police ask, but also mostly for self defence, since there were lots of untrained dogs with irresponsible owners that attacked her (and me for defending her), or in case of felons.

Where I live now there are a few stray dogs that are really friendly with me and started following me around, and I already had problems a few times since they like to chase cars, and sometimes fight with other stray dogs. I don't know how to repress that, but I can't leash them (they won't let me, and they are 3 of them), neither I can't pretend to be unaware of it since people don't buy it and insult me (and I don't want to look like an irresponsible owner, even if I'm not their owner), one person even call the police today because of the dogs. :husky_nervous:

Well, seems like the pack chose you :husky_happysmile:
4ioiac.jpg
 

Huskeroni

Tourist
I elected to continue walking my dog off-leash, because her twice daily walks were her only windows of true freedom in her day. I always believe you shouldn't have a dog, unless you can allow them to "be a dog" from time to time. They aren't supposed to be locked up 24x7 only to be walked on a tight leash. Always infuriated me to see people yanking their dogs around on leashes!
I kinda feel the same way. Most of the time, dogs spent the majority of the day at home dozing anyways, so those few hours on a walk should be as free as is safely possible for them. Most dogs are curious, want to explore, socialize, sniff their environment, roll around in interesting smells or just have some zoomies. It seems not fair to deny them those basic needs and exercises by having them restrained by a short leash or pulling them to get going, as some turds in our neighborhood do.
Of course you can't expect every dog to be great off-leash, which makes visits to dog parks even more important so they can still experience some freedom and meet with other dogs.

However the choice, I believe that most people here on the forum do care a lot about their companions and let them be dogs in a way that keeps them safe.
 
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Huskeroni

Tourist
Most farmers would rather not shoot a dog but there are those who will, especially if irresponsible owners are a frequent problem allowing their dogs to bother or even attack their animals (mainly sheep). Gun laws are strict here and farmers don't open carry, but you would be you would be fending unarmed against someone with a shoot gun.
Using common sense and being respectful is the best way and most owners are good with this, so dogs getting shot at is rare
That's great to hear! From what I've heard there are a lot of trigger-happy people in the US and when I read that they are legally allowed to shoot I feared that, if it was the same here like at the other side of the pond, it might be appealing to do so.

And as the farmer is acting within the law and having a dog dangerously out of control is a crime, you would be in the wrong if the police were involved.
Exactly, that's the point. Farmers could call the police on unreasonable, irresponsible owners so that they face well-deserved consequences and may get the dog rehomed on multiple offences for the dog's and public's safety. Well, as long as the situation is not that dire that it actually needs lethal measures, then there's no way around it anyway. Still, the owners should face harsh penalties in such cases.

Sorry, I could have phrased it a little bit better.
 
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Labraguy5

Citizen of Zooville
That's great to hear! From what I've heard there are a lot of trigger-happy people in the US and when I read that they are legally allowed to shoot I feared that, if it was the same here like at the other side of the pond, it might be appealing to do so.


Exactly, that's the point. Farmers could call the police on unreasonable, irresponsible owners so that they face well-deserved consequences and may get the dog rehomed on multiple offences for the dog's and public's safety. Well, as long as the situation is not that dire that it actually needs lethal measures, then there's no way around it anyway. Still, the owners should face harsh penalties in such cases.

Sorry, I could have phrased it a little bit better.
It's okay I know it's a sticky subject :gsd_happysmile:. I can totally understand it from the farmers side as well, if my animals were in danger I would want to protect them too. It just takes mutual respect which is mostly the case, most farmers I've spoken to are pretty friendly and usually have dogs of their own. In one of the areas we go hiking, there are posters up showing the results of dog attacks on sheep/lambs and it's pretty sad to see what farmers have to put up with, I too hope the irresponsible owners are caught and punished.
 

Danelvr

Tourist
Answered other as it really depends on training of the dog you're walking. With my previous dog she was so well trained that she heeled right by my side unless released to go play. If she was out running around, the second I called her over she would run back to me and sit in heel position. In the city however, absolutely I would leash, never know what may spook the dog and not worth the risk around traffic. On trails and rural areas though, almost never.
 

OdderOtter

Tourist
Always a leash if you are out where other dogs are. Period. It's just mutual respect for other dog owners. It's honestly not a big problem for me, and my girl has a good fitting harness that's comfortable for her.

If you have a fenced in yard, go for it if you don't want to leash them.
 

BishiBashiSpecial

Citizen of Zooville
Always walk my boy on a lead. Akita, bad recall and terrible with other dogs. Love to walk him off lead but just now worth the risk.
 
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