Dog leash law; Do you have one where you live?

@sacmom (14316)
United States
July 18, 2007 2:11pm CST
So late this morning I went outside to bring in my garbage bin, which isn't that close of a walk from the house LOL, when I hear some people talking and walking along the road. And what do I see with them? A dog (it was a Pit Bull, but this is beside the point) with no leash walking next to them. Now keep in mind, this is a 2 lane road and the speed limit is 55 mph. As there was no room for the dog to walk directly next to these people safely, it decides to walk slightly off the side of the shoulder and into the street! It could have walked on the other side in the dirt, but no such luck. And of course a truck just happened to drive along on the same side of the road, but lucky for the dog and it's owner(s), that the driver slowed down and the dog moved out of the way. Could you imagine though if the driver hadn't? After this incident, I looked up leash laws and I found this link: http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ovusdogleashlaws.htm I know that there is a leash law in the state I live in (CA), but I thought it was for ALL dogs when out in public (except for at certain places like dog parks/beaches), not just dangerous dogs or female dogs. I don't trust my dogs off leash because ANYTHING can happen. Dog fights, the dog getting hit by a car, the dog biting someone...just to name a few things. Is it really worth the risk? Do you let your dogs walk/run off leash/lead? Why or why not?
9 people like this
25 responses
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
19 Jul 07
In the city limits they have an ordinance that prohibits dogs being off a leash but that law is never enforced. They post it in the paper every year and say they will enforce it but they never do. I do not live inside the city limits and I still do not let my puppy off the leash. I just know he would get run over by a car if I did. Some people just do not care though. They dont follow the law and they dont love their pets.
3 people like this
@jennybianca (12915)
• Australia
19 Jul 07
It seems as if your city needs to start enforcing the law, for the safety of it's own citizens, let alone the dogs themselves. You are right about the car danger too.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jul 07
Actually, the state of California has no leash law, they leave it up to the cities and counties. However, I think the state has an "at large" law. That means that a dog is not allowed to run free at will, must be under some kind of control at all times and can't wander off onto other people's properties. I think the reason why some areas don't have leash laws is because farmers and ranchers need the dogs for their work and can't always have them on leashes. In San Diego County, most municipalities have leash laws. The county, itself, does not have a leash law, though. But, in cases where there are no leash laws, the "at large" law will apply.
@vampoet (825)
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
I do not know whether we have such alaw here whereby the owner will get prosecuted. But usually owners have their dogs on the leash. I mean, animals are unpredictable and they can get hurt just as we can get hurt by them. Sometimes it is hard to discern the cause of provocation but once it occurs, the ownner will be in deep crap.
2 people like this
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
19 Jul 07
I do not believe that we do have a law for having dogs on a leash as I see many people not walking their dogs with a leash. Some people do use leashes and some do not. When people are at the parks, they use a leash but in neighborhoods I see dogs roaming around. I think people should walk their dogs with a leash, just like you mentioned. I would not feel safe for my dog running around freely with the way people drive these days and other things going on.
@mummymo (23709)
18 Jul 07
As far as I am aware there are no laws for keeping your dog on the lead here in the uk unless you own one of the so called Dangerous Dogs which are supposed to be kept muzzled and leashed in public! I wish there were stricter laws as I am fed up seeing dogs with young boys out of control walking along our street and it is quite worrying as one dog in particular runs all over our garden - which is walled , it jumps in - and I worry that one day my kids will be there and goodness knows what would happen! The story you tell though the people were not only risking their dogs life but the lives of innocent motorists who may have had an accident because of this dog! xxx
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
25 Jul 07
That's a scary thought mummymo! :( I don't blame you for worrying about your kids safety! After posting this discussion I saw a few more incidents with unleashed dogs walking along with their owners. Each time the cars had to slow down. One driver even honked! One of these days I just know there will be an accident on the street I am on because of people letting their dogs walk off lead around here.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
18 Jul 07
Hi, I do not have a dog, but I did quite often when I was growing up. When I lived on the farm it was not really an issue, I let my dog run free all the time. However, when I moved to the city my dog always was leashed. The only time I took him off the leash when we were out was if we went to a leash free park. It is simply the law where I am from. cheers,
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
I live out in the country (well, it's more like the boonies LOL), but I don't let my dogs run around unleashed outside of their own yard which is fenced in. I don't feel comfortable in doing so and I think about the possible dangers whenever I see a dog off lead.
• United States
18 Jul 07
Here in Rockford you have to have your dog on leash at all times unless they are fenced in. If your dog gets caught without a leash I think its like a $50 fine or something like that.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
I can see if the dogs are fenced in, in their own yard they wouldn't need to be leashed. Well hopefully having to worry about a fine will keep people from letting their dogs off lead when out in public.
@pendragon (3354)
• United States
18 Jul 07
We do have a leash law here, and i used to be the dog officer, so i know off hand that no one really obeys it.Sometimes it ends up quite tragically.People don't like to "restrict" their dogs mobility,well, then we shouldn't have a human population, because that's what "domesticates" animals.Our need for pets.If they want to keep them safe, they should learn to comply.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
It's so sad when it ends up tragic. Especially when it could have been prevented in the first place. Not only should people think of their pets safety, but others safety as well when around their pets.
@raychill (6530)
• United States
18 Jul 07
hm. This got me curious. I grew up with dogs. We had my parents dog put to sleep last year though so I haven't had a dog in a year. But I also never lived in a neighborhood as to where we ever needed to worry about having our dog on a leash as they had our backyard to run around in with no one around to mind. So I looked up that site but it had nothing about maryland. So I looked up another site. Apparently the state of Maryland does not have a leash law. Now, as far as "worth the risk" etc. Again, I currently don't have a dog, but I think it's definitely a trust in the dog and your relationship with your dog. The dog I grew up with was a big furry Airdale. When my dad was out in the yard he'd let her roam around outside of the fenced in area with him in the way back yard. She knew better then to leave his sight. She knew better than to go around the front of the house. She knew better than to run up to a stranger (though we didn't really have neighbors so it wasn't often there was a stranger around). So I'd say if I had a dog like her, then yes. I would trust her to walk with me without a leash because she wouldn't take the chance of hurting someone else or running out in front of a vehicle. The dog we got after she passed was a greyhound. Greyhound are race dogs and FAST dogs. They are sight hounds. They are not to be trusted without leashes because they could see something and BOLT and you'll never catch up to that thing. Now, my dog was a good dog that when she did get out without her leash she wouldn't go anywhere and she'd come back when you called her. Still I wouldn't trust her to not run out in traffic. So I think it really depends on your relationship and trust in your dogs. and obviously you don't trust your dogs to be off a leash so you wouldn't risk it. But some dogs are dogs that can be trusted, some dogs you can have the relationship with and I would allow it if I had that type of relationship with my dog. luckily i just have a cat so I don't have to worry :)
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
I too grew up with dogs. And I currently have two of my own. Even if I trusted my dogs 100% I don't think it is fair to others to have my dogs off lead when out in public. And what about little kids? Little kids may not know how to behave properly around dogs in which an incident that should be sweet could turn sour in just seconds. Again, I would not want to risk it, whether it's with my own dogs or someone else's. My FIL has a dog that never leaves his sight when they are outdoors. We could tell her to "go see daddy" let her out the slider and she'd go find him, even if he was out in the field. Heck she even sleeps in his bed with my MIL. LOL Unfortunately this same dog that was so trusting bit my oldest son (my son wasn't quite 3 years old at the time). Why? Because my in-laws had left a pork chop in the hallway for their dog. Everybody but my son, their dog, and I (I was 8 months pregnant with my second son) had gone outside. I had seen the pork chop, but being as pregnant as I was I couldn't pick it up off the floor. So I left it where it was and I went in my bedroom to take a nap with my son. Well, with my son being almost 3 years old, he had other ideas and didn't want to nap. LOL He started to go for the bedroom door (which was closed and locked), and was out the door before I could stop him. I waddled as fast as my pregnant body would let me go, but it was too late. My FIL's dog bit my son on the face. Luckily it was more of a nip, but she barely missed my son's eye and lip. I let my in-laws know how stupid and careless they were while at the same time stopping my husband from wanting to shoot the dog. After all, I knew it wasn't the dog's fault for my in-laws carelessness. My point is, is that no dog can be 100% trusting, no matter what kind of dog it is. By the way, I worked in a kennel for a short time and I met a couple of Airedales. Boy were these two crazy! LOL Though I know it's not the breed itself, but more in how they are bred/raised/trained. This goes for any breed of dog. There was one dog there, a mini Schnauzer, that was so well trained he made my job easy! LOL I always looked forward to him being boarded. :)
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
18 Jul 07
There is around here and one for the droppings too. We don't normally go out in the yard with sheltie. He is mostly an indoor dog and though he minds me pretty good, I don't trust him and keep an eye on him in the off hand chance we go out to the garden briefly. We don't want the ticket or hassle if he were to misbehave. Dog licenses are going up also around here. They need to pay for their new animal shelter.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
A ticket is another good reason not to let a dog run off lead. It's good to know that you won't risk it with your dog.
@Marie2473 (8521)
• Sweden
18 Jul 07
This is always an on-going debate here and there is a law that says that u have to keep your dog in aleash in public places, however not many people follow it and there are many people that just ignore it. For me - beeing scared of dogs it is a bif problem coz they can usually sense my fear and therefor I attract them somehow. i do not know how many times I have been greeted by dogs uin the middle of the road and I just freeze. I HATE it when the owner then says... _ No need to be scared hun, he/she is sooooo nice, he just wants to say hi.. Well I actually dont care and I do not want them near me.. Dont get me wrong,. I love dogs and one day I will probably have one of my own. I do not have a problem with dogs that I know and trust.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
Well at least you freeze. I had a friend that would run and of course the dogs would chase her (not my dogs, as she's never met them before :P). I've had people say the same thing about their dogs, though they are usually leashed. Problem is, since being bite by my sister's dog when I was younger I worry about peoples, especially young kids, safety around dogs, leashed or not. After all, little kids like to pull on an animals tail, fur, and ears. Even a well trained dog may not tolerate this and the child will most likely be bitten. And who would get blamed? The dog. :(
@bonbon664 (3470)
• Canada
18 Jul 07
There is a leash law in my province. The only place you can have them off is in designated leash free areas. I don't trust my dogs enough to be off. I think they are well trained, but, I can't say for sure that if they saw a squirrel or a rabbit, they might not bolt into traffic. Not only that, there are people who are nervous about dogs, and it's not fair for them if your dog is loose. It's irresponsible to let them loose in my opinion.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
It doesn't matter to me how well trained a dog is, something could go wrong and I for one wouldn't want to take that chance. My own dogs are known to chase little animals, such as rabbits, cats, etc, but even if they didn't it's no excuse to let my dogs run off lead. When I was in grade school my best friend and I had seen a couple of stray dogs during recess that were coming towards the school ground. My friend started to panic and said that she runs whenever she sees a dog nearby. I told her not to run...it would make things worse. Well, as the dogs came closer my friend didn't take my advice and she RAN! Luckily these dogs were not aggressive and they just chased and jumped around her acting like it was a game. LOL I do agree that it isn't right to purposely let a dog run off lead as there are people that are afraid of dogs...even if these dogs happen to be sweethearts.
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
18 Jul 07
Those people were risking the llife of that dog and to me, that is irresponsible. At this time I don't have a dog, but a cat, (actually it's my daughters, I would rather have a dog). If I did have a dog, that dog would be on a leash or dog run for the many reason you said, getting hit by a car, running away, biting someone or fighing with another dog. Or, considering where I live, another important thing to remember is skunks.. I made that mistake only one time, one evening before bed,I was just letting my dog out for a quick break and there was a skunk right there, needless to say, the dog spent the night outside...
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Jul 07
Oh yuck! I know how that is. My female dog has gotten sprayed by a skunk before. It happened to come into our yard one evening and it sprayed her good! :(
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
29 Jul 07
There is a leash law here. If I had a dog I would use a leash. I hate when people have their dogs loose in the yard. As you walk by they always say they will not bite as the dogs run towards you full speed barking and growling. I have told more than 1 person that there is a leash law and if your dog leaves your yard I will kill it. You know what? They always call their dogs back. So I have to threaten the dogs life for the owner to control it. What kind of logic is that? I would never hurt the dog. I do it so the owner will take responsibility. Like you said anything could happen. The dog COULD bite or run out in the road chasing a squirrel.
1 person likes this
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
28 Jul 07
I have let my dogs waslk without a leash - 1 was because he was older & had never been taught, when i tried to teach him he freaked out but it wasn't a big deal because he was never more then a couple feet from me anyway, always by my side. I do see your problem with where they were but some people have more faith in their dogs that other people do. If you know there's no chance of your dogs taking off, biting or anything then there's no reason to be on a leash. Although i have to say, my situation is different coz i live in a very small country town so there aren't many people, there isn't much traffic & the chance of someone else walking their dog off a lead as well, at the same time has yet to happen to me. Usually though, i did use a lead unless i was at the park but there are different laws with our countries. I think it just depends on the people & on the dog but if you live somewhere that requires a dog be on a leash or the dog has a history of being a pain or aggressive, then for sure, it should be on a lead!
• United States
28 Jul 07
i can't imagine letting my jack russel terrier outside without a leash, besides in my backyard. She is so wild and hyper, every dog she sees is a threat to her. Every time the front door opens she tries to escape, and from there chases everything that moves, cars, trucks, pedestrians, other dogs. One time she ran alongside of a truck and jumped on the side of it as if she was trying to tackle it, but just banged her head in the process. I just remembered one time we took her to this old farm and she chased a horse! i was so scared she was going to get kicked 50 yards away!
• United States
26 Jul 07
Yes, there is a leash law where I live. It is not too smart to let your dog run free in case they get run over by a car, injure another animal or bite a human.
1 person likes this
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
19 Jul 07
I don't think we have a leash law where we just moved. I know that on base there is one, and we always have our dogs on leashes if we are going on a walk or something. Our back yard is fenced in, so if we are going to be out there with them, they don't have to be tied up or anything. We do have to tie the little one up if we are leaving them outside by themselves, though. Otherwise she climbs the fence and runs around base. She always comes back, and she's excellent with children (we have a 17 month old that rides her and bites her!), but I still worry about HER safety. I'm afraid she might get hit by a car. And there are people that might be afraid of her, even though she weighs less than 20 lbs. So we tie her up. At our new house, we don't have the fence up yet. Our big dog can go out in the yard as long as we are there, and she doesn't try to run away. She will stay within 5 feet of where we are standing. We tie the little one up, though, because she tried running away the other day. She came back about ten minutes later, but we can't just let her run around the neighborhood. The chance of her getting hit is pretty small since we have no traffic on our street besides our neighbors, but there's still a chance it could happen, or that she could bug the neighbors' big dog while she is on her chain. Once we get the fence up, she will have a little more freedom, but for now, it's better safe than sorry. We will continue to leave our big dog off the chain, though, even before we get the fence up. She's old and doesn't chase things, and never gets further than about 20 feet away from us. She comes right back when we call for her, and she stays out of the road. I have no problem giving her a little freedom in our own yard.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Jul 07
In our place there's no such thing as leash law. Dogs here are crossing the roads as if they are human they know how to evade those incoming vehicle before they walk. They don't bite because they are very familiar with people just like cats.
1 person likes this
@charms88 (7543)
• Philippines
19 Jul 07
Hello sacmom, you know very well that I don't have a dog but an adorable bunny. I placed him in a nice little barn house and he loves it. One thing I like to share with you is that we don't have dog leash law here in our country. You can practically see any stray dogs on the street and the people from the higher authority are not doing anything about it. I'm so used to seeing dogs loitering around but still, I tried to veer away from them. They are dirty and who knows, packed with rabies.