Your dog is obedient and friendly, so it’s okay to walk him off-leash, right? Wrong! Leash laws exist for a good reason, and you might be surprised to learn that friendly dogs are most at risk when allowed off their leash. Here are 5 dog leash tips to keep your pup safe and happy.
1. A leash means you’re in control.
You don’t need to be controlling, you just need to be in control. What if something terrible were to happen, like a car swerving off the road or a bicyclist not seeing you? When you’re in a public place, your dog depends on you to protect her from things she can’t control. A leash is the best way to do this.
2. Other dogs aren’t always friendly.
Even though your furry friend enjoys other canines, many dogs don’t feel the same way! When your dog is off-leash, she has free reign to approach another dog as she pleases, even if it’s not welcome. The other dog might feel threatened or become defensive, and lash out. This could result in serious injury to your pooch.
3. A dog’s behavior can change in an instant.
Even the most happy-go-lucky dog in the world can turn violent when he feels threatened. This can cause behavior you’d never expect from your mutt, like growling, biting or worse. Keeping your dog leashed avoids unfamiliar situations and keeps unexpected behavior to a minimum.
4. It’s courteous to other dog owners.
Some dogs get along great with people, but have issues with fear or aggression when meeting other dogs. They still need to be walked and exercised, though! While they’re on a leash, your unleashed dog’s advances—albeit friendly—are probably unwelcome. Help other pet-parents out by keeping your dog leashed, too.
5. It’s oftentimes the law.
One more reason to keep your dog on a leash—you might be breaking the law if you don’t! Contact your municipal government to find out about the leash laws in your area.
Find places to play off-leash.
If your dog loves to feel the wind in his ears, find an off-leash dog park where he can race around all he wants! A designated dog beach or lake is also a great place for your pooch to enjoy a little off-leash fun.