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Dogs on Leashes?
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Walk your dog with a leash?
Yes
80%
 80%  [ 16 ]
No
15%
 15%  [ 3 ]
Undecided
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 20

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:41 am    Post subject: Dogs on Leashes? Reply with quote

So I've been living at the end of a small nature trail for seven years. The first few were great walking on the trail; there were no people. Now though, with the building of two housing developments, there are plenty of soccer-moms, their strollers and their unleashed dogs.

Urgh.

Now, I used to be pretty freaked out by dogs. I've never owned one, and it's was years (until recently) inbetween encounters. Most of those encounters were negative, with one actually attacking me (when I was a kid) and most of the others with at least some really loud barking.

Now though, I see at least a dog a week, and only one owner (who I introduced myself to) keeps them on leashes. I've been contemplating telling off the owners, but I know it'll only antagonize. I guess I want some understanding. Which brings me to my question.

Why should a dog not be leashed on a nature trail?

My side is: no one knows your dog except you.
there are lots of babies and young kids on the trail.
there are LOTS of blind curves, so frequently your dog comes around without you.
above all, your animal is out of your control. Fine at home, unacceptable on a public trail.


thoughts?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you.

I have a dog. I ALWAYS walk her on a leash. The only time I let her off is on the beach when NO ONE is around or in my own yard. Some dog owners just assume everyone likes dogs as much as they do. Kind of arrogant. Not me, I assume everyone is scared of my dog and always allow the passerby to have plenty of space. I figure if they want to meet my dog they will come to me.

Dogs will take off after wild creatures, which is not good for the dog and sure as hell not good for the pretty little woodland animals.

I also always clean up after my dog.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very uncomfortable around dogs. When I'm on a trail, I want to enjoy myself, not worry if that dog coming at me is really friendly like the owner is trying to assure me or not. I don't care, keep it away from me. The only way anyone can somewhat assure that it is kept away is on a leash.

However, even with a leash, you can tell there are pairs where the dog is leading the walker. I'm very uncomfortable around them, too, because you know the owner has no control over their dog. Dog owners, all in all, in what I've observed, are generally an irresponsible bunch.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lorin wrote:
I agree with you.

I have a dog. I ALWAYS walk her on a leash. The only time I let her off is on the beach when NO ONE is around or in my own yard. Some dog owners just assume everyone likes dogs as much as they do. Kind of arrogant. Not me, I assume everyone is scared of my dog and always allow the passerby to have plenty of space. I figure if they want to meet my dog they will come to me.

Dogs will take off after wild creatures, which is not good for the dog and sure as hell not good for the pretty little woodland animals.

I also always clean up after my dog.


Thank you, by the way. I really wish more dog owners in this town thought like you did.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I occasionally used to see a woman "walking" her dog by letting the dog run on ahead of her while she followed behind. She carried a leash in her hand but it wasn't clipped to the dog's collar. This was in a city neighborhood where our office used to be, in the morning when people were walking to work and kids were walking to school. Clearly she had no intention of obeying the leash law. Maybe this was her little daily demonstration of civil disobedience or something, or maybe she figured she would call the dog and clip on the leash if she saw a cop. I guess it never occurred to her that her dog could dart into traffic or something. Rolling Eyes

For all the reasons you cite, balon, if I had a dog, I would always keep it on a leash in the woods.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the reasons given for walking a dog on a leash make the best sense to me.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I will be taking the counterpoint.

Jane, you ignorant slut (sorry, I've been watching the first 5 seasons of Saturday Night Live, and have been loving the Point/Counterpoint moments).

I think if it is a scary dog that tends to bark at people, you need to be responsible and keep it on a leash. However, if your dog is the smiley kind that the worse that can happen is being flailed by their flail tail, I see nothing wrong with them loose. But the dog will need to be trained enough to come back at a command. And believe me, I've almost had to fight for my life with the idiots that did let their dog off the leash and shouldn't have.
Unfortunately, if we are getting into laws, I can see how leash laws come about though. Some people just fool themselves that little BooBoo is a better dog than what is the reality.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in a city/county with a leash law. We always keep our dog on a leash when walking her, but at least one of our neighbors does not do the same. In fact, they let the dog out their door for it to do its business, and at least once a week we see it running around apparently unsupervised.
A few years ago, our dog squirted out the front door before we could stop her. She thought this was great fun, and ran off down the street. She found the neighbor's dog who was (as usual) totally unleashed. They got into a fight. Our dog clearly won the fight. And though I don't think we should have been held responsible, we paid the loser's vet bill.
Since that time, we have fenced the back yard in, trained our dog not to approach the front door unless allowed, and we continue to walk her always on leash.
The neighbor continues to let the dog out unattended and off-leash. In brief fits of annoyance, I have considered calling animal control, but I have never followed through.

Whether it is required by law or not, leashing your pet is the only responsible thing to do when there is any chance that someone else will approach. You cannot predict what will happen, and caution is the best practice.

It's a shame we can't ask for the same thing with some people's bratty, snotty children.

dw
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DukkhaWaynhim wrote:

It's a shame we can't ask for the same thing with some people's bratty, snotty children.

dw


For that matter, I think some grown-ups as well.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They do, in fact, make leashes for toddlers. Wink

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:
They do, in fact, make leashes for toddlers. Wink

Those baby leashes crack me up.
In theory, no dog leashes. And people who have no space should have no dog [hell, people shouldn't live without space...both dogs and people are literally made for moving and long distances.]
That being said...most people have mistaken their relationship with dogs, [both owners and passersby] and pragmatically, leashing is necessary.
A number of places I've lived have set aside areas of freedom for dogs, and these generally work well [though there is always someone who is not the alpha in their own pack].
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you, Balon. Also, I don't put much trust in the dog owner's claims that their dog is friendly. When I was a kid, my brother and I walked past an old-ish man walking a dog, who assured us "He won't hurt you." That was a matter of seconds before it bit my brother. I don't think people understand their own dogs.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except for my time in the navy, I've always had dogs, and other than when we lived in the middle of nowhere, they've always been fenced/inside or leashed. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I've met a few people, literally, a few, that have that complete alpha male control over their dogs and don't use leashes. I'm fine with that, but sadly there are way too many people who think they're the next f'ing dog whisperer.

Heh. The google street map for my house used to have a guy letting his dog s*** on my lawn. I've seen him before. I had to yell at him once for walking through the middle of my lawn. I mean, the edge is fine if they clean it up, but this guy had to walk into my yard, and it's not like he got pulled there by his little yipper.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with dogs on leashes in general. There are usually problems when one dog is being walked on a leash while another isn't - especially if there is a confrontation. The dog on the leash is more likely to lash out because it can't get away.

Apart from that, I agree with most of the above comments - even the most friendly dogs can have their instincts take over.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mom actually had an experience a few years ago where a very small dog ran up to her while she was in a park and bit her pretty hard in the leg. From what I understand she did not act that pissed off at the time. However the next time she saw the dog it was off the leash and she really yelled at the woman walking it, said it should be leashed at the least and probably muzzled as well since it had bit her for no discernible reason.

Even if you really do have complete control of your dog and somehow have ultimate knowledge that confirms you won't do anything wrong, I don't see why there's any reason to force others to confront their fears and anxieties about dogs and trust you.

However, all this being said, I would like to confess my own hypocrisy, i.e. when I let my dog off the leash. I spend most of my summers in NJ back at home. There is a park near my house that I often take my dog for walks in. Sometimes (if me and my parents all arrive home late, say 9 PM or later) these walks may take place after 9:30 PM. The park is basically a wide open clearing and I can see anyone else in the park unless they're hiding behind trees. If there's no one that close (and often there's no one in the park at all) I usually take my dog off the leash.

I do this because I think she enjoys being able to sniff at will and roam a bit from me and I enjoy watching her enjoy herself. If she ever falls behind she runs to catch up to me, if she walks ahead of me she will eventually wait for me to catch up. If she is moving somewhere I don't want her to go, calling her name once will stop her and calling it again will make her come over to me (actually she'll come anyway but she takes her time unless I call again).

I realize this makes me a lawbreaker in the case of leash laws, there's not really anything I can say except I think the risks are so absurdly low that they will never occur.
Quote:
I don't think people understand their own dogs.

This is probably true. From my perspective, the only time I've ever seen my dog growl angrily at anyone but the mailman is when she is under the table in our living room, is chewing on a bone, and someone reaches their hand under the table to try and pet her. I have also not heard this from her since I left college since we no longer let her have bones in the house. If you try and take a bone from her while she is outside she will tug-of-war over it but will not growl or show any sign of aggression. Additionally, even when she is tormented (by small children at dinner parties) she will always run away from them.

However, this could all be my own rationalizations about her behavior. I do go by them, but I realize that if they're proven to be incorrect there will be consequences.
Quote:

Heh. The google street map for my house used to have a guy letting his dog s*** on my lawn. I've seen him before. I had to yell at him once for walking through the middle of my lawn. I mean, the edge is fine if they clean it up, but this guy had to walk into my yard, and it's not like he got pulled there by his little yipper.

Hmm, I did that when I was a kid (say 11). It was more on the edge of the lawn and I always cleaned up, but eventually a guy came out of his house. He didn't yell at me, but he explained he had a toddler that played in the front yard, maybe on his hands and knees and whatnot and that it was irresponsible to let my dog go to the bathroom there for that reason. I thought that made a lot of sense having never considered it before, I now avoid walking my dog in front of people's houses (except the 5 or 6 before I get to the park), even though I'm pretty sure she likes taking alternate routes each day (which is disappointing as the park is not big enough to customize more than 3 routes significantly different from the others).
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Not me, I assume everyone is scared of my dog and always allow the passerby to have plenty of space.

As someone who's been a pedestrian in those situations, I'd say that I sometimes assume the owner would rather not deal with their over-friendly dog spending a few minutes circling around me with a leash. So I usually don't approach a dog if the owner seems to be giving me a wide berth (essentially the opposite of what you said: if the owner wanted me to pet their dog they would let the dog come to me). Obviously I know there are people who think like you do but I figure it's not worth the trouble to negotiate for rights to approach another's dog.

I act the same as you when walking in places with other pedestrians or dog-walkers though.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a dog. He is great, and loves everybody...but I understand that not everybody may love him.....
Therefore, I always have him on a leash unless I am in a dog park.
(Dog parks are becoming very popular, and are a great place to "un-leash" your dog, with full knowledge that there will be unleashed dogs there.)
Of course, if he's not up to date on his shots, I just let him run around the neighborhood since dog parks check that sort of thing. Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very much in favor of walking your dog unleashed...

...assuming, of course, that you have properly trained your dog.

However, I am also aware that not everyone feels the same way I do, so I only unleash them when either a) we're at a dog park, or b) noone else is on the street with me. If other people show up, there's heavy traffic, or he acts like he wants to run off a bit, then I leash him until we're at a better place.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ur-bane wrote:


Excerpt from Animal Songs Never Written
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Why did I never notice that before? Hysterical!
[and the answer would probably be "don't you cry no more, NO" in some places where I've seen some people with uncontrollable unleashed dogs].
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to walk with my dog for hours and most of the time she was unleashed but walking times were mostly at around 4.30 in the morning when hardly anyone was around. I didnt like the idea that she couldnt walk and explore freely, even tho Im aware that one can buy extendable leashes that allow a little more freedom. Sasha was too strong for those. They would last 5 minutes. The thing is, I was confident to walk her unleashed because I knew her and she knew what was expected. Walkies was the highlight of her day because she could run and explore and sniff to her hearts content. She learnt very early if she didnt obey or strayed too far away we just went straight home ( Luckily she was a dog whose brain was closely connected to her stomach and she responded to food rewards easily.) She never strayed too far away but i went thru a lot of dog crunchies early on.

We always followed the same route, she was very familiar with it and it held few surprises. If I changed the routine I would always leash her. She has never been a vicious dog but shes a doberman/german shepherd cross which means shes big and she can look dangerous if she wants to and she has the bark to go with it. Whenever we were "in public" with lots of people around, Sasha was always leashed because people were extremely wary of her and also for her own safety. I just think its part of the responsibility of being a dog owner that you leash them in public.

If I was walking her along a trail, she would have to be leashed. Too unfamiliar and too many surprises and there is a high risk to the dogs safety, not just another member of the public.

I guess what im saying with all this blah blah is that imo there are times and places when it is appropriate to unleash your dog, like when there are no people around and there are minimal risks to dog safety, but in public with people and traffic around is not the time nor the place and neither is a walking trail where the risk of having a lost or injured dog is too great.


.... And I agree with the baby leash thing.... there are some kids that need leashes more than some dogs do. Foot in Mouth
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dogs are terribly disobedient. I have tried very hard to train them well, but I have failed. I have just recently discovered the Koehler method for training dogs, and plan to institute the method in the next couple of months. So, yeah, I walk my dog on a leash. If they are unleashed they will run miles and miles away from me because they hate me.

I do not have a fenced yard, so I have to tie the dogs out on thirty foot leashes in the center of the yard if they want to hang out outside for a while. Well, it seems everyone in the neighborhood lets their dogs run free. There is this particular one that always comes over and harasses my dogs when they are tied out. Well, one day, my dogs pulled up their stake (probably because they were trying to get at the dog that always harasses them), and they were picked up by animal control because they were running around tied together at the stake. They told me that they wouldn't have picked them up if they weren't tied together like that, because they are familiar with the fact that lots of dogs run around untended in that neighborhood. Well, anyway, I ended up paying a $80 ticket because other people let their dogs run free.
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