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On Walking Your Dog Without A Leash

December 8, 2013

As a dog owner and rescuer, there is nothing that drives me up the wall as fast as inconsiderate owners who have their out of control furry children running amuck.

I’m not saying to not ever take your dog off-leash, but if you do, please observe the following rules:

1. Always, ALWAYS bring a leash with you. Because you never know what might happen. It can also earn you a substantial fine (and potentially the loss of your dog) in most places, if you don’t.

1a. If you encounter another human or dog that seems uncomfortable or is causing issues, put the damn leash on your dog and walk away. This rule also applies if your dog is distracted or you are in a dangerous or high-traffic area.

2. Do not let your dog off leash if you can’t or won’t exercise vocal command control over it. If you don’t know what that means, you shouldn’t be letting your dog off leash. If your dog gets distracted by shiny things and/or ignores you and/or runs off…do I really need to elaborate?

3. Carry poop bags and clean up after your fucking dog. I shouldn’t have to explain this.

4. Do not EVER let your dog run up to other people or dogs without asking if it is okay FIRST. Again, see rule number two. Also, make people ask before petting your dog or letting their dog run up to you/yours. Encourage good manners all around.

5. Do not let your dog-aggressive dog off leash anywhere other dogs might be.

6. Do not let your dog get farther away from you than the distance you would want to cover quickly, in case of a fight or attack. Your dog may be the best behaved dog on the planet. The neighbors or their dog…

7. Keep your dog out of other people’s yards.

8. Don’t be an asshole. Show others the respect you would like to get.

9. I shouldn’t have to say this, but if your animal isn’t up-to-date on shots or potentially has any contagious or aggression-causing issue (such as not being fixed) do not let them come into contact with other dogs or humans without verbally warning the humans/pet owners about the issue.

10. Remember that you represent all dog owners and whatever breed your dog is/resembles. Pet ordinances and the reactions of the public to your dog and all dogs depends on you and all other owners being responsible and good citizens.

I take my dog for walks around my apartment complex off leash. We continuously work on commands and etiquette. She is required to sit and wait for my permission before walking up to greet people (she loves people and getting petted). She knows the command “go home” and not to go beyond a certain distance before stopping and waiting for my verbal cue to continue. This took a lot of work and takes a lot of consistent work to maintain and we also take lots of walks with her leashed. If she is off leash, I still always carry a leash with me. If police and military working dog officers, with their extensively well-trained dogs still always carry a leash, there is no reason I shouldn’t. It’s irresponsible to assume my dog is so awesome that I will never need one.

Protect your dog. Protect yourself. Don’t be an asshole.

Until Next Time,


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