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Old 03-12-2012, 04:52 AM
Teal Teal is offline road...
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northern California
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Yes, I let my dogs off leash illegally. But I do it in the most responsible way I can! lol

There is a baseball field that says "NO DOGS IN FIELD"... but we let the dogs run and play there, if no one is there.

I let my dogs off leash at the county park, again - if no one is there.

In the past (when he could still fetch), I let Ruger off leash at a public lakefront park to play short-distance fetch. He is the only dog I will unleash in an unfenced public area, because his recall is 98% (you know dogs.. nothing is 100%!)... but even then, I did it only in situations where I knew it was safe.

Those are the sort of illegal off-leashings I do. And I ALWAYS regain control of my dog/s if someone comes into view. I'm incredibly observant of my surroundings, and I've yet to miss someone approaching... 80% of the time, I see them before they see me. Depending on the circumstances, I'll either leash my dog/s or put them in a down/stay.

I NEVER let my dog/s off leash when other dogs are present, leashed or otherwise.

How do I feel when I see other off leash dogs? I prepare to defend my dog from a possible encounter, first. I have seen VERY few off leash dogs with voice control strong enough to warrant being off lead!
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:23 AM
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sassafras sassafras is offline
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Dogs off leash in busy public areas like public parks where there are leash laws do annoy me. I don't care how well mannered they are, that is public space. You never know who might be afraid of dogs or otherwise be anxious at the sight of an off leash dog, they don't deserve to have their day ruined through no fault of their own.

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Old 03-12-2012, 10:20 AM
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Taqroy Taqroy is offline
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People let their dogs off leash in (on lead) parks ALL THE TIME here and it drives me crazy because they have no control over them. And I have a reactive dog (Mu) so when I go to any park I have to be even more hyper aware and paranoid than I already am. I have not ever seen someone in this area with an off lead dog that is actually under voice control. Even at the dog park. If I had, I would probably feel different about it.

I really only let my dogs off leash in really rural areas (which has its own set of risks). Tipper has an awful lot of prey drive and a pretty crappy recall, Murphy has wanderlust, and while Mu has a fantastic recall she's also REALLY into squirrels and I'm not sure which one would win out. I'm just not willing to risk my idiots most of the time lol.

ETA: I don't care if dogs are off leash in a contained area (like a baseball field) or in an area where there aren't very many people/dogs IF they're reasonably well controlled by voice. But in parks where there are a lot of other people and dogs it annoys me.

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Old 03-12-2012, 11:05 AM
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Skivvies Skivvies is offline
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Nope. Tiffany stays on leash unless we're at the dog park. Even though Tiffany is pretty much velcroed to me, I feel a lot more comfortable with her on the leash. There are also a lot of coyotes where I live, so I want her close to me at all times.

Tiffany has been jumped by off-leash dogs in our neighborhood before. Only small ones fortunately (big ones could really hurt her eek), but I can't imagine letting my small dog roam around off leash with all the coyotes!
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:11 PM
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nikkiluvsu15 nikkiluvsu15 is offline
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No, not generally.

I do, however, break other laws...

Such as the leash length... at most state parks your leash is supposed to be 6' or shorter, but after we finish hiking and head to the river I clip on her long lead so she has more freedom to swim further (though I don't like her to swim THAT far... alligators!).

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Old 03-12-2012, 12:59 PM
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Gypsydals Gypsydals is offline
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Normally no. He would end up taking off with out even meaning to. His nose would get him into trouble. I do take him up to the old school and let him off leash there. They have a pretty big fenced in area for where the little kids used to play. I'm not sure if I should be doing that, but the cops have never said anything. I always clean up any mess he might make.

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:19 PM
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IceyBlueSibes IceyBlueSibes is offline
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Depends on where we're at & if there are people or dogs around. If there are people or dogs I won't let him off leash. He's good about not running off especially when we tell him "leave it" or "Stay" but he has his days where he gets a wild hair up his butt & seems like he's forgotten some of the rules.

He goes out front of the house with us, if we're unloading groceries or cleaning out the car. We will take a walk and in our neighborhood there is a dirt road leading back to a spot where the water company goes (I have no idea what it is) but there's a ditch between the houses and this road and on the other side is woods. We let him off leash when we get back there. But usually out in public we don't let him off leash unless there's no one else around and it's at a park or what have you. We used to go fishing under neath this bridge down in Florida & as long as there weren't other people around we left him loose because he was so obsessed with fishing it was ridiculous but we always kept a leash in immediate reach if we needed it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:20 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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I'm pretty well behaved considering I just moved from north Idaho, a very wilderness type area, where my dogs ran off leash most places we went hiking and considering I tend to be a rather rebellious type. lol. Here in my new place, I'm in the city limits, plus most places would be too dangerous to let them off leash. I wouldn't use a school ball field if a sign said "no dogs" or let them off leash any other place that says "dogs must be on a leash." But there is one place, some kind of park thingy...just a grass walking trail along side the water where there are no signs and there are hardly every people or other dogs there. If there are, they are put on their leashes.

At another city park there are paved walking trails and big grassy areas, play equipment for kids etc. One day, there was someone with an off leash dog in one of those grassy places. It made me mighty nervous. How was I to know that dog wouldn't come roaring along and attack my Chihuahuas? He didn't, but it still made me a nervous. I don't see any other people letting their dogs off leash, so why should that person? It is clearly marked in several locations that dogs must be on a leash in this park. Surely, there must be somewhere to take dogs to run off leash. There is a lot of country all around this city. If I had a bigger dog, I'd definitely work on finding a suitable place for that. As it is, the Chi's are just fine on a leash. If they want to run, I can run along with them.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:53 PM
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Yes. There is one dog park in this entire city and it is on the other side of the city. I've been trying to get Sam down there at least once a week, but bumming rides off my parents doesn't work all the time. There is supposed to be a new one coming soon and it is a tad bit closer but no where near walking distance.

Besides that one park there is a strict leash law and leashes must be 6' or under. It's common knowledge to dog owners around here that we are all considered second rate citizens by the city and by non dog owners. It's not always fun. Oh and dogs aren't allowed anywhere near the lake. Apparently it's cool for humans to muck up our lake but dogs are just too dirty for it. XD

So there was one park that was known locally as an unofficial dog park and I took Sam there as often as possible. I only let him off leash once we were away from the road and I was certain it wasn't busy. We were usually safe if the off-duty cop with his two dogs were around because the by-law officer would see him and just walk away. :3 Apparently, I've never seen the bylaw there. But I keep hearing that it's being monitored more so we don't go there. There are other wooded areas that I let Sam off-leash at, but only if no one is around and off of the main trails.

If I didn't then Sam would get next to no off-leash time. There aren't many other options here.

As for other dogs I don't mind at all and I commend the owners bravery in face of the by-law. :P Unless the dog is out of control, the area is overly busy with people or if it just isn't safe (near a road for example). What I hate is when people let their unleashed dogs march up to Sam and then wait until they get closer to tell me that their dogs are dog aggressive sometimes. >.<
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:18 PM
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Linds Linds is offline
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Interesting reading. I'm insanely jealous of you guys that don't have leash laws. I also love the places that have the "either leashed or under voice control" laws.

I think one of the words that everyone uses differently depending on where they live is 'parks'. I kinda use that word for a lot of things from the stage area they hold concerts at behind my house to the baseball/soccer fields by the school I bike at to the playground near the dock I use. But what I never mean in regards to Traveler being off leash in a park is a place where everyone is close together or having picnics or sight seeing.

And I hear what a lot of you guys who don't do it are saying about being afraid of dogs or not being able to tell if they are under control or not or ruining it for everyone else. That's kinda why I made this thread and why I didn't/don't do it without a lot of thought.

But at the same time, when towns and places don't give you anywhere TOO legally let your dogs off leash and you have a high energy dog that needs to run you kinda end up having your hand forced. Especially if you are lucky enough to have a dog trust worthy off lead.

But I do want to assure everyone that I don't just let him off willy nilly. If I'm at the soccer/baseball fields I only use them if there is NO one in the field I want to use or one of the surrounding ones (They have five soccer fields and four baseball fields so it's rather large).

At the dock it's away from the field, playground and path. You take a separate path to get there and it's downhill. I don't use it unless no one is near it.

And the bike path where I let him swim is another you have to take a path down to it and it's much lower than the rest of the bike path and over grown. I only use it if no one is fishing there or near it. It's actually where Sara and I would meet over the summer and let Zuma and Traveler be merle together.

That being said, a lot of people being around doesn't stop me because I'm away from them. I do feel bad sometimes because of those that might be afraid of dogs, see him from a distance and worry. But, he's under ten times more control and farther away than the dogs of most people who walk around there who think everyone wants their dog up your butt.

Those who said you don't because your dog isn't trustworthy off leash, would you if you had a dog that was?
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