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Is It Okay To Let My Dog Off-Leash?

Let’s face it – we all have an image in our heads of strolling around the city with our pup nearby, walking without the need of a pesky leash.  The freedom for both us and our dog is refreshing.  However, should you walk your dog off-leash? Here are some “rules of the sidewalk” that we should remember.

We all hear others or even ourselves say, “My dog is friendly”.  However, there are other dogs or humans included that may not be so friendly. Or perhaps, are usually friendly but do not like being ambushed by an oncoming dog.  This situation could be triggering or even dangerous and we do not know how dogs will respond.  Respect other dogs and people by obeying leash laws and knowing there is a time and place for off-leash walking.

Having a well-trained dog is amazing.  Kudos to you for taking the time to ensure your dog is responsive and reliable to your cues. However, the world we walk our dogs in is unpredictable.  Situations may arise that you cannot control or plan for.  There may a car accident, a biker may decide to go a little off course, or perhaps you encounter an aggressive dog.  Dogs can get hurt and even panic, resulting in them running off.  On-leash dog walking is not only being courteous to others but ensures your dog’s safety.

In short, off-leash dog walking can be fun and fulfilling for both you and your pup, however, to respect the people and dogs around you and ensure everyone’s safety, keep your dog on-leash. Off-leash dog walking does get more energy out of your pup, but there are other options to get your pup moving.  Take them to an off-leash dog park, go for a hike that has different inclines, learn how to run with your dog and don’t forget that mental stimulation!

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