- Unpredictable Situations
The best-behaved dogs can react unpredictably in new situations, especially if they’re scared. Even if you’re alone on your walk, others can show up and change the scene in an instant. Children, vehicles, animals, and even bad weather can cause a dog to forget all training and commands. Also, as a dog owner, it’s hard to imagine being uncomfortable around dogs. But if your unleashed dog approaches a person that is scared of dogs they could possibly harm your dog out of fear.
- Hidden Hazards
When you’re hiking and no one else is around, it may be especially difficult to obey leash laws. But often these laws are in place to protect your dog’s life. Sudden cliffs, loose rocks, animal traps, toxic plants and wild animals are all potentially very dangerous to dogs. Here in Georgia, there have been a record number of snake bites due all the rain this summer. When dogs aren’t on leash, they wander nose first down the trail. 80% of snake bites are to a dog’s nose. Keeping your dog on a leash ensures you’ll always know where he’s headed, and you can help him in an emergency.
- Vulnerable On-Leash Dogs
It’s common for on-leash dogs to feel vulnerable when approached by off-leash dogs. They sense that the other dogs are free to do as they please, while they’re tethered to their human. The result can be fearful or protective behavior, which may set off a “fight or flight” instinct in your dog. If your dog chooses “fight”, you could end up in hot water. Legally, you’d be held responsible for injuries to humans and pets and damage to property. You could also face citations from local law enforcement, not to mention the awful feeling knowing your pet caused harm that could have been prevented.
- But my dog hates being on a leash!
If your dog really needs to run free, take her to an off-leash dog park. This helps ensure she only comes into contact with other friendly dogs who can handle themselves on their own. In the Decatur, GA area there are many nice dog parks available to use. No matter how well trained your dog is, there could always be something that triggers your dog to get away from you. Be smart & keep your dog on a leash at all times. This should prevent any kind of conflict or injury to you, your pet and others.
How do you feel about leash laws? Let us know in the comments.