“But my dog is so friendly and well-behaved!” — this phrase is sometimes used by owners who don’t mind letting their dogs off their leash for a while. While this gives their pet its necessary freedom and fun time, it can also pose dangers to the pet and its surroundings. From dog poisoning and the unpredictable reactions of people around to financial burdens for its owner. Unless you are in a completely enclosed area, putting your dog on a leash can save you a lot of trouble.
Bright Side always stands up for the safety of the people and animals around us. That’s why we would like to discuss this delicate topic with you about whether we should let our dogs run freely sometimes or not. Let’s explore this!
1. An unleashed dog can become too agitated or excited around other dogs.
No matter how well-behaved and friendly you think your dog is, unexpected situations might happen. Sometimes dogs can get uncontrollably excited when they see another dog and rush over to it. Their playful behavior can grow into an aggressive situation between the 2 dogs, and a fight might be unavoidable. From the other side, your dog itself can experience aggression and attack another dog that is leashed. The consequences might be troublesome for both the pets and their owners.
2. Some people don’t want to have an unleashed dog around.
Not everyone is a dog lover and not everyone enjoys having an unleashed dog running around them, even if it just wants some attention. A lot of children or elderly people might get scared or even experience psychological trauma if a dog jumps on them in a playful mood. Additionally, not everyone is physically able to handle all the love a dog can offer. It’s better to just not make anyone anxious.
3. It might put other animals in danger.
Apart from trying to interact with other dogs, your unleashed pet might decide to chase after other animals, like cats that live in your neighborhood. Or while walking in the park, it might see a squirrel and run after it to try to play with it or even attack it. The chance that it could harm another creature is pretty high.
4. It can be dangerous for little children and your dog too.
Little kids don’t always understand a dog’s behavior in the correct way. If an unleashed dog approaches a child to play, the little one could get agitated, pull the dog’s fur, or even accidentally hit it. This can lead to unpredictable reactions from even the most disciplined animal and can cause injuries and psychological trauma.
5. It can put the unleashed dog itself in danger.
An unleashed dog can get too excited about its surroundings and simply run to explore everything around them. Some of them don’t even return to their owner when called by name. You risk losing your pet this way. Moreover, an agitated, unleashed dog might not pay enough attention to its surroundings and accidentally run out into the street, where the chances of it getting hit by a car are high.
6. It prevents them from taking food from strangers.
Most dog owners know how excited their pets can get when they sniff something tasty. What makes them especially happy is when they receive some tasty offerings from strangers. Though, sometimes they turn out to not be as innocent as they seem. Some people might mix these treats with rat poison and try to offer it to a dog, simply because they no longer want to see it in their neighborhood. If you leash your dog, you can have better control over what it eats and stop it from taking unnecessary things.
7. It lowers their risk of catching a disease.
Another exciting activity for an unleashed dog is to look for something edible on the ground. Found and eaten garbage or rotten food might severely harm them. Also, some dogs find it fine to consume the “droppings” of other animals which might carry viruses and parasites, and make your dog feel sick.
8. It can be against the law.
In many countries it’s prohibited by law to let your dog walk around in public without a leash. The fines for disobeying this can be pretty high! Around parks and public places, you can see signs that warn dog owners about these rules.
Some Reddit users shared their experiences with off-leash dogs:
- “A few months ago, while walking my dog outside, an off-leash dog approached us. What was only probably 5 seconds felt like a lifetime. This off-leash husky ran over, with his owner about 30 ft away, attacked my greyhound in the jugular, stomach, butt, and all 4 legs. After the attack, my husband walked our dog to the nearest vet, as blood pumped with every beat from my dog’s chest. My dog was in emergency surgery and was bit 3 veins off the jugular. He was so close to not making it and I was stuck with a $6,000 bill that I had to pay if I wanted him to live. There are leash laws for a reason. I don’t care if your dog is ’friendly’ and ’well-behaved.’ Put it on a leash.” — mrsjhev1 / Reddit
- “My dog has always been the sweetest, least aggressive dog I’ve ever had. We moved to Dallas and while walking around our neighborhood loop he was attacked on 3 occasions in 5 years, by off-leash ‘friendly, he never does this!’ dogs. He is now very wary and barks at dogs when we pass them on opposite sides of the street. He shushes quickly, but it’s been a major change in his behavior. I have no time for people who don’t leash their dogs and now I’m the angry lady who tells them off when I see them.” — drag0nw0lf / Reddit
- “Had a dog run at me while I was on my bike. Slowed down because there was a dog all up near my wheels, so it got to me. I got bitten — not badly, but I was really shaken. Now every time I am out walking or running and a dog runs at me, my heart starts racing and I start thinking, ‘It knows I’m scared, that I can sense it as dangerous, and that I’m an enemy, and it’s going to attack,’ and then that escalates until I’m nearly having a panic attack.” Add that to the fact that my dad is wary of dogs and I think I picked up on that at a young age.” — cateml / Reddit
- “My cat got attacked by a ‘friendly’ dog being walked off of his leash. She was sitting in our front yard when the dog spotted her and attacked. The owner was trying to smile at me, saying, ‘Oh, he never does this,’ while I’m trying to figure out how to move my blood-covered cat and get her to a vet without hurting her more. I honestly don’t understand this, why don’t you just put a leash on dogs? This whole issue just makes me mad and sad.” — snoozlesloth / Reddit
Do you let your dog off-leash? Let’s share our thoughts about this in the comment section!