How do you feel about walking dogs off-leashes?
From the standpoint of a professional dog walker, I believe there is no reason, whatsover, a dog needs to be off its’ leash in public non-fenced-in areas, yet it baffles me how many owners allow this. There are areas specifically meant for dogs to roam free, and as a matter of fact, people fight hard to expand these areas so those that don’t want to use leashes, have options.
Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) and the Kirkland Dog Off-Leash Group (KDOG) for example, are groups of volunteers who work their butts off to ensure that we continue to, not only keep our current off-leash areas, but also improve them and create new ones.
I do understand there are some really well-trained, sweet dogs out there, that I’m sure would be just fine being off its’ leash. However, if it approaches a dog that’s more aggressive that is on a leash, that could be a recipe for disaster. I can’t imagine how many times owners have said; “But he NEVER does this!”
Secondly, yes, the chances are probably fairly slim, BUT, what if your dog runs out into traffic?? This memory would stick in your mind forever while knowing you could have done something to avoid it. Why take the risk?
If you prefer your dog has some room to roam while you’re walking him/her, a great option is the Retractable Leash. This is the perfect leash for hikes, walks, runs…anything really. This is simply a peace of mind for your dog, yourself, and other’s around you.
Lastly, I have a hard time understanding why exactly some owners don’t want to leash their dogs in public areas. If you have input, or care to share, please do so! I’m really curious what makes the owner feel it’s ok.