Welcome to Leash 101, your introduction to the use of leashes. Let’s see a show of hands of those who believe that they have 100% control of their dogs off leash. If you have raised your hand, you are one of the biggest threats to your neighborhood and need this class.
A leash is a physical connection between a dog and the dog’s owner. For a leash to be effective, it must be of reasonable length and under the control of someone physically capable of controlling the dog. A dog being walk on a flexi-leash by a six year old is NOT under control.
Most ordinances require that the length of a leash should be between six to ten feet and should be of sufficient strength to maintain control. String, ribbon, and twine are insufficient material to constitute a leash. Many owners purchase flexi-leashes that allow the leash to expand out to 50 feet or more. These leashes, although not legal, give your dog sufficient room in open areas; these leashes are not suitable on trails. If you lose sight of your dog, while on a leash, the leash is too long.
In order to achieve maximal control, the person controlling the leash should be of sufficient size and strength to control the dog. This is called “walking the dog.” It is not uncommon to see a dog pulling along its owner in an uncontrolled fashion, this is called “the dog walking the person.” A person with reasonable intelligence would see the dangers of failing to control your dog. Most incidents involve dogs walking their owners.
If you cannot control the dog that you are walking, look in the mirror. You need to talk to that person into getting a smaller dog before someone is hurt.
There seems to be a misunderstanding as to when to use a leash. Smart people place a leash of their dog while in a confined space before taking the dog outside. Animal shelters are full with animals who once belonged to people who were not smart.
When we adopt animals, we discuss the need to keep a dog leashed until the dog accepts his new home. I am constantly amazed at the number of times people get their new pet home only to lose the pet when they decided to open the door of their car to let the dog run off leash to the front door of their house. We have fine-tuned our adoption screening process and have yet to discover a true test for identifying stupidity. These are the same people who think that their adoption fee should be refunded because the shelter was negligent in adopting the dog to a stupid person.
The leash is your friend. It keeps your dog from being hit by a car. Keeps your neighbors from being frightened or bitten. Keeps you out of court when animal control picks up your dog. Your leash is one of the single most effective tools for keeping you out of trouble. It is so important, I suggest that you give your leash a name… make it personal.