I know what a lot of you are thinking, “my dog is well behaved and friendly, I’ve spent the last year training it to come to me and I’m not about to let this chick lecture me about the leash laws.” Well my friends, this is not a lecture. I merely want to share some things with you to think about before you let your dog off leash in an un-permitted area.
I realize you’re all grown ass adults and will ultimately do what you choose best. But these just might be some thoughts you haven’t put into consideration yet. People who are educated with the facts are more likely to understand the safety of leashing your dog.
- Just because your dog plays well with others, doesn’t mean everyone else does. This first one I speak out of experience. My dog Laverne is very weary of other dogs, especially when they are off leash because whether they do or not, she knows they can freely approach her. This increases her anxiety. Although Laverne is not aggressive, other dogs can be and that is how fights happen. The same goes for humans. A lot of people have a fear of dogs, whether they were attacked in the past or they simply aren’t around them enough to feel comfortable. Next to fear of snakes and spiders, cynophobia (fear of dogs) is the most common animal phobia. If you leave this article with anything, leave with the idea that it’d be very considerate and probably appreciated by many if you at least leash your dog when you pass strangers.
- Some places will actually ban dogs completely if people are disregarding their rules. Nobody likes that one person who ruins the fun for everyone else.
- You’re less likely to notice where it goes potty. This could make for a lovely ticket and fine or some unhappy neighbors.
- You’re dog is more vulnerable to other animals. Wild animals are the seventh highest cause of accidental deaths in dogs. When you and your dog are clearly together you are both less likely to get approached by wild life. But if your dog appears to be on it’s own, it becomes easy prey to predators.
- They will always have canine instincts. Even if you have your dog trained like it belongs to Cesar Milan’s pack. Kudos to having such a well trained dog, but it will always be battling its instinct to investigate and become acquainted with everything. If those canine instincts win the battle and it winds up getting acquainted with poison ivy or a snake, you’re going to have some serious problems.
- You’re less likely to notice what it’s getting into. Poisoning is the number one cause of accidental deaths in dogs. They could get into trash with harmful ingredients, harmful plants, dead animals or my dogs’ personal favorite, other animal's poop. Yum.
- They can wind up falling through frozen lakes or swept away by rivers. Drowning is the second highest cause of accidental deaths in dogs. Most of those heartbreaking stories you hear about on the news happen to off leash dogs.
- Bikers are everywhere in Colorado. No seriously. If you throw a rock in Colorado, you'll probably hit a biker. Bikers as in riding a bicycle, not vroom vroom. All though we do have some of those too. It's really important for everyone's safety in any scenario to keep your dog right next to you when bikers ride past. If your pup is off leash and a biker comes by (and trust me, nine times out of ten they come out of nowhere) you're gonna have a hard time making sure your dog is out of the way. If your dog doesn't notice the biker and it runs out in front of one, both the biker and your dog could get seriously injured.
- Last but not least, there's obviously the law. Because who doesn't love getting fined and ticketed?