This is something that people seem to be very divided over and we’re not sure why really . A question debated by many but an important one which really should be considered by all dog owners and one which is being highlighted in the news more and more these days.
Every dog is different and can react surprisingly to situations, so we can never know 100% how any dog will respond to approaching dogs, people, children, bikes, motorbikes – an endless list of unexpected noises and sights. Although we all think we know our dogs and how they react, who they like and dislike etc, this is never really the case so it is no hardship to keep your dog on a lead.
If you want them to have that extra run, why not use a great training lead ? Only use training leads or even extendable leads in parks and not on paths or near traffic of any sort though. A training lead enables more control, this way if there is a problem you can recall your dog and certainly not have the problem of losing them. Alternatively take your dog to designated areas that are specifically for dogs running free, so that those that do not want the unexpected approach do not have to endure it.
Many people want to walk their dogs without other dogs running up and pouncing, this can be playful or maybe sometimes not. It is not only a situation that makes the dog anxious but also the owners and as we all know this then creates problems for both. There are now so many great areas for dogs to run free, so the choice is then made by the owner not to impact others. Yellow Dog bandanas, leads, coats all try to visually alert others to the fact that this dog doesn’t want to be approached, but of course other dogs can’t read! So this is then left up to the owners and if they have their dog controlled on a lead, there can be no fear of surprise to the more sensitive dogs or owners!
No doubt one of the simplest ways to make your walks enjoyable, whilst also considering others is to use a longline attached to a harness. If dogs are prone to chasing that squirrel or rabbit or other dog, this longline gives them freedom to explore without fear of you losing your dog. Yellow dog sell excellent ones for just this.
So please think when you are walking your dog and of course if recall is great and you in a location that is designated for free roaming dogs let them lose but in most park areas a long lead or training lead really does make sense for everyone. We love our dogs but not at the expense of others who may not love them as much as we do, it is always so important to consider others so that everyone can enjoy their walks, dogs, owners and others too!