People who walk with their dogs unleashed

Riley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
424
NYC
Good dogs can be off-leash. Hyperactive or aggressive dogs should be on a leash. If seeing a dog walk calmly with its owner sends you into fits of terror, your problem isn't the dog.
The problem is everyone thinks their dog is a good dog. Some people think letting their hyperactive dogs run up to and jump on random people is a good trait to encourage, because they consider it "friendly" behavior. People don't know you or your dog. Your dog may very well be good and well-trained, but it's just safer all around to keep a dog on a leash to quickly get it away from other aggressive dogs or other situations (in general or cases of emergency).
 

Consequence

Member
Oct 27, 2017
330
I love dogs but uhh yeah if my dog is off leash and runs up on someone, especially a child, I've put my dog at risk. It's not the other person's responsibility to give my dog the benefit of the doubt. Dogs can't necessarily be reasoned with by someone they don't know. Seems pretty straightforward.
 

Wood Man

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,691
I notice that some bigger dogs go nuts when they see my daughter. Their eyes are obviously honed right on her. I'm sure most just want to play but it still scares me.
 

cakely

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,334
Chicago
I don't want to but I'll kick a dog.
Man, don't do that.

Wtf is a dog park. A park just for dogs to run about in? I'm pretty sure they don't exist here. If you want your dog to have exercise you're going somewhere public
Where's "here"? Dog parks are pretty common in the states. We even have dog beaches in Chicago. And, yeah, they're public places where you can let your dog run around off the leash.

Pupper? Grow up. It's a dog. It's not a Pupper, or a Doggo or a Good Boy, or a Fwuffy Widdle Sossidge.
Uh, wow. I think you might have some issues to work through.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,864
Sunderland
Good dogs can be off-leash. Hyperactive or aggressive dogs should be on a leash. If seeing a dog walk calmly with its owner sends you into fits of terror, your problem isn't the dog.
I love dogs but uhh yeah if my dog is off leash and runs up on someone, especially a child, I've put my dog at risk. It's not the other person's responsibility to give my dog the benefit of the doubt. Dogs can't necessarily be reasoned with by someone they don't know. Seems pretty straightforward.
Thanks for that response. It really isn't reasonable to tell somebody that being scared of dogs is their problem to deal with.

While I won't stop taking our dog off the leash when appropriate, it's always with a weather eye for potential problems. Any such problems are my fault, not the dog's and certainly not somebody who feels uncomfortable when she's off the leash. A dog off leash is out of control and you must be prepared to restore control at very short notice.

In my family we have adopted the phrase "it's never done that before" as a wry reminder that animals aren't predictable. Cave canem.
 

Sabercrusader

Member
Oct 27, 2017
868
Sorry you had to go through that, OP. That is one thing I just don't understand. I love dogs, but I don't care how well trained you think it is. You should always leash your dogs while walking them out in public.
 

Scuffed

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,479
It's extremely inconsiderate. Even if you think your dog is trained I've never seen a dog off a leesh not at least run up and sniff random people or other dogs. Allowing this to happen is obnoxious. Some people are deathly afraid of dogs and seeing one off leech come up to them is terrifying. Some dogs don't get along with other dogs and so a random off leash dog coming up to your dog can result in a very negative experience. This has happened to me. Don't be selfish and leesh your damn dog for other people's sake.
 
Mar 18, 2018
882
I'm honestly amazed by most of the comments here and I'm beginning to think it's mainly an American thing.

I walk my dogs at least twice a day, a quick 30 minute walk in the morning before work and then a longer walk in the evening. At the weekends we'll sometimes be out as a family for hours hiking with the dogs. If we're in fields or public footpaths they are pretty much always off lead. They never approach other people or dogs as that's how they have been trained.

I can't remember the last time another dog jumped up at me or showed any hostility but by reading this thread it sounds like it's happening all of the time.

Maybe I'm just lucky and the majority of owners I meet know what they are doing or they at least have some kind of control even if that is a leash or muzzle.
 

Buddy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
914
Germany
I do that too with my dog but only at night (sometimes i cant sleep anderen go for a walk in the middle of the night) and out at a lonly field.

I would never let my dog off leash when there is a chance to meet other people....

He is a very nice dog but he is a Rottweiler. Most people crap their pants when a Off leash rotti is walking towards them
 
OP
OP
Dalek

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,358
I'm honestly amazed by most of the comments here and I'm beginning to think it's mainly an American thing.

I walk my dogs at least twice a day, a quick 30 minute walk in the morning before work and then a longer walk in the evening. At the weekends we'll sometimes be out as a family for hours hiking with the dogs. If we're in fields or public footpaths they are pretty much always off lead. They never approach other people or dogs as that's how they have been trained.

I can't remember the last time another dog jumped up at me or showed any hostility but by reading this thread it sounds like it's happening all of the time.

Maybe I'm just lucky and the majority of owners I meet know what they are doing or they at least have some kind of control even if that is a leash or muzzle.
What’s more amazing is there isn’t one dog owner who has said “you know, I’ve never actually considered the viewpoint of the other person in this scenario before.”
 

bionic77

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,232
I'm honestly amazed by most of the comments here and I'm beginning to think it's mainly an American thing.

I walk my dogs at least twice a day, a quick 30 minute walk in the morning before work and then a longer walk in the evening. At the weekends we'll sometimes be out as a family for hours hiking with the dogs. If we're in fields or public footpaths they are pretty much always off lead. They never approach other people or dogs as that's how they have been trained.

I can't remember the last time another dog jumped up at me or showed any hostility but by reading this thread it sounds like it's happening all of the time.

Maybe I'm just lucky and the majority of owners I meet know what they are doing or they at least have some kind of control even if that is a leash or muzzle.
I have never been bitten in America but dog bites are way too common. Could be because we just have so many dogs, could be because dogs are not trained well here but I doubt that the dogs in America are somehow different than dogs in other countries.

It’s just irresponsible to walk in populated areas with a dog without a leash.
 
Mar 18, 2018
882
What’s more amazing is there isn’t one dog owner who has said “you know, I’ve never actually considered the viewpoint of the other person in this scenario before.”
Not entirely sure I follow what you're saying but if I couldn't control my dogs and they were approaching/jumping up on people I'd definitely put them on a lead.

If I'm walking through a busy street/town centre I'll lead them, both for my dogs safety and for for convenience, but if I'm out in fields/footpaths and its not designated with a PSPO they'll be off lead.
 

cakely

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,334
Chicago
What’s more amazing is there isn’t one dog owner who has said “you know, I’ve never actually considered the viewpoint of the other person in this scenario before.”
I have already considered that viewpoint. It's not a mystery.

I always walk my dog on a leash. I do it because I don't want my dog jumping at people or other dogs, and yeah, it happens to be against the law where I live.
 
OP
OP
Dalek

Dalek

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,358
I have already considered that viewpoint. It's not a mystery.

I always walk my dog on a leash. I do it because I don't want my dog jumping at people or other dogs, and yeah, it happens to be against the law where I live.
This comment wasn’t directed towards dog owners that DO use a leash.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,814
Uh, wow. I think you might have some issues to work through.
Nah, I just find all this doggo pupper bullshit nauseatingly saccharine. Same if people called cats kitties or birds birdies or fish fishies which most people don't for obvious reasons, but apparently it's fine for adults to start talking like a 5 year old when discussing dogs.
 

StallionDan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,875
Where's "here"? Dog parks are pretty common in the states. We even have dog beaches in Chicago. And, yeah, they're public places where you can let your dog run around off the leash.
UK. Pretty much every single large field, public park etc you can expect to see unleashed dogs. And everyone is fine with it, provided people pick up their dogs shit and bin it.
 

EdgeXL

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,351
California
There is a park where I like to work out and they have huge signs everywhere that says dogs must be on leash and under owner's control. So many clueless people attach leashes to their dogs and let them run free while dragging their leashes behind them. On one occasion I tried confronting an owner and pointed out that her dogs were not under her control if they were running free. She gave me a dull look in her eyes as if there was not much happening inside of her brain and asked me how could her dogs run if she held their leashes?

I wanted to suggest jogging with them, riding her bike with them, take them to the dog park but she had given me a headache and I did not have several hours of free time to explain it to her.
 

TalonJH

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,682
No matter how well trained your dog may be, it's going to be hard to tell how they may react when they are scared. It's just good for your dogs safety and public safety. I never thought my dog would snap at someone until he did. The Pros out weigh the cons IMO.

I'm mostly fine with it if it's in the middle of nowhere or of course, a dog park that allows it.
 

Zornica

Member
Oct 26, 2017
216
not really a problem where I live since people can and will be fined when caught.

But what really bothers me are those, who insist on having a dog in the big city but than won't respect bans on dogs in certain parks. Can't even have my small child roam freely sometimes because she might grab a chunk of dog shit and taste it or worse.
 

RocknRola

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,423
Portugal
I've seen legitimate cases of owners with full control over their dogs without a leash (be they big or small). Like, they didn't even have to say a word, the dogs would know when to stop and when to move just based on their owners movements and walking speed.

But these are rare and definitely not the norm. Usually when a dog is unleashed and not well trained (90%+ of the cases) they go nuts and do whatever they feel like doing. Of course, most dogs are friendly and just want to play or are curious about their surroundings, which is fine. However some are actually quite agressive and that's when (for me at least) problems arise. To make matters worse, their owners seems completely oblivious to the dogs behaviour which doesn't help
 

MrT

Member
Oct 27, 2017
171
Definitely a divide in attitude between countries here. I'm in Scotland in a semi-rural area and most dogs are off leash when out in parks/woods etc and on-leash on pavements/roads. The law here is that dogs must be on the leash or under close control, unless in an area where it states a leash is required. There's an unspoken "rule" that if you are out walking your dog off leash and you are approaching a dog who is on the leash, you clip your dog back on until you pass as you should assume that dog is on the leash for a reason (aggressive, reactive etc). Works just fine and everyone accepts it. We also just automatically clip our dog back on the leash when we see kids, bikes or runners/joggers approaching, or are around livestock too, and basically just use common sense.

We also take our dog to 2 training classes a week, all positive reinforcement with IMDT accredited trianers so that we have a happy well adjusted dog who trusts and responds to us. None of this Cesar Millan alpha pack leader bs that has been disproved, or shock collars, prong collars, spray bottles etc that seem to be much more acceptable in the US. Makes me wonder if there's also a difference in attitude to proper training in the US? (Not to say there aren't any crap owners here with completely untrained dogs)

But yeah, thanks to all the people in this thread calling me a piece of shit etc. Insults really add to the discussion.
 

Gypsie

Member
Oct 29, 2017
568
Definitely a divide in attitude between countries here. I'm in Scotland in a semi-rural area and most dogs are off leash when out in parks/woods etc and on-leash on pavements/roads. The law here is that dogs must be on the leash or under close control, unless in an area where it states a leash is required. There's an unspoken "rule" that if you are out walking your dog off leash and you are approaching a dog who is on the leash, you clip your dog back on until you pass as you should assume that dog is on the leash for a reason (aggressive, reactive etc). Works just fine and everyone accepts it. We also just automatically clip our dog back on the leash when we see kids, bikes or runners/joggers approaching, or are around livestock too, and basically just use common sense.

We also take our dog to 2 training classes a week, all positive reinforcement with IMDT accredited trianers so that we have a happy well adjusted dog who trusts and responds to us. None of this Cesar Millan alpha pack leader bs that has been disproved, or shock collars, prong collars, spray bottles etc that seem to be much more acceptable in the US. Makes me wonder if there's also a difference in attitude to proper training in the US? (Not to say there aren't any crap owners here with completely untrained dogs)

But yeah, thanks to all the people in this thread calling me a piece of shit etc. Insults really add to the discussion.
Yep this has been my conclusion too.

After reading the entire thread I am certainly glad the attitude here is different.
 

Fistwell

Member
Oct 26, 2017
129
Personal story:

Cple of years ago, running on a public trail along a river. Pair of dogs, unleashed, playing like idiots, running in my direction, oblivious to me. I steer away from them. They sharply curve in my direction at the last second, barrel into my legs. I'm thrown off balance. I have one weird foot strike where I'm trying to not fall on my face. Foot gives out a loud "POP", noticeably folds between first and second metatarsal. I take another step, foot pops again. I stop, sit on my ass, untie my shoe, survey the damage.

Woman: "you OK?"

Me: "no, I need this checked out, hospital..."

Woman: *runs*

More recently, wife was bit by a bit dog. He was leashed. This was in the city, on a walkway. A little girl was walking it. She had no control over it. The dog lunged and drew blood as my wife was cautiously jogging around it. Little girl ran to a building just one block away. We went and knocked, nobody opened, nobody knew of any dog. We spent the rest of our Sunday in the ER for my wife to get shots and a few stitches. We went to the cops. They didn't give a shit.

I love dogs though.

(/dear journal)
 

Zombegoast

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,754
There was this women who lived in a apartment complex who had 3 dogs and had them unleashed and left them unattended instead of walking them and scooping up their waste.

One day she let them out while walking my dog and started to attack my dog. Luckily there were small dogs and since then she moved after the incident.

Don't be that person.
 

WonderBoyd89

Member
Oct 27, 2017
41
Definitely a divide in attitude between countries here. I'm in Scotland in a semi-rural area and most dogs are off leash when out in parks/woods etc and on-leash on pavements/roads. The law here is that dogs must be on the leash or under close control, unless in an area where it states a leash is required. There's an unspoken "rule" that if you are out walking your dog off leash and you are approaching a dog who is on the leash, you clip your dog back on until you pass as you should assume that dog is on the leash for a reason (aggressive, reactive etc). Works just fine and everyone accepts it. We also just automatically clip our dog back on the leash when we see kids, bikes or runners/joggers approaching, or are around livestock too, and basically just use common sense.

We also take our dog to 2 training classes a week, all positive reinforcement with IMDT accredited trianers so that we have a happy well adjusted dog who trusts and responds to us. None of this Cesar Millan alpha pack leader bs that has been disproved, or shock collars, prong collars, spray bottles etc that seem to be much more acceptable in the US. Makes me wonder if there's also a difference in attitude to proper training in the US? (Not to say there aren't any crap owners here with completely untrained dogs)

But yeah, thanks to all the people in this thread calling me a piece of shit etc. Insults really add to the discussion.
I live in the centre of Edinburgh and I've got a good natured bearded collie who is only on his lead for small bits of a walk.

Everywhere else he's off leash down paths by the water or running round in one of the parks enjoying himself like 99.9% of the other dogs here.

I feel you get as much trust from your dog as give them, so long as you've treated him well and train them appropriately.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,864
Sunderland
Yep this has been my conclusion too.

After reading the entire thread I am certainly glad the attitude here is different.
Looking at some posts in the thread it looks like some people regard normal dog socialisation as problematic, which it shouldn't be. All dogs should be capable of greeting one another in a friendly way. There are no hard and fast rules, but a well socialized dog will be capable of recognizing and reciprocating a friendly approach from another dog.

Some individuals may become fearful as a result of bad experiences, but in general a dog should be able to recognise and respond appropriately to submissive posture, playful posture, and other signals. The presence of an attentive human walker who can also read dogs will help a timid dog to get used to making friends with other dogs.

I must also say that some human mutilation of dogs may block signals. The ears and tail are very useful signal paths in nearly all breeds. Most European vets will refuse to dock them without a very good (health of dog, required for safety in a working dog) reason, and in some countries such mutilation is outright illegal. In other countries, particularly America, the practice is more common and is even defended on aesthetic grounds. If you do this to your dog, you should be aware that you're making normal social communication much more difficult.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,849
I constantly see dogs fly into a barking murderous rage towards other dogs for no apparent reason, so it's a damn good thing they are usually leashed.
 

MrT

Member
Oct 27, 2017
171
Looking at some posts in the thread it looks like some people regard normal dog socialisation as problematic, which it shouldn't be. All dogs should be capable of greeting one another in a friendly way. There are no hard and fast rules, but a well socialized dog will be capable of recognizing and reciprocating a friendly approach from another dog.

Some individuals may become fearful as a result of bad experiences, but in general a dog should be able to recognise and respond appropriately to submissive posture, playful posture, and other signals. The presence of an attentive human walker who can also read dogs will help a timid dog to get used to making friends with other dogs.

I must also say that some human mutilation of dogs may block signals. The ears and tail are very useful signal paths in nearly all breeds. Most European vets will refuse to dock them without a very good (health of dog, required for safety in a working dog) reason, and in some countries such mutilation is outright illegal. In other countries, particularly America, the practice is more common and is even defended on aesthetic grounds. If you do this to your dog, you should be aware that you're making normal social communication much more difficult.
Yup agree with all of this. I get the feeling a lot of people just don't want to let their dogs be dogs which is such a shame.
 

BennyWhatever

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,466
US
Man, preach OP.

I live in a nice little subdivision in TN. We have active dogs so we let them loose in our fenced in backyard, or walk them (leashed) all the time in our neighborhood. We even warn people that have kids that our dogs are hyperactive and to be gentle / cautious (and we have to control them heavily around kids or they'll get knocked over). They're great dogs and wouldn't intentionally hurt someone, but a hyper-friendly Brittany Spaniel is going to be what it is.

People love that "Classic TV Fantasy" of good doggies roaming around with them on their land, so they just let their dogs out in their front yard unleashed to do their business. Or they'll walk them unleashed. This shit happens all the time. They think they have this giant 10 acre plot of farm land to let their dogs roam, but they don't, they have a 1/4 acre plot in a subdivision that a hundred other families live in.

Dogs do NOT like other dogs running up to them while they're leashed, because they can be seen as prey. I've had to break up fights because of this.

Leash your dogs or use your fenced in backyard.
 

Fulminator

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,133
Looking at some posts in the thread it looks like some people regard normal dog socialisation as problematic, which it shouldn't be. All dogs should be capable of greeting one another in a friendly way. There are no hard and fast rules, but a well socialized dog will be capable of recognizing and reciprocating a friendly approach from another dog.

Some individuals may become fearful as a result of bad experiences, but in general a dog should be able to recognise and respond appropriately to submissive posture, playful posture, and other signals. The presence of an attentive human walker who can also read dogs will help a timid dog to get used to making friends with other dogs.

I must also say that some human mutilation of dogs may block signals. The ears and tail are very useful signal paths in nearly all breeds. Most European vets will refuse to dock them without a very good (health of dog, required for safety in a working dog) reason, and in some countries such mutilation is outright illegal. In other countries, particularly America, the practice is more common and is even defended on aesthetic grounds. If you do this to your dog, you should be aware that you're making normal social communication much more difficult.
Many of dogs I’ve been exposed to (American) are untrained. Most dog owners here are uneducated about dogs and as such, many do not recognize their dogs body language (which is very easy to learn). Instead the general attitude (that I’ve seen) is to repress your dogs natural behaviors via spray bottle, choke collars, and other methods of negative reinforcement because it’s often less effort than legitimate training. Sometimes training is just neglected completely.

That said, there are many dog owners who do properly train their dogs, but the prevailing attitude seems to be to just deal with your own dog and keep it away from others.

Dog Parks mostly being the sole exception.

From reading this thread, europeans seem to have a much better dog culture.


In busy areas I agree dogs should be on a leash, but when hiking, etc? If you’ve properly trained your dog I see no issue with letting it roam out in nature.

source: anecdotal of course, but I work with dogs and most of them are poorly trained. Most of them Very good dogs but the-y don’t listen for shit.
 

Violet

Member
Feb 7, 2019
615
dc
I think letting a dog off a leash to play fetch or whatever in a park is fine (provided it's very well trained). We have plenty of those in my neighborhood with no issues. And one guy with a very rugged dog that he can make climb all over the place and receives frequent treats. But the people who walk them down the street without a leash are insane.
 

vacantseas

Member
Oct 27, 2017
952
As a dog owner who always walks their dog off-leash, it's entirely on the pet owner to know their pet and know how well-trained their pet is. We have a 9 year old lab who could probably walk herself around the block if necessary. My wife and I are aware of others in the neighborhood and the path near us. If there's somebody else with a dog coming we leash her or if there's runners, bikers, walkers coming up behind us or toward us on the path we'll stop and go off to the side or leash her if necessary.
 

Pillock

Member
Dec 29, 2017
963
My favourite dog owners are the ones with those long leads that let the dog walk on the other side of the path to the owner creating a moving temporary trip wire for any unsuspecting runner out for a early morning run.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,510
I imagine it's the same people who think because they fly so much they are hot shit and can skirt the noob rules by switching seats right away, not buckling up, on their devices at the wrong time, talking during the safety demonstration, ect... quit being a lazy fuck and follow the rules like everyone else.
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,864
Sunderland
Many of dogs I’ve been exposed to (American) are untrained. Most dog owners here are uneducated about dogs and as such, many do not recognize their dogs body language (which is very easy to learn). Instead the general attitude (that I’ve seen) is to repress your dogs natural behaviors via spray bottle, choke collars, and other methods of negative reinforcement because it’s often less effort than legitimate training. Sometimes training is just neglected completely.

That said, there are many dog owners who do properly train their dogs, but the prevailing attitude seems to be to just deal with your own dog and keep it away from others.

Dog Parks mostly being the sole exception.

From reading this thread, europeans seem to have a much better dog culture.


In busy areas I agree dogs should be on a leash, but when hiking, etc? If you’ve properly trained your dog I see no issue with letting it roam out in nature.

source: anecdotal of course, but I work with dogs and most of them are poorly trained. Most of them Very good dogs but the-y don’t listen for shit.
Where I live, in particular, is about as close to Dog Heaven as you could get without living in the Scottish Highlands. Nearly everybody here in Fulwell, Roker and Seaburn seems to have a dog, and the climate is kind enough to permit them to be exercised frequently.

Today I was ruminating on this thread as I walked our greyhound. I was of a mind to make a video of her exercising and interacting with other dogs off-leash, but I'm not sure how I could post it here. In particular she reacted appropriately to another sighthound (possibly a lurcher) that approached her. When she grew impatient she shrugged off the other dog's attentions, and they separated amicably. Later on she was approached by a labrador but she decided it would be more interesting to rejoin me. I put her back on the leash and we left the field. She's now napping on the floor of the public bar after a drink of water.

It occurs to me that this kind of socialisation, which is normal in my area, is much more important than formal training. We also pay a lot of attention to her foraging instincts and accommodate them in walks. If she wants to stop and have a good sniff, I consider that to be much more important than making sure she completes some preconceived route I made up with my simian brain.

She'll probably never learn to fetch, it just doesn't seem to be something sighthounds are programmed for. She's learned to befriend and play with other dogs, to behave well around people, and to accept leash discipline. That's good going for any dog.
 

Mars

Member
Oct 25, 2017
756
I just stick with the opinion that most (yeah, I said most) dog owners specifically are self-centered assholes when it comes to their pets; the world basically revolves around them.