Here on DogTipper, you’ll see a lot of photos of Irie and Tiki out and about. When they’re in our yard–or at a fenced, off-leash dog park–they off leash. However, any other time, you’ll always see them on leash. Although I love off-leash training and working on a reliable recall, in our day to day life, we always take the dogs out on leash. Why?
- We live in a nature preserve. The back half of our property is part of a protected preserve; our easement documents specifically allow us to walk our dogs on leash on the property. Although the preserve protects bird species that would not be found on the ground, it’s still important for the dogs to be on leash on that protected land so that they don’t leave their scent everywhere (they can reach places that I can’t so keeping them with me limits their access). It’s also important that they not impact the wilderness–whether that means chasing a deer or rabbit or having a run-in with a coyote.
- We want to protect the dogs from wildlife. Along with protecting the wildlife, we want to protect the dogs FROM the wildlife. In our area, that wildlife includes coyotes, copperheads, rattlesnakes, coral snakes, water moccasins, tarantulas, and more. Keeping the dogs beside us, on the end of a four-foot-long leash, means they’re not coming across something out of our sight.
- Many locations we visit require a leash. We love traveling to state parks with Irie and Tiki. All require a leash (no longer than six feet) at all times.
- Accidents can happen very quickly. No matter how well-trained your dog is, tragedy can strike very quickly. This story in Dogster is an important reminder that, regardless of how much training your dog has had (the dog in this story was a search and rescue trained dog and competed in obedience plus his mom is a trainer), off-leash accidents can happen.