Call me a drama queen, but I am so sick of watching dogs being put in danger purely because your dog is not ready to be off leash. I love a friendly dog as much as the next person, but that doesn’t mean your dog is ready to be off leash.
Picture this, your “friendly” dog is strolling along off leash. You see another dog coming on leash and you think no worries my dog is friendly. Suddenly that dog is growing more and more intense but you think, oh what does it matter it’s on a leash. Then suddenly your dog runs up to the other dog, or the other dog slips off leash, and you have a four alarm dog fight on your hands. Both dogs come out scarred and now suddenly your dog becomes a nervous fit. Even worse off would be if your dog ran into the road or the dog attack was so bad that your dog doesn’t make it out alive. You now have a dead dog because your dog was friendly but not off leash ready.
If this is you and you know your dog doesn’t always come when called, or you don’t know how to avoid this situation, then you should speak with a trainer right away if you want to do this with your fur friend. Again, I am not a dog trainer myself, so my thoughts should be taken with a grain of salt with the help of someone who actually knows what the hell they are doing.
These are my tips though on the subject for whoever actually cares. The first thing to remember is that if you are in a spot that’s not an off leash dog park, your dog should be leashed when passing other dogs. This is honestly just a good safety tip because of course you don’t know what that other dog is like, and it’s just kind practice to the other dog owner. As someone with a highly reactive dog it’s easy for another dog to become laser focused on my dog and likely do something dumb. My dog is the equivalent of a crazy coked up meth head on the street screaming at the top of its lungs; of course you are going to look. Your dog being on a leash means you have full control over it and I know we can pass by without incident. There is probably a dozen other reasons a dog trainer will recommend it that are much smarter than I can probably know, but that’s my first tip for ya.
My second tip for you is to always know where your dog is at, and be able to have them come no matter what’s going on. If you can still see your dog you will know if it’s getting into a danger zone. Once it gets too far or you are worried they are in danger (or as I mentioned when another dog is coming) you can call them back with ease knowing you have full control even if your dog isn’t leashed up to you.
Well friends those are my hot tips for you. The biggest takeaway I can give you is to remember that your dog is your responsibility no matter if they are tied to you or not. You need to know you have the same control over your dog on leash as off leash or else you are putting your dog and others in danger ~ which is a no go in my books!