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Off-lead time(26 Posts)
How many of you let your dog run/walk off lead in public? What are the situations where you think this is or isn't ok?
I ask because someone had a go at me for my dog being off the lead yesterday on a piece of scrub land near our house. He's an obedient dog, so I always call him back if I see others with dogs on leads because I know that can mean their dog is aggressive or anxious, but I think with a large dog they need some free time to run around otherwise they don't get enough exercise.
Mine is off lead on all open land where there are no roads near by.
It depends on the dog...
Generally well trained dog with good recall, pretty much anywhere without roads tbh.
As above, off a lead where there are no roads. I always stop him approaching people and do the same as you with regards to anxious dogs.
Did your dog even go near the person who had a go?
I’ve learnt from mumsnet that some people just hate dogs full stop.
As above unless there is livestock around
and then he point blank refuses to go in the field and then he is on a lead.
Oh livestock and crops excepted to be fair, I’d not have a dog offlead where they are either.
Off lead whenever we are not walking along streets. He is obedient, good recall and goes on the lead approaching other dogs if they are on lead, or when we are approaching children. He would go bonkers if not allowed to run and play offlead. Dogs love free socialising playing and chasing each other, and I would never sent him.
Of course, also on lead along cliff tops and in fields of livestock.
If your dog is well trained and will recall immediately on command, then it seems reasonable for you to allow him off lead anywhere without livestock or traffic.
But dogs’ right to roam free end where my right not to be jumped on with muddy paws, attacked and bitten, begin.
I’ve been attacked three times by dogs, and the most recent was by a pack of six dogs, all off lead and “supervised” (I use the term loosely) by a useless professional dog walker 100 yards behind them with no control whatsoever. I was pinned into gorse bushes, with them snarling, biting and jumping on my back, completely unprovoked. I had had the temerity to walk along a public footpath at a local beauty spot.
You will understand how that colours my views. If I’d been a child, they could have got me on the ground and ripped my throat before the crap dog walker even caught up with them.
Dogs off lead anywhere where there is no (and there is no chance of being) livestock, children, roads. Otherwise on lead at all times. I don't hate dogs. I hate shitty dog owners.
That sounds horrific Babdoc, hope you are OK! Those dogs sound horrendous; tbh they could have done that even if they were on a lead if the person walking them is that bloody useless!
We are still getting used to the “rules” with our dog, 14 months. I let him off when appropriate but if I know the fields near us are going to be busy with other dog walkers, I tend to keep him on a lead as he’s still a daft twat and wants to play with every dog he sees. Doesn’t always go down well.
I do notice that if he’s off the lead, I’ll always come across someone whose dog snarls and the owner says: “Oh, he doesn’t like dogs off the lead.”
Conversely, if he’s on the lead, I come across people whose dogs snarl and they say: “oh, he doesn't like dogs on the lead.”
Can’t bloody win sometimes.
This is reassuring to read, thank you. Our dog has just turned two so he is still a bit puppyish and excitable and is also very large so some people are wary of him. He does come when I call and stay when I say stay (95%) of the time - we are working on it. The couple had a Pomeranian and my dog was ahead of me and stopped when he saw them. They all froze like he was a wolf or something so I told him to stay and then put the lead on him. He didn't help matters by pulling and barking at The Pomeranian as they walked past so I do appreciate that may have been intimidating. I wonder if they had had a bad experience and were just letting off steam.
Babdoc- that sounds absolutely awful. I'm so sorry that happened to you.
Ours is a beagle so recall can be iffy! He goes off lead on the local nature reserve, the beach and up the woods. He's always on a lead near roads as if he caught a scent he would just run and be totally oblivious to any danger.
He's always on lead if he's anywhere near any livestock too!
Only let my dog off lead in the park and in certain local fields. Some of the fields have high banks with water at the bottom and if she slipped down, being small, she probably couldn't get up. In those fields her extending lead comes into its own.
Anywhere near traffic or livestock of course, she's on the lead.
I never do. I can’t find anywhere that I feel is totally secure. Either because there is a road or cattle or wire/undergrowth I can’t see into or a long drop
I have a very small dog and I do worry he could be eaten in one gulp or fall and hurt himself every easily, but in open areas I put him on a long 10m training lead and he does his thing sniffing about but I know he is safe
As for running, i open both my patio doors and every night play fetch with him until he is worn out. He really runs!
He's off lead on our private farmland apart from at certain times of year when it is not okay for him to run through the crops. On lead/off lead doesn't bother me, what does bother me is people straying off public footpaths and walking wherever they bloody well want and then moaning my dog isn't on a lead. Or people who stick to the footpath but let their dogs tear through the crops causing damage.
Off lead does stress me out. I don’t know the dog and I am not always sure how the interaction will go. I had an offlead dog approach me and Ddog recently - luckily friendly but I had no idea whether it would be or not as no owner in sight
Mine is off lead all the time, we live in quite a quiet area and on pavements and near roads she walks at my feet, in the park, the nature reserve and the fields (not in the fields just the paths between them) she runs about at her own pace but always listens to commands and never approaches another animal she always stops then waits for our instruction. She is a rescue staff and we have only had her 2 months so somewhere along the line someone has trained her really well!!
Our last rescue staffy was never ever ever let off lead she was a total liability, she walked on a short gen-con lead so she was fully under our control!
We're lucky to have a couple of safe and beautiful woodlands nearby that are very quiet early morning when we walk. Battendog is offlead then so he tends to get about an hour a day offlead.
Most other times he is on one sort of lead or another. So, our second walk of the day is often somehwere else on lead.
Depends on the situation for us. If dogs pals are in the park with owners I know, she'll be allowed off lead to play. Occasionally on woodland walks with no one around she'll be allowed off lead.
Otherwise I keep her on lead, but I have been pressured by other dog walkers to let mine off lead when I wasn't confident with her recall and found that pressure irresponsible (some dog walkers think when dogs are on lead it's mean, stupid attitude).
I think that since (from your description) your dog stopped and obeyed your command to stay while you put him on the lead and he did not have any contact with the Pomeranian, they should not have objected. You obviously had him under control. I have had this kind of (visual, not verbal) reaction from small dog owners to my very friendly staffie on occasions. Likewise, I can get my dog to stop before she reaches them (particularly if they look nervous about her) and put her on a lead. Other than that, she is off lead as much as possible in open spaces, not near roads or waterfowl/horses, etc. I do keep an eye on her at all times so that she doesn't rush up to greet passing people who might not like dogs or approaching dogs that are on lead or obviously nervous of her. Luckily, she has very good recall and is very obedient.
Those dogs sound horrendous; tbh they could have done that even if they were on a lead if the person walking them is that bloody useless!
Which is why no one should be allowed to walk more than two dogs in public at any time. Particularly dog walkers who do not have the same relationship with the dogs as their owners.
We let her off lead in the park, with some exceptions.
If there's an event such as a fete she stays on, as she's a glutton and will try and steal food from everyone. Also I'd worry in crowds it's harder to see her.
If I see people picnicking, lead goes on (see above).
If there are small children-she's a friendly dog but can be boisterous and is quite stocky, so could easily knock a small child over. I'm happy for a small child to say hello-if she's under strict control from me and the child's parent is also there. Also see the food thing as well, if the child's got food in her hand, Maggie will likely go for it, and may accidentally nip their finger in the process. I want children to like her and other dogs, I don't want to scare them.
I certainly wouldn't let her off lead on the pavement. She's got no road sense, and would run in front of traffic if she saw a cat, another dog, or thought she could get another trip to the park.