Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
On or off lead? Your opinions...(44 Posts)
Do you prefer to exercise your dog on or off lead? And can you give your reasons?
Just out of curiosity...
Depends entirely on the surroundings
And on the recall,of the dog
I'd you have any particular scenarios in mind?
My preference is to walk off lead. He's a big dog who likes to run, sniff, and mooch about. Exercising off lead gets him the exercise he needs.
If I cannot walk in one of my "off lead places" for whatever reason he has to be on lead but it's a worse experience for us all all round, though we're working on improving that.
My dog is off lead in enclosed fields and if nobody else is around. If anyone is about he is on as he is a massive, cloth-eared doofus who will run to say hello to anyone and forget who feeds him. We are working on recall and attending training. If he ever becomes bomb-proof then we will let him off more! He gets loads of sniffy walks on lead and long leads though so I don't think he is currently missing out.
It depends on where I am and how many other people / dogs are around. I prefer off lead though.
Off lead because we walk in countryside and woods and he can run about.
I live in the countryside, he is walked off lead where possible and then I call him back on put him on a lead if we are meeting other dogs. He is on lead on busy roads, off lead on quiet roads.
I’d prefer to walk in a place with nature and scenic views. Some of those places are nature reserves or will have livestock in the fields, so my dog may be required to be on a lead. The dog walks well on lead and has excellent recall, so it makes no odds to us as to wether we go to on or off lead places.
As others have said, it totally depends on where you are, how obedient the dog is etc etc Personally, I think larger breeds need to be exercised off the lead just to give them the amount they need or they can get a bit OTT due to excess energy but it's a difficult question to give a straight yes or no
Off lead. My reason is simply that he needs to burn off far more energy and at a faster speed than I can possibly keep up with if on-lead. I feel heart-sorry for those many dogs, especially energetic or working breeds, whose exercise is limited entirely to being dragged around a park at human walking speed. It is of course my responsibility to ensure that he is only off-lead when it is both safe for him and presents no risk/nuisance to other people or animals and I take that responsibility seriously.
Off. I think it gives the dog more time to relax, indulge natural behaviours, not be defensive of their owners, and get much more exercise.
However badly trained dogs off lead can be a nightmare for other dogs and people and wildlife, so it takes a lot of work.
Both, but i dont consider it a proper walk if they dont get any off lead time at all
Off the lead but if we are walking somewhere narrow and meet a dog on the lead, I put her on the lead, or make a judgement call
Ddog has to be kept on his lead because he's
an arsehole very nervous of other people and dogs, he hates being sniffed at, and he will bark quite loud, he sounds aggressive but he isn't.
He has a long line, and if its quiet he goes on that and runs and plays/paddles.
What does annoy me is when people let their dogs run up to ddog, with a cheery 'oh, shes friendly don't worry' I've started replying completely straight faced with 'hes not' and watching the fear in their eyes as they try to shout their dog back but the recall is rubbish.
Thanks everyone for your responses!
My main reason for asking is because recently I've noticed many more dogs being walked on leads and I wondered why this may be (covid related etc).
@Nutrigrainygoodness that's really helpful to know thanks, we do try to stop ddog running up to dogs on leads but it's good to have an insight as to why that might be rather than just assuming they are aggressive.
Both, mostly on at the moment. Elfpup isn’t truly reliable yet. Old Dog is deaf, and slow, and easy to leave behind as the youngsters race ahead. Spaniel is
the devil in a fur coat occasionally challenging. We’re so lucky that we have plenty of lonely fields to let her zoom about in though. We’d all be going crazy if she didn’t get enough exercise! Her recall is excellent (but it took us a while to get there, and needs constant reinforcement work) and if we see anyone in the distance they are all called in and put on leads, because no one wants to be charged by a pack of filthy dribbling over-friendly creatures, while the spaniel bays at them from just close enough to be earsplitting.
Yep, knowing that even the people we meet a lot who like to stroke them all probably don’t want that contact at the moment means they are all on leads in public places. Poor elfpup got a bit sad at the start, as he used to enjoy the school bus stop in the mornings!
I'm not a dog person. If your dog is going to ignore me, and have instant recall to you if he does take an interest in me, I dont care what you do regarding leads. So, that great big German Shepard I used to see most mornings no problem, as he was exceedingly well trained.
If there is a chance your dog will come running up to me, barking or jumping, or that it will ignore you when I ask you to call it back, it needs to be on a short lead.
My idiot dog has no recall despite lots of training so he stays on a long lead if we're not in my field. I have an 80ft and a 50ft.
I rent a acre field that is very securely fenced so he gets time in there every day to run.
But for walks (which I don't class the field time as) he's on some sort of lead.
I never let my dog run up to another dog on a lead, even though my mutt doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body. The other dog might be aggressive. The owner might be nervous of other dogs and has no way of knowing mine is a big soft lump. The on-lead dog might start running around, potentially entangling its owner and causing them to fall. Then there's the fact that, given the current social distancing requirements, it's really not appropriate to put yourself in a situation where you might have to go and get hold of your dog and bring yourself into close contact with the other dog's owner. I could go on. Just keep your dog on-lead if in proximity of other on-lead dogs, dogless humans etc unless he has the recall of a champion sheepdog.
Off lead mostly (unless hot because he's stupid and doesn't slow down) but he has near perfect recall, fully trained and taught to avoid people, bikes and other dogs.
On lead anywhere near a road. If she’s in season. Where there are lots and lots of people. Or picnics!
At the moment you also may be getting people who don’t normally walk the dog taking it out. If they’re not sure the dog will come back when called then they may keep it on lead.
Lots of good advice here. Especially about potentially having to go retrieve dog and get closer to others than allowed.
@Wolfiefan ah yes I hadn't thought of that but totally makes sense
Knew there must be reasons for people doing more on lead stuff and feel a little silly for not having considered some of these
Oh and you know about yellow lead too yes?
And a dog may be injured or even blind or deaf.