Can You Trust Your Dog Off Leash?

(photo credit)

A recent guest editorial in my local paper stirred up a pack of angry comments on the practice of letting dogs exercise off leash. Living in Portland, OR, the city with the highest number of dog parks per capita, there’s bound to be controversy over any proposal to allow dogs access to even more of our fair city.

There were some legitimate objections, and very few defenders of the author’s proposal to allow dogs off-leash on our local hiking trails. What do you think? Do you exercise your dog off-leash? Should well-behaved dogs be allowed to run off-leash? Or are the risks of injury and ill behavior too high?

2 thoughts on “Can You Trust Your Dog Off Leash?

  1. this is a hot topic in Bozeman and I have been writing about it for awhile.
    http://nancytanner.com/2012/04/09/off-leash-and-unapologetic/
    and for our trail users
    http://nancytanner.com/2012/04/11/hiking-tip-1-trails-are-not-dog-parks/

    I think for off leash use you have to know there will be signs and reinforcement, not just good wishes. That ‘off leash dog’ is defined and what behaviors are necessary. And to have zero conflict on trails, rules to humans so their dogs do not interfere with other trail users.

  2. Great thoughts, Nancy. I especially liked the sign at your barn about owners being invoiced!

    Most of us get defensive when we’re confronted with something we know we’re doing wrong. I’m not surprised the owner in your story we defiant, although I liked the touch about wishing you a good night.

    It’s certainly a divisive issue, and I’m interested to see how it plays out in cities like Bozeman and Portland.

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