Is it cruel never letting a dog off leash? - Page 3

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Is it cruel never letting a dog off leash?

This is a discussion on Is it cruel never letting a dog off leash? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Originally Posted by Dahliamom ... I always kind of thought having her on leash was the most sensible thing, but too many people have made ...

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Old 11-15-2017, 09:24 AM
  #21
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Exclamation good GRIEF! - they *didn't*....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahliamom View Post

...
I always kind of thought having her on leash was the most sensible thing, but too many people have made comments about how "having her on leash isn't that different from chaining her outside".


:jaw-drop: U have got to be kidding! That's not only an awful thing to say, it's ludicrous.

Mizrable barstewards. I'd smile politely, nod, & pretend i'm deaf, with a quizzical look - & ignore their mean comments entirely.
It's complete rubbish that every dog in the wide world MUST be off-leash outside a fence, for her or his sanity.

Plenty of dogs can't make the grade for reliability, or are fearful, snappy, predatory, etc, & leashes are insurance.
They keep the leashed dogs safe, & the community safe from them, depending on their issues / behavior.

Those comments aren't merely rude - they're incredibly ignorant. Dogs who are unsafe or untrustworthy off-lead don't deserve to die - which is the unexamined flip-side, of that nasty little tape-recording.
And it's not "just the dog" - it's also the context that makes it safe or unsafe to be off-leash.

Eejits who persist in letting their dogs off-leash in unsafe settings don't pay the price; the poor dog does, eventually.

Let 'em yammer, honey - U just keep on keepin' on, Ur dog is safe, & U are doing right, not only by the dog, but by Ur community. Ppl get hurt, too, when loose dogs get into roadways, wrangle with a leashed dog, or otherwise get into trouble. Safety 1st.

- terry

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Old 11-15-2017, 07:53 PM
  #22
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My childhood dog was human (fear) and dog aggressive, as well as extremely fast and agile. She would fly over 4 or 5 foot fences like a gazelle, not even slowing to gather her stride. We didn't (and still don't) have a fence, as our yard is large and the cost of one capable of keeping her in would have been exorbitant. Her only time off leash was occasional visits to my Dad's work shop where there was little foot traffic and a massive fence (bad area downtown, so 7 or 8' chainlink topped by wire), and even then I would be outside interacting with her, and corral her up if someone walked nearby. Outside of that, she was always on some sort of leash, long leash in secluded areas where we I could be certain no one/thing would surprise us by entering our space, short leash in "public" (she didn't go out to events or stores where we were likely to encounter people, but we did go to parks and walk around my neighborhood). I was a teenager at the time, and spent much of my time with her; training her, playing backyard agility games, generally doting on her, and it showed. She had excellent manners and obedience, and generally a good recall, though it wasn't worth testing off leash due to the cost of failure. The leash was our front line of protection- it put the law on my side if some random loose dog careened headlong into us and a fight broke out, and gave me the ability to back up my "NO, you may not pet my dog." by physically moving my dog away if needed (because by then, she had keyed in that the individual and I were perhaps in conflict, and was definitely looking at them pretty hard).

Given what you have described of your girl, I would say that the leash is also a good form of protection for you and her, as well. It's great that you also have areas where you can safely let her off leash, I often wished for that as I really enjoyed watching my girl "turn and burn" when she got a chance to run flat out. Those same people who are claiming that it's unfair you keep your dog leashed all the time would likely campaign for her to be euthanized if she ran up to them barking or worse while not on a leash, so pay them no mind.

You can buy or make longer long leashes as well, I had a 26' one I bought that I used often at home or places where we might encounter others that was heavy duty enough to feel like it could hold an elephant (2 ply 1" nylon, 3" bull snap), but for places I knew we were alone and wouldn't be bothered, I made several lighter weight ones of varying lengths by splicing snaps onto rope. You can knot the rope onto the snaps too instead if your girl isn't likely to run full speed into the end, but the knot reduces the strength of the line sometimes significantly, and the splices aren't hard to learn. Make sure to buy rope with a high enough "shock" weight rating to sufficiently handle a dog her size "pinging" the end. Just keep in mind that if someone arrives, you need time to reel in however much line you have out, and plan your activities accordingly.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Rain View Post
Well if never letting my dog off leash outside, unless it's in a fenced in area (and there are no fenced in areas anywhere near me) is cruel, then I treat him cruel.

Zody is fearful of people that he doesn't know and he is fear aggressive. Imagine what would happen if I let him off leash? He'd bolt up to people barking, growling, and going for their ankles if they ran. Not good, not good at all. So he stays on his leash.

He's not good with all dogs, so combine that with his people skills and he is in now way, shape, or form, a dog park candidate. So even if there was one near me I would not take him there.

I live in an apartment and do not have a backyard so running and playing in the apartment and walks are his exercise. Luckily he's a only 8 lbs so running in the apartment is good exercise.

We go on walks around the neighborhood, and I usually let him lead. He'll chase and tree squirrels if he spots any on the ground. He once spooked an armadillo, he spotted it before I did. There's a very large wooded lot across the street from me and we hike back there which he love. I have a light weight long line for him and I let him run on that in the fields near me, I'll also sit outside with him on it and let him sun himself or explore the yard in front of my apartment (I don't let it have any slack in case someone passes by). If I can get someone to take us we go walking in the park and there's 3 stores that we also go to that allow dogs (he's better with people away from home).

There's lots an owner can do with a dog that's on leash, unless you can locate a safe area to let your dog offleash, recall or not, don't worry about it. Even if Zody did not have his fear problem and his recall seemed rock solid, I still would not let him off leash around here. If nothing else because there is a leash law in my county.
Thank you. I am trying really hard to do right by my dog. And this is my first dog, and i sure have made tons of mistakes in raising her. All her problems, fear aggression, biting me or leash pulling, fall on me. The best i can do now is to manage the situation i have created. Your words helps a lot.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leashedForLife View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahliamom View Post

...
I always kind of thought having her on leash was the most sensible thing, but too many people have made comments about how "having her on leash isn't that different from chaining her outside".


:jaw-drop: U have got to be kidding! [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.dogforum.com/images/smilies/eek.gif[/IMG] That's not only an awful thing to say, it's ludicrous.

Mizrable barstewards. I'd smile politely, nod, & pretend i'm deaf, with a quizzical look - & ignore their mean comments entirely.
It's complete rubbish that every dog in the wide world MUST be off-leash outside a fence, for her or his sanity.

Plenty of dogs can't make the grade for reliability, or are fearful, snappy, predatory, etc, & leashes are insurance.
They keep the leashed dogs safe, & the community safe from them, depending on their issues / behavior.

Those comments aren't merely rude - they're incredibly ignorant. Dogs who are unsafe or untrustworthy off-lead don't deserve to die - which is the unexamined flip-side, of that nasty little tape-recording.
And it's not "just the dog" - it's also the context that makes it safe or unsafe to be off-leash.

Eejits who persist in letting their dogs off-leash in unsafe settings don't pay the price; the poor dog does, eventually. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.dogforum.com/images/smilies/frown.gif[/IMG]

Let 'em yammer, honey - U just keep on keepin' on, Ur dog is safe, & U are doing right, not only by the dog, but by Ur community. Ppl get hurt, too, when loose dogs get into roadways, wrangle with a leashed dog, or otherwise get into trouble. Safety 1st. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.dogforum.com/images/smilies/thumbsUp.gif[/IMG]

- terry

I do as you said. Smile nod and walk away with my dog. Thank you for not thinking that i'm abusing my dog and your kind words.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busannie View Post
My childhood dog was human (fear) and dog aggressive, as well as extremely fast and agile. She would fly over 4 or 5 foot fences like a gazelle, not even slowing to gather her stride. We didn't (and still don't) have a fence, as our yard is large and the cost of one capable of keeping her in would have been exorbitant. Her only time off leash was occasional visits to my Dad's work shop where there was little foot traffic and a massive fence (bad area downtown, so 7 or 8' chainlink topped by wire), and even then I would be outside interacting with her, and corral her up if someone walked nearby. Outside of that, she was always on some sort of leash, long leash in secluded areas where we I could be certain no one/thing would surprise us by entering our space, short leash in "public" (she didn't go out to events or stores where we were likely to encounter people, but we did go to parks and walk around my neighborhood). I was a teenager at the time, and spent much of my time with her; training her, playing backyard agility games, generally doting on her, and it showed. She had excellent manners and obedience, and generally a good recall, though it wasn't worth testing off leash due to the cost of failure. The leash was our front line of protection- it put the law on my side if some random loose dog careened headlong into us and a fight broke out, and gave me the ability to back up my "NO, you may not pet my dog." by physically moving my dog away if needed (because by then, she had keyed in that the individual and I were perhaps in conflict, and was definitely looking at them pretty hard).

Given what you have described of your girl, I would say that the leash is also a good form of protection for you and her, as well. It's great that you also have areas where you can safely let her off leash, I often wished for that as I really enjoyed watching my girl "turn and burn" when she got a chance to run flat out. Those same people who are claiming that it's unfair you keep your dog leashed all the time would likely campaign for her to be euthanized if she ran up to them barking or worse while not on a leash, so pay them no mind.

You can buy or make longer long leashes as well, I had a 26' one I bought that I used often at home or places where we might encounter others that was heavy duty enough to feel like it could hold an elephant (2 ply 1" nylon, 3" bull snap), but for places I knew we were alone and wouldn't be bothered, I made several lighter weight ones of varying lengths by splicing snaps onto rope. You can knot the rope onto the snaps too instead if your girl isn't likely to run full speed into the end, but the knot reduces the strength of the line sometimes significantly, and the splices aren't hard to learn. Make sure to buy rope with a high enough "shock" weight rating to sufficiently handle a dog her size "pinging" the end. Just keep in mind that if someone arrives, you need time to reel in however much line you have out, and plan your activities accordingly.
I am so thankful for the football field right in front of my apartment. That's also a place where her trainer trains her. It servea multiple purposes. Yay for me. The long leash i have was a rope that i put a snap on. Yesterday i also saw 10 m heavy duty looking leash in a petshop, im going to buy that too. Now that i've read so many reassuring words, im gonna stop feeling guilty about not letting her off leash. We are going to keep training and maybe one day she surprises me , if not, eh, leashed we stay )
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:20 AM
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I don't think it's cruel, it's more of a safety thing. I lived in both the city and the more rural suburbs and I don't think the city is really possible for off leash.

Our older dog has slowed down quite a bit, but she's always ok off leash, except for maybe when we used to walk in the city with her, or the parks both of which have leash laws. We live in a big forest, so I let her out without a leash all the time because she just follows me or lays down on the back deck.

The younger dog is a border collie mix that when he runs, he runs fast, so most of the time he's on a leash for safety, even in our backyard. We get deer, coyotes, foxes, and a bear once and if he bolted to chase one of those, I'm not sure how well his recall would be. We've already had an incident with a brown eagle that he wouldn't stop barking at, and the eagle kept diving at both of us. I had to drag him inside.

We can, however, take him places where our friends bring their dogs, and he's fine off leash because he just wants to play with the dogs. We've brought him to our friend's cabin, and a friend's beach house and he was fine and came back when I whistled for him.

We have a really long tie in the backyard so we can do yard work and have both dogs out and not worry.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:37 AM
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Thumbs up Overhead trolleys!




If U have an unfenced yard, an overhead trolley is an excellent option for safe outside time without worries, SO LONG AS the dog isn't left out there for long periods, & is never left on the trolley when no one is home.

A dog who is tied cannot defend themselves, nor can they flee - they are trapped. A predator, another dog, a swarm of bees, a malicious human, a curious child, can badly hurt, kill, or traumatize a tied dog.
An adult needs to be at home, for the dog's safety, & if the dog is outside & the human is indoors, they need to check on the dog frequently, or mostly be outside with the dog, preferably - enter to get a snack, answer the phone, use the toilet, ... & go back out. Or simply take the dog along when they go in, & bring the dog out when they exit.

Overhead trolleys don't kink, wrap around obstacles, flip over the water container, etc, & give the dog the distance of the cable X the width of the running space as their effective area -
a 20-ft long cable that gives the dog a 3-ft alley is a 60-sq-ft area, & 10 by 6 is not bad at all, but 3 x 20 is better.

Dogs can play fetch, soccer, & other games while on a cable, without fear that they'll take off.

- terry

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Old 11-22-2017, 06:12 PM
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My dog is seldom off-lead and never in an uncontrolled area. To begin with, my city has leash laws, so he can't go running about wherever. We have dog parks, but I'm not a big fan of dog parks in general. Too many people whose dogs really shouldn't be running about loose (because of aggression issues etc.) are there. So, he has his own fenced back yard and the fenced back yards of friends we visit, most of whom also have dogs he knows and is comfortable around. He's also not on lead in the house, and since he's relatively small (21 pounds or so), he gets to play fetch, tug etc. in the house. We also do therapy work, have competed on the very most basic levels in obedience and rally (he has his BNO and RN titles) and have taken an agility class, so he's done some training in appropriate facilities off-lead. When we're on a walk, however, he's always on lead. His recall is decent, and he's not one to be especially interested in rabbits, squirrels etc., but it's a matter of me having to trust every other person and his/her dog out there, and I just don't think that's wise, especially since there are some larger, more assertive (don't know if they're aggressive or not because we don't get that close) dogs in the neighborhood.

So, my answer would be no, it's not cruel to keep your dog on a lead. It's not as if your dog lives its entire life on a leash, is it? So, what you're doing is simply keeping your dog safe and being a responsible dog owner. I've had people try to tell me that it's cruel not to let dogs run loose, too, usually because they grew up with dogs in far different situations--like farms, where the dogs were working companions as much as they were pets, and had to be loose to do their jobs. In those cases, they also weren't having to worry about traffic, other people's ill-trained or aggressive dogs, or city laws either.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:30 AM
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So here is my question. My gsd/some sory of hound mix is always on leash unless we are in a fenced in area. I don't trust that she'll come when called if the distraction is big enough. I live in urban area. Lots of cars all the time. Also she is easily scared and i don't know what would she do if something scared her. She might bite someone out of fear, or she might run in a different direction and a car might hit her. So the result is that she is always on leash. If it is a routine walk, she's on a short leash. If it's a playdate she's on a 7 m leash. Am i being cruel to her?
No you are not, You are just ensuring her safety and that is what's important.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:35 PM
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Some dogs just don't have recall. My dad rescued a Field setter 5 years ago, and has never been able to let him off-leash, except in fenced areas. Even in dog parks, he's known to hop the fence and take off. His retreiver goes most places off-leash..Toby is never without his leash and never will be. In an urban environment, the safety of our dogs is more important than whether or not they run loose. You are the best judge of whether or not it's safe to let your dog off-leash, and if you thin she's a runner, you do her a service by containing her
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