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Hello, fellow Madisonian! :D

A collar is a collar and not a leash. So, no, electric collars don't count as leashes.

The important thing, though, is whether this is on the complex's property or not. Madison's leash law is as follows: "Keep your dog leashed when off your property unless you are within the off-leash exercise areas in parks where dogs are allowed."
https://www.publichealthmdc.com/environmental/animal/dog.cfm

So if they're doing this on complex property, Madison/Dane County doesn't care about it one lick and it comes down to your complex's rules. However, I think most of the complexes require dogs to be leashed when outside your own apartment. I'd have to go look over my lease again to double-check, but I think it has a stipulation about leashes.

So, if it's out in public/on sidewalks, no, they're not complying. If it's on the apartment complex property, you'll have to check with your rental company to find out what their requirements are. If it's against their policies, I'd consider reporting it to the rental company as it can be a hazard to other dogs.
 
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@Sha Go Madison! I'm glad to have met another Madisonian on here, that's awesome! Do you have any pups yourself?
Not yet! Hopefully very soon we'll have a little guy or gal. :)


As for the rest, maybe call up your property manager and see what they have to say? Ask if they have expectations for dogs to be on leashes on the way to the dog exercise area?

Otherwise, it sounds like there's not anything you can do unless the dogs actually cause problems, in which case you can go for reporting them for this part of the Madison dog code: "Never allow your dog to bark at, intimidate, attack, or threaten another pet or any person." But I have a sneaking suspicion that unless it's an attack or bite, it's going to be kind of difficult to get the police (or whoever) to issue a citation.
 
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