Saturday, March 31, 2007

Should Dogs Be On A Leash At Public Parks?

I'm sure there are much more pressing issues to worry about these days but I have to make mention of this. Lately in Connecticut I've been noticing that dog owners who keep their dogs on a leash has become the exception and not the rule. Signs that state "All dogs must be on a leash" are routinely ignored.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a friendly Labrador Retriever approaching me while I'm birding, but I get a little annoyed when I see a Pit Bull coming. Many owners have very well trained dogs--but there are exceptions. I've had dog owners respond- "No, he's not"- when I've asked them if his unleashed dog is friendly. I've also seen one dog attack another. I've seen dogs run up to kids and growl.

Recently, I went to a beautiful park in Meriden CT. for the first time. I encountered twelve dogs that were allowed to run around without a leash. The dog owners all knew each other, and said that they do this every week. Maybe there should be special parks just for people who want to let their dogs run loose.

What's your opinion on this subject?


LauraHinNJ said...

My dog is always on a leash, except for very occasionally in the winter on a walk along the bay. It used to be that I didn't trust him not to run off, but anymore I worry that he'll run off and won't hear me calling him back - he's old and a bit deaf.

I never thought it a problem, but talked about it with someone lately who pointed out that a lot of people are very fearful of dogs. I guess if you're in a very public park you ought to think about that.

I've had a few bad experiences with my dog being met by other dogs who were off leash who became aggressive towards him.

I guess I'm not really sure where I stand on it. Guess maybe it mostly depends on how heavily used the park is.

Larry said...

I used to let my dog run loose at parks that were secluded.The places I'm talking about are not secluded.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Since I'm not fearful of dogs it never bothered me until I had kids. Several times unleashed dogs rand up to my children and put me in a panic. Our dog is never unleashed outside of our backyard and I'm hugely irritated when I see dogs off leash.

Ruth said...

Our city has designated leash-free parks in a few areas. Other than that, dogs must be leashed. Our dog is well behaved off a leash and returns as soon as I call him back, which I always do if someone is coming. Our region has banned pit bulls completely.