1.It’s the law.  This reason should be a no-brainer. Every time you let your dog run off leash on public property (outside of a dog park), you are breaking the law.  Specifically, you are violating City Code 5-19, and that could result in a fine up to $500. 

2.Your dog doesn’t know to look both ways before crossing the street.  Dogs love to chase things: cats, squirrels, bicyclists, you name it.  And when a dog spots one of these enticing targets, they will not pause to check for oncoming traffic before they dart after it.  This is why over one million dogs are hit by cars every year. 

3.Just because you’re dog is friendly doesn’t mean other dogs are.  For example, my dog does not take kindly to a strange dog rushing up to him and getting in his space.  And my dog is an 80 lb. German Shepherd.  He is very capable of doing real damage to your dog.  I don’t want this to happen any more than you do.  So it is your responsibility to make sure your dog stays away from my dog (and other dogs like mine) when we are out on a walk.

4.Your dog is not as well trained as you think.  Out of the hundreds times I’ve seen dog owners trying to recall their unleashed dogs in a public park, I’ve only seen it work once.  When dogs get excited, they will not listen to you.  That part of their brain simply turns off.  Unless you are a master dog trainer, never think your dog is truly under voice control.  

5.Didn’t your mother teach you manners?  Frankly, it is selfish and irresponsible to subject other people to your off-leash dog.  A lot of people are very fearful of dogs.  Other people are frail and can be injured by a jumping dog or by their own dog yanking on his leash when a strange dog approaches.  By breaking the leash law, you are saying that your wishes are more important than the welfare of your neighbors.

So, thanks for keeping your dog on leash!

- Charlotte Luongo