Hello, Jesse here with another blog. This week’s blog is about off-leash dogs. Now, I know I’ve been outspoken on off-leash dogs recently and my problem is not the fact that the dogs are off-leash. My problem is with them not being formally trained with a reliable level of obedience or the owner not being respectful of those sharing the environment with them. Let me give you an example

A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday, we were at Oz Park having our usual Verbal Instruction sessions at the park and a woman was walking with her Yorkie off-leash on the park paths. Her Yorkie was running around everywhere with no boundaries. There was a family having a picnic and her Yorkie ran right up to them jumping up on everyone. A man within the group asked that she call her dog because it was disturbing their picnic and the woman just shrugged and said, “it’s a park” and continued to walk without acknowledging her dog.

This is the type of behavior or dog-ownership I have qualms with. It’s a park, not a dog park. I walked my dogs everyday off-leash when I lived in the South Loop, but I was mindful and respectful of those around me and they were always under command unless I found a nice open space to allow them to run and sniff around. This is off-leash etiquette. Having full control of them, not being intrusive to others and their space at the park, and being courteous. Maddie put together a quick video to demonstrate Off-Leash Etiquette.

During one of our Pack Walks through Lakeview East Recently, we came across a man walking his dog off-leash on the sidewalk. Now, he did place his dog in a Heel, but there were a number of reactive dogs on the walk that day and I told him to put his dog on a leash. He decided to just continue to walk by us and I placed myself between him and our dogs to act as a buffer. His dog’s obedience actually wasn’t as good as he thought it was because when I went to step between the dog left his leg to greet me. Had I not been there, the dog may have gone up to the wrong dog and caused an issue.

This is why I teach my clients to speak up and put their safety and their dog’s safety first. Not worrying about what the other dog owner may think. Had I been in that man’s shoes, I would have either leashed up my dog or stepped aside giving plenty of distance to allow them to move forward with worrying. You can see the video below.

Until next time.