Wednesday, March 21

Dogs Walking Off Leash In Downtown L.A.

I am seeing it more and more, dogs trotting next to their owners off leash.  If I am not mistaken, this is still a leash community and anyone not obeying that law is subject to ticketing.  But these select few dog owners do not seem to fear any ticket. 

I personally don't see why you would want to walk your dog off leash in a busy city.  It seems silly, it is only a matter of time before your dog gets into trouble.  If you have a great recall on your dog or they are super obedient, I do agree you have earned some extra privileges like allowing your dog off leash at a park or their favorite potty area, but for normal walking, I don't know that I can get on board with that. 

I've seen one of these dogs randomly greet other dogs and another one race across the street when the "no walk" sign was on causing the owner to race behind him. The third that I see had an electronic collar on, so I am pretty sure he will not be doing anything too wrong, though I have more issues with that than the off leash thing.

My worry is dogs getting hurt.  It is bad enough that several dogs have been injured due to running out in the cars at the 2nd street grass behind the police station, I don't think we need to add to that by having dogs randomly dart across the street because they are not properly controlled on leash.  What is a bird catches their eye, a car or bus back fires, they encounter an aggressive dog or they cross the street at the wrong time?

Having a dog that can be on leash and has good leash manners is in fact a part of obedience.  My belief is that it is the time that they should pay attention to you and no other (dog or person).  Off leash should be a freedom of sorts and more importantly a privilege, certainly not a right.   If this was a different culture or we had different laws, then I would feel differently.  As well, if we were talking about a quite rural area or even a suburban community set away from traffic, I would have much less of an issue.  It just appears that the owners are showing off a bit and not necessarily doing what is best for their dog.

What do you think?

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