January 7, 2011
Dog owners have spoken! Walking your dog without a leash seems to be the pet peeve of many. (Sorry -- couldn't resist.) Our TribU readers gave their 2 cents through e-mails and on Facebook.
"This irks me and it happens all the time," wrote Corrin. "I have a small dog that is a barker and I typically pick him up when another dog runs up to us unleashed. Usually the owner will say 'oh don't worry, he's friendly,' but I say 'Well my dog isn't and I'd prefer not to be tethered to one of the dogs when a fight breaks out!' "
"I have two dogs that I always walk on leashes," said Laury. "One day someone's dog came around the corner and attacked both of my dogs. It was not on a leash! It took the owner a few minutes to get the dog. It was very scary! One of my dogs doesn't like other dogs."
Elizabeth from Winnetka could relate to my rescue dog Max and his inability to socialize with others. Her dog, Hudson, behaves well at the beach or dog park, but when on the leash and approached by a wandering dog, it's a different story.
"In my neighborhood, many people walk their dogs off leash. Hudson does not greet other dogs well while he is on leash, but almost every single time someone is walking their dog off leash, that dog disobeys its owner and comes over to say hi to Hudson. I tell the owner, please keep your dog under control, Hudson does not greet well, etc. ... and they just DO NOT have control of their dogs. Too many times I am caught in a scuffle! The laws are in place for good reasons. Keep your dogs leashed!"
"Completely irresponsible," wrote Stephanie. "That's what dog parks and living in a home with a big yard are for."
"I agree wholeheartedly with the leash laws," said Theresa. "Over the years, my dog has been attacked a number of times by dog owners who do not leash them. Many in my neighborhood open their doors, and let the dogs out without a leash or tie out. They then go flying down the street after my dog and they stand there screaming their name to come back, which of course they do not. Because of being attacked so many times over the years, my dog does not like to go for walks anymore. I've had to think of ways to defend myself-- pop open umbrellas to block, dog spray, etc."
Andrea says: "Recently a man with two little poodles was on my street with no leashes. I said to him, 'Sir your dogs really should be on leashes.' He said, 'What for?' I said, 'For their protection. And it's a city ordinance.' He said, 'No it's not.' So I pointed to the sign posted on our wrought-iron fence, which says 'Leash and pick up after your pet.' People are oblivious. "
And out of all the feedback we received, only one reader commented that it was OK to go leashless.
"People need to relax," wrote Marty. "My dog is great with other dogs. Sometimes I take him off the leash to let him roam and he might sniff a dog here and there, but he's never run away or bitten anybody. Depends on the dog."
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