The one thing dog lovers can agree on is their dog is their best friend. After that, the opinions tend to get a bit haywire. For instance how should dogs be trained? Where should they be allowed to go? … and should dogs be allowed to be off leash or not?
Runner’s World recently published an article spread all about running with dogs. And yeah, I got to get my paw in there with my professional opinion referred to several times in the articles! However, on the subject of should your dog be allowed to be off leash there are a couple of sides to the story. Here are the opinions published in Runner’s World in Should Dogs Be Allowed Off Leash On Running Trails?
Fitness Running With Dogs
Off leash is a great thing for dogs. But only if they have had some great training in the area of recall. Or “come to me” whenever called from whatever enticement that crosses their path.
That alone rules out many dogs who can or should be in the off leash category. My personal opinion is those who have not spent the time in training to get their dog to reliably come to them simply should not have their dog off leash.
The good news is if you and your dog seem to fit that category you can get fit with a bit of cross training and everyone will benefit. Not only can you get a great workout while running with your dog on leash, but you can also create training stations to work on recall training, stretching and other aspects of a well rounded fitness lifestyle.
Where Are the Best Places to Run with Your Dog Off Leash
A busy urban trail is not the place to have an off leash dog. It just isn’t, I don’t care how well trained your dog is. There is the issue of respect for the others who are navigating as well. The chances that more dogs and people are going to create a situation that isn’t good for someone even while on leash when off leash dogs are involved are pretty high.
For some that means you may need to go on an adventure to find an off leash dog friendly trail, but that can be a really fun experience for everyone. Check out www.GoPetFriendly.com for dog friendly trails in your area. Find an area that takes you out in nature and have fun with your dog on a new trail, lake or river. City dwellers can think of it as a get away and you’ll find if you start checking it out just getting an hour away from your normal routine feels like you are on a fun vacation.
The important thing to remember if you do have an off leash dog is it takes continued training just like it does to stay in shape for a 5K up to a marathon. Recall is something you should practice with your dog everyday so you can go out in areas where off leash calls and your dog can run with open nimble paws.
Should Dogs Be Allowed Off Leash?
What do you think? Your opinions are helpful in dog professionals helping everyone get along. Complaining about the problem is one thing. Doing something about it is another!