- Posted by Gilleen Witkowski
- On July 7, 2017
- 2 Comments
- dog by-laws, dog ownership, dog parks, dog-walking, dogs, off leash, on leash, on-leash rules, Toronto, Toronto dog walker
Imagine you’re hanging out in a park. Maybe you’re a shy person, or just trying to have a quiet moment or conversation. You’re feeling pretty safe – it’s daylight, there are people in the distance, and things seem relatively still and calm.
All of a sudden a man comes running toward you out of nowhere. You hadn’t seen him. He’s running straight for you with a huge grin on his face and you’re not sure what he wants. He is freaking you out and before you know it, he’s totally up in your personal space, yelling, widely gesticulating.
There is a women trotting behind him, slightly out of breath trying to catch up.
“DON’T WORRY!” she calls from a distance, but you barely hear her as you look around for an escape route.
You try to get him off you as he starts sniffing and licking your leg. His “friendliness” is making you super uncomfortable – much like the feeling many get when unleashed dogs cause awkward-at-best, sometimes dangerous encounters in non-off-leash areas.
Dog owners, help avoid this with a simple leash – your dog on one end of it, your hand attached firmly to the other. This assured control is needed to keep public spaces safe for everyone (including those with a fear of dogs).
Don’t let her calm demeanour fool you. Off-leash, she will run up to anyone, and steal any food she can.
As professional dog walkers, we support on-leash laws – it’s safer. We walk a lot of reactive dogs, a lot of new rescues, a lot of dogs who need space. You have no idea how another will react when suddenly approached by your off-leash dog.
We live in a busy city where we must share space with kindness and consideration for all others. And there are neat areas specifically designed for letting dogs run free (e.g. off-leash parks). Stick to those.
Remember – it is doesn’t matter how friendly our pups are – when out and about, let’s keep them leashed at all times!