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Pet Leash Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts of Keeping Your Dog On A Leash

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

I love dogs more than anyone but one of the most important things to remember when it comes to pet leash etiquette is that not everyone is as comfortable around dogs as you are. Just because your dog is well-behaved, doesn't mean that other people want to be jumped on or have their faces licked. It's important to be respectful of other people's personal space and to keep your dog under control at all times.

Why Do We Have Leash Laws for Dogs To Be On-Leash?

There are dog leash laws for a reason - to keep both people and dogs safe. If your dog bites another person's dog while off leash, you may be held legally responsible for any resulting damages. In many states, dog owners are required to keep their dogs on a leash at all times when in public spaces. This law is in place to protect both people and other animals from potential harm. Dogs can be unpredictable, even if they've been well-trained or are the friendliest of dogs, an unleashed dog can easily become a danger to themselves or others if another dog is feeling scared or threatened.

Other people may also be scared of dogs, even if they're friendly. It's important to remember that not everyone is comfortable around animals and that some people may be genuinely afraid of dogs.

Children are another reason why it's important to keep your dog on a leash. Dogs can become overexcited around children and may accidentally knock them over or hurt them in their excitement. Sometimes the movement or gait of a small child may cause the dog to become nervous. Children, in particular, may not always understand how to interact with dogs. It's always best to err on the side of caution and keep your dog under control at ALL times.

Some dogs are leash aggressive. Dogs that are leash aggressive often become scared or anxious when they see other dogs approach, especially when they are approached by an off-leashed dog. This may cause a dog to lunge bark, or bite in an attempt to protect itself. This behavior can be very dangerous, both for the dog and for the people around them.

Not Every Dog is as Good as Yours...

"Just because your dog is friendly and docile, doesn't mean that other dogs are. Leash laws will also protect your dog. "

~ Tamra Rose (Animalgevity)

Here are some things to keep in mind when taking your dog out in public:-

  • Always keep your dog on a leash, unless you are in a designated off-leash area

  • Be aware of how your dog is behaving or other dogs are behaving

  • Respect other people's personal space and don't let your dog jump on them or invade their space

  • Be considerate of other people with dogs, because not all dogs like to be approached by a dog off-leash

Here are some tips for keeping your dog under control on a leash:

  • Use a short leash. This will give you more control over your dog and prevent them from getting too far ahead or behind you.

  • Keep your dog close to you. If they start to pull ahead, stop and make them wait until they calm down before continuing

  • Be aware of your dog's body language. If they seem tense or excited, try to calm them down before proceeding

  • Be prepared to change direction or turn around if necessary

  • Make sure your dog is fitted with a proper id tag and collar.


It's understandable to want your dog to run and explore freely. However, many cities and states offer designated off-leash areas or parks that accommodate off-leash dogs to explore. By following these simple tips, you can help make sure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience when interacting with your dog. Pet leash etiquette is important for the safety of both people and dogs, so please remember to be considerate and respectful at all times. Thanks for reading!

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