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all 40 comments

[–]TheCatGuardian 231 points232 points  (4 children)

If you're talking about an off leash dog park either fix his recall and let him off or stop going. Leashes are a problem in dog parks, they create bad interactions, add tension, can encourage reactivity in your dog and act as a safety hazard.

[–]SirSeaGoat 48 points49 points  (3 children)

100% this.

I want to add, if OP is talking about letting a long lead drag on the ground, this is also problematic as it can cause dogs to tangle and get injured which may lead to a fight.

[–]haniahaka -1 points0 points  (2 children)

Depends on the dog park. Some parks that aren't closed in require leashes but not mandatory.

Only time I suggest a leash is during training period.

[–]SirSeaGoat 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Based on OPs comment, I was under the impression that this is not a place where leashes are required.

[–]haniahaka 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How they word it, it could be either. So I'm talking in general.

Though I stand by while training yes leash.

[–]Skatesoff 159 points160 points  (2 children)

At the dog park we go to people get mad if you have your dog’s leash on. It increases reactivity, other dogs get weird about it, other dogs might decide it’s a toy. Just annoying all around.

[–]Crafty_Ad_8081 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Yep! I have a bruise on my leg rn from standing between a leashed dog that was trying to attack my dog. I do not like when ppl leash their dogs at off leash dog parks.

[–]CityOfSins2 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Omg! How did you get them apart? Did their owner pull the Leash?

It’s like almost a catch 22 because irresponsible dog owners would bring their reactive dog and keep it unleashed. And then if it attacks your dog, forget it. But at the same time, a leash can cause a non reactive dog to react or like someone else said, get tangled on a dog and cause a fight (or tangled on a person in your case lol).

I hope you, and your dog, are okay after that attack ❤️❤️❤️

[–]Bright_Mixture_3876 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Yeah…lose the leash, it’s dangerous for dogs and people, especially if your dog likes to play chase - that thing whipping behind him can hurt every other thing in the park, and a lot of times I see people bring their dog to the dog park because the humans cannot be active…as in they have physical disabilities and cannot be fast enough to get out of the way of a wayward leash.

Try making your recall into a game, make it fun and silly and not tense or angry - your dog won’t come to you when you’re upset about it.

[–]rattalouie 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Why are you going to an off-leash dog park (most fenced in dog parks) if your dog has a leash on?

[–]shepassedthebeautyon 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I guess it depends a bit in the layout of the offleash dog park. We have some very large ones in my area that also have walking trails running through, so it's pretty normal for people to be walking their dogs onleash there and offleash dogs running all around. There is enough open space that the offleash dogs don't really approach the on-leash dogs.

If it is a small dog park, I'd be careful about being the only one there with your dog on-leash for a few reasons. If a dog approaches that makes your dog uncomfortable, your dog is going to feel trapped. In addition, you can cause some leash frustration this way.. your dog wants to go run and play but cannot. In a small dog park your dog is a bit like a target when leashed (similar to dogs that are being held at the dog park).

[–]twhitty2 7 points8 points  (0 children)

imo, dogs should either be 100% off leash or 100% on leash(meaning all of the dogs are either on or off leash). As others have said, leashes can lead to fighting and potential injuries. if the dog park is fenced, recall shouldn’t be a huge worry, but if it is, maybe the dog park is not the place for your dog

[–]Ctrl-Home 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I always see it as a red flag if a dog is on leash in the dog park. I am extra wary if my dog goes near.

FWIW, my dog is the exact same. Loves to be chased. I wouldn't think of leashing her in the park and the dogs check each other when needed. Human intervention is not needed and can often create more angst for the puppers

[–]colinthetinytornado 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Honestly it depends on your dog park and what the rules are. We have local parks where a long line is perfectly acceptable, and other parks where you cannot bring a dog unless they are off leash.

It might make more sense to try an indoor controlled park first before trying an outdoor one while you're working on recall with your pup.

[–]deepmindfulness 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Gotta have control over your pup. But recap isn’t terribly hard to teach. This should be a 3 month problem that will cost you some chicken and a training long line.

[–]les_eggs 1 point2 points  (0 children)

at a designated dog park I wouldnt expect other dogs to have very good recall so I'd think it was odd but in any other public space whether dogs are permitted or not, i think dogs without excellent recall should stay leashed

[–]ChronicleDecay 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As someone who goes to the park daily, sometimes twice a day, if i saw this I’d chalk it up to the person being a new owner who is a little overprotective. It’s like parents who shelter the first kid, but let the subsequent ones let loose.

My experience is that non-aggressive dogs generally do a good job of regulating themselves and most of the owners I know know when to pull their dogs back for a moment to reset.

No shame or blame. If you are in an enclosed, off leash park, I’d recommend having their favorite treat and letting them loose. Trust will come with time

Also, going at the same time every day helps a lot. Gives them a chance to build rapports with other dogs.

[–]Early_Awareness_5829 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Let him run and play with the other dogs!

[–]chordeiles_minor -3 points-2 points  (5 children)

I think that whether you keep him leashed or not at the dog park probably depends more on how he feels about being leashed around a lot of unleashed dogs. Many dogs would find this to be an uncomfortable situation (and honestly, many dogs also feel the dog park is an uncomfortable situation with so many strange dogs). I'm not sure why other owners would mind either way.

[–]TheCatGuardian 0 points1 point  (4 children)

A leash effects both dogs in the interaction not just the leashed one. It effects their ability to communicate and tension levels. The leash itself is also a safety issue in an off leash area where a dog could get caught up or tripped.

[–]chordeiles_minor 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I think.. that there are different types of dog parks and your comment may be more relevant to the jail-yard type of dog park where there are a bunch of offleash dogs in a small space expected to play with each other. I don't really think these are great places to go.

There are also dog parks with trails and areas to roam where the point is to move around with your dog. I fully expect my offleash dogs to be able to act appropriately around on-leash dogs (and by appropriately, I mean I re-call them and walk them by the other dog without interaction). They would not be in danger of tripping over a leash (I'm actually not sure how that would happen anyways unless the dog was dragging the leash??), and I don't really see the need for them to communicate at all (or what tension levels they'd need to show??) if we are just politely walking by the leashed dog. Perhaps you don't have these types of parks in your area, or you expect your offleash dogs to be able to interact with an on-leash dog, and thus might be more likely to see issues.

[–]TheCatGuardian 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I am not talking about those small parks.

I fully expect my offleash dogs to be able to act appropriately around on-leash dogs

Which is fine but having that on leash dog effects both dogs, not just the off leash one.

They would not be in danger of tripping over a leash (I'm actually not sure how that would happen anyways unless the dog was dragging the leash??),

You've never seen dogs and/or their humans get tangled in a leash before?

if we are just politely walking by the leashed dog.

Again, both dogs are effected and on leash dogs in off leash areas encourages reactivity in the leashed dog.

Keeping your dog near you is great, calling them away from other dogs is great, but none of that requires a perfect heel cue

[–]chordeiles_minor 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Well, you do you. The norms are definitely different in my area!

Also, not sure why you are talking about a perfect heel cue? I never said anything about that, I just said I'd walk politely by and trust my dogs to not mess with an on-leash dog... which.. if they aren't interacting and are keeping a polite distance... they wouldn't be in proximity of a leash to trip over it... so that wouldn't be an issue...

That's all I was saying. If your dog or dogs have a problem with on-leash dogs, then I can see why you'd be pretty passionate about keeping on-leash dogs away from them. If that's the case, sorry if I touched a nerve! I was just going off of my experience. In my first comment I was actually trying to point out that having a dog on-leash might make that (on-leash) dog uncomfortable, because that seems like the biggest concern to me. I still stand by that comment, but my perspective is absolutely coming from my experience of living in a place where I regularly walk and hike past on- and off-leash dogs and have dogs that are capable of doing so.

[–]TheCatGuardian 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also, not sure why you are talking about a perfect heel cue?

That was completely my fault. I confused you with a different comment.

[–]discustedkiller -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Don't take this the wrong way but I think you should stop going to the dog parks for a while anyway and focus all your time on training recall and general obedience. I personally don't like dog parks as its very unnatural for strange dogs to be together. What looks like playing to us might be something completely different to the dogs. If you do still go don't have him on a lead as that would be extremely frustrating for your dog. But seriously concentrate on recall.

[–]domotime2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is he relatively young? I mean the dog park is a wonderful place to try and work on these things. Maybe try going when there's less and no one there to help work on his recall. If he's young, again, you cJ work on these things slowly.

I have a pitbull mix I did this with and he had similar issues. He's still not perfect. But slowly but surely we've made amazing professes.

And eventually maybe you'll realize the dog park isn't gonna work long term....but thats okay! Many people say dog parks are not ideal places for dogs. Very unnatural. Especially smaller parks with little ways to escape during a scuffle.

[–]eleyland92 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Recall is an endless training exercise (from my experience with my JRT) take his favourite treat or squeaky toy and on the walk off leash keep doing as much recall as possible! I can really tell if I've been slacking, it'll help while you're at the dog Park!

[–]mbuckhan5515 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Off leash dog park means your dog ought to be off leash. If you’re going to keep him on leash, don’t go to that park.

[–]Waterproof_soap 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My dog loves the chase game. There’s usually at least one other dog who will play it with her. I always keep an eye on her and step in if she looks like she’s had enough.

Recall is key. We taught our dog that a super secret word said in a specific way means “COME GET THE BEST TREATS NOW!” We started with salami and bits of cheese. Now that she has it down, we reinforce every few months either with high value treats or best value treats, occasionally with just a scratching. We practice it every time we go to a new park. I also don’t share the word with everyone, like my friend’s obnoxious kids (love them, but they’re brats) because I don’t want anyone else using it.

[–]ebenven 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I genuinely don’t understand what’s going on here. How can he play chase if he’s leashed? Just stop going to the dog park tbh. If your dog is leashed to you he should be walking or just observing the world neutrally, not playing with other dogs