We all love dogs, but when it comes to leash control, we sure are fractionated as a community. Yet this is one area where I think we can be united, even just as we pass each other at the park. Kind of like two Harley riders passing on a deserted highway.
We don’t have to know each other, and we don’t have to have the same views about life. We just have to pay homage to another dog lover out doing what we do with the dog that we love.
A dog walking on a leash could be a geriatric dog who is a little unstable. Maybe the dog is not feeling well or may have a contagious disease. Perhaps the dog is fearful of other dogs or could be a service dog. None of us would ever want to mess up somebody else’s dog.
What we can all do if we see that there’s a fellow dog owner walking with their dog on lead, is leash up our dog. And then we can wave to that fellow dog lover, showing them that “the dog owner in me respects and honors the dog owner in you”.
Do you see how this interaction is going to break down the fence? It doesn’t matter what your opinion is about dogs being leashed or not, or if they should be allowed to visit. It’s about acknowledging and respecting the decisions and choices of each other because you both love dogs.
The “Leashed Up Wave”… right now it’s just an idea, but it could be a movement… or better yet, a way for dog lovers to show kindness at a time when the world could be helped with some coming together.
Let me know in the comments if you walk your dog on leash or off. And please share this vlog with your dog loving friends, family and community, because each of us can make a positive difference to the life of dogs and their people everywhere.
Today I am grateful for all the dog lovers out there respecting and honoring each other with kindness and understanding.
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Thanks a bunch,
I only off leash my dog in places where for the most part there are no other dogs like trails for example and I go early knowing they’re less traveled at certain times. When I do encounter other dogs, yes, I put him back on a leash for the other persons comfort and release him after they’re gone.
My neighbor leashes one of his dogs but the other is walked off leash. The off leash dog has a tendency to charge on groups of strays.
I always manage to defuse the situation as the strays listen to me. I do not know to convey that he needs to keep the dog on leash and discourage charging behavior. I fear for his dog when the strays decide “Enough is Enough” in the future.
Thank you for this awesome post!
It really take time to gain trust and train them, but it’s worth the price.
I run with my 12 yo Border Collie off leash in the National Forest. She has an excellent recall (though it needs to be a bit louder now that she’s older) and when I say “close” she stays right by my side. I can even specify *which* side she should be close on. I taught her as a young puppy to come back to me whenever she saw people ahead. (This was mostly by accident, as I would call her back when *I* saw them, and reward her and put her on leash – continuing to praise and reward, then let her off leash again once we alone.) She later generalized this behavior to large animals (elk, moose, etc) as I would call her back if I saw those as well. Now I have an exceptionally *USEFUL* trail running companion as her actions will alert me to mountain bikers that may be coming at me quickly downhill – she hears them *long* before I do, and when she comes back to me I know to slow down and look ahead. This is helpful since normally when trail running I spend a lot of time looking at my footing. Her early warning allows me to get out of the way even if they are coming too quickly for the amount of sight distance on the trail. I also get to see and photograph more elk and deer than I might otherwise notice, and she’s alerted me to grizzly bears ahead near the trail as well. Given that my own hearing is not what it once was, I truly appreciate having her along when I do solo trail runs in the mountains in Montana.
I have to respectfully disagree w the person who thinks that off leash areas should be reserved for off leash dogs. Off leash dogs should have excellent recall and their owners should be paying attention to them no matter where you are. My dogs are leashed because we are still working on our recall, and are happy to meet friendly on and off leash dogs on our local popular off leash trail. We have been lucky, but I have witnessed more than one dog attack of other people’s dogs by off leash dogs whose owners are too far away to be attentive, are on their phone, or just simply stand by while the victim dog’s owner has to deal with the assault on their own. Honestly, it had changed my mind about off leash rights for dogs in general. Folks with smaller dogs should not have to weigh every interaction with whether they should have just stayed home or walked their dog in a less interesting area just because irresponsible and selfish dog owners insist on having and abusing off leash rights. Oh, and those older dogs, very young dogs, dogs that don’t like strangers in their faces, they all deserve to have access to dog friendly trails and spaces, too.
I completely agree with you, we need to respect our pets and allow them to live freely!
I let them off the leash when there is nobody near us but always try to put the leash on whenever I see some crowd coming in or any other dog but I agree with you Thanks!
Such common sense as always from you Susan, thank you . Have a GSD walked on leash / long line as extremely high prey driven. I liken his actions to cowboys in western films who on finishing a long cattle drive ride into town guns blazing but no harm intended.🤔
I LOVE this blogpost! I have two border collies, and both regularly run around off leash at the local school yard during non-school hours. My two girls adore one another and love their family. They both have an excellent recall despite distractions. However, anytime any other dog, walker, biker or anybody/anything comes onto the property, I leash my girls up until the person/dog has passed. I do it out of respect for others. And just because my dogs are having a fabulous time together does not mean that a dog interrupting would be well received by my girls. In fact, one of my girls is BLIND. She does NOT want to have other dogs jumping on her, chasing her or sniffing her. She can become fearful and reactive. Two happy, playful dogs is not an invitation to others. So thank you Susan for sharing this! (We often will have others join us, but entirely on leash in the beginning until order is established and comfort levels considered.)
Bravo, Susan, Bravo.
Once upon a time RAW feeding was pretty much unknown, titer testing the same. Pebbles drop in the lake one by one and now both of those premises are more common.
One of your BEST VLOGS ever.
One more reason for walking on leash – young puppies who are still working on recall, not fully vaccinated yet, or still learning “good dog manners”.
Our puppy is walked on leash nearly all the time, because we live in a city. But he knows the difference between the head halter (which means I am in charge ) and the long lead on his car harness (which means he is allowed to noodle all over the trail and I will follow his lead).
For our setting, this is a good balance.
The problem is off-leash dogs in a leash-up area. There are leash laws in my area that unfortunately, too many dog owners ignore. same with poo-scooping.
We have a rescue dog who has come to us with a bite history. Our contract states we’re not allowed to walk him off lead when in a public place where there are people & other dogs. We respect that and he’s only off lead when in a friends paddock playing with their dog. He doesn’t know any different, he’s very accepting. The compromise is that he gets to choose where, when & for how long his walks are – where safe to do so. He can stop and sniff when he likes and when he’s ready to come home, then that’s what we do. He’s never not wanted to return.
He is fine with other dogs being off lead around him but he is overwhelmed when more than one runs up to him together. He would love to play with other dogs but I’m disappointed at how many owners don’t allow their dogs to play but insist they continue their walk. Such a shame as I’m sure playing with another dog is more reinforcing than a walk with their owner.
I’ve been an advocate for off-leash rights for a decade. In principle, I agree with you. In practice, the question is much more nuanced. Most communities are surrounded by “no dog” regions “leash only” places and a darn few off leash areas. (By choice, I moved away from a place where there were scant few open spaces for off leash exercise to one where the allocation is more favorable.) I totally agree that we all should be respectful of other dogs and their owners. However, if you never want to encounter an off-leash dog because you and/or your dog are aggressive or disabled, enjoy the on-leash only venues. They are there – and as plentiful or more plentiful than the off-leash venues. Having said that, if you are in an off-leash venue, be a good-dog-owner. You are always responsible for your dog -everywhere. It’s not hard to train a dog not to approach strangers (my dog does not). Helps if someone rounds a corner with a leashed dog and I don’t see em in time to call him in before they cross paths. But honestly, leash-only folk. Don’t be offended if you see an off-leash dog in an off-leash space. It’s up to you to determine if you and your dog are suited for that space. If the answer is no: Don’t go. You have lots of other options.
Agreed! We live in a neighborhood with trails and many people unleash their dogs (although leash laws here are quite strict.). When I see an unleashed dog ahead I’ll call out to the owner to leash their dog. If they say, Oh, he’s friendly, I respond She’s Not! (Actually, she is but as a corgi low rider, bigger dogs coming at her are not pleasant). Most everyone here leashes up. A few exceptions are a very old dog who pays no attention to other dogs. Love the leash up idea.
My beloved gentle natured standard poodle was viciously attacked while on leash twice, on separate occasions. He was so startled as he looked to me to keep him safe. I tried but could not protect him from his huge attackers The trauma changed him from being friendly and welcoming to other dogs, to lunging and growling at passing dogs. After the second attack, it took a very special trainer who used her own dogs and positive reinforcement to help deescalate his aggressive response toward other dogs. He improved, but he was never the same as he was before the attacks. It broke my heart. I let him down. Since he passed away 3 years ago, I have struggled with whether to get another dog. I would love another companion dog, but because of the entitled, unapologetic attitude of a few dog owners in my neighbourhood, I don’t feel I can responsibly put another dog in that position again. I couldn’t fulfil my responsibility to keep a new dog safe unless we stayed in our garden. I don’t think the friendly leash wave would work here. A can of bear spray might do the job in the short term, but I am pretty certain that very bad feelings would ensue and we’d be alienated from the neighbourhood or be at risk of reprisal. I would welcome your advice and that of others who have found themselves in this very uncomfortable position.
Sorry, but there seem to be way too many people that think it is only and all about them an their dog. The best example is one I am sure you are familiar with. Agility trials. So many volunteers needed, but you always see the same people helping, and the same ones that just think it is all about them, oh, and maybe their dog
Personally I think it is a great idea, and I hope it catches on.
Would love a Leash Wave poster to put up every where!!!!!
Can you post the. Leashes up dog wave artwork somewhere for us to grab and share in a post ?
That’s a great idea, Caren, we’re onto it!
My corgi was very friendly to people and other dogs until he was jumped on by an aggressive out of control Boxer while I had mine on lead. This was right in front of my house while on a walk. The people finally pulled this no collar no lead dog off with lots of apologies. I took my dog to our vet who was also the Boxers vet and this wasn’t the first time for this dog. The workers at the vet hated to see him come in because he was aggressive and out of control. I don’t think the leash wave would have been much help in this situation. Leash laws are there for a reason.
I firmly believe all dogs in public should be on a leash at all times – no exceptions. There are way too many examples of “friendly” dogs intimidating or hurting other dogs and/or people.
My small dog is usually leashed for her own safety and it’s just good manners or compliance with regulations … or, she’s unleashed in a safe place where we are unlikely to meet others. Thanks to Recallers, she has a good recall and is happy to come and leash up. IME, “don’t worry he’s friendly” means the owner has no control and no recall with their dog which may … or may not … be friendly. Agree, this is irrelevant. A dog scorching toward us at all out makes it very difficult to discern friendly/unfriendly and in any case, is totally overwhelming to my 14 lbs. 11 yo dog. She has been rollled, bitten, tangled up in leashes and I’ve been scratched trying to pick her up out of harms way. So I like your idea and so agree, that dog owners need to come together. And, let’s face it, rude unleashed dogs make even polite and well managed dogs unwelcome in some places. Yep, let’s come together on this!
Thank you thank you !!
As the owner of a 10 pound rescue dog, there needed to be much time on leash to train and gain trust.
Being a city dweller, living in a condo, the need to walk often , with the destination being the community park is a constant. I might add that these areas are not designated as “Off leash”, all dogs are to be on a lead.
It has been my experience that dog owners who have their best friend off leash are often not paying attention, either focussed on their phone or chatting with all the other owners. This results in the dog and or group of dogs bolting our way, which paralyzes the small dog with fear.
Large dogs and puppies often play too rough and can cause injuries to the small dog.
As a dog owner for more than 30 years, I have established many different ways to handle these situations. I applaud you in bringing attention to this with the hope of starting a movement and educating others.
You’re time and attention are greatly appreciated!
Wonderful video Susan. As dog lovers we have so much in common . You have used such a great approach in helping everyone to think about what they CAN do rather than what they CAN’T.
This is going to become a dog training classic ! It has “ pass it on “ written all over it.
Thanks for taking the time.
Next vlog please address the people with leashed dogs that come right up to your dog with the same “He’s friendly”
I wish everyone would walk their dogs on leash when they encounter another dog. Their dog might be friendly, but my dog doesn’t like other dogs in his face. Their walking off leash with a “friendly” dog puts me and my dog in danger. It is a kindness that is easily done.
My dog is a young Huntaway/Lab/collie cross and does love to run. I only have a very small garden now so have him off lead in places I am confident that I will not be suprised by any other dog and keep his attention on me through games and treats. If any other dog/person is seen approaching I put him back on lead because he is often unfriendly with other entire males and he is sometimes overfriendly with people especially children! I don’t feel happy with off lead dogs approaching us unless we know them but try to be as tolerant as possible. I often describe my dog as nervous, hoping people might be more sympathetic!
I love this! I have PTSD from walking our previous dog reactive dog. :p My response to “My dog’s friendly!” Was always “mine’s not.” That usually got people scrambling and testing their recall. My new rescue currently always walks on lease until she has good recall. She’s fine with other dogs 90% of the time, but you just never know. I’m always so grateful to others who see my leash and put their dog’s leash on. Makes the interaction so much more positive!!! Yay for the leash wave!
This is predicated on the belief that people you meet with unleashed dogs have a relieable recall…i have met very few folks that have this.
My dogs are always on leash and I’m so tired of people with off leash dogs yelling he’s friendly as their dog charges mine. It’s at a point where I now carry pepper spray, as those friendly dogs have attached my mellow 15 pound boy twice. So this would be a good thing and I would love to see it happen.
I have a happy field springer who loves to run off leash. I take him at times and to places where I expect very few people or dogs. And while he is extremely friendly to both people and dogs, I do not want to take any chances with an unfriendly encounter. He has excellent recall, when I see someone (with or wihtou a dog) I put him on leash. Sometimes I’ll go a different way, with a friendly wave.
It’s just good manners really, to put my dog on lead if there’s another dog approaching, especially off lead. Need good recall though. They learn they can come off and run a bit later
Wonderful suggestion – and a show of respect and common courtesy. Regardless of where – safe neighborhood, remote area, busy designated off-leash area, etc. – people have reasons for their choices. Unless it is an abusive or truly dangerous situation, we fellow dog-lovers should make every attempt support each other.
Thank you! We’re working on…when we’re on the leash, we’re walking – not playing. She can check out the neighborhood but we keep moving when we see runners, walkers, cyclist and step off the road and sit for (big,bad) vehicles. We still give wide berth to other dogs. She does have opportunities to play when we visit or others visit us.
Well done. This concept applies to soooo much in life. The added wave is a bonus.
I walk both of my dogs on leash. There are too many distractions, such as bicycles or motorcycles or squirrels, that they might chase. You never know when something unexpected will appear. We don’t meet many other dogs on our road, but sometimes they are out off lead in their own yards with underground fences. They won’t come out, but my dogs could go in to them if not on lead.
Loved this!!! The leashed up wave. WE\e all should show kindness, especially in these times.
Here’s my dilemma. I have multiple Corgis and I do not live in a neighborhood. I live in a small country town in the middle of nowhere. They have fenced yards and a deck to run around on. We don’t go to dog parks. We do harness them for vet visits. Should I go ahead and collar them and leash walk them in my yard? They have gotten loose on a rare occasion, but they come back immediately. They get plenty of exercise, but we don’t do a traditional walk.
LOVE IT! AND I WILL DO THE LEASH WAVE FROM NOW ON. I FEEL SO GRATEFUL TO SUSAN GARRETT FOR SHARING HER WISDOM.
This is great! I often walk one of my dogs off leash in parks (the other is a hound mix whose recall is spotty, so he doesn’t get to much since I don’t trust him). She’s a Border Collie with an instant recall. As soon as I see any dog (or even just a person) in the distance, she’s leashed up until we pass them. They’re usually too far away at that point for any sort of wave. We did this with our previous dog too who had a brilliant recall and stop on command. Not once since we got our first dog in 2008 have they ever run up to a leashed dog. They’re just not given the chance to even think about it. (The opposite has not been true and we’ve had a number of off leash dogs approach ours…thankfully ours are ok with it)
The other dog (the hound mix) LOVES other dogs and nothing I’d be able to do would recall him back, so he only gets to go off leash in designated off leash dog parks where it’s expected for dogs to play together.
Nice, that is what I do with my dog, he loves running free but as soon as I see a dog on a leash I leash mine. I don’t know the reason why the other dog is on the leash.
LOVE IT! Agree 100%. Here’s to the leash wave!!