Leash Your Dog
1. Be a good neighbour. Not everyone likes dogs. Some cultures perceive dogs in ways that may differ from your own so even a friendly dog running up to them is very distressing. Someone truly afraid may act out of fear and injure your dog. Property owners can be particular about dogs on their lawns. A dog on a leash shows that you are in control of your dog and that you respect those who wish to keep their distance from your dog. It is good neighbor policy to keep your pet on leash and from becoming a nuisance to others around you.
2. People can be injured by loose dogs. Whether intentional or not your dog could bite, knock over, or injure someone. Legal action could arise and under the Animal Control By-law it states that a dog could be deemed dangerous if:
A dog has bitten or attacked;
The dog has behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals;
An owner did not exercise reasonable precautions to prevent a dog from biting or attacking or posing a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals.
The law could judge that your dog be euthanized, even if your dog was provoked to bite. Keeping your dog leashed helps you control them and mitigates the circumstances, showing the owner is “exercising reasonable precautions”.
3. Loose dogs get into more fights with dogs and other animals. An off-leash dog could wander into another animal’s territory provoking a fight. Leashed dogs could perceive an unleashed dog as a threat (either to the owner or to his personal space in the leash zone) and is likely to lunge or snap.
4. Wildlife has a place too. Your best friend can become nature's enemy if taken off a leash and allowed to run free. Dogs that leave trails destroy the homes of ground-nesting birds, stress small mammals, destroy plants, leave feces that disrupts the natural balance of the ecosystem, and they are susceptible to the rabies virus through wildlife they may encounter.
5. Leashed dogs are rarely hit by cars. No dog responds 100% of the time to commands. A leash can help you pull your dog to safety when a driver is too close. On the other hand, unleashed dogs can cause car accidents when drivers try to avoid hitting a loose dog.
6. Lowers costly veterinary bills. Leashing your dog is the best way to keep your dog from becoming sick or injured on your walks. Dogs are known to eat many things they shouldn’t and roaming dogs could drink contaminated water, tread through pesticides, be exposed to ticks, poison oak, or plants that have thorns and burrs.
7. Unleashed dogs eliminate at will. This will make you very unpopular with your neighbours. Owners that do not scoop will incur a fine. Dog that are not dewormed completely leave, parasitic worm eggs can be transmitted from feces to humans causing blindness (particularly with small children).
8. It is a good birth control device. If your dog has not been spayed or neutered it is probably because you are hoping to breed your pet. Leashing is one of the best ways to preventing random mating and unwanted puppies.
9. Loose dogs give dog owners a bad name. Every dog allowed off leash is another piece of evidence for those citizens who prefer that dogs be banned from all public places. Discourteous dog owners are causing dogs owners to lose the ability to take their dogs to places they formerly could take them. Go out of your way to be courteous when handling a dog. Demonstrate that dog owners can be good neighbors. If people have a right to expect that dogs they encounter in that location will be on leash, stick to the rules. Otherwise the next rule change may be “No Dogs Allowed.”
10. It is the law! Plain and simple. Know the by- law (linked here) that affect you as a dog owner. http://www.districtofstewart.com/District/Bylaws/815_Animal_Control_Bylaw.pdf (link to Animal Control By-law)
The benefits of leashing your dog:
It is a great way to show your affection to your pet, as the touch of it gives your dog definite assurance that it is protected, loved, and wanted.
It can be an identification service when the collar is attached with a current license.
It is a crime prevention device. A dog that is attached to you will ward off anyone seeing you out walking as an “easy mark”.
It mitigates legal issues that may occur if your rambunctious pet attacks and hurts another person or animal.
You are seen as a good owner, and promote good canine citizenship. You are respectfully allowing others to enjoy the public space too.