Many dog owners are unaware that there are leash laws which require dogs to be leashed in public for the safety of both animals and people. Here are five questions you may have about leashing up:

  • If I know my dog will stay by my side, can I skip the leash? Your dog may be the best-behaved dog in the world, but an off-leash dog can make other people and animals uncomfortable. This can even put your dog in danger. Leashes prevent bites and fights, and they show your respect for other pets, people and wildlife.
  • Isn’t this law more of a suggestion, like jaywalking? San Diego Humane Society and other local law enforcement respond to calls daily about dogs running loose and patrol areas to ensure that dogs are on leashes. Often they will educate about what a difference it makes for everyone’s safety. In addition to keeping dogs safe, leashes help owners control where their dogs go potty and make it easy to scoop. Leashes can be up to 6 feet in length.
  • Can my dog be off-leash on my property? A dog should be under control when outside with a leash, fence or other enclosure. This can help keep your dog safe, especially from vehicles.
  • Are parks and beaches off-leash areas for dogs? There are many designated off-leash areas but not all parks and beaches are. It’s important to read signs, because off-leash hours may vary. If you’re in a public area that doesn’t allow off-leash dogs, keep in mind that adults and children can be fearful of dogs, so use your leash even if other dogs aren’t around.
  • What can I say to someone with a friendly dog that might help them understand the importance of a leash? A friendly off-leash dog can create an unfair dynamic for leashed dogs, which causes stress and can put everyone at risk. Think more about other dogs, as well as people or other animals like wildlife who may be negatively affected.
    To report concerns about off-leash dogs to San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement, please call (619) 299-7012, and press 1.