As a Mesa pet sitter it has recently come to my attention that the general public does NOT understand Arizona leash laws.
I have experienced 3 instances in the past week where dog owners are out in public spaces WITHOUT their dogs on a leash. I’m not sure where the idea comes from…not even Ceasar Milan teaches pet parents to walk their dogs off leash. However, apparently there is a large portion of society that thinks their dogs behave and actually listen to them when they are off leash. While pet sitting in Mesa, I have experienced it enough to say that YOUR DOGS DO NOT CARE WHAT COMMANDS ARE COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, IF THERE IS ANOTHER DOG IN THE VICINITY, THEY WILL APPROACH IT. That is just what dogs do. Understand the basics of dog behavior and you will understand that all dogs want to sniff other dog’s butts…and if they aren’t controlled by their “responsible” pet parent, they are going to do just that. NO MATTER HOW LOUD YOU YELL AT THEM.
So, wearing that trusted leash around your neck while “walking your dog” in public will NOT keep your dog(s) or any other dog(s) safe. You will not be able to get your dog to “heal” before it approaches a leashed dog with a completely stressed out parent at the other end of the leash. (And yes, I understand there is a small portion of dogs that will not bother others while off leash. But this is not the norm. I don’t even know a dog trainer that will allow their dog to walk off leash unless in designated areas.)
Did you know that not every dog on a walk will have a positive reaction to seeing other dogs? Did you know that if your unleashed dog is hurt by a dog on a leash you will be responsible for the vet bill? Did you know that if your unleashed dog hurts a leashed dog, you will also be lawfully responsible to pay for the other dog’s vet bills? When was the last time you read Arizona’s Leash Law?
Consider the following:
It’s not fair to those that keep their dogs on leash. It’s one thing to go to a designated dog park and let your dog off leash and something completely different going to the park down the street from your house and doing the same. If you’re at a dog park, everyone is of the understanding that dogs will be off leash. You can then decide on your own if you are comfortable allowing your dog to roam free or not. At the park down the street from your house, pet parents will most likely become stressed out, wondering if the unleashed, uncontrolled dog is going to approach. This puts the pet parent and the dog at an unfair disadvantage.
Your dog may do great with recall commands when you are alone at the park and there is little distraction. It’s a completely different story when another dog comes into the picture and your dog becomes distracted…and then shockingly isn’t so good at listening.
Not all leashed dogs are well trained. Some may be aggressive and not appreciate being approached by a non-leashed dog. That is when trouble starts.
Not everyone likes dogs. I know…hard to understand. But, there are people and kids, that are legitimately afraid of dogs. You don’t want to be the one contributing to their fear? Do you?
As your Mesa pet sitter I found it my duty to share that not only is it the LAW in Arizona to keep your dog(s) leashed unless in designated areas, but it’s the responsible thing to do. And, speaking of responsibility…pick up your dog(s) poop (that’s the law too).
The image most often thought of when you think of a dog walker is one that looks a lot like this…