Even if your pup is the best boy that ever was, if you’re on a walk or in the park, your dog has to be leashed. If they’re not, you could be facing some pretty significant fines. We’ve rounded up the four things you need to know about leash laws to help you and your dog stay on the right side of the law.
1. Leash laws differ from place to placeWhen it comes to you, your dog, and leashes, it truly is the law of the land that applies. In most places, it’s actually illegal to walk a dog without a leash! Depending on where you are, different leash laws may apply; they vary from state to state, country to county, and even town to town. As you can probably guess, the laws around leashing your dog can get pretty complicated. What if your county leash laws are different than the city’s? What if your town allows dogs to be off-leash, but you’re in a state-funded park? You and your dog may actually be passing through areas with different leash laws on your morning walk!
2. Most states have “running at large” lawsBelieve it or not, most state-wide “leash laws” aren’t actually leash laws, per se. They’re what’s known as "running at large statutes." A dog (or other type of animal) is considered to be running (or roaming) at large when it’s:
- Off the owner's premises
- Not confined (meaning not in a fenced-in area, car, crate, etc.)
- Not under the “restraint or direct control of the owner or his agent”