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dubone

Are leash laws anti-urban?

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In my view, an underlying principle of urban living, are to have dense housing with larger shared open space like parkland. However, leash laws prevent that parkland from being of similar use as a yard, as it prevents residents from playing with their dogs in a normal way. In most cases, the common practice is to play frisbee or tennis with their dogs off leash anyway, but it is technically breaking the ordinance.

I had a dog pass away last fall, when she was alive, she almost never went more than ten feet away from me. If she even thought about it, all I had to say was her name, and she would come by my feet. It seems to me that that condition should not be against the rules.

Not all dogs are that way (and nor are there owners effective in training them), so theoretically those dogs would need a leash under most circumstances. But the law should be worded accordingly to allow for controlled and friendly play in the park, etc.

I would say, though, that in conjunction, they should make tougher laws of responsibility for anything the dogs do. It is like the theory of removing speeding laws (which everyone breaks anyway), but that there are stiff penalties if recklessness causes a problem. That way, people will be able to vary the standard based on the true risk, rather than the one-size-fits-all paranoia.

Back to my original point, is that theoretically, according to the law, is that the only time dogs can be off leash in an urban environment is in the two specific places in the county where they are allowed. Obviously, most people have enough private property to make it okay, but if we truly want to become more urban, we should probably adjust the rules so that dogs can survive the urban life without being outlaws.

Note that people's children are vastly more dangerous than people's dogs, as they have opposable thumbs for utilizating of tools, like guns. Given that a gun was found in an elementary school, and a 14 allegedly committed murder. Should we pass an ordinance that all children should be on leashes? Maybe we should.

(Note that I would have a leash on my dog in 90% of the cases, but there are exceptions to the need for it, and I believe the law should reflect that because people and dogs trying to live a more urban life suffer more without a private yard).

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Personally I'm uncomfortable with the idea of relaxing leash laws. I take my dog to 4th Ward Park on a near-daily basis, and I would love to be able to just let her off to play. However, I also wouldn't want any old mutt in the park to be able to run up to me, put muddy paws on my pants, hump my dog, etc. I think it's one of those laws that is necessary even if it isn't very fun.

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I say no way. Everybody, even (especially?) those whose dogs have never known a second of discipline in their lives will feel like their dog 'deserves' to be off its leash. Leash? OK. No leash? Not OK. That's a clear-cut, enforceable law. As soon as you bring subjectivity into the picture (Well, MY dog is good enough to go without a leash!) you throw the enforceability out the window, and everybody who thinks that their dog is a good boy gets a license to let them loose to wreak havoc.

I don't buy your argument about children being more dangerous than dogs due to their opposable thumbs, or the proof that you give that a child brought a gun to school once. Dogs are animals; children are people. An untrained dog will be completely uncontrollable, can run 3 times faster than a human, and has sharp teeth and a pension to use them. And there are LOTS of badly trained dogs out there. A poorly behaving child can -at the very least- still understand what he's being told. And besides, it's not so much about danger - it's about the nuisance that an excited, unleashed, uncontrollable dog will cause.

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I walk roughly eight dogs a day between Dilworth and Plaza Midwood and even more on weekends when I am not at home working or being distracted on here :lol: I am all for leash laws. As a dogwalker it gets tiresome fending off misbehaving dogs and glaring at their irresponsible owners. In a city, with the exception of fenced in dog parks which Charlotte needs more of btw...dogs belong on leashes when they leave home.

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I would say absolutely not. I seem to remember a woman getting killed in San Francisco a few years ago by some people that had big dogs that were not on a leash.

I would say that if someone decides to live in a densely packed urban area, then that precludes owning a big dog that needs space and room to run. It's not fair to the people who live there and its not fair to the dog. I am a bit confused as to why one of the public dog parks is way up at Ramsey Creek Park. Putting it there is like taking sand to the beach. It should be a lot closer to the city.

Dub, my sympathies for your loss. My cat who was almost 18 years old passed on this fall also and it was quite tough getting over that.

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I am personally in favor of leash laws even though I wish they weren't necessary. Like it has been said, there are dogs who are fine without leashes; but there are the ones that require us to mandate this in our cities.

I am completely in favor of "leash-free" dog parks, but they should be convenient to citizens and not relegated to some distant city/county cornere. There is one here next to a "re-developing" neighborhood fairly close to downtown which is very popular with residents. I hope this idea takes hold in more areas.

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I agree. Most of the dogs I walk are on Voice Command but it's common courtesy and safer to leash your dog when you are out in public.

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I agree. Most of the dogs I walk are on Voice Command but it's common courtesy and safer to leash your dog when you are out in public.

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I have to vote with the majority here. I have two terriers: One cairn and one blue-back silkie. My cairn will obey every word I say (she's so good...). The silkie would take off like a jackrabbit with it's tail on fire (him... not so much). My silkie thinks he weighs 140+ and can take on anything short of a raging rhinocerous. Having said that, he tangled once last year with a rottweiler that weighed in at about 140lbs. That rottie was on a leash too. It unfortunately outweighed its owner, so the leash was a slight deterrent at best.. but at least it was something. My dog lost and got away (or rather, I pulled him away... he wanted more), but the thought of that rottie being UNleashed and even more out of control... mmm, yeah... leashes are a plus in my book.

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This afternoon in the park there were two large (taller than waist-height) dogs running off-leash in the park. It crossed my mind that either of them could have killed my (leashed) puppy with one bite if they had been so inclined.

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Plus, as hard as it is for many of us to believe, lots of people don't like or are afraid of dogs. So even a very well behaved voice command trained pooch can be very frightening to someone and a leash offers more control. Older people and young children are also risky around dogs.

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Maybe an alternate would to have more parks that have a large fenced section allowing dogs to be off leash. Those kinds of small pocket parks allowing dogs off leash are common in Europe. That way, there is segregration, but still a place for people who don't own a yard to play frisbee with their dogs legally. I find it outrageous that the law basically says that you can't play frisbee or tennis ball and so forth unless you own private property.

By the way, I'm not proposing all off-leash all the time or anything close. I of course think that most circumstances require a leash for all dogs. However, I believe that there is a disconnect growing as our city starts to become more urban, yet there are almost no facilities to exercise your dog without a string between you.

I'm not advocating anarchy :). I'm just trying to point out what I view is a lack of parity in the needs of families with dogs, the new trend intown of multifamily homes with no associated private open space, and laws that require leashes in all cases without exception. But I guess my other dog owners find this situation to be fine.

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Yes. Although, unless they are ubiquitous, they are almost problematic in and of themselves. They become intensely full of off leash dogs, which creates problems that wouldn't happen if, for example, every park in the city had a section for off leash dogs.

But if there is such universal acceptance that leash laws should remain, then the only way I can see solving the problem for yardless urbanites is to have them.

However, I still hold firm that humans are more dangerous than dogs, and that there are many dangerous crimes that happen in parks already by people. Why not also allow dogs off leashes, and just have everyone accept that life is dangerous and full of risks. (I mean, if you step back a bit and think about all the primates driving around at 70mph, you realize just how dangerous life is, and the numbers prove very scary). You then can punish anything that the dogs and people do, rather than punish what they might do.

But you guys are right, I rather not have those crazy people making subjective decisions on whether their dog is dangerous or not.

Anyway, I'm just trying to think outside the box and speculate on how to make our society more liveable as an urban place. More dog parks would be a start.

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Honestly the bottom line responsibility rests with the dog owners. If they decide to move into a place that isn't conducive to dog owner ship, then they simply can't purchase one and the expect everyone else to adapt. If someone wants a dog, especially a large dog, then they really need to move to a place that has room to accommodate the animal.

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There is little desire in the general public to mitigate the hardships of urban living. It isn't just dog stuff, but also for people with kids. First Ward is losing or has lost most of its open space. Fourth Ward has had to beg the Park and Rec department to build a playground on some land they own for all the kids living downtown. There aren't any playgrounds there now because in the 70s, there were drug activities that caused someone to decide to remove them. Even still, Park and Rec does a very bad job of planning park land with the right uses to support densifying areas. Where is Park and Rec as a partner with developers in the densifying areas around the transit lines? Why aren't they buying land now while the land is still affordable to them? Instead, they tend to only bother doing parks where land is ultra-cheap, on landfills, rural areas, and in flood plains. There is no recognition for the needs for parks in denser areas.

If the attitude in the general suburban population is 'you chose that life', then things that can be solved (and are often solved in societies in Asia and Europe that try) won't be solved. Our society has solved many problems for many groups, mostly through people simply trying to identify disparities, and figuring out a way to solve it. In the mean time, I am aware that I have chosen an urban life, so I put up with homeless people, poor people, drunk people, lack of yard, lack of parking, lack of retail, lack of parks, and so on. But if our society can figure out a way to solve it, then perhaps more people would be able to choose such a life.

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There was a 75 year old woman who was walking in Plaza Midwood today who was mauled by a pit bull dog that was running free.

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In my proposal above, there would be stiff penalties for the owners for the actions of their dog. Obviously dangerous dogs off leash are not acceptable. My point was that a one-size-fits-all rule where frail dogs, 10 lb dogs, ultra-submissive dogs, etc., all are technically required the be on a leash at all times.

Apparently, even with the almight leash laws, people get hurt by vicious dogs. Note that the most famous case, in SF a few years ago, the dog was even on a leash. These vicious pit bulls (not to be confused with friendly pit bulls) are bred by an insidious underworld of dog fighting rings.

I'm saying that one-size-fits-all punishes good dogs and good owners, while bad dogs and bad owners ignore them, or are ultimately still dangerous with leashes.

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I think the size of the dog should be irrelevant when it comes leash laws. There are many submissive & well behaved big dogs while they are also tons of aggressive small dogs who instigate trouble. To keep it fair, make everyone play by the same rules. Small dogs bite too though the potential for serious injury/death is clearly not an issue as it is with 150lb canines. But its a bite nonetheless. Not to mention that small dogs are the source of problems in dog parks, etc. Because of their small size a lot of owners often allow aggressive and bad behavior from them. They run wild, instigating trouble with larger dogs and when (in the process of breaking up an animal fight) someone gets hurt the larger dog is blamed.

My personal feeling is that pets are animals and should be under the owners control at all times in public places - regardless of size.

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i think leash laws are generally a good thing. not only do they help protect others from what your dog may do (evn a friendly jump on a child could cause harm) - they also help in accounting for pets and help protect them from being hurt. i imagine if we had relaxed leash laws that more dogs would show up in the animal shelters and more injuries and deaths would occur. on the flipside, my dog would be a little happier. :)

serious though, about the woman attacked by pit bulls... does it seem more than obvious that a majority of dog attack injuries and deaths are @ the teeth of pit bulls? is it the fault of the breed or is it irresponsible owners? should certain breeds be banned in cities?

it seems to me leaving a pit bull chained up outside is like leaving a loaded pistol on your front porch.

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A majority of the deaths by dogs were caused by pit bull and rottweilersand (about 20 a year) but these kinds of dogs aren't resonsible for most of the dog bite injuries in this countries including ones that require medical treatment. They banned these dogs in the UK and the # of people being bit stayed the same even while the number of pits in the country dropped dramatically. I mean its clear to me that pits and rottweilers can inflict a lot of damage - they're big and the way they grip on makes them particularly dangerous - once they bite. But they aren't responsible for the millions of people (mostly kids) getting hurt by dogs each each year.

I think the problems are not so much about the breed but about people who refuse to treat animals like they're animals and recognize that animals in the public space need to be under human control at all times. Most cases its owners, their friends, and children getting bit because people aren't training their dogs, aren't careful with their animals and take a nonchalant approach about monitoring their dogs (in the home & out) and stopping bad behavior. I remember a school friend who'd been bit in the face by a fairly small breed leaving a large scar that would be there for life (or until plastic surgery). Her story is what's typical. To me walking any kind of dog off leash in public areas is asking for trouble. Your dog goes up to a child and that child (often times lack respect for how dangerous an animal can be) innocently does something that provokes a bad response. Suddenly someone's child is bit and you're 20 feet away running to catch up with your dog that should've been under your control in the first place.

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