The lady who wrote in saying that she found collars and leashes to be “cruel” and preferred to train her rescue dogs without leads is asking for trouble. I don’t let my dogs off lead, even in areas where it is permitted. Why? Because owners may claim their dogs are friendly, but I have no way of knowing that. I control my dogs, Honey and Elsa, on leads because they too could react to people and animals in a way that could be a problem for others.
My dogs are always walked on a leash. When on my mobility scooter, they are in dog slings on either side of my body. When they are walking, they have their halters, which are attached to my scooter. If I’m walking, they are on a dual-lead. I use halters on them because I have quick control of them without any harm to the dogs.
— Margaret, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Thanks for sharing all the many ways you keep your dogs under your control. Some people are afraid of loose dogs, and as pet owners, it’s important we understand that and do whatever we can to keep our pets under our control at all times. I highly recommend the Gentle Leader and Haltie head collars for dogs that don’t walk well on a collar and leash or who are constant pullers. Unless in an area, like a dog park, where dogs are free to roam, dogs should always be on a lead.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal