All other things being equal, dogs would of course prefer more freedom, and therefore will be happier off-leash.If the owners are responsible, the presence of off-leash dogs can actually make the outdoors a better place.

Why off-leash?

  • HIGHER INTERACTION WITH SURROUNDINGS- On a leash, dogs are restricted to a small area surrounding their handler, which the dog’s nature dictates it must protect. If another dog enters that space, it’s a threat. Off-leash, dogs are free to encounter each other and interact in neutral areas. 
  • SATISFACTION– Off-leash, in the outdoors, Wiley is able to satisfy his curiosity, make new friends, explore his surroundings, and just generally be himself.
  • MUTUAL TRUST– Off-leash walks will deepen the connection that’s rooted in doing stuff together outdoors. The mutual trust in each other will make you stronger, safer, and happier together. As a result, you will enjoy the outdoors significantly more.
  • SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY– When you leave your dog off-leash, Your mutual trust is a big factor, as demonstrated by you allowing him to make his own decisions. It makes him more confident and gives him his own burden of responsibility. Your dog will understand the trust you put in him. If in your dog’s mind, running behind the squirrel will make you unhappy, then he won’t do it. Same would not be the case if you have to drag your dog around on the end of a six-foot rope.

 False notions people have about off-leash dogs:

  • They bite- Whether on leash or off leash, dogs do not have any reason to bite, or even bark at anyone until you pester them. A companion dog only bites as a last resort, they know the consequences of what will happen if they do, so they don’t want to put their relationship with their human in jeopardy.
  • They will get into fights with other dogsWhen handled by proper training and supervision, an off-leash dog will hardly get into a fight, as he is already happy enjoying his freedom. Dogs on leash, on the other hand, can feel more insecure because they know they can’t escape if they need to, so they can actually trigger fights that might not otherwise have happened.
  • They will poop in other people’s yard- Again, once you potty train a dog, he will follow. Moreover, it has more to do with the dog owner’s responsibility than with the leash.

Train your dog to be off-leash:

Letting your dog off-leash changes more than a few things, therefore, it is crucial that you do not let your dog off-leash unless he is trained to come to you on command consistently and reliably. 

One way to do it is follow a particular walk trail for a few days with the leash on, and eventually getting rid of the leash when your dog has familiarised himself with the trail. That way, your dog will not feel the urge to run around when off-leash since he knows the trail and the surroundings. Gradually when both you and your dog get the confidence and habit of being off-leash, you can try going to other places without the leash.