There are, however, some compelling reasons to keep your dog on a leash at all times, even when enjoying the great outdoors. But there are times when it is perfectly acceptable to let your four-legged friend run around uninhibitedly.
If you are anywhere near a road, keep your dog on a leash.
Although it may be a dirt road with little traffic, there will almost certainly be a few cars passing by. This is especially true if the location is a well-known boondocking spot. It’s possible that your dog has never chased a car before; however, there is always a first time, especially if they believe they’re defending their territory. It’s also possible that passing campers will cause a problem. Dogs are territorial creatures, and they can sometimes confront people who are walking by, especially if they also have dogs in their possession.
Keep your dog on a leash when you’re walking through a campground with other campers.
Yes, your dog is friendly to everyone and wouldn’t hurt a fly, but that isn’t true of every dog on the planet. What happens if your friendly dog comes into contact with a not-so-friendly dog? Assuming that the unfriendly dog is on a leash, the person who owns the dog is left in charge of a situation that they shouldn’t have to manage. The use of the phrase “he’s friendly” to describe a person who is holding back their snarling snapping beast from attacking your dog is not appropriate.
In addition, dogs are attracted to scents, and what if your dog decides to wander into another camper’s territory? Perhaps they have detected the odor of a hot dog that has fallen into someone else’s fire pit. Alternatively, they may have detected another dog and wish to pee on their territory. Once again, this is not acceptable. It’s possible that you find your adorable mutt’s antics endearing, but other campers may not share your sentiment.
Keep your dog on a leash in case a coyote comes around.
Coyotes and campgrounds go hand in hand; these wily, wild canines are always on the lookout for a free meal. As a result, avoid allowing your dog to come into contact with a coyote while out walking. Do not, under any circumstances, leave your dog chained outside alone! In turn, a coyote or other predator will view your dog as an easy prey to take advantage of. Bring your dog into the house with you at all times, especially at night.
Keep your dog on a leash when you’re in the woods.
If you let your dog out of the house without a leash, you’ll want to be able to see where they’re going so you can keep track of them. What if they run off after a rabbit and you can’t find them because they’re hiding in the trees? There are also dangers in the forest, such as bears and mountain lions, to be aware of. Just remember to keep these things in mind when you’re out hiking with your canine companion in the woods. If you see or smell any wild animals, put a leash around them right away.
Keep your dog on a leash when you’re out and about. Wild horses, burros, and livestock are protected under the law.
Chasing is a natural response that many dogs have when confronted with hoofed animals. The majority of the time, the livestock will simply flee, but you never know when they might change their behavior. This is especially true if there are babies and nursing mothers present as well. Wild burros are particularly infamous for stomping on dogs in their natural habitat. Even if your dog is on a leash, you should maintain a safe distance between yourself and free-range livestock.
Always keep your dog on a leash when in an area where there are a lot of deer, antelope, elk, or bighorn sheep around.
Once again, a dog’s natural instinct is to chase after prey. However, chasing after these swift-footed creatures may result in your dog becoming disoriented. Or, even worse, these animals could turn and attack with their razor-sharp antlers if they feel threatened.
You should consider when it is appropriate to let your dog off-leash.
If all of the following conditions are met, you may be able to let your dog out of the house without a leash. However, even if they are not on a leash, you must maintain a constant watchful eye on them at all times. In addition, just because you haven’t heard any coyotes howling at night doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t there.
- When there are no other campers within 200 yards of where you are camping.
- You are in an open area, such as the desert, where you have a clear line of sight to everything.
- No free-range livestock can be found in the surrounding area.
- Deer, antelope, elk, and bighorn sheep aren’t particularly common in the area.
- Your dog, on the other hand, must pay attention to you and respond when called upon.
- If your dog has a tendency to be difficult to train when they’re not on a leash, it may be best not to let them run free in the first place.