There's nothing quite as fun as releasing your dog from his or her leash and letting them go nuts outside! Hard getting any good photos, though.
There are actually quite a few things to consider when releasing your dog from its leash. Here are som points for thought.
When walking the dog on a leash, some like to use a retractable dog leash. We prefer an ordinary leash over a retractable leash, as there are too many downsides with the retractable leashes. Good control and training on a leash, and good recall training is a better way to give your dog some more space.
Check out our recommendations on which leash to choose here!
Never Release a Dog You Can't Recall
Someone whos afraid of dogs might turn around a corner, and they really don't care if your larger-than-100-pund-pet is the nicest dog in the world. If your dog won't return to you when called, it shouldn't ever be released. We covered recalling dogs in a different post. This is a vital skill to train! Check it out!
Never Release a Dog in Heat
You should never release your dog when she is in heat. Underestimating a male dogs drive to find a female who is emitting breeding pheromones might lead to unwanted pregnancies!
Keep Wildlife Safe
Dogs running freely might sniff out wildlife, and scare off (and possibly attack) creatures we should leave alone. Like birds, deer, hedgehogs etc. Check local rules or regulations for your area.
Dogs will also leave its scent while running (and marking), which might scare off wild life for many days, leaving birds in nests without food.
Will you be able to pick up its poop?
If your dog strays out of sight, will you be able to locate and pick up its poop? I don't release my dogs until they've done their business. It might seem unneccesary to pick this up if you're out in the wild, but make it a habit to do so anyhow!
Always use biodegradeable bags. Try these reasonably priced ones from Amazon:
Are You Sure It's OK To Release Your Dog Here?
Many parks and places requires to have your dog on a leash. Make sure it's OK before releasing.
Will Your Dog Be Safe If You Release It?
In rough terrain it's easier for dogs to pick up injuries. Pointy rocks, steep hills, cliffs, water, rivers, waterfalls are all hazards you need to think through.
Your dog might also be attacked by wildlife when in nature, or by other loose dogs when closer to people.
When in cities and parks, busy streets filled with cars pose another danger. Well, not IN the park, of course, but what if your dog sees a cat and runs after it into traffic?
When dog walking in the dark, you need to take extra precautions.
But still - release your dog so it can run for a while
I love our daily walks, and close to always walk on a leash. I enjoy having her next to me, and kind of thinks she enjoys it too. But I also find a spot at least once every day where she can run like crazy. She needs it. She enjoys it. And we get to practice som more on recalling - because thats probably the one command you should train before any other!