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Letting Your Dog Off Leash, Is It Worth It? | Pupford

September 29th, 2023

Filed under Podcasts

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We love the idea of letting our dogs frolick through fields, trails, and sandy beaches, but there are some things to consider before unclipping your dog's leash from their harness.

Like, is your dog even be allowed off-leash? What are possible dangers that could arise? And more.

Letting your dog off-leash can seem like a 'dream' scenario, but it comes with inherent risks and drawbacks. In this video, we break down four "pros" and four "cons" to letting your dog run off leash.


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First things first, it's important to obey leash laws! They are there for a reason and typically help keep you, your dog, and other people and their dogs safe. Before heading out on a hike, walk, or visit to the park, check out the leash laws where you are going. If you are heading somewhere dogs can be off leash, be sure your dog has a good recall, and you are prepared for different situations that can arise as a result.


dog on leash in a park | Pupford

Here are some of the main cons of letting your dog off leash:

  • Leash laws can be very limiting as to where you can go with your dog (if you’re wanting to be off leash)
  • You lose control of potentially dangerous situations with other dogs, animals, wildlife, etc. and you really never know how other dogs/animals will react to your dog. This can potentially lead to fights and other unfortunate situations.
  • Bad habits can be formed like chasing objects, running quickly in other directions (even if your dog comes back to you)
  • There is an inherent danger of your dog running into bad situations like cars, bikes, etc…. It does happen all the time unfortunately

Being aware of these risks is so important! We hope that nothing bad will ever happen to our dogs, but being off leash can lead to some sticky situations at times. Make sure to work on your puppy's recall and only let your dog off leash after weighing the pros and cons.


dog running off leash through a field | Pupford

And of course, here are some of the main pros of letting your dog off-leash.

  • Freedom for your dog… it can give them a mental ‘break’ from having to be cooped up inside, being beholden to the leash, etc. (PS- Learn about why too much freedom can be bad for puppies here.)
  • Your dog gets an enhanced sniffing experience and that mental exercise can really make your dog’s exercise time more beneficial and tiring
  • Typically your dog will do more running than when attached to you since they aren’t having to go at your pace… they’ll go forward, come back, etc. and end up getting more exercise than walking that normal distance
  • You and your dog both are not dealing with a leash and all the challenges that come with it

Choosing to let your dog off leash should be a decision you make very carefully. You don’t HAVE to let your dog off-leash if you’re not comfortable with the risks. And ultimately, having your dog on a leash adds a layer of safety to almost any situation.


Teaching your dog to come when called can keep you, your dog, and others safe. When working on recall with your dog:

  • Only call your dog to you when you know they will come to you
  • Don't call your dog to you and punish them when they finally come
  • Keep it fun for you and your dog!

In Pupford Academy you can check out our Recall Mastery Course and 7 Day Recall Challenge to get your dog to come to you when called! Plus, in Pupford Academy you can also get access to courses like Dog Body Language, Enrichment Activities, our First Aid Course and so much more!

Do you or do you not let your dog off-leash? Tell me why in the comments below!


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