To leash, or not to leash?

That is the question…


As of 2015, “only two states declare that a dog must be under the control of his/her owner when off the owner’s premises:”

Under that law, no dog is to “stray unless held properly in a leash.” This means, if you live in any of the other 48 states in the US, you have the choice of leashing your dog – Animal Law Info

Does your state have a leash law?

This simple question does not have a simple answer. Instead, like many areas of the law, it depends. Even though a state might not require that an owner use a leash when the dog is off-premises, the law may allow impoundment of “at-large” dogs. A dog that is at large may be defined as one who is off the owner’s property unaccompanied or not on a leash. Further, a state may only require a leash in certain areas like parks and wildlife areas, or during the period between sunset and sunrise.

Additionally, while your state may not have a general requirement, your local government may. Many states view animal control (leash laws, number of animals one can maintain, prohibition on types of animals one can keep) as matters of local concern. Before you conclude that there is no leash requirement in your area, call your city or county code office to check your local law. – Animal Law Info

The states below, however, require leashing for dogs while in state parks, grounds and wildlife areas.

States Requiring Leashes for Dogs in Parks, State Grounds or Wildlife Areas

pc: Loving Your Dog
pc: Loving Your Dog

More on Leash Laws

The information discussed here does not capture leash laws for dangerous dogs…it also does not capture leash laws governed by a regulation. Be sure to ALWAYS check with your local government for restraint requirements affecting your animal companions.