We see them every time we go hiking. People who decide to let their dog run freely in the forest because they like it (of course they do!). The dog in question is always super friendly, with humans and dogs alike. So why would we want to keep this dog on leash? Here’s why:
1. Believe it or not, but some people are afraid of dogs! Yes, it’s possible. Even though we can’t help but find them adorable and cute, with their tiny ears and nose and face, some people find them less than cute. It’s like me with spiders. I have no idea why I’m afraid of them. They are tiny and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Oh wait. Well, they wouldn’t hurt me (in most cases). They probably just want me to chill out so they can continue living their peaceful lives. Well, it’s the same thing for dogs. And people who are afraid of them should be able to enjoy the outdoors without a dog running up to them. That reminds me of a nice woman we met at Mont Ham. We nicely told us she was afraid of dogs. Enzo was on leash, but we still moved off the trail and I kept him distracted while the woman continued her hike. Super easy. Everyone’s happy.
2. Some dogs don’t like being approached by unknown dogs, and that’s okay. Just like us, dogs have their personal bubble. For some dogs, it might be bigger than others. It’s very important to respect their space. A dog on leash that wants to get away from an unleashed dog could become reactive. It causes a lot of stress on everyone involved and could be prevented by following leash laws.
3. As we all know, not many outdoor places in Quebec allow dogs. That is why we need to respect the laws in place. We would all love to let our puppies run freely but there are other places to do that (like les Sentiers de la presqu’île, or Guides Canins). For now, if we don’t want to lose our privileges we need to be responsible and who knows, maybe other places will start allowing our furry friends? 😀
Lastly, go outside, have fun with your dog, but don’t forget to respect other people. Even if your dog is the nicest dog on Earth (aren’t they all?).