Many people consider using a dog leash to be cruel. This view is often caused by the individual humanising the dog. They put themselves in the dogs position and conclude that they, themselves would not like to be led on a leash. They worry that the collar hurts the dog as it would hurt them if they had a leather strap around their neck. But do dogs really feel the same about this? Have a look at the pros and cons for dog leads and decide yourself – Leash or no leash?

PROS OF A DOG LEASH

SAFETY: the most obvious pro of using a dog leash is safety. Much like you need to hold a child’s hand to cross the road, dogs sometimes need an element of restraint. Even if trained, they are unpredictable and can bolt in a split second. As an owner, you are responsible for your dog and if it attacks or causes damage while off lead, you are liable.
THE LAW: In most parts of Australia, your dog needs to be on a lead by law. With the exception of lead-free dog parks, you, as an owner can be fined if your dog is not on a leash.
CONTROL: Your dog is less likely to do something naughty when it is on leash. It feels that you are in control and knows its limitations.
FEAR OF DOGS: Not all people are dog people and roaming or jumping dogs can scare the general public. Everybody has the right to walk down the street or in a park without being scared of an approaching dog.
pulling on lead

CONS OF A DOG LEASH

IT’S NOT NATURAL: Some dogs have a hard time adjusting to leashes as initially it’s not natural for them. The feeling of restraint can sometimes cause them to shut down or become depressed on walks. It’s important to get the dog used to its leash before taking it on a walk. Attach it but let him drag it around without you picking it up. Start slow and make the lead fun.
IT HURTS: Many people consider that the collar and lead hurts the dog as it would a human. Contrary to this belief, dog necks are far less sensitive than human necks, which is why dog mothers can pick up their puppies by their necks. There are many different types of collars and leads which can be used for different occasions and are specifically designed around the comfort of dogs.
FREEDOM: Dogs love walks and love their freedom and many owners think that a leash inhibits that freedom. In a sense, it’s true. If a dog was off leash all the time, they would do what they want, when they want. It’s important that your dog and pets in general don’t think like this. You as an owner need to be in control of your animal and your animal needs to know who is boss!