Why Even Your “Good” Dog Should Be Leashed

  1. It keeps your dog safe. Many other animals are out there: dogs, cats, and wildlife. These animals could injure your dog. An encounter with a raccoon or a fox will mean a mandatory quarantine of your dog because of the threat of rabies. No dog is 100% reliable when encountering a squirrel or other wildlife dashing across a street: they could chase an animal into the street and be hit by a car.
  2. It keeps other dogs safe. A leashed dog may react aggressively if your unleashed dog approaches them. Or, your dog might see a small dog as prey and attack it. Dog attacks on other dogs are sadly quite common in Arlington.
  3. It is considerate to people who are afraid of dogs. Many people want to enjoy walks without your dog bothering or frightening them. Some people, especially children, are frightened of dogs, even friendly ones.
  4. It protects the environment and human health. If your dog is running off-leash, defecates, and you don’t see it to pick it up, then it is left for people and other dogs to step in and it eventually runs off into our streams.
  5. It’s the law. When off their owner’s property, all dogs in Arlington must be leashed and under control of the owner or another responsible person. Electronic training collars do not meet the requirement of being leashed. The only exception to the leash law is if a dog is in a County dog park. Violations are punishable according to Arlington County Code 2-6 stating that dogs must be leashed, even when owners are present, or 2-5 for dogs running at large. Repeat offenses in either category can lead to elevated fines and charges.

Looking for a place where your dog can play off-leash? Visit a County dog park. There are 10 dog parks located across the County.