On Leash Trails Can Be Awesome

On leash trails can be awesome! Only if everyone respects the by-laws though.

We had a run-in with the same woman who I wrote about before. Click here for a recap.

Only this time really rubbed us the wrong way.

As we were visiting the creek bed I hear scampering just a few metres away from the bushes. I assumed correctly that it was going to be some off-leash dogs. This wouldn’t

Dog Leash walking

Nik manages to handle these four dogs on leash at our favourite trail.

really bug me except for the fact that the woman who owns these two German Shepherds has literally no voice control over them. The younger of the two shepherds approach my dog very assertively and went nose to nose with him. Joanne had Vegas on leash and I had my son Miles on my back in a baby backpack and I had one of our boarding guests “Charlie” on leash with me. I shouted up to the woman who was probably 20 metres away, “Please call your dogs off they are making my dogs uncomfortable”.

She tried…. but failed.She was still out of sight from the dogs and therefore had virtually no shot of being able to actually help.

The younger of the two dogs tried to mount Vegas, who as I mentioned earlier was on leash and unable to run from this situation, thus creating a very dangerous circumstance. A fight occurred and Joanne and I  both had to break it up. Still, there was no physical sign of the owner as she was too far away to get there in time.

What occurred next surprised and upset me.

Joanne mentioned to the woman “Please keep your dogs on-leash, this is a leash only trail.”

The woman shouted back bitterly “I will NOT! ”

I assume that this upset Joanne, and I let her address the woman. I simply observed the interaction.

Joanne replied, “We take our dogs here with our son because it’s a leash only trail. That’s why we come here.”

The woman, again very angry and bitter yelled this time “EVERYBODY let’s their dog off-leash. EVERYBODY does! I have lived in this area for 20 years and you JUST moved in a year ago. You can’t change the rules! I will not stop taking my dogs here off-leash!”

Now, here are a few important facts:

#1 She owns two dogs, both of which are under the age of 7 years old.

#2 The park is less than 8 years old.

#3 We take the trail a few times a week and she is the only person who we’ve witnessed letting their dogs run-free.

#4 Although the woman lives a mere 10 minute walk from the trail she chooses to drive them to the park because she cannot handle being pulled or tugged on leash. She cannot walk them off-leash either in public because as I have mentioned, she has literally no control over the two dogs.

The back and forth did last for some time and I couldn’t quote it all because it was repetitive. Joanne soon realised that it was like speaking with a brick wall and not even worth her time.

The woman began to curse under her breath  and tell us off as she left.


So here are my questions that I pose to you all out in Dharma Land:

Does it matter if she’s lived in the neighbourhood longer than us? Should that allow her to treat us and the rules differently?

Do you respect leash only signs? If not, do you understand why they’re important to follow?

How do we go about dealing with this situation? Do we call a by-law officer? After all my dog was bitten while he was on leash and her dogs were not.

I was going to use today’s blog as a resource for you all to really understand the importance of respecting on-leash or off-leash parks. However, I already wrote that joanne and Mileblog over a year ago it seems. The fact this is the same woman and it’s been a year shows a complete lack of respect for others and a selfishness that I do not admire. Are we so entitled as dog owners that we don’t actually care anymore that our behaviour or our dog’s behaviour might be affecting others?

I was very proud of Joanne for letting the woman know that her behaviour was affecting us negatively and we would no longer take the harassment.

So please understand that a rule that may inconvenience you ever so slightly may be helping many others.

Thanks for reading,






5 thoughts on “On Leash Trails Can Be Awesome

  1. How have I not seen your blog before? Well written!

    I used to let my old dog Stella off leash when I was sure there was nobody around. She was not aggressive and really didn’t like the off-leash parks (she would stand beside me the whole time we were there). However, as soon as I saw anybody I would put her leash on. We did witness first-hand the effects of the dangers of off-leash one day when a dog came barreling out of nowhere right up to a lady who had her boxer on-leash. It was obvious the boxer had aggression issues and that owner took the responsibility of keeping her dog on-leash. However, this other friendly dog came barreling over caused the boxer to lunge and become aggressive and the poor lady struggled greatly with her dog. The man calling that his dog was friendly from a distance was no help whatsoever. It was a little scary. If only everyone could just be respectful of others. Mistakes happen or people may not realize the dangers but once they are aware or are made to realize the discomfort of others …just to be respectful is huge.

    • Hi Karen! Thanks for your comment.
      I don’t actually have a big problem of people Leash their dogs up as soon as they see another dog or jogger etc…
      That situation that you witnessed is one I have now seen a few times with the classic line “it’s okay, my dog is friendly” LOL
      One of the primary instincts ingrained in dogs is “fight or flight”. While on Leah a dogs ability for “flight” is denied and many cases of aggression or fear are simply due to the fact that the dog cannot escape danger if it presents itself. So the mix of on-leash an off- leash dogs in close quarters can often lead to some uncomfortable situations and are very easily prevented.

  2. I would report her to bylaw and try to get her license plate to the poilce. For the safety & enjoyment of all there are off leash and on leash trails and parks. There are so many reasons for why these options are offered but your situation is one of many examples as to why. This woman is in the wrong and obviously not a good dog owner or neighbour given her verbal ignorance and actions. I wish the dogs had a better owner, german shepherds are great, smart dogs. Too bad they got stuck with a dumb owner.

    • Hi Amy,
      Thanks for your views.
      I think that I may just let nature take it’s course and see if Karma will help her understand. 2 major strikes against her so far, and if the there’s a third incident I think I will escalate matters.
      Se lives on my block and we have very good relationships with all of our neighbours. Hopefully she will listen to reason, and maybe find an off-leash dog park to take her dogs to.
      It’s definitely frustrating though.

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