I Will Not Break The Rules With My Dogs.

This is part of our Saturday Editorial Section. Normally, we let the dogs do all of the talking.

I thought that this week was pretty much great with our dogs.  We went on hikes, we walked on the beach.

We visited a dog park, and we visited a fan of ours recovering from an accident.


All in all, the sun was out all week, we ate great food, and the dogs had long naps.

Oh yes.  All was good in the 2 Traveling Dogs family.  I thought it was good.  Until I looked at few comments on our nightly live videos on the beach.

“That isn’t fun for any dog.  Let them run!”

“It’s not a good day at the beach unless they can be free.”

And then there were the every week comments that we always see.

“Why can’t you let them run free and be dogs?”

“Why do those dogs always have harnesses on?”

Ugh.  And then I thought.  Maybe it wasn’t such a good week after all.  Maybe my dogs weren’t as happy as they could be.  Maybe what I was doing wasn’t enough.  Maybe I should ignore the signs that dogs have to be on leash at the beach.  Maybe it wasn’t important.  Maybe I wouldn’t get caught.

Truth be told, it isn’t like I haven’t thought about breaking rules before.  I hate leashes.  They are cumbersome.  They are irritating.  I trip over them half the time. Besides putting the fact aside that I have one dog that will not come back when called, and another dog whose mood can only be described as temperamental, I wish that I did not have to have them on a leash.  It would be easier for me.  And that is more truth.


When I see others not obeying the leash laws in an area, or ignoring campground rules to keep their dogs on a leash, I get envious.  What makes them different than me?  Should I even worry about following the rules?  Because I sure hate them.  But the circumstances that we have encountered on the road for the past two years have reinforced to me that there are reasons behind these laws.  Also, I will just be blunt.  What makes us think that we are so important that we cannot be respectful to those who own the property we are camping on, or hiking on, or visiting?  What if someone came onto your property and ignored all that you said? It just isn’t nice.

Despite respect, I obey leash laws for other reasons.

  1.  Not all dogs want to be approached. Needless fights and altercations occur in places with alot of people and dogs.  Leashes mean control.  Well, at least a little more control.
  2.  Wildlife.  How many of our dogs want to chase wildlife? How is this ok in a public place?  We are in their home.  Many times, these species are endangered. Again.  Are you more important?
  3.  Safety.  Here at the beach, the tides and currents change in an instant.  I for one do not want my dog swept away.  Will a leash prevent this?  Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  But we have a better chance.
  4.  Keeping an area dog friendly for others.  I will never believe that everyone picks up after their dog 100% of the time.  This alone is ridiculous, but now add free running dogs to areas where maybe not all people want to be approached.
  5. You can go to a dog park.  I don’t understand how someone doesn’t like dogs, but I don’t want to give anyone reason to not let my dog with me in my favorite hiking places.  Dogs need to run, and not all of us have a huge yard.  So. Take them to a dog park.  I know my dogs need to run.  I recognize this desire and factor to their happiness.  So I have to not be lazy and go there.  I have to talk to others when I normally don’t feel like it.  And I have to let them be dogs.  It is my responsibility to fulfill this need.  In the correct place.

So for those that tell us all of the time to not obey the laws, I am sorry.  But I will continue to.  I want the many places that we visit to remain open for your dog too.  And when we all decide that our supposed sense of entitlement is not worth infringing on others, that is when maybe we won’t even need leash laws.  Until then, obey the law.  Or you know what Sheriff Brickle will say.  You. Are. Arrested.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner, 2 Traveling Dogs

Catch our weekly podcast and subscribe to us on iTunes!






8 thoughts on “I Will Not Break The Rules With My Dogs.

  1. I’m actually one of the people that allows her dog to run free in leashed areas. Oops! However, we have a collar that we use to get her attention when we need it (we trained her using the collar and she responds very well), she’s never allowed out of our sight and never allowed to run free if there are other people nearby. She loves running though and never runs for fun in the dog park. We’ve also had a few issues with aggressive dogs in our local dog park and it’s the only option nearby where she can officially run off leash, so we allow her to run free on our terms. But we also have her wearing a harness and we always carry a leash so if someone is coming up on us or she’s not listening well she goes back on the leash (which she responds well to but it doesn’t let her run)!

  2. Iris

    Amen. Same reasons we don’t let our children ‘run wild’ unless we can be sure of their safety and not infringe on others. Sometimes there is no second chance to keep them safe.
    Nuff said.

  3. Charlotte lowery

    Well said everybody. Nobody knows your dogs but you. What is OK for one maybe not OK for another. Just like people.

  4. Patricia Moller

    I agree with you Rachel, rules are made to keep all of us safe. In your case, there are dangerous animals like Ollie that could kill your dogs if they were loose. Digby’s animal instinct would be to take off, would he come back? Nobody knows what would happen to him. I don’t think the harnesses bother them, they are used to them. Brickle loves lying on the beach sand he’s fine with his harness. Look, don’t let anyone tell you what to do regarding breaking rules with your dogs. You are the best dog mom ever. Everything you do is for them and their safety. They are your loves and if something bad happened because you broke a rule it sure wouldn’t be worth it. I respect and admire how you love and care for those boys. Blessings on all of you! Rules are there for a reason, to keep pets and people safe!

  5. Sharon

    Thanks. Well said. Wish more people adopted your attitude!! My dog has a great yard to run and play but once outside the gate all reason is gone. So many things too see and do he loses control. And has no sense of where to come back too! Found that out young. No sense of direction. Now he’s 13 and a little deaf , has cataracts and arthritis. That doesn’t stop his sense of wonder and wandering! So it’s a leash and harness because we love him❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. Lynne M Smith

    I agree. When in a public space, a leash is a must.
    It is a safety issue for dogs and their owners.
    We don’t know how our dogs will interact with other digs or their people.
    Keep.following the rules and don’t worry about the opinions of the rule breakers!!

  7. This is a common argument between me and my husband. I do allow my dog Honey quite a bit of time off leash where it is allowed. But only if I am confident in her ability to listen to me as well off leash as on. Our relationship and my voice is the leash.

    We’re currently staying in a marina where the dock master and others allow their dogs to roam free. The management is fine with us doing the same. But if there is any chance Honey would rush up to a person or dog who doesn’t want her attention, she needs the extra safety of the leash.

    Unfortunately, my husband refuses to even take her leash along so it’s available if the situation changes.

    I feel the the ability to have our dogs with us in public places depends on all of us being well mannered. Thanks for standing up for what you believe is right.

  8. Lisa

    I think people need to quit leaving their negativity in the comments. They don’t know anything about you or your dogs. They have no right to sit in judgement on anyone. I’d tell them to clean up their house before attempting to clean yours. You do what you think is right for your dogs. I follow the posted rules myself for pretty much the same reasons. Love the blog!

Leave a Reply