Dogs are born to be social, they are pack animals and enjoy living with their pack. In some developing countries, not in the city centre, you will not see dogs on leash. For example, in the rural area in Philippines, Thailand or Indonesia, dogs are all off leash and they just stay around their territories. They might go around somewhere, but I don’t really see any problem caused by them. In the cities that we are living, dogs must be on leash, and that’s according to law, you could be fined if your dogs are off leash, especially for large dogs.
If you have ever watch this show of Cesar Millan, most of the dogs are crazy even with their leashes on. It is not the dogs having behaviour problem, it’s just the human behind them having issues. They just don’t know how to walk their dogs or put it in a simple word, they just don’t know how to be a pack leader. That’s why their pack is not listening to them. The way we train our dogs, we trained them to be able to walk off leash and they will still behave and heel. But having a dog in Hong Kong is not easy for dog owners, especially having big black dog. It’s so often people just screaming when they see two black Labradors. They will be very scare because they are big, and just because they are black, that will be more scary! People here they have no clue about dog breed, and it’s so often that people asked me if they are Rottweiler or Doberman. That’s already so not making sense to me! Second of all, those people are going to think, all dogs will bite, and that’s why they get scared. I think we should start teaching about dogs in school here, so people learn how dogs behave and they know how to react to it.
I do admit that there are a lot of irresponsible dog owners, and they do not know how to control their dogs. I do see a lot of dog behavioural problems and I think they all need Cesar Millan. Not blaming on the owners, but I guess HK government should do something with it. Maybe they should ask all dog owners to get certificate of how to own a dog before getting one. A lot of people have no idea how to train their dogs, they just have one because they want some company or they think the dog is so cute. But we need to act like a pack leader, and provide what the dog actually needs.
My husband is from a European country and he grew up with dogs and horses. He do prefer not to leash our dogs, as the leash is more a mind control thing than a physical leash. Of course I’ve learned a lot of dog behavioural knowledge from him, and he is my Cesar Millan live version. We got ourselves into trouble one time because our dogs were unleash and those people want to sue us because they are scared. Our dogs were not doing anything, one is only barking but the person get scared. Of course in the end, nothing happened, but we really want to get this exempted dog certificate, so that our dogs can be unleashed according to law with exemption. Both of our dogs passed the examination and they both got that medal with the Exempted Dog Certificate. They can walk around off leash legally, but of course we still can hear a lot of comments from the others, such as “You must leash your dogs!”
Understood that not everyone knows about that certificate, but at least people could be more polite to ask or try to understand. A lot of people are so rude and having dogs are like something sinful to them. I wish people could learn more about animals, understand that dogs are not necessarily need to be leashed if they are well behave, and try to be a bit more dog friendly here in Hong Kong.