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Old 05.11.2011, 18:13
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Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

Hi all !

So, I just got back from a lovely walk in the forrest with my dog and husband, and on the way home, we passed by a man with two small westie type dogs on leashes. As our dog obeys extremely well and the road is very quiet, we let her off leash but made her walk by our side, as if she was on leash actually. We even went on the road as the pavement is not large so that he didn't fell too close to us.

The man litteraly yelled at us (but really, yelled ) in german, but I guess he ordered us to put the leash on her. His little dogs of course, were barking aggressively to our. Our dog didn't even make a move.

So, my 6,4 feet tall husband (I am so glad I wasn't alone ) made him shut up and explained to him that our dog obeys very well and he shouldn't talk to us like that ever again. Unfortunately, in english... I hope he understood.

Anyway, my question is, is there a law that we have to keep our dog on leash ? We pay very much attention to respect the local etiquette, we of course always pick after her, she never pies on grass in front of buildings or houses, we always keep her at our feet when we pass by people and she isn't allowed to go see other dogs if we haven't asked first....I thought we were doing everything right... Are we the bad guys here ?

I see that man with his dogs from time to time... now i am worried if i have to see him again when i am alone

This happened just in front of our neighbors... I hope they won't dislike us for that...

PS thank you Longbyt for editing the title ! (I made a mistake)

Last edited by Amande; 05.11.2011 at 18:24.
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Old 05.11.2011, 18:53
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

This will keep you busy until the DoggIe Friends get back from their walk.

Just for the basics, and because I have five minutes because my Zopf is not cooked yet, this means:

on the leash in Nature Reserves, beside busy roads, in parks, in public 'Lokalen' - usually this means restaurants etc, but here it probably also includes buildings of any sort and in public transport.
In all other places the dogs must be 'kept under control' and may not be permit to 'roam' without their owner.
In woods and 'game reserves' (Leo gives 'game preserves' by the way) dogs must be kept within sight and under control. Same thing as the above really but the point is that a dog is more likely to 'go walkabout' in the woods which is, I suppose, why it is repeated under this heading.
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Old 05.11.2011, 19:15
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

Many forests display signs to say dogs must be kept on a lead, and it's nothing to do with the control of your dog but to protect other wildlife and stop dogs chasing deer or the like. So if you were in one of those, the guy was correct to point it out, sounds like he went a little OTT though. Best rule of thumb I find is that if you are unsure keep you dog on a lead in any wooded or public space, and let them off in wider open areas.

Meloncollie will no doubt pop along with the actual reg's as she's a gold mine of doggy related info'
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Old 05.11.2011, 19:21
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

You obviously encountered an old git of a bigot.

However an unofficial rule of thumb that some dog owners adhere to, is, that if you're passing close by another dog owner whose dog is on a lead, and yours is not, then as a courtesy (and possibly a safeguard) you should also put yours on their lead - albeit temporarily.

Or conversely, in open areas, the dog on the lead can be be released.

I believe the idea behind this, is that both dogs have the same status, and are free to sniff and muck about .... or not - whichever the case may be.

Be aware that if off a lead in the woods, there may be hunters who are looking for game to shoot (as previously discussed in another thread).
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Old 05.11.2011, 19:30
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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Many forests display signs to say dogs must be kept on a lead, and it's nothing to do with the control of your dog but to protect other wildlife and stop dogs chasing deer or the like. So if you were in one of those, the guy was correct to point it out, sounds like he went a little OTT though. Best rule of thumb I find is that if you are unsure keep you dog on a lead in any wooded or public space, and let them off in wider open areas.

Meloncollie will no doubt pop along with the actual reg's as she's a gold mine of doggy related info'
We weren't in the wood when that happened but on our way back home, in a quiet street... But we do let her off leash in the forrest, as she stays around us anyway, and don't chase other animals if we tell her not to (best dog ever )...
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Old 05.11.2011, 19:33
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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, and don't chase other animals if we tell her not to (best dog ever )...
All too often famous last words I'm afraid.
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Old 05.11.2011, 19:33
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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Be aware that if off a lead in the woods, there may be hunters who are looking for game to shoot (as previously discussed in another thread).


I am going to see this other thread... But as she stays always around us, they might shout me as well if they miss their target...
i try to avoid forrest on hunters days, but i am not sure i have the correct hunters days anyway, I'll check that too.
Thank you very much for your advice.
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Old 05.11.2011, 19:37
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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All too often famous last words I'm afraid.
Well, she always did stop herself before when we told her to ( it wasn't with deers though, it was with cats). But I'll pay extra attention. Maybe I'll stop going in forests anyway, if she can't walk freely, I don't see the point...
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Old 05.11.2011, 20:57
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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Maybe I'll stop going in forests anyway, if she can't walk freely, I don't see the point...

The laws are to protect the animals who live in the forest. We walk our dogs in the forest always on a leash. There are lots of nice things to sniff, being on a leash doesn't change that for the dog.

Maybe this thread will help you see the point.

Dogs off Leash in the Forest (Kt. AG)
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Old 05.11.2011, 21:12
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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There are lots of nice things to sniff, being on a leash doesn't change that for the dog.
For sniffing I agree, but my dog likes to run around us. It doesn't feel like a walk for her when she is on leash. I guess it is because we always let her run free at least 1 hour a day. Now she is use to it...

Longbyt sent me a great brochure about dogs and it says :
Hunde in Wäldern und im Wildschonrevier
In Wäldern und Wildschonrevieren sind Hunde nie unbeaufsichtigt zu lassen. Sie müssen immer im Sichtbereich und unter Kontrolle des Führers sein. (§9 Abs. 2 Hundegesetz Kanton Zürich)


Which means keep your dog under control OR on leash if he/she doesn't obey well enough. And I am lucky, my dog obeys very well and we always keep her under control... Actually she keeps us under control, she always has us within sights, and checks on us every 6/7 sec (I guess it is her border collie side). And no, she won't hunt wild life. And I know it because i KNOW her. I can't understand why people always assume that dogs will chase other animals if they run. I know it can happen, and we are vigilant. And honestly, with the noise we make, on purpose, when we walk, I am pretty sure we won't see any wild animals...

If you prefer keeping your dog on leash, that's your right. You know better than everyone else what your dogs need. But why should I if I (and she)prefer not to ?

I am following the laws for the forrest walks. And if I choose to let her without leash, I guess it is my right too.

My question is more about the streets. I know that it is mandatory to keep her on leash in Zürich, and I will if we go. But what about other villages ? I just want to follow the law, not what people tell me.

Last edited by Amande; 05.11.2011 at 21:38.
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Old 05.11.2011, 22:17
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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I am following the laws for the forrest walks. And if I choose to let her without leash, I guess it is my right too.

My question is more about the streets. I know that it is mandatory to keep her on leash in Zürich, and I will if we go. But what about other villages ? I just want to follow the law, not what people tell me.

Your locations says "near Baden", but you dog walk in Zurich .
The laws vary by canton and by gemeinde, each one has its own rules. The information I included covers Kanton Aargau, where are the leash laws for the forest, as well as public areas.

You need to look up the rules for each gemeinde for where you will walk to know the rules.
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Old 05.11.2011, 22:30
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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Your locations says "near Baden", but you dog walk in Zurich .
The laws vary by canton and by gemeinde, each one has its own rules. The information I included covers Kanton Aargau, where are the leash laws for the forest, as well as public areas.

You need to look up the rules for each gemeinde for where you will walk to know the rules.
Yes, I am near Baden, and yes in the Zürich Kanton I wouldn't have asked for the Zürich Kanton laws otherwise !

You must be right, my gemeide should have the answer.

But how do others dog owners do ? Do you always keep your dog on leash ?
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Old 05.11.2011, 22:39
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

Not sure, but possibly it's still hunting season in your area, and special regulation concerning dogs on leash etc. may have been published in local newspapers or even in a tiny municipality bulletin. Especially when a drive is being prepared, for instance in a nearby forest, those guys can get overly nervous if dogs are running free, no matter how obedient they are.
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Old 05.11.2011, 22:47
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Not sure, but possibly it's still hunting season in your area, and special regulation concerning dogs on leash etc. may have been published in local newspapers or even in a tiny municipality bulletin. Especially when a drive is being prepared, for instance in a nearby forest, those guys can get overly nervous if dogs are running free, no matter how obedient they are.
Yes hunting season still in Kanton ZH. Normally they put signs out at the entrance of the woods. You should avoid the wood for the fear of stray shots!

We walk in woods off lead like most locals, bit I always put the dog on the lead when walkers, other dogs and runners come close. Nd normally with other dogs the owner or I agree to let them off.

On streets, she is always on the line even of other dogs are off. Pure safety. After all it doesn't matter how well trained dogs are they can be unpredictable and something may catch their eye to run off.

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Old 05.11.2011, 23:08
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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Not sure, but possibly it's still hunting season in your area, and special regulation concerning dogs on leash etc. may have been published in local newspapers or even in a tiny municipality bulletin. Especially when a drive is being prepared, for instance in a nearby forest, those guys can get overly nervous if dogs are running free, no matter how obedient they are.
I indeed saw in the local newspaper that there was boar hunts on specific days, like tomorrow for example. I thought that was all. Thank you for the advice, I think we will avoid the forrest and mushrooms picking for the moment

I am a bit scared of hunters here now, do they shoot without seeing first ? Because our dog is never away from more than 5 meters from us, so they could shout us as well. Especially when we are crouched, looking for mushrooms (great picking by the way, but I guess I understand now why there are so much mushrooms.... hunting season !).
Does anyone know when it ends ?
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Old 05.11.2011, 23:13
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I indeed saw in the local newspaper that there was boar hunts on specific days, like tomorrow for example. I thought that was all. Thank you for the advice, I think we will avoid the forrest and mushrooms picking for the moment

I am a bit scared of hunters here now, do they shoot without seeing first ? Because our dog is never away from more than 5 meters from us, so they could shout us as well. Especially when we are crouched, looking for mushrooms (great picking by the way, but I guess I understand now why there are so much mushrooms.... hunting season !).
Does anyone know when it ends ?
I don't want to scare you. It is pretty obvious when they are hunting......big Orange signs that say jagd. Just be cautious. My dog also wears a high vis jacket.

I think it ends December.
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Old 05.11.2011, 23:29
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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I don't want to scare you. It is pretty obvious when they are hunting......big Orange signs that say jagd. Just be cautious. My dog also wears a high vis jacket.

I think it ends December.

Thank you very much Darkhorsedrea. I didn't see the sign, but we entered the forrest by a small path and then we wandered away from any path... I didn't hear any bullet sound so I didn't think about hunting season.
I saw on my gemeinde newspaper that the last boar hunt is january 7th. I guess I will avoid forests until then...
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Old 05.11.2011, 23:40
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

@ Papa goose : so you tell me to stop being an idiot and follow the rules ?


This thread is exactly about that. I am asking about the RULES/ the LAW. So far, nobody showed me any law about leashing a dog in the streets, except in Zürich. But they do show me the rules saying you don't have to in the forrest under certain circumstances.

So, following the rules is following what YOU think ? Because YOU know better ?

I like discussing with people, whether we have the same opinion or not. But when they don't, I don't consider them as idiot.
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Old 05.11.2011, 23:50
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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@ Papa goose : so you tell me to stop being an idiot and follow the rules ?


This thread is exactly about that. I am asking about the RULES/ the LAW. So far, nobody showed me any law about leashing a dog in the streets, except in Zürich. But they do show me the rules saying you don't have to in the forrest under certain circumstances.

So, following the rules is following what YOU think ? Because YOU know better ?

I like discussing with people, whether we have the same opinion or not. But when they don't, I don't consider them as idiot.
I cannot refer to a specific piece of law but i just no not to have them off the line in public areas. What if they strayed on the road?

It's not just Switzerland. I wouldn't have my dog loose on UK streets.
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Old 05.11.2011, 23:58
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Re: Is there a law to keep your dog on leash (ZH canton) ?

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I cannot refer to a specific piece of law but i just no not to have them off the line in public areas. What if they strayed on the road?

It's not just Switzerland. I wouldn't have my dog loose on UK streets.
You are completely right, and I always leash her when I go on or close to busy streets. But the street I am talking about is a one way small street where there are very few cars, in fact, only the people who live in the street take it with their car.

I just didn't understand why that man felt so offended by us as we had our dog at our feet, far from him and his way more aggressive dogs... I guess they didn't get the chance to be socialize with other dogs a lot....
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