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I have to admit that I am on a bit of a soapbox and am tilting at a windmill, but here in Maryland the leash laws are such that state that a dog must be leashed at all times ... including when swimming. Mazlon loved swimming and I refused to put her on a leash when letting her swim in a lake or a river as I found that extremely dangerous both for her and me as I would end up going after her if she got snagged on something beneath the surface. I have had many conversations with Park Police about the logic of this. :mad:

I contacted my local representative and he found a exception in the law for "retrievers" .... and you can apply for a Retriever Training License ($5) Retriever Dog Training Permit/License - Wildlife and Heritage Service - Maryland Department of Natural Resources which allows you to "train" your dog off leash.

This is all fine and good for those of us with "hunting/retriever" breeds, but there are plenty other breeds that enjoy swimming.

In any case, I hope this is helpful for those in Maryland. For those in other states with similar laws, you might also have "retriever permits".
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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It does not define retriever. Any dog could potentially retrieve- Loophole :). My yorkies retriever better than Buddy ever will.
 

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It does not define retriever. Any dog could potentially retrieve- Loophole :). My yorkies retriever better than Buddy ever will.
LOL .... very true .... Mazlon would have never passed the retrieving test ... unless it was baby critters which she would bring to me with not a hair harmed on their heads ... baby squirrels, baby rabbits, chipmunks ....

However, having had as many "discussions" with Park Police Officers (as I tried to talk myself out of $500 tickets for not having my dog on a leash), somehow I don't think that they would believe that a yorkie is a hunting dog. :D
 

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Coffenut, that is the neatest thing and how wonderful that your representative found that for you. It does seem like that would have been a funny letter to get! Does it also work for just walking, you know you have to do training for land retrieving too.
 

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Coffenut, that is the neatest thing and how wonderful that your representative found that for you. It does seem like that would have been a funny letter to get! Does it also work for just walking, you know you have to do training for land retrieving too.
LOL ... in Maryland, I believe it does. As for my Rep ... it helped that he apparently was a Golden owner too and wasn't aware of the problem. <G>

Even though Mazlon has passed on to the Bridge, I am still tilting at the windmill. As it currently stands, there is no public place in Montgomery County (ie park), that you can bring a dog to swim off leash. This is just wrong. I pay taxes just like everyone else and my kids should be able to play too.
 

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Here on the NC Coast where I live, it is a Big Tourist area. We have beautiful beaches, tourism is the main industry. The Leash Laws are very strict on the Island beaches and heavily enforced-hefty fines if you get caught with your dog off leash.

I can understand it, but think during the off season when the beaches aren't packed with tourist and you basically have the beach to yourself, locals should be able to let their dogs off leash.
 

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Here on the NC Coast where I live, it is a Big Tourist area. We have beautiful beaches, tourism is the main industry. The Leash Laws are very strict on the Island beaches and heavily enforced-hefty fines if you get caught with your dog off leash.

I can understand it, but think during the off season when the beaches aren't packed with tourist and you basically have the beach to yourself, locals should be able to let their dogs off leash.
You know, I have no problems with leash laws. I really don't especially if you live in a dense urban area like the DC area.

HOWEVER ... I think it is very dangerous to insist that the dog be leashed while actively swimming in a pond, lake, river where there is hidden debris such as logs and the leash can get snagged.
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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LOL .... very true .... Mazlon would have never passed the retrieving test ... unless it was baby critters which she would bring to me with not a hair harmed on their heads ... baby squirrels, baby rabbits, chipmunks ....

However, having had as many "discussions" with Park Police Officers (as I tried to talk myself out of $500 tickets for not having my dog on a leash), somehow I don't think that they would believe that a yorkie is a hunting dog. :D
Little dogs can be "earth dogs" for hunting
American Kennel Club - Earthdog

Unfortunately, AKC does not recognize yorkies yet but many people do it with there yorkies. They just can't formally compete.
 

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Yeah...not entirely a fan of leash laws. People here have gotten hit for practicing off-leash heeling. The dog is glued to the person's side and under control...but nope, here is no leash attached. Enforcement claims they cannot tell the difference between a controlled dog, and an uncontrolled one.
 

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The rangers at my local reservoirs looked the other way with Lucky. I never took him during high traffic time or on trails many people were on. I also always had a leash for him with me and could quickly clip it on if need be.
 

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Here reservoirs are used for drinking so no swimming dogs or people! Hoping yours are not!

We do have beaches that have areas open to dogs; other areas not but it is a fight to keep it that way. In fact, SF is now at war trying to close a beach / field that has been open to dogs for decades. Of course it only takes a few people that allow dogs with bad behaviors loose or who don't pick up after themselves to ruin it....

Where I live our tidal lagoon was restored by Audubon....the homeowners own the water and they own the land. I had to negotiate an agree with them (had to hire lawyers and take it to city council) to allow "swimming dogs off leash but under voice control". If they had it their way; every time a dog touched the shored you would put it on leash, throw the ball, take it off. Of course we do not but at least we have an agreement they can swim off leash. It was a miracle we got them to accept it and had to trade some land for them to dig a feeder canal in return.

It is fustrating indeed.....
 

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HOWEVER ... I think it is very dangerous to insist that the dog be leashed while actively swimming in a pond, lake, river where there is hidden debris such as logs and the leash can get snagged.
The people who wrote the ordinances would disagree with you. They would feel the leash law prohibits swimming the dog as well. (Because as you already noted, it is unsafe to let the dog swim with leash attached.) If you swam the dog with the leash attached they would probably come after you for reckless endangerment of your pet. So you the average pet owner can't win, they've got you coming and going.

The people who own hunting dogs are on the other hand well organized at the state and federal level. They're not about to give up their rights without a fight and are using the political system to keep their rights. That's why the retriever training permit exists.
 

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The reservoirs are used for drinking but swimming, fishing, & boating by people is allowed. My theory is if gasoline and oil is allowed so are dogs.
 

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Here we do not allow motorized boats either. It could be we don't have snow melt or enough run off but even the watershed where the reservoirs are do not allow unleashed dogs except on fireroads. It is a big problem from pee and poop. But we do have the beaches, inlets and rivers and there are differences between being state run, local or federal.
 

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Here we do not allow motorized boats either. It could be we don't have snow melt or enough run off but even the watershed where the reservoirs are do not allow unleashed dogs except on fireroads. It is a big problem from pee and poop. But we do have the beaches, inlets and rivers and there are differences between being state run, local or federal.
The reservoirs are state run.
 

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Here on the NC Coast where I live, it is a Big Tourist area. We have beautiful beaches, tourism is the main industry. The Leash Laws are very strict on the Island beaches and heavily enforced-hefty fines if you get caught with your dog off leash.

I can understand it, but think during the off season when the beaches aren't packed with tourist and you basically have the beach to yourself, locals should be able to let their dogs off leash.
I think those rules are more for protecting the wildlife than the tourists.

That being said, hypothetically mind you, I just drive down the beach far enough that I can see if there's a Ranger coming, and let Pippin run to his heart's content. Hypothetically.

Here's a pix of Pippin running on the beach with his patented invisible 6' leash.

If you're down Avon way, I can lend you my second invisible leash and we can let the dogs run together......
 

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