Who should take the lead?

By News and Chronicle editor Jackie Mitchell

I love dogs. We have one in the family, and he’s a cracking wee guy. But I tend to keep him on the lead as much as possible, because, after all, he’s an animal, he doesn’t always study his Green Cross Code as much as he should.

So when I see dogs off their leads when I am out and about on my bike, I don’t get annoyed at the dogs themselves, and I don’t panic and assume they are madly out of control. But when I had to do two emergency stops when they stepped straight in front of me on a cycle path last week, I was impressed at my ability to stay calm.

I was even more impressed at the agility of a great big greyhound who managed to soar clean over an even bigger fence, fly by me at eye level, and land on my bike. OUCH!

I recently told a group of friends I didn’t like letting my dog off the lead much, unless I know we are in a really isolated area. I was hounded, pun fully intended, and told that wasn’t fair to dogs that are meant to run free.

So who is right, me for keeping my dog on a lead, or owners who may well train their dogs, but run the risk? Let me know.