Surprising Things to Know About Leash Laws in California

Whether you're planning a trip to The Golden State and are hoping to bring your dog with you, or if you're a resident just looking for a refresher course, it's crucial to be well-acquainted with the dog leash laws to keep you, your pet and others safe. Unfortunately, the leash laws in California aren't one-size-fits-all. Very few states have leash laws that govern the entire state. Instead, California leaves it up to cities and counties to decide their own leash laws. So, if you're planning a fun outing with your pup in the state of California, you might need to ask yourself a few questions before you head out the door.


Is There a Length Requirement for Dog Leashes?

The answer is often yes, there is a length requirement. Leash laws in California counties often specify a specific type or length of leash that a dog must be on in public spaces. Los Angeles County, for example, requires that dogs "be restrained by a substantial leash not exceeding six feet and be in the control of a competent person when off property." While competency might up for debate, the dog leash length requirement there is not. A "substantial" leash would also fit the description of LuxeMutt's luxury leashes. At a length of four feet long, crafted with premium natural leather, and finished with sturdy stitching, a bright bowtie leash or minimalist leash will keep your dog safe in style. In San Diego, your luxury leashes will need to be no longer than six feet, and the person at the other end of the leash has to be capable of controlling the dog. There are exceptions for when a dog is assisting its owners with legal hunting, herding livestock as permitted by law, or on public property with written permission from those responsible for regulating the property. 


What If My Dog Is in My Yard?

Depending on what part of California you're in, your dog might be required to be restrained even on your property. 

In San Diego, laws require dogs to be restrained by an electronic containment system or by leash, fence, or other enclosure even when on your property. As stated above, away from home, you should plan to have your dog on a luxury leash at all times when not at an off-leash dog park or another fenced-in area where your dog has explicit permission to roam (such as an off-leash dog park).


My Dog Is Friendly. Is a Dog Leash Really Necessary?

Even if your dog has never exhibited aggression, there is no way to know or predict the behavior of how another animal will react if they encounter your dog when you're out for a walk. Leash laws are as much about protecting your dog's safety as they are about protecting others'. 

Because California leash laws differ from one part of The Golden State to another, it's best to plan before traveling with your pup. If you're not able to find reliable information online about the city or county's leash laws, be sure to contact the local animal control office, which is the go-to source for that information.