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What You Should Know About Columbus, Ohio Leash Laws

As a good pet owner, it’s important to remain in-the-know when it comes to Columbus and Ohio leash laws. To prevent you from reading pages of boring legalese, we’ve got the leash law basics right here. Read on to learn which leash laws apply to our region and where you can take your dog off-leash.  

What Are the Leash Laws in Columbus and the State of Ohio?

In the state of Ohio, you must contain reasonable control over your dog, if you’re not on your own property. Of course, the best way to do that is to keep your dog on a leash. If you violate this statute (Ohio Revised Code Section 522.C), you can be charged a maximum of $150 for your first offense. Subsequent offenses may result in a $250 fine and 30 days imprisonment.

Columbus, Ohio has a similar law in place. According to Ordinance 2327.1, a dog can’t run at large off his owner’s property. As with Ohio’s law, leashes aren’t specified. However, your dog does need to be under your direct control.

Your dog isn’t considered under your direct control if he chases, injures, or kills another person or animal. Likewise, he’s not under your control if he causes property damage or commits a “nuisance” on someone else’s property.

If you’re found in violation of this law, you’ll be issued a third-degree misdemeanor. However, the penalties worsen if your dog harms someone while he’s off-leash OR if he’s previously been declared a dangerous or vicious animal. In both cases, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.

Are There Local Areas My Dog Can Run Around Unleashed?

Yes, there are a number of local dog parks where your dog can roam unleashed. Still, you should keep in mind that Columbus has a voice command dog policy, meaning you must be able to keep your dog under your control with voice commands alone.

If the thought of your dog responding to voice commands makes you chuckle at the unlikelihood, know that there’s hope. At Beechwold vet, we offer a number of training classes in our 1600-square-foot training center, running the gamut from puppy obedience classes, all the way to conformation training for dog prize shows.

For more information about local dog parks, we encourage you to check out the following websites:

Big Walnut Dog Park – Free City Park

Pooch Playground (Gahanna) – Free City Park

Paws Park Canal Winchester – Annual membership plus visit charge

Bark Til Dark Dog Park Delaware County – Annual Membership

The Canine Companion Club (Delaware/Powell County) – Annual Membership/Guest passes

Alum Creek Dog Park – Free State Park

And, of course, once you take your dog to the park for some off-leash fun, consider bringing him in for our dog grooming services. We’ll give him a bath, trim his toenails, get the knots out of his fur, and get him all clean and fresh-smelling for you.

To schedule a dog grooming appointment at our Columbus office, please call 614.268.8666 during normal business hours.  For your convenience, we’re open until 6:30 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 7:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 3:30 on Saturdays.