Dog owners in and around Bozeman are lucky to have a wide variety of hiking trails, off-leash areas, and dog parks to enjoy with their pets.

Since there are so many great options for off-leash fun, it seems only fair that dog owners respect the leash requirements in the remaining areas of town - trails and parks included. Like people, dogs are born with a variety of temperaments and needs. For a dog with anxiety, being approached by an unleashed dog while connected to the owner s/he feels compelled to protect can be extremely stressful.

Even an otherwise friendly dog can behave aggressively in this situation, resulting in a frustrating, awkward and even dangerous encounter for all involved. Dog owners: please, please respect leash laws. And Bozeman, please enforce them. This plea is not intended to spoil anyone’s fun. We owners of anxious dogs just want to enjoy the lovely trails and neighborhoods of Bozeman, too.

Sarah Jones-Popiel