Editor’s note: Every week a Lake Oswego police officer answers your questions in this space. Send questions to Reporter Cliff Newell at cnew[email protected]com or call him at 503-636-1281, ext. 105.

I was walking to Peet’s for coffee and saw a dog off-leash. I thought dogs had to be on a leash all of the time. Do they?

That’s a great question, but they actually don’t, with one exception. Within the city of Lake Oswego, as long as a dog is under the control of its owner, which includes voice command, a dog can be off-leash and free to explore the city right alongside its owner. The exception is city-owned parks. Except for designated off-leash areas or dog parks like at Hazelia Field, dogs are required to be on a leash at all times even if your dog can be controlled by voice command. Parks are full of wildlife, activities, people and children, and we don’t want anything to happen to your dog or another animal or person. Regardless of whether or not your dog is off-leash or leashed, you, as the owner, need to be present, as you are responsible for your dog’s behavior. Failure to follow these rules could result in a citation and fine of $145 for allowing your dog to run “at large.” The only places in the city completely off-limits to your four-legged friends are the designated sensitive wildlife habitat areas in some parks. The “Leash Law” (LOC 31.02.120) is available for download here:

Officer Cindy Storlie, Lake Oswego Police Department

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