Do Service Dogs Have To Be On Leashes? The Laws & Rules For Dog Owners

Service dogs provide invaluable assistance to people who have disabilities. These amazing animals can help their owners do everything from picking up objects to opening doors. But one question that often comes up is whether service dogs have to be on a leash. Let us find out more about this below.

Do Service Dogs Need to Be On A Leash?

Yes, the law requires that service dogs be on a leash at all times when they are in public. This is for the safety of both the dog and the people around them. Service dogs are highly trained animals and usually very well-behaved. However, they still need to be on a leash, except if being on a leash hinders their ability to do their job. For example, service dogs that help people with balance may not be able to work as effectively if they are on a leash.

In addition to being on a leash, service dogs must also have proper identification tags. These tags should indicate that the dog is a service animal and list the owner’s contact information. Service dogs are also required to wear a vest or harness that says “service dog” on it. This is so that people know that the dog is working and not just a pet.

do service dogs have to be on a leash - dog wearing a service dog sign

What Do Service Dogs Do?

Service dogs perform many tasks for their owners. The most common service dog tasks are:

Assisting people who are blind or have low vision

One of the most common service dog tasks is assisting people who are blind or have low vision. Service dogs can help their owners get around obstacles, find doors, and keep track of where they are.

Assisting people who are deaf or hard of hearing

Service dogs can also assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. They can alert their owners to sounds, such as a doorbell or a smoke alarm.

Assisting people with mobility issues

Service dogs can help people with mobility issues by opening doors, picking up dropped items, and helping their owners get around obstacles. Plus, service dogs can also help their owners with achieving balance and provide stability when walking.

Service Dog Leash Laws By State

As mentioned above, service dogs are allowed to go anywhere their owners go. This includes places like restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and hospitals. However, the owners of service dogs must abide by the laws for service dogs in each state. Below is a quick overview of service dog leash laws by state, but you can find the complete guidelines here.

Alabama

The service dog leash law in Alabama is that service dogs must be on a leash at all times. They must also wear identifiers that tag them as service animals.

Alaska

In Alaska, service dogs must be on a leash when in public places. However, they are not required to wear a leash or harness in the event that a leash or harness would hinder their ability to perform their duties. In this case, their owners must be able to control them verbally.

Arizona

Just like in Alaska, service dogs in Arizona should wear a leash or harness, except if it would interfere with their work. They should also be under the owner’s control at all times.

Arkansas

Service dogs in Arkansas must be on a leash or harness at all times. The service dog laws in Arkansas are stricter compared to Arizona and Alaska.

California

In California, service dogs must be on a leash or harness at all times, except if it would interfere with their work. The only exceptions include when the owner of a service dog is using a wheelchair or if the animal needs to retrieve important things for its owner.

Colorado

Unless the handler’s disability prevents their usage or the animal’s activities would be directly hampered by such gear, service dogs in Colorado must wear a harness or leash at all times.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times. This can be done either with a leash, harness or via voice commands.

Delaware

Delaware’s service dogs laws are similar to those of other states. Service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times, either through a leash, harness, or voice commands.

Florida

In Florida, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times. However, there are exceptions to putting service dogs in leashes, harnesses, or tethers. The exceptions include if the animal is being trained, if the use of a leash would interfere with the service dog’s performance of its duties, or if the person with a disability cannot use a leash.

Georgia

Georgia service animal laws state that service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times. Service animals in Georgia should also not compromise sterile environments at all times.

Hawaii

In Hawaii, service dogs are not required to be on a leash while they are in public places. However, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times. This means that service dogs must be well-behaved and not pose a threat to the safety of others.

Idaho

In Idaho, service dogs should be on a leash, harness, or tether, except if these devices interfere with the service dog’s work or if the handler does not have use of both hands. Service dogs must also be under the control of their owners.

Illinois

In Illinois, service dogs must be on a leash, harness, or tether unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the handler does not have use of both hands. Service dogs must also be under the control of their handlers at all times.

Indiana

In Indiana, service dogs are not required to be on a leash while they are in public places. However, their owners must have a way to control them if necessary.

Iowa

In Iowa, service dogs must be on a leash, tether, or harness at all times unless the use of these devices interferes with the service animal’s work or the handler cannot use both hands to control the dog. It’s important for their handlers to be able to control them at all times.

Kansas

In Kansas, service dogs are not required to be on a leash while they are in public places. However, their owners must have a way to control them if necessary.

Kentucky

In Kentucky, service dogs must be on a leash or tethered at all times when they are in public places. This way, their handlers can control them if necessary.

Louisiana

In Louisiana, service dogs must be on a leash, harness, tether, or under the control of their handlers at all times when they are in public places. This will help guarantee that they will not become a danger to others.

Maine

In Maine, service dogs must be on a leash, harness, or tether when they are in public places. However, their handlers may have them off-leash if it does not create a safety hazard.

Maryland

In Maryland, service dogs must be on a leash or under the control of their handlers at all times when they are in public places. This will help to ensure that they do not become a danger to others.

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times when they are in public places. However, their handlers may have them off-leash if it does not create a safety hazard.

Michigan

In Michigan, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers when they are in public places. This means being on a leash, tether, or harness so that they can be controlled.

Minnesota

In Minnesota, service dogs are not required to be on a leash in public places if they have been trained not to need one. This law applies to all service animals, including those that are trained to assist people with disabilities and those that are trained to provide emotional support.

Mississippi

In Mississippi, service dogs must be on a leash or harness at all times when they are in public places. This way, they can be controlled by their handlers and will not be a danger to other people.

Missouri

In Missouri, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers. This means being on a leash, tether, voice command, or other signals when they are in public places.

Montana

In Montana, service dogs must be on a leash or under the control of their handlers. This way, they will not be a danger to other people or animals.

Nebraska

In Nebraska, service dogs must be on a leash, tether, harness, or under the control of their handlers. This way, they will not be a danger to other people or animals.

Nevada

In Nevada, service dogs must be on a leash or under the control of their handlers. This means being on a leash, tether, voice command, or other signals when they are in public places.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, service dogs need to be on a leash, harness, or tether, except if the use of a leash would interfere with the service animal’s work or training.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, service dogs must be on a leash, harness, or tether unless the handler is unable to do so because of a disability.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, service dogs must be on a leash or under the control of their handlers. This means being on a leash, tether, voice command, or other signals when they are in public places.

New York

In New York, service dogs must be on a leash, tether, or harness so that they are in the control of their handlers. However, service animals are not required to be on a leash in all circumstances such as when they are performing their duties.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, service dogs must be on a leash, tether, or harness when in public places. However, service animals are not required to be on a leash when they are performing their duties.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Ohio

In Ohio, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers by being on a leash, tether, or harness. This way, service dogs can’t run off and become lost or put their handler in danger.

Oregon

In Oregon, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, service dogs must be on a leash, tether, or harness when in public places. However, this is not necessary if the service dog is doing work or performing a task where having a leash would interfere.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

South Carolina

Service dogs in South Carolina are not required to be on a leash by state law. However, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

South Dakota

In South Dakota, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, service dogs must be on a leash unless the handler is unable to use one due to a disability. If the dog is not on a leash, it must be under the control of its handler at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Texas

In Texas, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Utah

In Utah, service dogs must be on a leash unless the handler is unable to use one due to a disability. In this instance, the dog must be under the control of its handler at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Vermont

In Vermont, service dogs must be on a leash unless the handler is unable to use one due to a disability. If the dog is not on a leash, it must be under the control of its handler at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Virginia

In Virginia, service dogs must be on a leash unless the handler is unable to use one due to a disability. In this case, the dog must be under the control of its handler at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Washington

In Washington, service dogs must be on a leash unless a leash hinders the dog’s ability to perform its duties. In this case, the dog must be under the control of its handler at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

West Virginia

In West Virginia, service dogs must be on a leash unless the handler is unable to use one due to a disability. In this case, the dog must be under the control of its handler at all times while in public places. This can be accomplished through voice, signal, or other means.

Wisconsin

Service dogs in Wisconsin must be on a leash unless the dog is performing a task that requires it to be off-leash. For example, service dogs that are trained to alert their handlers to an oncoming seizure may need to be off-leash in order to do so effectively. In all other cases, service dogs must be under the control of their handlers while in public places.

Wyoming

In Wyoming, service dogs must be on a leash at all times while in public places. However, service dogs in training are exempt from this rule.

As you can see, the laws regarding service dogs and leashes vary from state to state. It’s important to know the rules in your area so that you can ensure that your service dog is always compliant.

do service dogs have to be on a leash - service dog sitting on the road

Final Thoughts

So, do service dogs have to be on leashes? The answer is that it depends on the state in which you live. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws in your area so that you can always keep your service dog compliant.

Service dogs are great companions and can provide invaluable assistance to those who need it. They just need to be well-trained and obey the rules and regulations set forth by the state in which they live.

Rate this post

Author

by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

    https://doggosdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/dots.png
    https://doggosdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/dots.png
    Icons-PawsitiveFood
    _Health
    Icons-PawsitiveTraining
    Icons-PawsitiveGrooming
    Icons-PawsitivePlay
    bt_bb_section_top_section_coverage_image

    Rate this post

    Author