For their safety or yours? Readers split on whether or not dogs should be kept on leads in public places

We have been asking you about dogs in your community - and whether or not you believe they should be kept on leads at all times while out in public.

More than 1,200 readers voted in our online poll surrounding the issue - and the question revealed a 50/50 split result, with many of you sharing your own experiences of being out and about with your own pets.

Some said that there was "no such thing" as a bad dog, and that if animals are trained properly there is no reason for them to remain restricted on a lead.

Others expressed concerns at their safety, and the safety of their pets, while other dogs are allowed to be loose.

More on this issue: The laws surrounding your dog

Here is how you reacted to the issue on our social media pages:

You have been voting in our online poll.

You have been voting in our online poll.

Nicola Braley: "As a dog owner I like to let mine off the lead so they can have a run about and explore, as a responsible dog owner I know where and when to let them off i.e. the beach and parks with plenty of open space.

"I also agree not every owner has the same attitude. It's all about training and respecting others, it would be a shame if the law made us keep them on the lead."

Lesley Smith: "As a dog owner all my life I always have my dog on a lead in public places. This is so I can make sure as best I can to not put him in a position that would harm him another animal or human."

Mike Hellens: "No dogs need to run in open fields but if walking in town etc yes."

You were split in your views on whether or not the animals should be kept on leads.

You were split in your views on whether or not the animals should be kept on leads.

Charlotte Jane Stück-James: "Honestly, society is getting beyond a joke. People want to be offended about anything. There’s nothing wrong with letting dogs be dogs and run free sometimes in fields, beaches and parks. Honestly, ‘nanny state’ comes to mind."

Anna Maven: "I think they should be on leads in places like parks and beaches. I have a fear of dogs and when on leads i know they are under control so feel safe."

Vikki Morrell: "Yes, and I am a dog owner. No one can predict 100% how any dog will react in a given situation."

Read more: We want to know what you think about dogs being kept on leads in public places

Linsey Cowell: "Yes. Our dog is always on a lead. She is not good with other dogs. The amount of people who have their dogs of leads letting them run up to her and then say it’s okay they are fine. Yes but ours is not!"

Stephen Fenwick: "I’m guessing most of the people advocating that dogs should be on a lead at all times aren’t actually dog owners. That’s like saying all humans should be locked up in prison because a few have committed murder."

Victoria Godfrey: "I love all dogs so much, and it pains me to say this but there should be designated areas you can let your dogs off the lead perhaps so us owners with timid dogs can avoid them."

Michael James Thornton: "If you're going to keep your dog on a lead you shouldn't have one. Train it properly! No such thing as bad dogs."

Jim Bilby: "Large dogs could never get the exercise they need if not allowed to run freely in parks etc.It would be cruelty to deny a dog the exercise they need by by being always leashed, getting obese."

Nikki Woodrow: "If you can control your dog why should you make them go on a lead? My dogs are able to walk by my side and their recall is pretty much perfect. It’s an owner's responsibility to decide what is best for their own animal!"

Read more: Should dogs stay on leads at all times in public places? Vote in our poll to share your view

Matthew Hunt: "Dogs need exercise and freedom."

Helen Hall: "Yes to prevent other dog attacks. I understand they love to run free but not all dogs are friendly. Hearing to many horror stories of late and I think everyone’s safer with all dogs kept on a lead."

Vicki Johnson: "All parks should have a dog-only bit then that way no one can say anything."

Sally Hart: "If they're required to be on a lead in all public places how will they meet their exercise needs?"

Daniel Steetley: "Personally, I think dogs should be kept on a lead in urban areas, mainly for their own safety around vehicles."

Mark Moore: "That's right, tar the responsible owners with the same brush as those that do have their pooches trained and pick up after them."