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Furry Friends

Arizona's Dog Leash Law

What is the purpose of Arizona’s dog leash law?

Arizona’s dog leash law (A.R.S. § 11-1012) is intended to help us prevent our dogs from causing injuries to people and other animals and from spreading diseases such as rabies.

What does Arizona’s dog leash law say?

Under Arizona’s dog leash law, dog owners are required to make sure that we establish and maintain direct control over our dogs.

This means that as a general rule our dogs must either be:

1.  confined to an enclosure (for example, within a fence) or

2.  on a leash no more than six feet long

A dog that is not under the direct control of the dog’s owner is considered to be “at large.”

What happens if a dog is found to be “at large”?

If a dog is found to be “at large,” an enforcement officer may do any of the following:

  • issue a citation to the dog’s owner or the dog owner’s agent (any person looking after the dog on the owner’s behalf)
  • apprehend and impound the dog
  • if the dog is considered to pose a threat to human or animal safety, and therefore may not be safely impounded, order that the dog be put to sleep

Must a dog always be either confined or on a leash?

No. There are exceptions. The requirement that our dogs either be confined to an enclosure or on a leash no more than six feet long does not apply to specific parks or to areas within specific parks which are identified as “dog parks.”

When and where else is a dog not considered to be “at large”? 

A dog is not considered to be “at large” if it is either confined to an enclosure or on a leash no more than six feet long or:

  • the dog is being used to control livestock
  • the dog is being used to hunt other animals
  • the dog is being trained or exhibited at a kennel club event or at an approved event
  • the dog is engaged in a race approved by the Arizona Racing Commission
  • the dog is a working animal (for example, a law enforcement animal or a search and rescue animal) under the control of its handler or trainer

Why should dog owners comply with Arizona’s dog leash law?

  • other dogs are not always safe and friendly
  • not everyone enjoys or is physically able to withstand a dog jumping on or pressing up against them (no matter how safe and friendly the dog may be)
  • a dog who bites a person or another animal may be impounded and potentially even put to sleep
  • the owner of a dog that injures someone while the dog is neither confined to an enclosure nor on a leash of no more than six feet long may be sued by the injured person and held legally liable to the injured person for monetary damages which may be significant

Source

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Title 11, Chapter 7, Article 6 (“Animal Control”): https://www.azleg.gov/arsDetail/?title=11

Further reading

Extended excerpts of the major Arizona laws which apply to dog ownership – Title 11, Chapter 7, Article 6 (“Animal Control”) of the Arizona Revised Statutes – may be found in a separate article on this website entitled “Arizona Laws that Every Dog Owner Should Know.”

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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