Dog Leash Laws in the United States

Several states have state-wide dog leash laws and requirements. These laws are usually referred to as "Running at Large Statutes." In states without "Running at Large Statutes," local governments, such as counties, towns, cities, municipalities, and boroughs, often enact their own leash laws.

But even where there are state-wide leash laws, it's often the case that the state government permits local governments to pass their own leash laws. Often, the local laws are stricter than the state laws. If any confusion arises over the leash laws in your home, contact your local government for more information.

Please note, there are many state laws that require dangerous dogs to be on leashes and muzzled to protect public safety. For more information, visit our Dangerous Dog Laws.

To learn the dog leash laws in your home state, click on the map or find your state below:

Ohio Leash Law

In Ohio, dogs must be physically confined or restrained or properly leashed and controlled by a person, except in cases where the dog is hunting with its owner or keeper.

Pennsylvania Leash Law

In Pennsylvania, dogs must be confined within their owner’s property; firmly secured on the premises so they cannot stray; or reasonably controlled by a person.

Virginia Leash Law

Virginia does not have a state-wide leash law. Local governments and municipalities may enact leash laws.

West Virginia Leash Law

West Virginia does not have a law that requires dogs to be leashed. It does, however, have a law that holds dog owners and keepers liable for all damages caused by dogs that are permitted to run at large.

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