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Dogs share top-secret confessions about Bend leash laws


Spring brings grassy fields for scampering and snow-free trees just begging to be peed on. That’s if you’re a dog or…well, an ill-behaved human?

And it’s ill-behaved humans who get pups in trouble by not obeying Bend’s leash laws. It’s no fun paying a $250 fine, and even less fun for dogs stuck in the awkward spot of being unleashed where they’re not supposed to. 

While DogPac gives great info on where to safely roam off-leash with Rover, we asked Visit Bend dogs for their insights on why Bend leash laws make sense for them. Here are their super-secret confessions.

Visit Bend Staff dogs, meet Ranger!

Hi, I’m Ranger!


Owner of Nate Wyeth, VP of Marketing and Communications

I love everyone. And I don’t like to brag, but everyone loves me. I’m a mellow boi with a heart as big as my Volkswagen-sized head. Being a big guy has its downside, like when other dogs test me by lunging or biting or jumping on me. It’s awkward and hurts my feelings. I guess they think it makes ‘em tough? That’s why I’m glad when we’re all leashed and safe and friendly in our own space.


Meet the Visit Bend Staff dogs, this is Goonie.

Hi, I’m Goonie!


Owner of Valerie Wilson, VP of Operations and Policy

The world’s a scary place when you weigh twelve pounds, and yeah…I get barky and a little nippy sometimes. So? Let’s see YOU defend yourself from birds and motorcycles and the UPS guy’s shoes when your jaws are the size of a clothespin. But I’m tough, okay?! And cuddly and cute and BUT MOSTLY BIG AND TOUGH! Oh, and sometimes I like to run away just for the fun of it. Chase me, ha! That’s why it’s best when I’m leashed. And when the other guys are, too. Because I could totally eff them up.


Meet the Visit Bend Staff Dogs, this is Bindi!

Hi, I’m Bindi!


Owner of Tawna Fenske, PR and Communications Manager

I’m the fastest dog in Bend! I can hike for days! Or, uh…I guess that was 14 years ago, but it’s still true! At least, I think it is. I’m not always sure, so it’s nice when Mom puts my leash on and I don’t have to guess if I can still climb that ridge or jump that fence or run fast through that field. Which I totally could! But maybe it’s nice not to decide.


Meet the Visit Bend staff dogs, this is Roo!

Hi, I’m Roo!


Owner of Laurel Hunter, Marketing Director

It’s so freakin’ fun to be a puppy! I can run and play and tumble and bite and have you seen how stinkin’ cute I am? Everyone thinks so! Except sometimes they don’t, and…well, I’m not always sure who likes dogs. Because I’m a puppy! I’m cute! And still learning not to chase deer and tackle strangers and all that awesome, naughty puppy stuff. So yeah, the leash makes sense, I guess. *dramatic sigh*

Visit Bend Staff dogs, meet General Neyland!

Hi, I’m General Neyland!

General Neyland 

Owner of Justin Keyes-Bundy, Digital Content Manager

I’m a lovable guy. Smart and sweet and would you please rub my belly? I just have this one little eensy-weensy issue. It’s embarrassing, okay? I don’t love little kids who run fast or poke fingers in my face or tug my ears. It’s a thing when you’re this handsome, so I like when I’m leashed. Dad can get me out of there real quick and then I get a biscuit. 


Visit Bend Staff dogs, meet Frank!

Hi, I’m Frank!


Owner of Catherine Carroll, Visitor Center Manager

I love chasing squirrels! And bunnies and birds and…what? I’m not supposed to do that? But…but…I’m a dog. You can’t expect me to know stuff like migration patterns and nesting grounds and why I maybe shouldn’t terrorize wildlife. You’re saying Mom knows? And Mom has the leash? Yeah, I see where this is going…


Meet the Visit Bend staff dogs, this is Piper!

Hi, I’m Piper!


Owner of Serena Gordon, Sustainability Manager

Fetching is life! Got a ball? Or a stick? I’m not picky! Throw any old thing, any old place and I’ll get it for you. I’ll crash through the trees and over the flowers and bring it back every time. Or throw it in the river, right there by the rapids and that nest of baby ducklings. I’ll dive right in! Doesn’t matter who’s throwing what or where or if it’s okay to bash through that bush. I’m on it! Except…maybe sometimes, I shouldn’t be? #ThanksMomForTheLeash #GoodGirl #PigDogPolarBear




Now that you’ve heard from the dogs, here are a few tips to help humans navigate Bend with four-legged friends:

  • Dogs in Bend must be leashed in public except on off-leash trails and designated dog parks.
  • Dog owners must pick up after their pets or face potential fines. Waste bag dispensers are available in most parks and trails around Bend.
  • On the Deschutes River Trail between Benham Falls and Meadow Camp, dogs can be off leash from September 15 through May 15 each year, but must be leashed outside those dates.
  • Rimrock “Good Dog” Park is another area where off-leash walking is allowed along their network of dirt trails and riverfront pathways.
  • The Badlands is another popular hiking area where off-leash roaming is allowed.
  • For winter trails, Wanoga, Edison, and Skyliner Sno-Parks all allow off-leash dogs.


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