Dog Leash Laws in Indiana

Indiana does not have a statewide dog leash statute. Instead, it allows local municipalities and county governments to determine their own dog leash regulations. Most city and county ordinances require that a dog be restrained at all times, regardless of whether it is on the owner’s property or public property. The following municipal ordinance that was applied in Plesha v. Edmonds, a leading case in Indiana dog bite law, is exemplary of most local leash ordinances throughout the state.

Hammond Ordinance 9151-A: [A]ll dogs and cats shall be kept under restraint. It is an animal owner’s responsibility to insure that animals on and off their real property be restrained. When off the real property, animals shall be on a leash not to exceed six feet *985 in length; or if without [a] leash, [the] animal must be under complete control of the owner and not more than three feet from the owner. Animals on real property must be within a fenced area sufficient in height to prevent the animal to escape; or if on a leash, the animal must be secured on a leash that is at least six feet in length and located where the animal cannot trespass beyond its owner’s property line.

Indianapolis Code 531-102a provides: 
An owner or keeper of an animal commits a violation of the Code if that animal is at large in the city. At large means not confined without means of escape of any portion of the animal's body in a pen, corral, yard, cage, house, vehicle or other secure enclosure, unless on a leash and under the control of a competent human being. 

Fort Wayne City Code 91.020 states: 
All animals shall be properly restrained as defined in this chapter. Any animal is properly restrained when secured by a leash or lead and under the physical control of the animal's owner or attending party, or confined within the exterior boundaries of the owner's or harborer's real property.

Evansville City Code 6.05.060f requires:
An animal shall be leashed when it is off the owner’s property. One end of the leash shall be attached to the collar or harness and the other end attached to the person accompanying the animal. This provision shall not apply to an animal that is otherwise physically restrained at any facility.

Muncie Code 90.06 provides: 
No person owning or having charge, care, custody,or control of any dog or cat shall cause, permit, or allow the dog or cat to run at large upon any street, alley, or other public place, or upon any private property or premises other than those of the person owning or having charge, care, custody, or control of the dog or cat, within the city.

At large means off the premises of the owner and not under the control of the owner or a member of his immediate family, either by leash, cord, chain, or under reasonable control.

James R. Keller
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tubular tom 03/06/2016 05:51 AM
While not a "leash" law per se, Indiana DOES have a "reasonable control" statute, IC 15-20-1-4, as added by P.L.2-2008, SEC.11. See Subsection (c) says "An owner of a dog commits a Class D infraction if the owner of the dog allows the dog to stray beyond the owner's premises, unless the dog is under the reasonable control of an individual or the dog is engaged in lawful hunting and accompanied by the owner or a custodian of the dog."
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Tonyatkisson 06/29/2017 07:12 AM
I have a neighbors who won't keep there dog on a leash or a Chianti get home most mornings around 4to 5 am he charges me and I've got a son who is scared of dogs he's been bot 3 times by different dogs and they won't keep there dog out of my yard we live in Austin Indiana in the country what can
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Jos 04/09/2018 05:58 PM
I got a person next door time who has a lot of dogs that breed with each other over and over now they have a pitbull that runs loose and has charged me and others on a county road and the state police and the sheriff's department will not do anything about it because we haven't been bit yet and the sad thing is got a video of the dog being very aggressive off the owners property and nobody still does nothing any suggestions
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David 06/28/2018 02:14 PM
What if a large dog attacks you, and the owner is present. What measures are you allowed to take to defend yourself?
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Maritess 08/05/2018 09:08 PM
What if my dog went to the edge of a friend’s property and was behind another neighbor’s wire fence when the neighbor’s big dog came out and went to where my small dog was. My dog panicked and they started barking at each other. The owner of the big dog started shouting at me saying I will call the police. There is a leash law. And kept on harassing me. What do I do in this case?
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Karen f 09/04/2019 02:48 PM
I live in the back of a subdivision on six acres in the county. My dogs do have run of the property because the price of fencing would be exorbitant. House flippers just yelled at me and threatened me because my dog was barking at them. He visited the former owner and walked into her house and played with her dog. I walked up to the house and got him and just said, he is just being protective because he knew “ Jeannie “ they told me there is a leash law in our town ( don’t live in town, and there isn’t one anyway) told them it’s not town and we don’t , they told me to go fuck myself. Hope they are only flipping and not planning on living there.
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V.C. 01/15/2020 12:07 AM
I'm very disappointed that I have little to no rights against people that let their vicious looking dogs run wild where residents can get hurt. I was just assaulted by a dog that wasn't on a leash. I was leaving my apartment to pick up my husband from work. When the owner finally caught up with his dog I begged him to put it on a leash and get it away from me. The sad part is he made a comment about me screaming like I'm going to catch a seizure. What if I do get seizures?
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David Tompkins 04/23/2020 05:53 AM
How does the leash laws work with hunting dogs such as bird dogs , coon hounds and rabbit dog? Because most statute say ALL and anyone with just a little common sense knows it’s pointless to use hunting dogs if the have to stay leashed
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