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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I live in the middle of downtown Portland, OR, I have a 30lb border collie/kelpie mix, and don't have a car.
I take public transit frequently and will take my dog onto the MAX lightrail and the Streetcar but those modes of transportation only take us so far. A lot of bus drivers are fairly lenient about people bringing non-service dogs without a carrier on the bus but then many of them aren't and I'd rather not go through the struggle of having to deal with the stress of whether they'll let me on every time I want to take my dog somewhere. And putting her in a carrier is next to impossible. Yes, there are larger carriers but I can't easily and practically bring one onto the bus without being really obnoxious. And I don't particularly want to haul a hard crate/carrier with me.

I have found two dog parks and one off leash area in a regular park that I can either walk to or take the streetcar but they all kinda suck. I'd really like to be able to let my dog run around freely and explore and just be a dog but it's hard to do that living where I do. I am so envious of the people that have cars that just drive to a park, beach, or river and let their dogs have fun. I long to be able to do that. But I don't have the financial ability to own and car and moving isn't an option. I feel horrible for my dog. She doesn't do very well with walks and just wants to pull and explore away from me (I know that the pulling is a problem within itself that needs to be worked on). But there very few places that I can allow her to be off leash.

Anyway, I'm not really looking for any solutions (unless anyone has any) to this. I mostly just wanted to post here and maybe find out if anyone else has a similar problem.
 

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We live in the middle of Philadelphia and don't have a car, either. And there's no public transportation that I know of that would allow us to bring dogs. So, if we can't walk there & back from our apartment Bennie can't go there. Yes, it would be awesome to have a huge yard for her to run freely or a car to be able to bring her cooler places. But I think we have fun where we are!

Do you have a longer leash you could use to let her explore non-dog park areas where dogs have to be leashed? I do that with Bennie and while it's not the same as free roaming, it's better than being pulled down the sidewalk! And we end up doing a lot of training and playing indoors, which keeps her entertained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do have two 20 ft leashes but she tends to get it all wrapped around her fairly easily. And usually went she's on a long leash she just walks all the way to the end and then will pull on it wanting to go farther. )=
 

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I have a car and there is one place I can let my dog off leash legally other than the fenced dog park, a wonderful half city type park/half natural area park very close by car. None of the miles and miles of national parkland, state parks, city parks and city/state beaches near me are leash free.

You are doing fine as is. Have you actually looked into where dogs are allowed to be off leash in your area? I doubt there are many places if any. Here is an article written a couple years ago about this. http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/04/unleash_portland_its_time_to_g.html
 

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I don't live in a city at all, and have never lived in a big one, but....

I have had dogs my whole life. Until the past few years, I have NEVER had areas where my dogs could run freely off leash. My dogs got the occasional romp in a fenced yard or dog park, but mostly they lived life on leash because they weren't reliable off leash and I didn't have the means to teach them. Or, in spite of it not being a city, it just wasn't safe.

I don't think your dog's life is as limited as you think it is. I mean you can want those things for YOU and your dog would probably have fun with it. But your dog doesn't need it to have a fulfilling, interesting, and happy life. Play where you are, maybe look into training classes for the mental stimulation and bonding time, and enjoy what you've got.
 

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I know you said you weren't looking for solutions but there are lightweight soft sided carriers you can get that would accommodate a dog that is 30 lbs. My dog is 26 lbs and we have a backpack type carrier that also turns into a rolling carrier with wheels and an extendable handle so it is fairly easy to get on and off of transit with. The way it is set up I can fit it between my legs while sitting on the bus so I'm not taking up any extra room. We got ours from Petsmart's online store.
 

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Pre-adult, license-less, car-less, owner of a high-energy/reactive dog here. We ran into the same problems; despite living in the suburbs, there aren't any grassy expanses, except the one across a busy road with an unreliable intersection. To give her some freedom, I also got a long-line so she can explore the yard and play fetch (as long as I run with her to keep the slack). We also use a flirt pole to get out excess energy and to make the most of the yard space my parents let us occupy and scuff up. I also play off-the-wall fetch on our floor of the house, and play some find-it games and make her work for her food. I used to feel very limited, but after working with her and recently picking up a routine of early morning jogging again, I've come to enjoy it through making the most of it until I can move out.
 

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I do live in a city but I do own a car. I also do have a yard (if you can call it that); it is so tiny. But I agree with CptJack in that your dogs life isn't as limited as you think it is. I don't trust Odin off leash,yet, I might never. All the dog parks near me are not fenced/enclosed. I get envious of those dog owners whenever I walk by. When I want to go to a dog park I usually drive into Maryland or Virginia. But this is honestly a hassle for me to do during the week and I don't go to dog parks on the weekends (too crowded) so I usually don't go very often. Plus my dog gets bored of other dogs very quickly and he generally isn't interested in people. I think Odin really enjoys and gets more tired from our training sessions outside, on leash than his time off leash chasing a ball. I also know that he enjoys going for really long walks in the city or hikes. Again, I think he enjoys that more than the time in the dog park. I think as soon as you start working on her pulling she will enjoy her time on the leash and so will you.
 

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Your dog doesnt need grass to be excited about exploring. After hour walks can truly be your friend- playgrounds at night (late like after 10pm) empty big box store parking lots for a game of fetch, and downtown sidewalks that are deserted....

We had reactive dogs that had to be walked after hours it was truly an adventure.... (Just work on your recall and bring a friend for safety)... Its very peaceful and often deserted at night downtown...
Dogs love to explore...
 

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I live in the same situation in DC, except that dogs aren't allowed on any public transportation here.

You say you want your dog to run free "and be a dog". Your dog is always being a dog. Dogs have been bred for tens of thousands of years to work closely with humans. Running free isn't part of that. Your dog will be plenty happy with walks, training and time simply spent being near you. The "running free" thing is a popular romantic view of dogs that has no real basis in reality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone, I definitely feel better about my situation now. I guess I'm being a little influenced by a video I saw recently of a very blunt poem called "One Day Your Dogs Will Die." It made me feel guilty about not being able to bring my dog to giant fields to run in or deep forests to sniff away in. =P

Also, I do have a soft sided carrier that I've used a couple times to bring her on a bus. It's a huge hassle though because she refuses to lay down in it and instead freaks out and spins in circles inside it. Also 30lbs in kinda hard for me to lift while squirming around like crazy. Also, it's not quite long enough for her. Height wise is good but I feel she's pretty crammed in there so I feel bad.
This is the one I have:


Could I get a link to the one from Petsmart?
 

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I am in the same situation, however have a small yard. Luckily we have miles of trails around my home where Jewel can run off leash. In Ottawa dogs are not allowed on any public transportation.

Do you have any friends or family with cars? My best friend and mom often take us to the off leash dog park, dog friendly pubs, etc. Also, we just rented a car to go to a cottage last week.

Another idea would be doggie play dates?

But I really don't think your dog is missing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's the Pet Gear I-Go-2 series that we have. Can't link from phone right now sorry.
Is there a bigger version of this? The only one I was able to find look like they'd be awfully small for my dog. I could see it for a smaller dog that was 30lbs but my dog is kinda tallish so I don't think she would fit.
 
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