Here's Why Even Nice Dogs Must Stay On A Leash in Acadia

Three sea otters look the entrance of a den along a shoreline
Three otters look out the entrance of a den along a shoreline on Isle au Haut. The owner of two domestic dogs running off leash has taken responsibility for the death of one of these animals in October 2018.

Photo courtesy of Jane Gamble. Used with permission.

The owner of two domestic dogs running off leash has taken responsibility for the death of a juvenile North America river otter (Lontra canadensis) in Duck Harbor on Isle au Haut in October 2018.

Federal regulations require all pets to be restrained on a leash no longer than six feet (2 m):

  • to assure the safety of the pet;
  • to reduce conflicts with other visitors and their pets;
  • to limit potential exposure and spread of disease, and;
  • to protect wildlife, such as nesting loons, turtles, and porcupines.

While required minimum distances vary across national parks, be aware that if your presence changes the behavior of any wild animal, you are too close.

Learn more about park regulations specific to Acadia at go.nps.gov/AcadiaCompendium

Last updated: March 17, 2019