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. Park rangers believe a domestic dog running off leash is responsible for the mauling death of one these animals in September 2018.

Photo courtesy of Jane Gamble. Used with permission.

Park rangers believe a domestic dog running off leash is responsible for the mauling death of a wild river otter (Lontra canadensis) near Duck Harbor Campground on Isle au Haut in September 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 http://go.nps.gov/AcadiaCompendium

Last updated: October 26, 2018