LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Dog-on-leash or dog-off-leash?

If you find yourself unsure whether your canine companion needs to be restrained at one of Michigan’s many beautiful sate parks, you’re not alone.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants to address any uncertainty with a public hearing to discuss proposed language updates for dog leashing rules on land controlled by the DNR, in order to simplify how they’re written and prevent any confusion for law enforcement and the public.

The DNR hearing is on Oct. 19 at 2:30 p.m. in downtown Lansing at Constitution Hall’s Hutchinson Conference Room.

Draft rule changes include the following:

  • Updating the terminology “state-owned-land” to “land under the control of the [DNR]”
  • Clarifying that dogs in an area designated as leash-free don’t need to be leashed
  • Providing consistency about leash requirements across all land under DNR control
  • Clarifying that dogs being used for hunting, field trials and hunting-related training, as approved by DNR, don’t need to be leashed

The DNR is encouraging anyone who can’t attend the public hearing, but wants to provide input, to send comments via email to or in writing to Department of Natural Resources, Legislative and Legal Affairs Office, ATTN: Legal Policy Specialist, PO Box 30028, Lansing MI 48909-7528.

Officials will accept public feedback through 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27. A regulatory impact statement and cost-benefit analysis, along with additional documents, are available here.