If you have asked yourself this question, the reason is probably the confusion that reigns in the matter. The Ministry of Health ordinance is quite clear, but although it came out on August 6, 2013, few people know about it.
Therefore, according to the letter of the law, the leash is always mandatory (and therefore absolutely forbidden the extensible leash), and the muzzle should be worn but used only in case of need. The fact that this law is at least interpretable (at least as far as the muzzle is concerned) is under everyone’s eyes.
To interpret “risk to safety” is rather difficult for some. There are huge, muscular, nervous and uneducated dog owners who leave them free to roam around public parks. To the question “excuse me, could you please put the leash on?” the answer is almost always “and why? it’s delicious! But where’s my dog, by the way?” No comment.
Is The Muzzle Mandatory?
According to SI law, there is no other possible interpretation. It is mandatory to have it on, but not necessarily worn. The problem is that the law enforcement personnel who are supposed to enforce the law are made up of ordinary people, with their passions and phobias. They will interpret the law and enforce it according to the rules of common sense.
It’s clear that no one would ever dream of giving you a fine because you don’t have a muzzle in your bag for your 2-month-old puppy, but it’s equally true that if you have a 45 kg dog you will be lucky to meet a dog-watchman, rather than a dog-phobe: your fine will depend on it.
Much also changes from city to city. There have been reported cases of cities that are very strict on muzzles (Bologna, Urbino, Macerata), and others that are more “permissive” (Turin, Palermo). I don’t want to say that if you live in Turin you can afford to walk around without muzzles or without a leash. These reported cases only serve to reiterate the concept that although the letter of the law is clear, its application is still quite variable from city to city.
And The Leash?
Also for the leash the law speaks clearly: always use the leash at a size not exceeding 1.50 m. Here, too, interpretations are wasted. Extensible leashes (some even up to 5mt) should no longer be sold in pet shops, but we know that this is not the case.
Also here the situation is delicate: there will be places where “we know” that a free dog is more tolerated than others. It all depends on the habits that have taken root in every area of the city. When in doubt, if you find yourself in a new area or have just moved to a new city, keep your dog on a leash and take a muzzle with you in case you find yourself in front of a scrupulous “controller”. Fines vary from city to city and can be very high.