DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

      
(File size: 1.67 MB)
Is It Permissible To Hold Dog Leash or Allow Dogs To Wear Tags on Shabbat

The prohibitions of Shabbat apply not only to people, but also to their animals and pets. Maran in Siman 305 discusses "Shevitat Behemah"-the prohibition of having an animal owned by a Jew perform Melacha on Shabbat. For example, it is a Torah prohibition to allow one’s donkey to carry a load in the public domain. The Shulhan Aruch outlines what items are prohibited as burden and what is permitted as a protective accessory for the animal. Just like a person is allowed to wear clothing in the public domain, so too, an animal may also do so. For example, it is permitted for a donkey to wear a "Mard’at"-a type of sweater to keep it warm. On the other hand, an animal may not wear an ornament in the public domain. For an animal, it is considered carrying, whereas for people it is considered normal jewelry.

The Halacha permits walking a dog by holding its leash, if two conditions are met. First, no more than a Tefah (handbreadth=3-4 inches) is drooping from his hand. If more is hanging from the other side of his hand, it appears that he is carrying it. Second, the leash must always remain at least one Tefah above the ground. If the leash is too long, it may be wrapped around the neck of the dog.

The Aruch Ha’shulhan (Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein of Nevarduk, 1829-1908) strongly objects to allowing a dog to wear its tag in the public domain. He rules that it is not considered a garment, and even if it would be an ornament, it is not permitted. Accordingly, one may not take a dog for a walk on Shabbat in the public domain wearing such a tag. The Shemirat Shabbat K’hilhata (27:9) rules in accordance with this position. However, in note 33, he quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Jerusalem, 1910-1995) who suggests a lenient approach, based on the fact that the tag is for the benefit of the animal to protect it from becoming impounded by the authorities.

However, the restriction regarding dog tags does not apply to Yom Tob. Maran rules that one is permitted to carry on Yom Tob, even not for the sake of the Hag. Although Hacham Bension rules that one should be stringent, nevertheless, in this case it would be permitted, because of the opinion of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, as well as the opinions that hold that "Shevitat Behemah" does not apply to Yom Tob.

SUMMARY
One may walk a dog on Shabbat provided that the leash does not droop within 3 inches of the ground or more than three inches on the other side of his hand. In addition, the dog’s tags should be removed before walking on Shabbat, but on Yom Tob, they may remain.


 


Recent Daily Halachot...
Reciting “Yiheyu Le’rason Imreh Fi” at the End of the Amida
The Kaddish Before Baruch She’amar
The Value of Praying “Vatikin” and Studying Torah Before Prayer
The Importance and Significance of Birkat Ha’lebana
The Custom Among Syrian Jews Regarding the Text of “Ve’la’minim” and Other Portions of the Amida
Adding Prayers for Forgiveness and for One’s Livelihood in “Shema Kolenu”
If One Mistakenly Recited “Morid Ha’tal” Instead of “Mashib Ha’ru’ah U’morid Ha’geshem”
Should a Mourner be Called for an Aliya if He is the Only Kohen in Attendance?
May Birkat Kohanim be Recited if a Non-Jew is Present
If a Kohen Was Mistakenly Called for the Second Aliya; Calling Kohanim for Later Aliyot
How Should the Aliyot be Arranged in a Minyan of Only Kohanim, or if There is Only One Yisrael?
Birkat Kohanim – The Hazan’s Announcement of “Kohanim”; If There is One Kohen or No Kohanim Present
Birkat Kohanim in a Place Without a Sefer Torah; One Who Enters the Synagogue During Birkat Kohanim; Reciting Birkat Kohanim Several Times in One Day
The Proper Way to Hold the Sefer Torah When Receiving an Aliya
Customs Observed by One Who is Called to the Torah
Page of 239
3584 Halachot found