Yes, I suppose a dog should be on the leash all the time, but, and if you've ever had a dog how do you tell them that? Honestly we expect more of dogs than ourselves, and dogs don't have the mental capacity we do. Yes, they are social, pack animals, conditioned by being around humans, but that doesn't mean they fit our life or schedules all that well.
By instinct my dog will chase anyting, and yes, I'm a bad or good parent who lets him off the leash to do what he wants -- this is both good and bad as he's come close to killing himself, but I can't let myself inhibit him completely in places he can be free to be himself -- I know, maybe I'm a bad parent, but I take that risk, and he does learn -- there are risks in chasing cayotes, and he doesn't chase them anymore, after some life threatening experiences. I want my dog to be the best he can, but that is living somewhat vicariously as a dog with I'm no sure I can do. I guess I feel he is a being that can experience life as well as I can. I don't feel I can't protect him, or should from everything. To some degree that makes me an extremely neurotic parent -- it would be easier on me to keep him always leashed -- but I'm caught between always keeping him safe, as best I know how, and letting him be as much dog as he, with his limited brain, knows how. I assure you that this is not theory, but every day life as the issues of cayotes or rattlesnakes are things I could encounter daily, and things I must decide what is the best action to take and not something he an take into account.