Hi there! It's me, the lady who you ran into at the high school soccer field earlier this evening. You know, the one powerwalking with the dog on a leash, who your two dogs came galloping up to out of nowhere in the dark? They seemed like nice dogs, and you seemed like a nice guy, so I'm not going to be rude or anything, but I really wish you'd leash them when you take them walking at night.
See, I am a dog person. I have two dogs myself (a guard breed and a mutt also) and I like dogs in general. So I didn't freak out when your dogs rushed at me, and knew to stand my ground and wait for you to come over and tell me that they were friendly before I tried to pet either of them. If I'd been afraid of dogs and carrying mace, that's the first point where your failure to leash your dogs could have ruined both our evenings.
I was glad you came running over immediately with your flashlight to supervise your pets, but I was a little taken aback when you asked anxiously whether my dog was male or female. It was a relief when you said that the Doberman wouldn't "mess with" a girl dog, but half the time I go powerwalking in the field where we met I have a boy dog with me, and what would have happened THEN? That's the second point where your failure to leash your dogs could have ruined both our evenings.
The third point wasn't really an issue, because my girl dog is friendly and obedient, and sat on command at my feet rather than trying to roughhouse with or dominate either of your dogs, but you know how I pretended not to hear when you asked what kind of dog I had? That's because I worry about other people making assumptions due to the fact that Isis is a pitbull (you may not have been able to tell because her ears are not cropped; I wish your Doberman's ears hadn't been either because that's really ouchy, although I'm not necessarily judging YOU as for all I know your Doberman was a rescue). She was raised in a loving home by a responsible owner, and she's the friendliest dog I know, but my next-door neighbor has an unneutered male pit that he sometimes walks in the area, and he's a little LESS responsible than I am. I don't think he fights the dog or anything or I would have called the police on him, but my point is that when you chose to let your dogs run loose in that field you didn't know if someone would come along walking a Chihuahua they would have viewed as a tasty snack or a mastiff that would have viewed them as a tasty snack. You never know what's going to be on the end of someone else's leash (or, you know, orbiting them freely in a radius the approximate size of a city block, as the case may be) and that is another reason why it's a good idea to keep your dogs on leashes (well, that and it's the law, although I'm not going to get preachy about the law as technically we were both trespassing).
Finally, while it may not have ruined anyone's evening TONIGHT, how do you know my dog wasn't carrying something contagious that your dogs could have caught from her, and for that matter how do I know YOUR dogs aren't carrying something contagious that she could have caught from one of THEM? You don't. Maybe the reason one of us was walking our pet in a deserted high school soccer field was that they had bordatella from a stay in a kennel and couldn't go to a dog park. That's not why I was there, and I didn't hear either of your dogs coughing, and my dog has had the bordatella vaccine, but that particular vaccine isn't the MOST reliable (don't get me wrong, it's still worth getting for your pet, I just worry because my dog has a weak immune system).
In conclusion, while nobody's evening was ruined tonight, you're placing yourself and your animals at risk physically and legally by not leashing them. I get that you probably work all day and your dogs need the exercise, and I know it's fun to see them run, but it's really not worth the potential ramifications, particularly if, like both of us, one of your dogs is a guard or fighting breed. People make assumptions about these dogs that can cause them to be rude, belligerent, or fearful, and none of those things lead anywhere good. I would never let MY dog run loose in public, even if no one seemed to be around, because while the only way she'd ever hurt anyone is by accidentally tripping them up or bowling them over exuberantly, and that may well be true of your Doberman as well, that's not generally going to be someone's first assumption when they see a large, muscular dog come barreling toward them in the dark. If I had to judge you as a pet owner based on the five minutes I interacted with you and your dogs I'd say you seemed fairly caring and attentive, but you still put me and my dog at risk and I don't appreciate it one little bit. Please be more responsible and considerate of others in the future. Sincerely, MFA Mama