We are considering a summer trip to Holden Beach next year and I was curious as to how dogs are handled on the beach. We vacationed at Emerald Isle and Pine Knoll Shores two separate weeks this summer and I was impressed with how rampant the dogs were and very often off of leash. Once, a large dog came out of no where and attacked both of my young children, completely terrifying them. Neither were hurt but it was quite a scene. Another time, we were camped out in front of our oceanfront rental and folks next to us had a large lab off leash going in and out of the water everywhere. I approached them graciously to please leash their dogs, as this was the rule, and my children were very scared, and they proceeded to lash out at me and said absolutely not, many police officers told them they did not have to as long as their dog was "under their control." I grew up with dogs and love dogs (we have none now because of our young children) but this experience put a big damper on our vacation weeks.
Prior to this year, we had vacationed for several years at Kiawah Island and there were very few dogs and ALWAYS leashed. If possible, we would like to go elsewhere for cost, housing options and oceanfront availability.