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Breakin' the LawPosted Saturday, September 1, 2012, at 9:06 PM
Boomer and Delta out for their morning walk, ON A LEASH!
So often, when I am out walking my dogs I come across dogs not on a leash. Some of them are out in their yard without their owner, some are with their owner, but the owner does not have them on a leash. Have you ever seen a dog spot a squirrel scurrying across the street and take off on a dead run for it? Do you really think that if you call the dog he's going to stop in his tracks and come back to you? Get real! It's not going to happen, but what will happen is your dog will get hit by a car, become seriously injured or even die.
One evening I was out walking my dogs and we happened to come across a man walking his little dog, but not on a leash. Of course the little dog came charging at us barking up a storm. Because my dogs have not been socialized much with other dogs, they immediately went in defense mode. I got my handy dandy pepper spray out and squirted it towards the little dog. I did not get the spray on the dog, but close enough that he could smell it and somewhat retreated. So while I'm wrestling 100 pounds of agitated dogs, the owner of the little dog saunters over after I asked him to please come and get his dog. I realize it is not your fault that my dogs are reacting the way they are, but had your dog been on a leash as is the law, we would have never had this interaction.
About a mile later we are walking on the trail and out bolts a bigger dog at a dead run across a very busy street at us. This owner actually apologized and did attempt to quickly round up her dog.
Put yourself in the dogs shoes. Someone you don't know is running at you yelling at the top of their lungs. How excited are you going to be about having them get in your space? Why would you think your dog would feel anymore comfortable? Dogs don't like every dog they meet, just as humans don't like everyone they meet.
Some people don't like dogs, aren't comfortable around them and don't want them anywhere near them. Most dogs are very people friendly and think that everyone must surely want to pet them. If your dog is not on a leash, how are you going to stop them from jumping up on, nudging, licking, or any other gesture they normally do to greet someone? Again, your dog may be well trained, but they are still animals. Respect other peoples space.
Again, your dog may be friendly, but another dog may not be. Dogs have a pack mentality and there are rules about hierarchy and how to obtain it. Please set your dog up for success. Do not put them in a position where they feel threatened. Be proactive, not reactive, keep your dog on a leash!
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer
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