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Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016

Breakin' the Law

Posted Saturday, September 1, 2012, at 9:06 PM

Boomer and Delta out for their morning walk, ON A LEASH!
Attention dog owners! There is a law here in Spencer relating to having your dog on a leash when out in public. Please abide by it!

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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Protection of our persons and our pets is extremely important while in public, but I think that all of us that are pet owners need to follow the leash law, not only to protect the public and also to protect ourselves, but mostly to protect our kids. A small child walking to or from school is no match against any dog. I was personally attacked by a German Sheppard when I was 4. I was bit on the left side of my face and had over 120 stitches. We need to protect our kids and also our pets. Putting your dog on a leash or chaining them up is much easier than having to put them down because they hurt a child.

-- Posted by spicypepper1 on Tue, Sep 11, 2012, at 9:19 AM

my worst story was about 3 years ago while running my dog at the fair grounds. He loved to run while I rode my bike, always leashed of course. We were approaching the JC stand from the South. A couple with three large dogs, one leashed 2 not, were up by the East end of the grandstand. The 2 pitbullish looking one darted straight for us and attacked my leash medium dog. I'm on my bike and begin to punch the offending dogs in the back of the head to get there jaws out of my dogs neck. the male owner drop kicks me in the chest all the while screaming that you don't punch dogs. After we separated them my dog was bleeding, but not severely. I just wanted out of there. I wish I could have stayed around to get there names so I could press charges, but they were equally ready to split as they were worried about liability. My dog was fine, but I was upset.

-- Posted by Steelerfan100 on Mon, Sep 3, 2012, at 7:38 PM

I have actually had an issue with unleashed dogs on my bike rides and my runs as well. One went so far as to chase down my son, and bite his back tire high enough that it was pretty close to my son's rear, all with the owner in his front yard who was not able to stop his dog from chasing us down. If he had been leashed, it would have been a non-issue as we were on the street riding. I know people mean well to have an unleashed dog, but it's scary and a hazard to others. We love dogs, and have our own and were still scared, so I couldn't imagine the fear someone would have if they were already frightened of them in the first place. They need to start enforcing the leash law for it to be effective.

-- Posted by Vanessa on Sun, Sep 2, 2012, at 9:35 PM

It doesn't necessarily matter that your dogs had a rough start and didn't get the ideal socialization. My dogs were socialized and fine meeting appropriate dogs. Sadly, a lot of dogs are not appropriate, and are either rude or downright aggressive. So many people think that their dog is "friendly," when in fact they are being pushy and rude. I don't want strangers getting up in my face and hanging all over me when I'm out and about. Neither do a lot of dogs.

This is one of my favorite behavior articles. It's long, but a great read. I gave it as required reading for many of my students in the past.


And while you are there, check out some of the others. Suzanne Clothier is fabulous.

As far as walking in Spencer goes, it's gotten to the point where I almost exclusively walk on Grand now as there doesn't seem to be quite as many dogs rushing out from here or there.

-- Posted by stafinois on Sun, Sep 2, 2012, at 10:49 AM

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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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