I like to think of myself as a fairly responsible dog owner.
Pepper is a pretty mental dog; she’s nearly 10 months old now and charges around the house like a bull in a china shop, and pulls like a beast on the lead. She’s not perfect, but we try really hard to keep her, and everyone around us, calm and safe.
In my endeavours to keep my lunatic of a dog out of harm’s way, I’ve come across some seriously incompetent fellow dog owners, who evidently don’t feel the sense of responsibility that they should. This post is for them.
Dear dog owners,
Your dog is friendly; I get it. He’s really freaking friendly and ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly’. Does this mean it’s okay for him to be off his lead, running up to every person and their dog that they meet? No.
Let’s for a minute forget about the fact that the humans he approaches may not be comfortable with an excited greeting from your mutt. Have you ever considered that, although your dog is extremely friendly and carefree, my dog might not be?
If a dog is on a lead, they could be on a lead for a reason. Either their recall isn’t great and they’re a flight risk, they’re undergoing rehabilitation for an injury, or they’re uncomfortable with interactions from humans or other dogs. None of these situations are going to be helped by your happy-go-lucky Fido bounding up to them out of nowhere.
Many dogs have fear aggression and anxiety. A boisterous hello could scare them and cause them to lash out at your furry pal in defence. Not only is this traumatic for that dog and your dog, it’s not very nice for you human people to sort out either.
If you have good control of your dog and are able to call him away from a situation effectively before there is a problem, then fair play to you. If not, your dog should also be on a lead.
I walk my dog Pepper on a lead when we go to the woods or to the park. It’s not because she has aggression – it’s because she is the overly friendly dog who will run up to others very enthusiastically. Her recall isn’t good enough yet for me to control situations from a distance, so to keep everybody out of trouble, I keep her close to me on a lead.
Please consider the temperament of other dogs when you decide to let your little beast run wild, especially those on leads. The owners of that dog are being responsible by keeping their dog under control, and you should do the same.
I’m particularly aware of this type of situation, as there have been several cases recently in my area, whereby a friendly off-lead dog will run up to a anxious on-lead dog and end up injured because the on-lead dog freaks out. It’s not as rare as you think.
Also if you let your out-of-control dog with aggression run around off-lead around other dogs and people then you’re really a piece of something else.
// Rant over.
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