Thursday, October 25, 2007

Off Leash Dogs

Berry, happy, on leash, at my side.

Miniature Pinschers are well-known as dogs that will run fast if they get let out into an unfenced yard. Our dogs are not allowed out the front door unless they are leashed. Our back yard is fully fence with locked gates (just to be sure no one opens them and lets the dogs loose).

The county and city laws require dogs be leashed and under the handlers control when out in public; several of our neighbors do not respect this law and allow their dogs to run free. Most of the dogs don't cause problems (other than the mess they leave in my yard). However, A few days ago I was taking Berry on a walk and noticed a problem dog at the corner, I turned around right away and led Berry back to our house, when we were about 15 feet from the front door the dog jumped on Berry and started a fight, the dog was off leash, in my yard, and the people with it could not call it back! I screamed my head off and the dog ran away. Poor Berry got a big scratch on his side from the big dog. I put Berry inside then I knocked on the neighbors door and let them know that if I see their dog off leash ever again I will call animal control.

This same dog jumped on Berry two years ago, we have been working hard to teach Berry that he doesn't need to be afraid of big dogs. We have even taken classes for dogs who react (aka spazz out) on leash. Thanks to a fabulous team of trainers we have made a lot of progress. We were especially helped by a Feisty Fido class where we taught Berry to relax when we see big dogs. I worry that this incident will set us back.

I am very sad that I let this dog attack Berry, it is my job to protect him and I failed. But I have learned form this mistake: I will not turn my back on a threatening dog, and I will buy a can of Direct Stop to deter advancing dogs.

I wish everyone would be a responsible dog owner. I do my best to set a good example, we scoop our poop, stay on leash, and try to not bark. I found this disappointing article about Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and his regard for leash rules.

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