Dogs Off Leash but Not Under Control: Many people these days are too complacent and have a “She’ll be right attitude”.
There is nothing wrong, with having your dog off lead but your dog should remain under your supervision and control at all times. In other words, dog owners should have their “Eyes Wide Open” all the time and be aware of their surroundings as well as having their dog in plain sight.
If you don’t have a rock solid recall on your dog, it shouldn’t be off lead.
Every second person I talk to, these days has a story to tell, of a bad experience they have had, while out walking with their dog. I too have experienced off leash dogs come running up out of nowhere, while I have been out training. The incidents of dog attacks and dog bites are on the increase world wide.
You would think with all the information available via the internet, books, education programs etc on dog safety the number of dog attacks and bites would be decreasing but they are not.
Through my own observations and from what people tell me on a regular basis. I personally believe, many people these days are too complacent and have a “She’ll be right attitude”.
Dogs are dogs not substitute human children, they are great to have around and they are lot of fun but they all have the potential to harm. All too often human expectations are too high, after all they are a different species.
Whether it is at a dog park, beach, or anywhere else, for that matter. Taking your dog for a walk should be a joy not a chore. You and your dog, shouldn’t have to put up with being harassed, startled, frightened or intimidated by someone elses dog or their owner.
“Its ok, my dog is friendly” seems to be a commonly used phrase these days, by dog owners who have little or no control of their dogs, when exercising them off lead. They think its ok for their dog to randomly run up to other people and their dogs.
As people we don’t take kindly to a stranger invading our personal space and staring us in the face, so why is it ok for a strange dog to do it to another dog? That’s how dogs challenge each other to fight. The act in its self, is considered threatening behaviour. Dogs naturally don’t greet each other in this way.
So Stand up and protect your dog, show your dog you have control of the situation, step in front of your dog and stop that strange dog from approaching. If necessary yell at it and don’t be afraid to tell the owner if they are there, to leash their dog.
Dog owners also have to be mindful, that not all people like dogs, they maybe scared or frightened of them, so that is another very good reason for having your dog under control at all times.
Cyclists and Joggers who exercise their dogs by letting them run free while they are biking or running, also need to keep their “Eyes Wide Open” and be aware of where their dog is and what it is doing at all times.
While your dog may listen to you, on a one to one basis, it may not, if distracted by another dog that is unleashed or not under control of its owners. If you don’t have good recall on your dog, use a long-line. They are a great way of exercising your dog, while still having it under control.
The Dog Control Act clearly states, as a dog owner you are responsible for anything your dog does in a public place such as: your dog rushing at people, animals or vehicles, causing injury, endangerment, harassment, etc and are liable upon conviction, of a fine of up to $3,000.
A few basic common sense manners would go a long way, to alleviating some of the above issues as well as helping to prevent, behaviour problems in dogs. Which often arise due to the bad experiences they have been exposed to.
1) If you haven’t got a rock solid recall on your dog, don’t have it off leash. Use a long-line.
2) If you see someone coming towards you, walking their dog and your dog is off leash, leash your dog.
3) Don’t go walking your dog without a leash, grabbing it by the collar isn’t an effective means of control
4) If your dog is dog aggressive, don’t let it off the leash and if necessary muzzle your dog
5) Take some time to read, Socialising your Dog, the Right Way When is a Dog Park not a Dog Park? When its a Public Park
6) Keep your eyes wide open be aware of your surroundings, and what is going on around you and your dog.
7) Contact your local Dog Control. They don’t know if you don’t tell them. if you have a problem with any dog or their owner. Most people these days carry a camera phone, so don’t be afraid of taking a photo of the dog & owner or if you can a photo of their vehicle number plate.
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