My dog is a rescue dog. I didn’t have him as a puppy and I don’t know all of his history but I can tell his life hasn’t always been easy. Because of his rough beginnings, he dislikes other dogs and most adult men until he has a chance to get to know them. He always is braced for the worst from them and is ready for the attack.
Because of this, walking with him is an adventure and I constantly need to be alert. I take many precautions like a muzzle, choker, and a shock collar (I know, I don’t like it either but when it comes between someone being bitten or my dog getting a little shock, the shock wins.) My dog is never allowed off leash.
Now, here is my complaint. Other people’s dogs who are off leash where there are signs clearly saying that dogs must be on a leash. There is a dog park down the street where people can let their dogs run freely. Use it!
I was walking along the local trail with my dog today when along comes an older woman walking a cute little dog who looks like it should dispense tissue out of it’s butt. Very sweet. I see them coming so I pull my dog Boo off the trail and try to take one of the little off shoot paths but of course her fluffy little dog is off leash and runs straight for Boo while barking. Fortunately, Boo was wearing his muzzle so the other dog just got a little nip. If he didn’t have the muzzle the little dog would probably no longer have a face.
The other dog owner does not move quickly so she was no help. My shins are bruised from trying to shield the other dog while trying to get Boo far enough away from it. I had to hold Boo down while trying to make the other dog go back to it’s owner. It only moved out of my reach and continued to bark which only riled Boo more.
The owner did finally catch up to her dog. She made no apology for her dog being off leash or even acknowledge that I was there. She just grabbed her dog and continued on her way. Fine!
Now, some people say it is my problem that my dog isn’t socialized and he shouldn’t be out in public.
My argument is: how will he ever get any better if he is locked in the house all the time? If he never sees any other dogs or people he will only get worse. He needs some exercise and he loves to go for walks.
He has already gotten better since we have been working on his behavior. He used to bark if he could hear another dog barking and he would try to attack any dog he saw. Now he only worries about dogs that come really close to him.
He still watches adult men who appear to be a threat. He is alert and aware but he no longer barks or growls unless I seem nervous of the man.
At home, Boo is a sweet and loving snuggle bug who gets bullied by the cats.
We are doing our best and will continue his training. We will continue to be vigilant and watch for potential dangers.
So, if you are reading this, if your dog does not come back to you immediately when you call it 100% of the time, please keep it on a leash. Please consider other pets and their owners.