There have been many cases of off leash dogs biting innocent bystanders in our neck of the woods lately, so I thought today I would address the subject of owner responsibility. Owning a dog is a serious responsibility, one that should not be taken lightly. But what exactly does being a responsible dog owner mean? Well, it is easy, but it does involve a few different elements.
First of all, you’ve got to make sure that your dog does not become a nuisance to others. Your dog shouldn’t be out roaming the streets, destroying property, chasing animals or children, leaving excrement in the park, barking incessantly, etc. It really comes down to proper control of your dog, good dog training, cleaning up after your good friend, and giving him or her the proper attention and exercise that is needed. Here are some golden rules for owning a dog.
You should be committed to properly training and socializing your furry friend. You might consider a dog training class if you have never trained a dog before. You should become involved in activities that both you and your dog find enjoyable, such as agility training, fetch, Frisbee, running, swimming or learning tricks. You should protect him from any harm (using a leash on walks is a good place to start,) instill good doggy manners, and teach him what is right from wrong.
You will commit to your dog as a lifelong companion. You will love and care for him, provide good nutrition and veterinary care, regular exercise, and mental stimulation. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are not optional they are NECESSARY to your dogs good health. Most importantly, you will take responsibility for everything your pet does, and do everything in your power to ensure that your pet does not harm another human or animal. This means keeping them leashed when out in public, and muzzling them if they have a tendency of aggressive behavior toward strangers.
Leashes not only protect others from your dog they protect your dog as well.
Just as it is your responsibility to teach your children, so is it your responsibility to teach your dog. But it is also your responsibility to follow the law in your area concerning animals. Walking your dog without a leash is NOT proper supervision, and in most communities it is illegal to do so unless you are in a designated off leash area. It also isn’t a very wise thing to do, and I’ll tell you why.
Animals react to body language and energy. If your body language and energy says you are tense, it will put even the most well trained dog on guard. We as pet owners love our dogs, we are not afraid of them and they behave well when with us. However, we must remember that just because we love our dog doesn’t mean everyone else does. When out in public with our canine companions it is our responsibility to see that they are controlled and do not invade the space of strangers.
Yeah I know, your dog is a wonder you can take him anywhere off leash, and he is fine with everyone. But is he? All it takes for an off leash dog to become a problem is someone else’s reaction. You can not control how someone else will react to your dog, but you can control how your dog reacts to them. Leashing your dog is not only the law, it is the smart thing to do. Most communities provide off leash dog parks of unrestricted play and exercise, use them.
Remember, the leash protects others from what your dog might do, but it ALSO protects your pet from what others might do. Be responsible, leash your pet on walks, it keeps everyone safe.
Until Next Time Remember
BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD!