DOGS ON THE RAMPAGE!
There are definitely 2 types of dog owners in this world. Those who make sure they teach their dogs a recall, engage with their dogs on a walk and wouldn’t let their dogs just head over towards other dogs. The other lot seem to think its totally acceptable for their dogs to go at speed towards other dogs with no control whatsoever and will declare that “he’s friendly”, “he’s a big softie”, “he only wants to say hello”.
In the fields where I walk, its a common occurrence that dogs will come running over to my dogs. My dogs just want to fetch their ball, an elephant could walk past and they wouldn’t notice. I realise that dogs aren’t robots and they can make the odd mistake and go suddenly deaf! In that situation, you’d expect the owner to apologise profusely and move their dog away.
I’ve had 2 serious problems with my dogs recently, caused wholly by other dog owners with out of control dogs. In the first situation, my dogs were actually walking along with another dog who had caught us up. That was no problem. The problem came after the other dog had left us and I had just put my dog’s leads on to leave the field. Without warning, the other dog suddenly appeared coming towards my dogs at full speed. My dogs reacted, both anxious about the lightning bolt heading towards us (it was a lurcher!), and this then escalated into a fight between them. I managed to separate them, with minor injuries, and get them home. I kept them separated for a few hours and then everything seemed ok. They have the odd skirmish but have lived together happily for 8 years. The next day, I took them to the same field and when it came to putting the lead back on at the same place, another fight ensued with worse injuries this time. As a result of this, all through Christmas, fights were occurring regularly and both seeming extremely anxious about the other. We avoided trigger situations, put them both on Zylkene and starting using Adaptil and on New Year’s Eve, took the decision to separate them completely.
As I write this in February, they are still not getting on and have to be separated most of the time. One of them has had to be put on some medication because of his anxiety. I am hoping that I can resolve this but its hard work.
But the point is, that all of this was caused by another dog speeding towards us.
Another out of control dog has caused another problem with my Sheltie. A local woman, with a large Labradoodle, has no recall whatsoever and her dog is regularly a field away from her. She blows a whistle to try to recall (totally unsuccessfully!). On a couple of occasions, my Sheltie has been happily fetching his ball when this large, bouncy dog has come bowling towards him and this has been accompanied by the tooting of a whistle. Guess what has happened now? My Sheltie has become terrified of the sound of a whistle and has bolted home twice, risking serious injury or death. All thanks to this lovely woman who tells me “its none of my business”!!!!
These are just examples of the way that an out of control dog can cause problems for other dogs. The other dogs may be scared, recovering from illness/injury, undergoing training etc. Even if the other dog is friendly, it can still cause major problems.
The other matter is that these out of control dogs could, of course, be at risk of injury themselves. You don’t know what those other dogs might do faced with your marauding canine!
If this hits home with you, you can do something about it. Keep your dog on a long line if their recall is unreliable. They can still have fun in the field. Teach a good recall! Engage with your dog in the field, have them playing with you rather than being more interested in other dogs!
It really is a serious problem for many. Responsible dog owners should do their utmost to prevent problems for other dogs and their owners.