Last night our local station, Fox 9 News, aired a great piece on dog attacks. I highly recommend watching it.
There were so many things I liked about this piece, it:
– Recognized that dog attacks happen with all dog breeds (they even mentioned the small breeds)
– Included an animal behaviorist from the U of M
– Discussed the dangers of letting leashed dogs greet one another (as a professional dog walker, I never let my client’s dogs greet other leashed dogs for this very reason).
– Spoke with veterinarians and a professional Twin Cities dog walker about the dangers of dog attacks
– Included information on why dogs who get out of fenced yards may be more dangerous
– Concluded with tips on what to do in case of an attack and linked to two videos on Dr. Sophia Yins’ website on dog aggression
Kudos to this news organization for doing a well-rounded discussion on the issue! I have rarely seen a news organization do a piece on dogs that was as well-informed and educational as this one was last night.
One of the things I most worry about are dog attacks. I have been in the middle of one between a client’s two dogs and it was one of the most frightening things I have ever experienced (by the way, pouring a bucket of water on them is what finally worked to break them up). I have also been charged by dogs who have escaped from yards before (in both cases, yelling “GO HOME!” is what worked). Even at the dog park, I am constantly watching other dog’s behavior to see what signs they are giving off.
One of the areas I avoid at my dog park, is the front area. Why? Because that is where (I know this will sound condescending) the uneducated and unknowledgeable dog owners hang out. It’s where I find the most frustrated and over-hyped dogs too. The owners who stand around while the dogs play are not helping their dogs. They are not exercising them either. They are are waiting for trouble to happen – they just don’t know it.
I keep my dogs moving when we are at the dog park. We don’t stand around. When I see trouble coming our way, I change directions or leave.
I know dog attacks will happen. They just will. But I don’t have to be a willing participant nor a sitting duck.
I hope people will watch this piece and learn from it. It was one worth sharing.