It was a beautiful Spring afternoon, I was walking Anna and Charlie and we were having the best time, They live out in a rural area around Nashville, so they got to smell wonderful critter smells, track a scent trail and stretch their legs a bit. When out of the blue comes this big, red pitbull; with tail up and wagging I knew she wasn’t a threat. As we attempted to move forward we were accosted by a small but fierce, Boston Terrier. He meant business!! Both Anna and Charlie were leashed which meant with a loose aggressive dog they were looking a lot like prey. The owner of both the pitbull and Boston terrier felt no sense of urgency in getting her dog off of mine. Anna and Charlie were in a tizzy (southern for really upset) because the Boston was not listening to his owner, who half-heartedly calling him home. When she finally got her dog home, there was no apology for the loose dogs, or the fight, or the trauma that surely Anna and Charlie experienced. Needless to say, I exchanged unpleasantries with the owner who insisted that I was walking two very aggressive dogs and that her dog came after mine because he didn’t like them. What is it with people who know they should control their dogs but when something happens it is never their fault I pointed out to her that her dogs running loose was illegal, what with current leash laws and all. Anna and Charlie and I turned and cautiously walked home.? When I walk dogs and see a loose dog in his own yard, I cross the street to demonstrate that I am not looking for a confrontation. Many yard dogs will not leave their territory and this is often enough to divert attention.
What trips my trigger?? Dogs off leash……. Dogs can either be predator or prey. A small Rat Terrier is a predator if he finds a rat and goes after it. But that same dog is prey if a larger dog, a wolf or bobcat would happen upon it. In the same sense, a dog on a leash becomes prey because he does not have the ability to properly defend himself in the event of an attack. The dog off the leash is a predator because he can attack at will and develop a strategy to harm or kill his prey. You have no idea how scary it is to be walking a dog and to look up to see another dog running at full speed right for you. When faced with a loose dog while I am walking my clients, I immediately pull my dogs behind me, stand up as tall as I can and scream at it. This usually does the trick. If nothing else, it gets the neighbor’s attention and maybe someone will come to retrieve their wayward pets.
I’m sure it’s because I face this issue frequently that it simply trips my trigger! Many people just blow it off and figure nothing happened, so why make a big deal out of it. Tell that to the woman who lost her small dog when a more aggressive dog, off leash, attacked it and killed it. Please leash your dog when you have them outside.
What would you do if faced with this off leash dog ?