Saturday, May 21, 2022

Lead manners matter.

When you see another dog on a lead, remember to put your dog on the lead too.
Especially if you have very friendly dogs like the lovely crew I met this evening, who were all gorgeous, happy and playful. Thankfully their clever dogparents have taught them a recall and they were able to call their dogs away 🙂
There is a reason why they are on a lead.
Sometimes they are not friendly.
Sometimes they are in recovery from surgery or an illness.
Sometimes they are newly rescued and need to be kept safe.
It doesn't necessarily mean they are not friendly, but it does mean the dogparent doesn't want their dog performing certain behaviours.
My Twyla, for example, is an 11-month-old, very large, cheeky, friendly, dribbly, impulsive, bouncy and strong Springador.
She loves to chase birds and leaves and has a sprint that would leave a greyhound standing.
She is super friendly, ridiculously playful, and if she was allowed, would be "that dog in the park", who chases every other dog wanting to play with them, whether the other dog wants to play or not, while the dogparent yells "Don't worry she is friendly!!!" as they helplessly run after them in a vain attempt to catch them.
I do not want to be that dogparent. I am rubbish at running. In your mid-forties you understand your limits when it comes to exercise.
Those super friendly dogs, like Twyla, can be just as inappropriate as the unfriendly dogs, running up to other dogs who might not appreciate it, and so she is not allowed to run off with other dogs unless they are certain dogs who we know well.
Super friendly dogs run the risk of being bitten by dogs that are not so friendly - which would eventually mean the super friendly dog decides other dogs are not so nice, and then become afraid of other dogs and not so friendly themselves.
Big super friendly dogs also run the risk of hurting themselves or others when they get very excited with much smaller dogs.
Young or adolescent super friendly dogs can be very quickly taught that other dogs or people are something to be cautious of.
Plus one day I would like Twyla to be reliable enough to help other dogs to not be afraid of dogs - and if she has a long learned history of being the super friendly dog in the park, she will not be appropriately prepared for this role. She needs to learn to be appropriate with other dogs instead.
And so, apart from with certain other dogs who I know are good role models, who she loves a good run with, and until she is reliable, she knows that she goes on a lead while other dogs are around. She has her friends who she does run with, her places where she can go off lead, and she is a very happy dog who is still very much in training.
I think it is my duty to keep her and others safe.
So please never think me rude if I don't let her run with other dogs - I am just letting her learn to be appropriate with them first ❤ .

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