Posts Tagged 'Animal Behavior Associates'

Put a Stop to Off-leash Dogs in On-leash Areas

This is an good article from the Animal Behavior Associates Cat and Dog Behavior Blog

[AACCC note:  In Anchorage, we have 5 Off-Leash Areas.  You can download our brochure for more info on these areas:  Off Leash Dog Parks Brochure.]

Here in Denver, off-leash dogs in on-leash areas are becoming more and more of a problem.  Since our dogs were attacked by an off-leash dog in the summer of 2009, we’ve become quite sensitive to this issue.

Too many dog owners seem to be operating under the false assumption that there is nothing wrong with allowing their dogs to run off leash in on-leash areas, because their dogs are “friendly” and won’t harm anyone. Many of these folks will even yell at a distance, as their dogs come galloping toward people “Don’t worry, he’s friendly”, as though that makes their illegal and dangerous choice acceptable.

First, for a leashed dog, having an unleashed dog rush unwanted and uninvited into its personal space when it is restricted by the leash is a stressful event.   Many owners who walk their dogs where off leash dogs are prohibited do so for a reason – their dogs aren’t good playing off leash with other dogs.  It is blatantly selfish and irresponsible to put these people and their dogs in the very situation they want to responsibly avoid.  The lawbreaker’s attitude seems to be that they and their dogs’ welfare are more important than that of others. 

The “Oh he’s friendly” claim is not only irrelevant but also a myth. No dog owner can accurately predict 100% of the time how her dog will react when greeting another dog.  All we have to do is look at the skirmishes and fights that happen at dog parks, even when the dogs are on “equal footing”.  And having an illegally off-leash dog cause a problem for a leashed dog just once is too much.  People who take their dogs to dog parks willingly assume that risk – those who walk only in leashed areas should not be forced to by irresponsible owners. 

Continue reading ‘Put a Stop to Off-leash Dogs in On-leash Areas’

“Holding” Dogs For Children to Pet

A recent article from the Animal Behavior Associates:

The director of the organization Suzanne volunteers for once each month was telling her that another volunteer – we’ll call her Jane – had recently adopted a dog from a local animal shelter.  The director – “Ann” – and her two young boys – one around 7 years old, the other between 2 and 3, had visited Jane shortly after Jane acquired the dog.  Ann was describing how Jane “held” the dog so the kids could pet him.  The dog was husky size, so “holding” probably meant restraining the dog by the chest or collar.   

This is probably the worst possible way for a dog to meet two young unfamiliar children.  We know that dogs most often bite children because they are fearful or anxious around them.  When a dog owner or parent restrains the dog for petting, the dog cannot escape or avoid the children should he feel the need to do so.  When escape is impossible, it’s common for dogs to become threatening or aggressive in an attempt to put distance between themselves and the children. 

This illustrates what current research has uncovered – people are not very knowledgeable about what constitutes safe interactions between children and dogs.  Continue reading ‘“Holding” Dogs For Children to Pet’

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