Joanne started her day by walking her two dogs like she does every day. A woman and her dog were coming towards her. Joanne was alarmed to see the large dog was not walking politely on its leash, but pulling the lady down the street. He pulled so hard that he broke loose running, with leash flying behind him, towards Joanne and her dogs. He jumped on Joanne’s golden retriever, who was already in a submissive pose, and grabbed her by the throat.
Joanne was terrified, in fear for her dog’s and her own life. The aggressive dog’s owner caught up and between the two women, they separated the dogs. The woman with the out-of-control dog did all she could to hold him to prevent him from aggressing again, while Joanne hurried her dogs home to check them for injuries.
Joanne found a wound of her golden’s neck. The wound was treated, but Joanne was shaken from the assault. She still had to proceed with her day, so on her way to work she stopped by City Hall to report the attack. She was told there was nothing they could do if she didn’t have the name and address of the aggressive dog’s owner.
I had a similar story that I discussed in a previous article. Geo and I were walking in downtown Creswell. A dog ran out of a yard with insufficient fencing to grab my dog by the throat. Geo sustained a small wound. I was fortunate in that I knew what property the aggressive dog came from. With a little investigation, I was able to give the sheriff’s department the necessary information to file a complaint.
I have read many reports of citizens encountering loose dogs and being attacked by them within the densely populated neighborhoods of Creswell. This type of assault is particularly traumatic because these assaults can happen anywhere or at any time. We take precautions to prevent ourselves from human assault, but we often don’t know or even think about how to protect ourselves from dog attack.
As a pet professional, I am always on the alert for a potential problem. I don’t walk between cars in parking lots; a dog might pop his head out of an open car window. I look for low fencing in front of houses, the type that would be installed to attempt to keep a dog in the yard. I analyze wooden fences, looking for loose or uneven boards or sagging framing, telltale signs of a frustrated dog who has been flinging its body weight against and loosening fence hardware.
There are reasons I avoid these; I don’t want to encourage the barrier frustration or aggression in these dogs, nor do I want a breach of these confinements and injury to that dog, a dog I might be walking or me.
This is the time of year to look at your pet’s confinement space. Rethink the type and placement for your pet’s temporary outdoor confinement. Look for loose boards or posts. A way to prevent your dog from spending his outside time frustrated because he sees or hears the world passing him by is to move his outside confinement space to a location on your property away from streets or sidewalks. The area doesn’t have to be your entire property. Dogs don’t exercise on their own; they may amuse themselves by tossing a toy around or get the ”zoomies” but neither continues for long.
Dogs have been domesticated to be with humans. They love nothing more than to spend time with their humans, going for good sniffing walks, hikes, playing fetch, learning tricks, participating in dog sports, and even training to be better canine citizen. These are only some ways to enjoy your dog and a good neighbor.
You don’t want to be a casualty of Cujo, nor do you want to be Cujo’s owner paying medical and veterinary bills and a hefty court fine after he has run amok. It only takes a weekend of building and repairing your dog’s outdoor confinement area and a few minutes of training a day to make you and your dog good Creswell citizens.
Rock Nest Training & Pet Care LLC offers Good Manners and Puppy classes. You can find Rock Nest Training & Pet Care LLC at facebook.com/rocknestpetcare/, www.rocknestpetcare.com, or call 541-895-3162.