|Barked: Mon May 18, '09 9:18pm PST |
|Let me preface this by stating that I own a sighthound who is trained to a higher level than most dogs of any breed will ever obtain. I also own a sighthound that I have successfully called off prey midflight. I have a sighthound who will course a lure and when the lure stops can be called off and back to me to the degree that he will avoid attempts of others the catch him in his quest to follow my recall cue. All of these things add up to a dog with what many would call a reliable recall. HOWEVER:
I do not agree with you. My mentors who have worked with sighthounds for more years than I have been alive, also disagree... as do most people who responsibly breed sighthounds or work with sighthound rescue or work in sighthound breed clubs.
While I agree that every dog is an individual, you cannot ignore centuries of selective breeding that scream "chase chase chase" in the ear of even the most sedate sighthound. It is this instinct that is alive in EVERY sighthound that can kick in without warning. It is this instinct that has sent dogs running off of cliffs in pursuit of birds, jumping out of parking garages after a flying piece of trash, or leaping out of upper story windows after squirrels. This is the same instinct that sends dogs into cars... and trust me... the car always wins.
I have said it once and I will say it again, if someone is interested in obtaining a sighthound and cannot follow the cardinal rule of sighthound ownership (NEVER OFF LEAD IN AN UNENCLOSED AREA), that person should NOT own a sighthound. Yes, all dogs are individuals. But they are still dogs. They are still sighthounds. A responsible owner respects this and sets the dog up for success. Afterall, it only takes one mistake to kill a dog.
Now, I am sorry to pursue this topic so resolutely, but I feel that it would be irresponsible for me not to. I have heard way too much heartache that started with the same sentiments that you stated in your previous post about dogs being individuals. Everyone seems to think that thier dog is the exception to the rule. However, I have been witness to too much heartache to ever believe that to be true.
With all due respect, I find it highly irresponsible to suggest on a public dog forum that is a home to many amateur dog owners/potential owners that it is okay to let a sighthound exercise off lead in an unenclosed area. It is irresponsible to state that this cardinal rule of sighthound ownership (agreed upon by the vast majority of experts in the fancy) can be bent for "certain dogs." Please read the article again. It does not only apply to greyhounds and off the track dogs. It applies to ALL sighthounds! ALL of them.
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