|Barked: Sat Jun 13, '09 6:47pm PST |
|Tyler, I just don't know what to say to you. I have always stated all along that sighthounds should not be allowed off lead in unenclosed areas. I have never once said that a sighthound can never be off lead ever. I have only said not off lead in unenclosed areas (enclosed means that there is a physical fence, wall etc... gapped fencing for small breeds and electrical fencing for any breed is not included in my definition of enclosed). My very own dog is off lead in the fenced dog park, in fenced backyards, in fenced coursing fields and fenced racing tracks. However, as I previously stated, never off lead in an unenclosed area.
From your previous posts, you have said that I am wrong and that sighthounds can indeed be off lead. You have gone on to only say that they must be made "safe". As I have stated before, "safe" for a sighthound is different than safe for most other breeds. While a hunt trained lab may be considered safe in an unfenced field or forest or unfenced dog park, a sighthound would not be considered safe there. I know of several who met thier ends that way.
You seem to think that because you know of some people who have thus so far done off lead "safe" then that is perfectly okay for them. I believe differently and the vast majority of the sighthound fancy beleives the same way that I do on this topic. I would have to say that it only takes a second and there is no stopping that dog.
Since you have given some examples, let me give you one. I know of a sighthound that each and every time she got out of the car in a gap railed parking garage at home, she always ran to the elevator with her owner and then went to thier condo. She did this every day for 7 years of her life. Then one day she got out of the car as usual and saw some leaves flit past her and her sighthound instincts took over and she chased the leaves. As most sighthounds do, when she ran her brain "shut off." Regretfully, she chased those leaves through the gap railing, out of the parking garage and fell several stories to her death. All because her owner had become complacent and had long ago decided that he didn't need to leash her to get out of the car anymore as she was "reliable" and had been to obedience classes. Afterall, what dog would jump from such a height?
I will tell you that there are a lot of stories just like this in the sighthound community. In place of the parking garage, maybe it is a second story window or deck, or a cliff, or a front yard, or the parkinglot at the dog park, etc etc etc.
That is why the majority of the sighthound community believes that sighthounds should never be off lead in unenclosed areas.
I posted the above links to show you that it is not just "me." I'm not the only one who thinks this. In fact, YOU are in the minority on this issue. If you are okay with putting your dog at risk, then fine. That is your choice.
I can tell you that with a sighthound who can be recalled mid chase, can be called off a stopped lure across a coursing field and will actually dart around catchers to obtain his heel position at my side, who has been trained to stick in a close heel should I ever accidentally drop his lead and is trained to then pick up his lead in his mouth and hand it to me when I stop, who has been desensitized to crowds and strange occurances to the point that he was able to cross a stage to a live band and applause in a crowded auditorium and retain his focus, who can go through a zoo filled with odd scents and sights and not loose focus, who can retain focus while visiting emotionally disturbed patients in a psych ward, who has completed hundreds of hours of training... all those things considered, I STILL believe that my sighthound should never be off lead in an unenclosed area. Let me tell you, Byron has had a whole lot more training than the average dog. I have a level of trust in him that is far and above which I have ever had for another dog, as I must rely on him to assist me.
However, I still recognize that he is a sighthound. He is a dog that has been bred for centuries to run run run with no thought. Despite all of his training, I have seen his briain literally "shut off" in persuit of a lure. I have seen him and other dogs run without thought to injury... only in running until the thing that they chase is caught. I know, should that instinct kick in at an inopportune moment, there will be nothing that I can do and no voice that will stop him. I care too much for my dog to allow that to happen. So I keep him safely leashed in unenclosed areas. It is easy enough to seek out enclosed exercise places for him to exercise in, if I get creative. I love him enough to do that. I love him enough to recognize his shortcomings and seek out ways to ensure his safety... even when it is not convienant to me. That is what being a responsible owner is all about.
Edited by author Sat Jun 13, '09 6:51pm PST
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