|Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 8:02am PST |
|Having a smallish (18lb, but stocky) dog myself, and Doxies being one of those breeds that love to bark, I get just as annoyed with small, yappy dogs at the dog park. Don't their owners realize that if they provoke a retaliation, it's their little dog that will likely get hurt?
I work hard with mine to ensure she doesn't get barky, or in any other way harass another dog, large or small. Much of it is general training, ability to get my dog's focus when I see something that could set her off.
As for recall, I agree that 100% is not attainable, but if someone can't get their dog to return to them, or at least stop and look at their owner when they call their name, they shouldn't be off-leash in public. It may not be the popular view, but I won't take a dog to an off-leash park if I wouldn't feel comfortable walking them off-leash anywhere else.
Yesterday, we came across 5 deer while walking (off-leash) and as excited as she was, Lupi came right back to me to get leashed up. She once started running up to a coyote and I was thankful for her recall then. I practice with her ALL the time, trying to get her to see that returning to me is just the natural follow-up to running away.
I've also strongly discouraged Lupi from greeting leashed dogs at the off-leash park. I don't think it's wise, and if Patrick the Pom had been trained the same, he wouldn't have lost his life.
To be honest, I've seen what I envision as a similar scenario to this one, happen numerous times at our dog parks, just without the sad outcome. Dogs get territorial of "their park", have no recall or boundary training, usually the smallest canine family member instigates others to join him-it's just that normally, the dog(s) being harassed don't respond so vehemently.
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