Monday, May 10, 2010
Yes, sad but it does happen, even with the best of dogs; dog bites and bad behavior can happen to any dog on any day! Ask any owner and they will tell you they have the best dog in the world....and from their perspective, it is probably true that their pet is super well behaved. . .for them. But that doesn't mean every day will be a good day and therefore, owners be aware!
Many pets that are well behaved at home and for their owners are different dogs all together when brought out into the real world or when a visitor is brought into their home. They may be fearful of new things, loud noises, they may be hungry or tempted to follow their nose rather than sit, they may be feeling playful but are too aggressive for another dog to handle or they could be protective of their owner and their home if someone comes to visit and doesn't get a proper introduction.
Many of those above reasons for dog bites or agressive dog behavior can be avoided simply by paying attentioin to what your dog tells you. Is his tail curled down between his legs as you take him somewhere new.....he may be saying that he's feeling insecure and a bit bit fearful...you need to know this as you proceed...say, into PetCo. Is his hair standing on end as you bring a visiting dog into your home? Your pet may be saying that he doesn't want company he doesn't know in his house..... Left ignored, these signs can be a recipe for a problem...a fight or a bite that could easily be avoided.
I am asking that owners take a look and be aware of what their dog is telling them. Especially if you are taking your pet somewhere new, to a different location or to meet new people or animals. We take for granted that our pets are good for us as owners. However, it is our job as their owners to be aware of their needs and be in control of our pets as we go places. Oh and likewise for all pet owners at large....Be aware of common courtesy. For instance, going to a park? Unless it is specifcally an off leash park, it is EXPECTED that your pet will be leashed. Many places allow pets but generally speaking there are many non-pet owners there as well. Some people are afraid of dogs and will not be pleased to have an over exuberant pup trying to endear himself. Leashes keep your pet safe and other people safe. They allow us to have more control of our animals. They are not the full solution...owners must keep their pets at a reasonable distance from passers by until they know the other people are ok with a sniff and a hello. It's perfectly ok to say....my dog is having an off day, please do not pet him. It's ok to ask the other dog owner as they approach - is your dog friendly? Cause remember, even good dogs can have bad days. You just want to be in control...
Love your dog by being aware. Our pets really want to be told how to behave, it ismuch easier for them to receive a command. In the absence of our telling what we want them to do, they will follow their instincts. Terriers seek out vermin...one day the neighbors cat may be the target with lack of direction.....shepherds are herding dogs....they may nip at small children because they are trying to herd them back into a group...the dog thinks he's doing his 'job' ....retrievers are hunting companions...the are mouthy/nippy by nature because they retrieve with their mouths....as the owners of such wonderful breeds it is our responsibility to be aware of our pets needs to keep them safe.
Exercise and activity always keeps boredom at bay! A tired dog is a happy dog! So please, as we head into late spring and early summer, please take some time to re-focus on the needs of your pet. If you haven't made time for them in your routine & schedule, maybe some help from us in the walk department will be what you need. At any rate, your furry pal needs you to be alert and in tune with them. Let this be your spring resolution! Thanks so much! Prevention is always best!
Thank you to all our clients and friends and thank you for your commitment as owners to your pets!