The Basics of Dog Ownership

In some ways, I think I should have named this Responsibilities II but I hate sequels.  Lol!! 
The good weather finally being here is a chance to allow our canine kids to stretch their legs, not to mention our own.  Those dog parks are being used once again and even our seniors are acting like puppies once again.  Spring is in the air and everyone loves it.
Everyone wants to be out there in that sunshine and that is understandable.  Whenever I can there are a couple of us that head to the nearest park or conservation area with all of our dogs for an afternoon of fun in the sun.  Neither of these areas allow dogs to be off leash which is not a problem.  If we wanted them off leash, we would take them to an off-leash dog park.  All of our dogs are very well behaved and having them off- leash would not be an issue in regards to inappropriate behaviour.
The problem lies not in US having an issue with this episode of canine freedom, but those around us having an issue.  Public parks and conservation areas are frequented by families and other dogs, all of whom would like to enjoy their afternoon romp, unmolested by strange dogs running at large.
As dog owners, we must recognize and respect that not all people are comfortable or even like dogs(horrifying thought I know), regardless of the breed.  To see several all runing around free can be quite intimidating.  Although our group is excellent with the recall, all it takes is once to become a serious problem.  We must also remember that they are living breathing animals and there is always that chance they take that instantaneoud dislike to another dog or person for that matter.  And flash!!  Your life and that of your caninebaby has been changed forever.
So who are we to thumb our noses up at leash laws?  Who are we to decide that OUR dogs are the special exception to that law?  WE don’t get to decide that at all.  I honestly don’t believe the local “dog catcher” really cares whether I have my dogs on an e-collar which some mistakenly think of a “wireless leash”.  The only leash is a real leash which clips to your dogs’ collar and which you hold in your hand.  Not a difficult concept to grasp for most.
So why do some people insist on being the exceptions to this rule?  Who do they think that they have the right to put others at risk?  The answer to these questions I feel is fairly simple.  They are not responsible dog owners.  Harsh?  Maybe.  But then so is having a dog that “looks” like a pit bull ripped out of your house and euthanized for that reason and that reason alone.
A responsible dog owner recognizes that the world out there is notdog friendly.  That we are ambassadors for the dog world every time we are out in public.  We have to be responsible not only for our own dogs, but for how every specimen of our breed is seen by others.  We humans stereotype everything, which is why we have Breed Specific Legislation.
The basics should be, for everyone regardless of breed or mix: training, socialization, exercise, the best food you can afford, a big thick dog bed to cuddle in, proper vet care and of course lots of love.  That should also include keeping your fur-babies safe in every way possible.  That means now allowing them to be put in positions where they could make a wrong decision, especially when out in public.  If our dogs do something wrong, WE are the ones responsible, but it is THEMthat pays the price. 
For goodness sake, let’s not give the AR’s any more reason to push BSL,especially in our own areas or for our own breeds. 
Let’s stop putting our own Dogs Under Fire.
Copyright © 2011 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/Shadowlands Canine Training/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands  and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2011

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