Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is a leash

It's nice when pit bull rescue people don't have to be the only ones to harp on about leashes. This comes from the Malamute people, who must get a million headaches in their mailboxes from nordic breed owners who want a born-free kind of experience for their dogs. There's some really good sense in this essay. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us, Malamute friends.


from darting into traffic, preventing injuries, suffering, death and
huge veterinary bills.

from trespassing, attacking other animals, becoming a neighborhood
nuisance or violating community leash laws. It also stops your
pet from inflicting injuries on children and adults. It prevents your
insurance company from dropping your homeowner’s
policy because of your dog.

a current dog license and name tag attached to the collar, it
will help reunite you both, should your dog get lost.

keeping your dog from harassing our wildlife, destroying
irreplaceable native plants, or killing expensive livestock
by itself or as part of a wild dog pack.

the cord connecting you together encourages a unique bonding
between you and your dog.

when this leash is not in use, your dog will be at home
protecting your family and property.

that dog owners can be responsible, considerate people with
an equal concern for the community and its residents.

- Author Barbara Bouyet


Team Swoll said...

A-FREAKIN'-MEN!!! Leashes can easily bbe eveyones best friends!!

Martine said...

Thank you for sharing this! I've run into a few situations this year with off leash dogs... big and small that were less than enjoyable.

pitbull friend said...

Excellent! I also love their page introducing us to that other very handy item: the crate. Such a treat to read a website encouraging people to evaluate the suitability of any breed and talking positively about other rescues, too. Bravo, California malamute friends!

Dee said...

I wish I could make these into flyers and drop them in my neighborhood. I have dealt with about 6 cases of loose dogs in my Santa Cruz neighborhood since moving here 8 months ago. Two growled at me and ran to their home, where their apathetic owners just said "gee he must have gotten out". One I had to take to the shelter, while another got away. The last one I found was a tiny terrier that rolled over when I found him. I was able to take him to his house, where only the smallest kid was home. I explained to her that she needed to make sure the gate was closed so that her dog couldn't get hurt. The roaming problem in Santa Cruz is driving me nuts! I know we are a more of a live free culture down here, but no leash walks are just irresponsible.

Any tips on how to deal with this problem??

Oxo said...

In my Harlem neighborhood, off-leash dogs are not a common sight but we have retractable leashes aplenty. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to deal with my dog-reactive pit-mix when idiot owners are paying out (and yanking back) 25 feet of fish gut at the one end of which is a teeny tiny yapping terrier and at the other end? An owner who doesn’t believe me when I say, “Not so friendly over here…”

Donna said...

Oh this growing small dog fad is a bad bad thing! Three things that may help:

1) know your local AC laws including leash laws inside and out (is there a 6' requirement in Harlem? there might be)

2) carry a cell phone with a camera and photograph any offenders; file a report with AC, too to build a case history against repeat offenders

3) wear a fanny pack full of gravel and use it! toss it at loose dogs' feet before they get too close. it can really help.

some other ideas here:

pibble said...

I'm with OXO - retractables can be so dangerous. I've seen many a biker take a tumble because a walker isn't paying attention. Retractable in one hand, cell phone in the other. They really are an accident waiting to happen, and all too often, parents allow their children to hold the business end of the leash. If only they could be outlawed (my apologies to all of you who use them responsibly!)!

Dianne said...

My question is: what is Donna doing poking around the Malamute Rescue site? ;-)

We did some research when we had the huskies come in; they are apparently real escape artists (favorite name: Houdini). I hate those retractable leashes on any dog.

Donna said...

oh you stop Dianne! ;-)

steph gray said...

DEE: we live in Santa Cruz as well, I have lived here for 10 years and my husband has lived here his whole life. We have run into MANY off leash dog problems with our well behaved leashed pit, people really don't seem to care here in SC. My advice to you, for this county, having had much experience, is this:
1. call animal control. They are very good about responding and ticketing people with roaming dogs, and if you get the address and report the animal, they will follow through.
2. Like Donna said, take your camera or cell camera and take a picture for the animal control officer. That is a big help to them.
3. Don't be afraid to mention to people that their dog should be on leash any time a dog comes up to you. I started doing it, and in our community if you point out to people the wildlife and environmental aspects of it, they seem to respond. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!! I had a small yappy dog, on a retractable leash, held by a 4 or 5 year old little girl while her mother was completely oblivious. I pulled my reactive female pit bull off the trail and the little girl lead her jumpy, yapping dog RIGHT TO ME while her mother just followed along, in a daze. I was at a seawall, with nowhere else to go except into the Pacific Ocean, so I lifted my dog up and asked the mother to please grab her dog!

In some cases, even a leash (or something that supposedly passes as a leash) isn't enough.

I intend to print out the essay and hand it out in my neighborhood also. There are so many off leash dogs running around, wearing collars, that I don't even bother trying to walk my dog in my own neighborhood.


Dianne said...

Whatever it takes to heal your heart, sweetie.

Oxo said...

hi donna and other retractable leash dislikers,
yes, in NYC, six feet is the law. but "clean up after your dog" is the law too and i have a "dog s-it removal kit" under my bathroom sink for cleaning my sneakers. the people i meet on my daily walks are the people who live next door, upstairs, down the block, and around the corner. they are thisclose and are likely to be encountered at community board & building assoc meetings so a modicum of diplomacy applies. NYC is a big city but recall that none of us know how to drive so we're all confined to a 5 block radius. when donna says things like, "...so we took huck outside for his eval...", i always, think, gosh, outside! a shelter with an *outside*! remarkable.
am i waffling?

Anonymous said...

Another idea for loose dogs: take a large handful of your training treats and scatter on the ground towards the loose dog. Then turn and get out of there while the loose dog is busy eating them.

For the clueless people with dogs on a retractible: "I'm sorry he can't say hi. My dog has ringworm - he's on the mend but he's still contagious!" Works every time.

Diane said...

Oxo, I concur, off-leash dogs and retractable leashes in the city are a real nuisance. Change of direction is your friend. You can avoid a nasty exchange, and, more importantly, it reminds your dog her job is following you, not keeping the other dogs in line. Do it cheerfully, use your happy voice, get your dog to willingly follow you into the turn, no yanking. I have a very happy sounding "This Way!" I use when changing directions, regardless of the reason, just to get missy's attention and avoid yanking her around. It works well.

I don't mean to sound preachy. My dog is a rather reactive 2.5 year old female that I have had for over a year. I work with her every single day and have from the beginning. People simply cannot believe this problem is still not solved. Things are much better than they were but the rate of progress has been humbling.

The day I realized changing direction is a training technique for my dog, and not backing down from a challenge, was a turning point for both of us.

Good luck!

* said...

so happy to see something positive about pit bulls. we have one, her name's Kiya. she's almost one!! she's the most loving, sweet, and happy dog we could have asked for. we love her so much and just wish we could help others as much as we've helped her!! they deserve all the love in the world

Megan Cahill said...

I am a dog walker in Minneapolis, and I've spoken with city council reps and called animal control several times about one area specifically down by the river. Mid-day, people take thier dogs down on the paths and think they are the only ones around, so it's okay to let go of the leash, or just take it off completely. So aggravating!

Donna said...

How about this as a possible solution?


Anonymous said...

I love this - I so wish I could post it in my neighborhood, parks, etc. It's a daily event and my pups get tired of the little detours we have to suddenly make to avoid the off-leashers (and the off-leashers give me the dirty looks - go figure). And yes it works, I threw a handful of goodies at a dobie tearing down it's driveway - it stalled him long enough for the owner (with baby on hip but no leash in hand)to call him back (then he went the other way down the street - ugh).

Donna said...

Donna said...
Are you worried that throwing treats at loose dogs will make them zoom towards you faster the next time?

I like the thought of distracting them away, but even better if they learn to avoid. One of our members swears by the gravel toss. Her neighborhood dogs won't dare come near her or her dog selective pit bull now that they recognize her as "Scary Lady."

Cathy said...

Excellent essay! I'll be printing some out as well.

Oh, and not all of us who use retractable leashes are morons. My JRT and I walk the Los Gatos Creek trail every day, and I like to let him run *Leashed* up and down the slopes around the creek, but he's always happy to run back to a heel when I ask.

I'm not stupid enough to let him approach other dogs without asking the owners. As an RVT, I've seen how well this can end.

Leslie-Ukiah said...

Hey Donna, do we need permission from the author to print and put in our adoption packets? I'm sure our adoption coordinator would love to include this.

Donna said...

Hey Miss Ukiah. You might want to throw an email to malamute site as a courtesy. The page was written in 1993, so the author may or may not be around still. It's generally okay to reprint materials as long as the author and source are credited and nothing is altered.

Oxo said...

Thank you Diane and Donna everyone else for these great suggestions. (diane, you are not *at all* preachy---i am grateful for any and all advice i can get from breed-savvy handlers...)
oxo in harlem (still puzzling about where to get some gravel!)

Christine said...

Yes, pea gravel is my friend. I live in Santa Cruz County, too, and I hear you about the off-leashers. My girl can definitely spark off at unknown dogs so I never go on jaunts without a pocket full of pea gravel. Has saved us many a time since most of our off leash encounters involve dogs with no person in sight. Funny thing, too -- now if we see off leashers coming our way, my girl just hangs out and waits for me to take care of it -- no sparking -- and we go on our merry way.

Nichole said...

Thank you for this. Yes, my female dog is well trained and under voice control and I know that she would never harm a flea. But we NEVER go outside our fenced yard without a leash, for HER safety. I tell this to people all the time!

Valerie said...

It's not just little-dog owners who abuse retractable leashes. I was walking the senior Pomeranian mix I had adopted just a month earlier. I was using a real leash. A stupid teenage girl in ipod-induced lala land was walking an aggressive Dalmatian on a flexi. He had all the lunging distance he could possibly want. Nearly ripped off my dog's front paw. Her parents, vile and nasty people that they were, had to be ordered by a judge to pay the over $2500 in vet bills resulting from their iresponsibility. After this incident, her father insisted on walking the dog past my house (located on a cul-de-sac)even though I had politely asked him not to.

Maureen said...

I would like to add that a leash is not a babysitter.

I watched a piece on the SF news the other night about a woman who went into Safeway on Market Street while she left her dog on its leash tethered to a pole out front. And surprise, surprise, someone took her dog.

While my heart breaks for the family having lost a cherished pet, at the same time I have to ask, 'What the hell were you thinking?'

A leash and a pole do not make a safe babysitter. You wouldn't leave your child defenseless, unattended, and tethered to a pole in a public location. So why would you do this with your dog?

I makes no sense to me.

Heather Cherry said...

AMEN!!! I made up flyers for my neighborhood with the local leash law information and hotline number on them. If I see an off-lead dog and know where it lives, I put a flyer anonymously in the mailbox. Here's what my flyers say (got the info from the city website):

"In the City of Oklahoma City, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times outside of their home.

(Yes, this includes your front porch and/or front yard!)

Keeps dogs, people safe

This ordinance is in effect not only for the safety of the dogs, but the safety of other citizens as well.

§ 8-38. Animals running at large prohibited; exceptions
It shall be unlawful for the owner … of any dog … to permit the same to be at large
§ 8-5. Definitions.
(4) At large means the status of any dog … that is/are …not under the direct control of the owner
(5) Direct control means immediate continuous physical control of a dog at all times by means of a leash, cord, rope or chain of such strength to restrain the dog, and controlled by a person capable of restraining the dog

If you would like to report a loose dog in your neighborhood, CALL THE ACTION CENTER AT 297-2535. Please give the address where the dog lives, where it is roaming loose and what type of dog it is."

Donna said...

egg-cellent Heather!

Jen said...

Thank you for this essay, I've shared it with others. And here's where the inspiration took me-
This is a Plastic Bag: http://pinkleader.livejournal.com/168059.html

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