As dog ownership continues to increase, our perception of the relationships to others and our sense of safety also must change. One way to achieve safety is to ensure that our dogs are properly trained and controlled. The use of specialty leashes has helped in this regard.
When I first brought my dachshund, Treux home as a pup, I could not imagine how many dangers he would pose. I was young, hadn’t learned much about dogs and lived mostly in an apartment. mostly I did not understand how to read dogs’ body language or how to avoid being brushed by them when I was being walked with one.
I should have known. Without a doubt, Treux and I walked our neighborhood a couple of times a day for years without incident. Then one day a new dog owner whose dog had aggression issues escaped his apartment building when he responded to what looked like a trash being thrown out of a car.
That was it. Treux and I were on our way. I immediately thought about exiting the sidewalk toward the awaiting cars — but just then I did recall how dogs love to charge across the street even when no one is looking.
In the past few years, we have been in close contact with other dog owners as we have visited regularly with our dachshund companions. It has been common to me to witness owners telling others what Treux would do when they were out walking him, how he would actually escape from the leash and go after the neighbor’s cat, or how he has leashed himself to an adult learning to walk on a leash.
Many of these owners have been shocked when Treux happily charges out and takes off after a visiting cat or actually has the urge to charge toward a fast moving car, completely unaware of the potential danger to his escape.
Treux isn’t the only dog who displays this curious behavior. Just as with people, all dogs have the ability to find something interesting to go after, or to avoid, and all dogs have the need to explore.
I don’t fault Treux for charging after the cat or chasing the neighbor’s cat out in the open. All puppies have this charge. They are just wired to do this because they need to investigate and experience the world.
Many dogs have the same problem that Treux has. They don’t understand the pressure they are putting on their owners. They don’t realize they are restricting their owners from vital resources, like their need to explore and learn.
In a dog’s world it is important to allow them to investigate at their own pace. If owners want to avoid being pounced on or to be allowed to run free and play in a dog park without a leash, they need to make the dog guardian’s life a lot easier. They can do this by getting dog collars printed at a print shop near me with the dog’s name, owner’s name and address and phone number.
Treux’s parents, before he came to live with us, were also examples of what an owner needs to be thinking about before a dog is purchased. His mom, sisters had already established themselves as the dominant dogs.
Most owners do not recognize the importance of teaching their dog to drop and stay. Drop can be a minor inconvenience, while stay can mean the difference between life and death for a resistant canine. Here is a priceless example.
Last summer my dad’s dog attempted to get out of the fenced in back yard he was in so he could find a female in heat. While trying to get away he snagged his leash on a nearby tree. He verbally complained to my dad, who told him that was all right and let him out of the yard.
I ran outside and got Treux to drop. I then helped him to stand and then let him know he was a good dog. Treux went back to the house with me and actually went right through the now open door, behind me. He went directly to his bed and laid down.
I advised him the next day not to do this again. I did not want him to think he could get out of the yard and not be punished. I told him I would show him how to successfully drop.
This morning I was busy getting ready for work and found the time to show Treux what I was planning to do. As I was helping him with his pooping, he decided to take care of his business as soon as he could, really without my help. Prior to accomplishing his task he decided to show me how to successfully drop. First he went directly for the treat jar but left his front paws at the top of my staff. When I noticed this I told him “aitic” and instructed him to drop. When he relaxed I gave him a treat.
So, in a day I had managed to teach Treux to Pumpkin Whip. What a difference this makes! Treux was completely begging for food and I didn’t have to feel helpless or special – as I was with the cats!