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How Do I Keep My Dog Safe?

This topic has long been a concern of mine. Over the years, Olivia and I have had dogs lunge at us as we entered the ring at an obedience trial.  We have had dogs snarl at us while waiting at the veterinarians with an ailing dog. We have had dogs snarl and lunge at my younger dogs at a conformation show. My most memorable experience was having a large 120 pound dog attack us in an obedience class; fortunately that dog got my left knee, not Olivia.

Recently another dog in class growled at me as I brought my crate into the training building. I delayed bringing TUX and Crosby inside as long as possible. We stayed well away from the larger dog and I kept a watchful eye on him.

So a few hints:

  1. Some dogs need to have their “own space”. If you have such a dog, let others around you know. Be aware that not all owners may tell you that their dog has a “comfort zone”.
  2. Always, always pay attention to what your dog is doing at the end of its leash. You may be chatting to friends, while your dog is quietly snarling at other dogs.
  3. If you have to walk by a dog that you are uncomfortable with, either put yourself between your dog and the other dog, or pick your dog up and carry it past the other dog.
  4. Don’t assume that if another dog owner tells you his/her dog is friendly that their opinion is shared by their dog. 🙂
  5. There are both purebred dogs and mixed breed dogs who may have an attitude issue.