Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dog In Need of Space

I really love the article "My Dog Is Friendly! A Public Service Announcement" and thought about printing it out to take on walks to give to overly friendly people. But it's a little long, so I wrote my own little PSA, which fits on one page and has the advantage of being personalized for Brewster's situation and Wichita city codes.

Dear Neighbor,
My dog is a Dog In Need of Space (DINOS). Please do not approach or allow your children or your dog to approach my dog. It does not matter that you are "good with dogs" or that your dog doesn't bite. My dog is aggressive when he believes he is being attacked, and it isn't safe for you or your dog to approach without my approval. My dog is a good dog. He was rescued as a stray and his behavior makes it clear that he was dumped or ran away from an abusive home where he was hit often and never socialized to strange people or dogs. I have gone through formal obedience training with him, and continue to work with him, but no amount of training will ever make him comfortable around strangers of any species. Yet when he is properly introduced and has time to get to know a new person or dog, he is the friendliest, sweetest, most loving dog you'd ever want to meet.

Even though my dog is aggressive when he feels threatened, I do have the right to walk him in public as long as he is on leash and under my control. However, no dog owner has the right to allow a dog to run off leash outside of a fenced area. It is a violation of Wichita law (City Code 6.04.040a) to allow any animal other than a cat to roam free, even if it's in your own front yard. Furthermore, if a loose dog charges my dog and my dog bites, the loose dog's owner will probably be considered to be at fault under City Code 6.04.045b.2.ii because the loose dog will be considered to have provoked my dog. This applies even if the loose dog is "friendly" and "just wants to play."

That said, I will always do anything I can to prevent my dog hurting another. I am an animal lover (otherwise I wouldn't have adopted a special-needs dog!) and I don't want your dog or my dog to get hurt. I do my best to keep my dog out of dangerous situations and away from strange dogs and people while still giving him the daily exercise and enjoyment he deserves. Please help me keep your family and my dog safe by following the law and keeping your pets under control, and by teaching your children when and when not to approach a dog. Keep in mind that my dog is certainly not the only DINOS in the neighborhood. You should never approach or allow your children or your pet to approach any dog without the owner's express permission--and even then you should carefully assess the dog's body language for yourself before approaching. 

For more information on DINOS dogs, please visit http://notesfromadogwalker.com.


No comments:

Post a Comment