Always have a leash or line on your dog.
I was driving to a consult yesterday and noticed a man jogging along with his Cattle dog X running next to him, I always look at dogs, occupational hazard I guess and just as I noticed the dog was off leash, another dog from behind the fence ran up and barked at the cattle dog, who was startled and bolted onto the road, where sadly it was hit by a passing car.
It happened in the blink of an eye, there was nothing …
that anyone could have done at that moment, just a bad set of circumstances.
I stopped and rushed out to help, the dog was badly injured and the owner scooped him up and ran to his home, a few houses away, to get him to the vet.
It is gut wrenching to watch a dog in that much pain and being so frightened and confused. I don’t know the outcome.
Now the message!
I am sure that this dog was quite reliable off leash, otherwise I am sure he wouldn’t have been off leash, but it isn’t about reliability nor is it about how the dog reacts to normal circumstances.
It is like a seat belt in a car, we hope we will never need it, moan at the inconvenience of fitting it for no apparent benefit, but when the unexpected happens of course they save lives.
So do leashes!
In my training programs there are in most cases guidelines to use a long line whilst progressing through training, this is mainly just so the dog can’t self reward or blow off a command as the training isn’t done in a dangerous location, I build that level of precaution in just so training wont go wrong.
This isn’t a dog at the Cattle dog owner, I didn’t say a word to him, didn’t get angry or coach him, he knew and will think about this quite a bit I am sure, I just wish it had of been something he thought about before hand.
This blog post is to help remind you of the risks and although you may get away with taking this sort of risk many times, so did the Cattle Dog owner I am sure.
If you go running or biking with your dog, use a leash or line or bike attachment, safety first.