Yesterday, I wrote a post about an experience I had with an off-leash dog which could have ended tragically. Fortunately, it didn’t. However, owners of larger dogs, particularly Pit Bulls, frequently feel they are singled out and held to higher standards than smaller dogs. If a fight breaks out, obviously the larger dog was picking on the smaller dog. That’s not always, or even usually, the case. Dog fights start before any movement occurs. A dog’s posturing towards another dog is designed in certain situations to read as: Come at me.
No matter the situation, though, it’s always your job as Pilot to control the situation. So even if that little Jack Russell is out for your Doberman’s blood, and vocalizing it as well, it’s up to you to control your Dobie. Obviously, just like me, you aren’t perfect. You aren’t always going to respond perfectly. Indeed, there is only so much you can do when an off-leash small dog comes charging at your larger one. But just because a situation seems hopeless doesn’t mean you stop Piloting. You still Pilot. You still do your best. Don’t ever give up just because the situation seems too much to handle. Because that’s what Pilot’s do.
There are things you can do to prevent catastrophe as well as manage a catastrophic event. BadRap.Org has written up a wonderful list of Dog Owner Rights that perfectly mirrors my sentiments. It includes such things as carrying your cell phone to document behaviors on walks (you know, like that annoying off-leash dog on the corner of your house), as well as how to handle false complaints. Give it a read. Practice what it preaches. It may well prevent a tragedy.
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio