Our seven-year-old dog after living in our home for two years has discovered some long buried terrible terrier traits. He suddenly wants to chase cars, and has decided to nip at feet. We are working hard to break him of these new found behaviors. He spends more time on leash. We have been working on reinforcing voice commands of sit and stay. We watch him trying to anticipate and stop him before the one mindedness of a terrier kicks in and he behaves badly. We want to help him modify his behavior to make him a better “citizen dog.” We are hard at work to be responsible for our dog and his behavior. It isn’t always convenient and easy to responsible, but long-term it is worth it. Ultimately he will learn to stop these behaviors, but between now and them I need to be there each time and stop from happening.
Dog owner’s who are not responsible drive me crazy. Most of the time when dogs behave badly I grumble in my mind about them the same way I grumble about children who behave badly. You have them teach them how to be good public citizens, they are your dogs or children, not mine. They and you by virtue of your lack of control are ruining my time. Occasionally dog owners move beyond that, when their dogs behave so badly I fear what will happen if they actually get beyond whatever small border between them and me, usually a chain or fence.
On my walking route there is one of those dogs that I worry about what happens when he finally comes through the fence. The owners have lost a previous dog that was killed when he came out and chased one too many vehicles and caught the truck. Yet they don’t come out and work with their new dog when he comes running out hackles up when anything car, truck or person walks down the road. When they first got the new dog they came out on stood on the back step and yelled across the yard at the dog. The dog did not listen, and they have long since given up and no longer come out to holler at their dog. It was too much trouble and he wasn’t leaving their yard so they gave up. Now the dog has discovered how to get out of the yard and into their pasture. What keeps this dog from me when walking is now only a few strands of barbed wire. He is still in their yard but just barely. They see nothing wrong with this because he is still in their yard, and yes they are technically correct. On the other hand they are one step away from another disaster, and they could prevent it by being a responsible dog owner.