Some of you may know that we are participating in the Strut Your Mutt charity fundraiser.  As part of our participation, I’ve been trying to get, at least, 9000 steps in on a daily basis.

Two nights ago that meant that I was walking Boo and Cece around 9:30pm.  Our neighborhood isn’t the most well lit, with long stretches of our, around the block, walk being illuminated by nothing but moonlight.

As we were lazily transversing one of these stretches, I saw a man with his dog up ahead of us.  I, immediately, could tell the dog was on a retractable leash, so red flags were already going up in my head.  The warning signs got louder as I saw the man aimlessly looking around, with his back to his dog, while talking on his cell.

Through a lot of hard work, I’ve helped my dogs to not be overly reactive when encountering other dogs out on walks.  There is a limit to their patience, though.  Overt aggression, barking, etc directed at them from another leashed dog will elicit the same.  I know this very well.  So, to be prepared, I wrapped their leashes so that my hand was almost flush with their harnesses.  My first decision was made when we were about 100 ft from the dog and his owner.  Neither had noticed us yet, because of the darkness.  So I had a choice.  I could either a:) Make a noise, like saying hi, to get the man’s attention or b:) continue to walk.  What would you have done?

I chose b.

As we approached a street light, the dog, a Jack Russell terrier mix, saw us.  His hackles immediately went up, he froze with his head pointed right at us, and, in my head, all I could think was “oh no”.  Like he was being launched out of a cannon, the dog started after us.  Of course, the owner did not have his retractable leash locked and his dog reached the end in a matter of seconds.

Situations like this usually play out in slow motion for me.  In that moment, I knew I had a decision to make if the retractable part of the leash snapped(which is very common).  I could a:) try to protect that dog from mine by keeping their heads away from him or b:) Let me dogs go and break up the fight that was about to ensue.  What would you do?

3 replies on “What would you do? A case study about walking dogs.”

  1. I would of continue to walk and make talking to the dog so the man could hear you so you can see if they would pay attention. If not I would be louder. I would of kept calm as possible. Try to protect my dogs. I also would carry a walking stick. If able too.

    1. If I had to do it over again I probably would have done the same. At the time, because the guy wasn’t paying attention at all and we weren’t really making any noise, I was concerned that his dog might bolt and pull the leash out of his unsuspecting hand.

      1. Yeah I could understand the. I think it depends on the size of the dog and how big the person too. It crazy just how some people have no common sense.

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