Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dogs in the yard

I'm really sad.

Angry, sad, frustrated. Irresponsible dog owners have resulted in the unnecessary death of two wonderful dogs.

A family in my community has (had) 2 beautiful dogs (whom I've met). The various family members for several years allowed a situation to exist where their two dogs repeatedly escaped their yard and would run around the community creating havoc. The dogs and the family got a reputation.

Despite knowing about dog crating, and despite having done so when the dogs were pups, the owners did not crate them, or kennel them when they could not be directly supervised. Instead, they rebuilt a fence (which the dogs still found a way to escape).

To make a long and tragic story short, the dogs killed an elderly cat, the owners were warned, the dogs got out and did it again, and the dogs were held and turned over to the authorities and will be euthanized.

I'm so angry about this I don't even know where to begin.

So let me say this. If there is a lesson out of this it is that if you have ONE situation where your dog gets out, you MUST take immediate and effective action to prevent that from happening again. This family had literally dozens of cases where their dog got out.

People's reluctance to crate train their dogs can be deadly for their dog. It was in this case.

People, crate train your dogs. It's humane, it's safe, and it's a great fall-back if for whatever reason your dog likes to escape your yard. It's almost impossible to create a back yard that will contain a dog who is determined to escape and go have some fun (and once that happens once, it's very positively reinforcing so it's very likely to happen again and again).

The owners in this case are personally responsible -- 100% responsible -- for the senseless death of their two beloved dogs. These were really nice dogs. And these were really annoying owners. I'm heartbroken by this situation, and I'm angry.

Please, everyone, crate train your dogs. Use crating as necessary. But use it. Don't let a situation escalate like this. If a dog escapes even once, take it very seriously and jump on it. If you're unwilling to confine your dog with a crate, buy an enclosed kennel for the yard.

Denial kills.

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