Dog Trains Owner

My neighbours across the street have been trying to get shrubs to grow along the edge of their property. I say “trying” because it is a challenge to grow anything with leaves in an area inhabited by starving town deer.

I sympathize because for the past 23 years I’ve been trying to do the same. I had to put a fenced compound in the backyard if I wanted to grow any roses or fruit trees. Even a hedge at the property line was impossible. The deer were hungry.

Recently, a greenway was forced on us, even though it is a detour of the original walking path. Even with the deer eating most of my gardening efforts, I did not like the idea of fencing my yard. I’ve had to give in though, and we now have a fence.

I could handle the deer, but not the dogs running at large. People come from far and wide. They don’t walk in their own neighbourhood, but drive here to walk their dogs. As soon as they see a stand of trees, they unleash their dogs to play “Born Free,” allowing them to tear through everyone’s yard, and do their business whenever the urge strikes them. Some dog owners even pick up after their dogs and then fling the plastic bags into the shrubbery in front of the homes along the path.

Below you see our neighbours’ continued brave attempt at preventing the deer from eating their shrubs. The little bag of blood meal seems to keep the deer away. But they are paying the price inflicted on us by the dog walkers. Many of their shrubs have been attacked by dogs who rip off the bags of blood meal. Where are the dog owners? I met one today.

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You see in the photo below where the path is. This is where the dogs and their owners are meant to walk. There is even an untamed grassy area where a dog might do its number and the owner can pick up. Why would a dog walker allow her dog to run over to the shrubs on private property and watch the dog as it attacks the blood meal bag?

015I was in my front yard with my own dogs when I saw a golden retriever run over to the neighbours’ shrubs and start pulling on the branches. I walked over closer and called to the dog’s owner. I saw then that she had him on a long retractable leash, but was allowing him to do whatever he wanted. I thought I’d just watch to see what she would do. Nothing! She did nothing at all. Only watched.

“Why are you letting him do that?” I asked her.

“I’m not letting him.” She turned her attention to the dog and pulled on the leash. The dog wouldn’t budge. He had his jaws locked on the blood meal bag and was not letting go.

The woman pulled and pulled. She begged him to come away.

I said, “The people have put those bags of blood meal on to discourage the deer and I know they’re upset that some dogs have been eating them.”

She gave me a look, and then let out a big sigh. She pulled a bag out of her pocket and took out a doggie treat. The dog let go of the shrub to take the treat and the woman dragged him away.

Now, who has learned a lesson?

The woman seems to have already known that she can get the dog to let go of something by offering him a treat. Do you think she’ll do it again? Yes.

The dog has learned that he can do what he wants and be rewarded for his disobedience. Do you think he’ll do it again? Yes.

The nosy interfering neighbour has learned that some people should not own dogs, and that her day would have been better if she had not tried to look out for her neighbours. Will she do it again? Yes.

So it seems that life will go on without any changes, at least until the neighbours also give up and build a fence.

 

32 thoughts on “Dog Trains Owner

  1. We have a product we spray to discourage dogs from doing their thing where we don’t want it… it is called Jeys Fluid… you spray it in the area and they stay away…. for the owners we have a thing called a sjambok… it is a heavy leather whip. It is traditionally made from an adult hippopotamus hide, but is also commonly made out of plastic…. the plastic one works a charm…

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  2. OMG, this is so frustrating. People let their dogs have control. I think the Dog Whisperer needs to visit your area. People used to say on his TV show, “but this dog is my child.” Well, would you let your child make his/her own decisions and run your household? I can’t stand when I see a dog controlling its owner. I’m so glad you said something to her, but like you said, she likely didn’t get the message. How inconsiderate and down right rude.

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  3. I had a 120 pound Sammie. I also, early on, had a personal trainer to train me how to handle him. He was loved by all as a gentle giant. People should be screened before being allowed to have a dog. I know we have to many unwanted animals in shelters but turn the coin over and we have to many unwanted dogs by owners who only tolerate them and get by with behavior as you describe. Which life is more miserable for the dog…the shelter or the untrained owner.

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    • Dogs definitely come with a lot of responsibility and I agree, if you aren’t naturally a good dog handler (I mean “handler” in the general sense) you should go for some lessons in dog obedience. It’s a misconception that these lessons are for training the dog. They are for training the owners how to handle a dog.

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  4. It’s just horrible how some dog owners tolerate disobedience. An example, which I find is a good solution: in Prague you can take your dog to the obedience training and don’t have to pay for it. Whenever you see a dog in Prague (big or small) he is so obedient that one gets speechless. They all behave like, for example, a dog trained for blind people. Its a good idea I think. This leather whip for the owners made me laugh – would be another solution …

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  5. I read this last night and couldn’t comment, but wanted to come back to it. This post is really a marvelous essay–I love the structure how you go into a series of questions with the same answer and then the whole notion of nothing changes. Really lovely.

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    • Thanks for your support, Nancy. I don’t like confrontation, but I also don’t like to be used and abused. Maybe the woman will try to get better control of her dog – at least when she’s in front of our yards.

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  6. My Mom is 86 years old and has a little dog, but over her lifetime she has been a good dog owner, carrying little baggies in her pockets and making sure her dog would not ruin plants, flowers or bushes. My Dad was very good at supervising dogs, as my two brothers also were very structured in their training and following the rules of etiquette with their dogs. I am appalled that my Mom is still leaning over and picking up her dog’s leavings, while there are many older people in her senior living apartments who Don’t!
    I also want you to know in the summer time people cut through this group of apartments and my Mom will shout out, hoping to let them know, “Hey! The sign says 25 miles an hour! You are driving too fast!” I think it is good to be a kind neighbor and friend by sticking your neck out and telling people you run into how they should act. Too bad many dog owners aren’t very polite and there are those few who are thoughtless. Too bad they couldn’t fine those who do this. I bet my Mom would be writing down license plates, if people were coming there by the two little lakes in their apartment ‘neighborhood’ if they brought dogs and got out to walk them there!! That is horrible, Anneli!

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    • Good for your mom! I had to chuckle at your last sentence about how awful it would be if people were driving there to walk their dogs. Almost NO ONE who walks our neighbourhood lives here! Very few!

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  7. And it IS the owners….not the animals, sadly, that need to use common sense and courtesy. I came upon an adult and stranger to me ~ “human” ~ in my back yard last week. He had climbed our six foot privacy fence to look for a toy he’d lost. I have a doorbell and I was home. I was not expecting to turn the corner and see this human. Needless to say….he left promptly thru the gate that I unlocked for him. I explained we do not climb the fence and trespass and scare the bejebbies out of home owner. I just thought that was common sense. UGH! 🙂

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