Curb Your Dogs!
I barely ever get up on a soapbox, but I can’t keep my mouth shut any longer. The other day, I went out for a run and was enjoying the beautiful, fall weather when…three tiny terrors came running up to me and started barking and growling at me. Let me preface this anecdote with the fact that I am a huge dog lover and am the proud owner of two Basset Hounds. As horse enthusiasts, I think the majority of us are dog lovers, which is why I am writing this post to you, the general public, whom I hope will agree with me…
…Because I really hate it when dog owners don’t keep their dogs on a leash. We’ve all been there. It might happen while we’re out on the trail, simply minding our business and enjoying the ride, and then a rowdy hound comes running up to the horse and scares the wits out of him (and you!) and your horse takes off. Or, we could be at a horse show and an ignorant person has their dog standing outside the ring, barking the entire time (yes, these instances have both happened to me). And I’ve also had the instance of running through my neighborhood (including in front of my own house) and had a random dog come running up to me, bearing his teeth.
As riders, it’s our responsibility to be pay attention at all times while on horseback, whether it’s in the ring or on the trails. But dog owners have responsibilities, too, and one is to keep our canines on a leash. I have two dogs, and I keep them both on a leash at all times, even when I’m in my own front yard. When we got one of our dogs, we had to sign a contract with our breeder that we would always keep her on a leash, but this is something I do without hesitation, anyways. Here’s why:
Reasons to Keep Your Dog on a Leash
- They could get away and never come back (have I mentioned I own hounds?)
- Just because your dog is in it’s own front yard, that doesn’t mean another dog won’t come into his/her yard and attack it.
- Ditto for #3, but in the instance you’re out in public – just because your dog is well-behaved on the trail or at a horse show, that doesn’t mean that you won’t run into another dog that isn’t well-behaved. Every dog owner thinks that their pet is well-behaved…until he isn’t.
- Not everyone is a dog lover. It’s hard to believe, but there are some people out there that don’t like dogs. Or that are allergic or scared of dogs.
- You won’t know where to pick up their poop (another peeve of mine!)
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. So for the love of dogs, please keep them on a leash! And feel free to leave further comments on why you should curb your dogs below.