Archive for April 2012
One of life’s sublime pleasures is running with your dogs. In fact, that pleasure is the only reason I took up running. Without a dog or two at my side, I find running tedious and boring. Running together as a pack, however, resembles predators hunting their prey, and it keeps us in touch with something deep and primal within us.
But it all goes to crap pretty quickly when the predators are turned to prey, because some people allow their dogs run free in unfenced yards.
It especially goes to crap when you are running with a reactive dog yourself. It can be downright impossible to keep your reactive dog quiet, and naturally, your reactive dog’s barking and lunging will only escalate any interactions with the loose dog.
Just yesterday, I was running two dogs, and one is reactive. I kept her fairly calm as we passed dogs behind fences, but when one hurtled down a hill, barking, and looking hell-bent for a little dog meat, my heart just about leapt out of my chest. Luckily, I was able to get my two dogs behind me, hold out my hand in a “stop” signal, tell the loose dog “no” firmly, and the loose dog did wander off. It did make me realize that situation could have ended badly if the dog had been people-aggressive. It also is making me reconsider getting
mace pepper spray. I don’t like the idea of causing pain or discomfort to any dog, but I do need to be able to protect mine.
So a few questions for other dog runners out there. How do you deal with loose dogs? Do you use mace? If so, how has it worked for you?
Photo by taliesin at morguefile.com