Sunday, August 30, 2015

EverythingDogBlog: The Other Side of the Story

Oblivious Dog Walkers can be Dangerous

I was driving home the other night and came to a stop at a stop sign, where I noticed a small white dog was crossing the street in the crosswalk in front of me, seemingly alone.

I couldn’t believe it!

A dog alone, at night, in a crosswalk?

Way behind the dog I finally spied the owner but I still totally expected the dog to run out into traffic in one direction or another. I had to stop anyway (stop sign) but I stopped with my heart stuck in my throat, holding my breath, finally realizing that the dog was on a retractable leash (often called a Flexi leash but that is the brand name).

Dangers Lurk in Retractable Leashes

Besides being thin, nearly invisible, composed of wire, and therefore potentially dangerous to people if the dog takes off, suddenly startled, and the person drops the leash, the dog is then dragging a long wire with a noisy contraption on the end, scaring him even more.

If the owner is not injured by the wire severing a finger, other dangers are possible if a dog bolts.

Consumer Reports and Professional Dog Trainers

A startled dog dragging a retractable leash may become tangled in the wire and try to pull free, causing more havoc. Just check out Consumer Reports here.

Most of my dog trainer colleagues recommend retractable leashes only for highly trained dogs (and even few of us dog trainers have such a dog – we tend to have the difficult dogs!) and well-coordinated people – certainly not children.

So, be wise and don’t use a potentially dangerous retractable leash. If you must, use some common sense and reel it in when crossing the street. It’s the right thing to do.

Be seen and be safe.

Need I say more?

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