I was in Acworth last Friday with a new Home Dog Training client and his eight month old Giant Schnauzer named Daniel. Daniel was a very loving, high energy, one hundred pound puppy. He was very inquisitive, and because of that, our clients had a very hard time in getting his focus. Daniel would rather run after birds and squirrels than obey my clients when they wanted him to get in the house. We did a lot of “boundary work” as well as simple “come” and behavior exercises. We have found that Schnauzers are very intelligent and Daniel was no exception. He picked up on the exercises very quickly and began to give my clients the focus and obedience they needed.
Our clients mentioned that Daniel was their first dog and said they wanted to “do everything right”. The first thing that I thought of was “Why did you get a ‘giant dog’ as your first dog?”. I held my tong and focused on safety and common sense issues that we have espoused for many years.
Over the years, Robin and I have come to understand that there are common sense guidelines and actual, local laws that help dog owners keep their dogs safe and secure. Most of these guidelines are “win-win” directives because they help keep the dog, the dog owner, and anyone around the dog safe, happy and secure. You really can’t ask for more than that when it comes to a set of rules. Please remember that this is an overview and some states, counties, municipalities, and HOA’s may have their own, specific rules. We suggest that if you are unsure about anything, check with your local city’s public service information department.
In many states, dog owners are required by law to register their dogs at the age of six months and to keep them registered. Your dog must always wear a registration tag and an identification tag, so that someone who finds your dog can return him to you immediately. Also, if your dog strays and ends up in a pound, the pound will have the information to contact you — especially important if your dog requires medical attention.
Even though not required, we strongly suggest that you have your dog “chipped”. This is a small device that is placed directly under your dog’s skin. It does not hurt the dog. Once installed, it allows any Veterinarian, Rescue Facility, or any individual with the proper equipment to identify the dog. You are often notified that your dog “ran away” and has “been found” before you discover he is missing.
You can also place a GPS tracking collar on your dog. This will allow you to track your dog if he gets out. Many of them have the option of setting a “safe area”. If the GPS sees that your dog has left the “safe area”, you will be immediately notified that he is out. It will even show you where he is going.
You must ensure that your dog is confined both day and night. If allowed to roam free, even the most docile dog may be a menace to wildlife and neighbors taking a late night stroll.
Some dogs have little tolerance for children, who being shorter, automatically get less respect from dogs who see them as being lower in the dog pack pecking order. Children, too, sometimes unknowingly tease dogs. A dog that bites a child would most likely be deemed a danger to society and be destroyed. Unfortunately, no one asks the dog’s side of the story. So for your dog’s safety, keep him in your backyard and out of harm’s way. A responsible owner or parent can prevent dog attacks on children by closely supervising children when they are around dogs.
When outside your property, you must keep your dog on a leash at all times. The leash must be held by someone who can control the dog. Do not let a child walk a big dog unsupervised. Check with your city or county government to see if there are established “leash-free” areas where your dog can run free.
Keeping your dog on leash is very important. You are responsible if your dog attacks someone. Under the law, you may be held responsible for any injury or damage caused by your dog if he attacks a person or an animal.
If you must put your dog into a situation in close proximity to people where he is overly adrenalized or anxious, we strongly suggest having him wear a Baskerville Basket Muzzle. This is a very humane device that allows him to do everything but bite and nip. It will decrease your anxiety level and will actually calm your dog down. In any extent, it will assure that the situation will remain safe.
As a courtesy to others, pick up after your dog has defecated on the sidewalk. Some counties have even begun to issue fines to owners who do not pick up after their pets.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training professionals for over sixteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.