11.20.2007

Dog Fears and Fear of Dogs

I'm not worried that my dog is going to hurt someone, intentionally. I'm not worried that she's going to be a mean animal or a menace, except in the pesty term and not the vicious, snarling way.

My fear is that she'll get out and will charge someone who has a fear of dogs and, in retreat, accidentally hurts themselves. Nande gets labeled as vicious and is either put down or gets a one strike and put down rating.

The solution, of course, is to never let her off leash, ever. Which blows. But it certainly beats having to deal with my dog being put down for an accidental scaring.

One nice thing is that there are several places in the county where off-leash dogs are expected and accepted, if not explicitly legal. We're lucky enough to have a great dog park with a big enclosure that she can really run in. It also has a half mile perimeter path that dogs are supposed to be on leash for but most people let the dogs roam free. I take the opportunity to run her by pretending to throw rocks into the tall brush (and yes, I rub her down afterwards to make sure she doesn't pick up and foxtails or ticks).

She's a good dog but she's also a big dog and I worry that her size and vivaciousness will someday be her undoing.

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