Friday, October 12, 2007

Dog Training Update

AN elderly man died after his dog panicked and dragged him into the path of an oncoming express train in Melbourne's east.

While dog training can't prevent a dog from panicking, it can teach you a lot about your dog. Over time, I get to know all my dogs through training. As I push them to learn more and more, and to obey in distracting environments, I learn their strengths and limitations.

Further, there are some safety tips you can use when managing a dog. The first is how to hold the leash. NEVER wrap the leash around your hand or wrist. The loop in the leash is for your thumb. The loop helps you grip the leash and prevent it from coming out of your hand. The loop is also a "quick release", because if you have to let go, you can just by opening your hand.

When hiking, for example, I never wrap the leash around my wrist and hand. You could be walking along some cliffs or a deep ravine, your dog could slip or could jump at a squirrel, and you'd fall a long way down to your death. Same thing here. If you are near a very busy traffic location, you don't want the leash wrapped around your wrist and hand. Your dog could panic and drag you into traffic.

Now, I don't know how this man was holding his dog, what kind of leash he had, anything about the dog, nor anything about the training the dog had. But, experience tells me to question the manner in which the leash was being held.

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