Saturday, March 03, 2012

Walking And Hiking Dogs Can Be Dangerous

I like to hike. I especially like to hike with a dog, especially in wilderness areas and in parks. So, I've seen a number of things to watch for.

People and their dogs fall off cliffs more often than you realize. It happens all over the world, and is in the news pretty regularly. Dogs get loose and fall. Dogs chase animals and drag people over the cliffs. People go off trail on cliffs with their dogs, and so they both fall.

If you are going to hike with a dog, you MUST observe some basic safety precautions. First and foremost, you should have a well trained dog that is obedient around distractions, is confident climbing and descending loose rocks and dirt, and is leashed around all falling hazards. For the people, especially kids, a leash should never be tied to your body or wrapped around your wrist. A kid could be pulled off a ledge by a strong dog and and die. There is also a proper way to hold onto a leash, and any trainer will tell you how. I'm not going to explain it here because I want you to hire a trainer. If you don't know, then you shouldn't be hiking with your dogs, even in areas that seem safe.

Water areas are also unsafe. Your dog needs to be obedient, in water and off leash. Dogs drown, and so do their owners trying to rescue drowning dogs. Dogs will also rush onto frozen lakes and rivers, fall in through cracked ice, and drown. There are numerous stories of people dying in frozen lakes and rivers trying to rescue their dogs.

Some recent examples:

Here is a man and his German Shepherd Dog that fell off a cliff in Los Angeles while playing fetch with his dog (Who plays fetch with a dog near a cliff? Don't get me started... grrrr)

I can keep posting these. There are tons and tons of these articles, and they bear out my advice. It is a wonderful thing to go places with your dog. But it isn't so wonderful if you or the dog die.

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