Welcome to all my Woof Wednesday followers! Lately I’ve noticed more “lost dog” notices in the local paper, and that hurts my heart. I don’t know what I’d do if Magic disappeared. He’s microchipped, but folks would need to catch him first. While he’s quite good off-leash during most morning rambles with my husband, “most” is the operative word. Although we have 13 acres for him to play, chase Frisbee (endlessly!), and baptize every tree and grass tussock, Magic really really (really!) wants to get “productive” right next to the neighbor’s fenced dogs. Arg! The other dogs of course do not appreciate this.
I’ve harped and harped on “keep him on leash!” until I’m blue in the face. Unless you have a Frisbee or other irresistible toy or intermittent treat reward to keep Magic’s attention, he will do what comes naturally and go where the sniffing’s good. The last straw was when the American Bulldog next door decided to get out of his fence and teach Magic a lesson. Magic’s okay, but did end up with a red, swollen eye for several days.
I don’t blame the dogs. And if I were the neighbor I’d be aggravated if another dog pooped on my fenceline, effectively taunting my own pets. My husband had the best intentions but every time Magic “went AWOL” to visit when he was off leash, he was self-rewarded by getting fun sniffs, a game of chase with my husband, AND a car ride. Yep, honking the car horn brought him running back home whereupon Magic was given a car ride for being a “good dog” and coming home.
Do you see where this is going? *s* Magic got to practice the behavior, knew what to do to get everything he wanted. SMART doggy! Did I ever mention it’s easier to train dogs than humans? (ahem)
So now I’m the one who gets up early to take the dog-meister for his morning rambles (ON LEASH) and we’ve had no more incidents. Magic gets car rides other times, of course, but they’re no longer associated with illegal pooping expeditions.
Of course we also have a fenced area in the back yard amidst the roses. And afternoon runs with fetching toys (out of sight of the neighbor pooches) keeps Magic happy.
Do YOU have a safe area for your doggy wonders? I’m preaching to the choir but feel free to share the link to this column with those who may need the hint. It’s got some cool links and how-to suggestions on fencing dogs effectively (even a few for cats).
By the way, we have a new car, a “dog barrier” for the back seat, and . . . but that’s material for a future blog. Until then,
Woofs & Wags,
Causes Amy Shojai Supports
Cat Writers Association, Winn Feline Foundation, AKC Canine Health Foundation, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)