"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

My Recreational Dog Walking Days Are Over

– Posted in: Columns, Newsletters
dog walking
I will no longer walk a dog down city streets (and advise my clients likewise) because the frequency of aggressive encounters (both on and off leash) in my city (London, Ontario) has grown too great. Even when there is no contact the attitude of so many dog owners when asked to demonstrate a modicum of control over their dogs has also become increasingly adversarial.
Now, out of necessity, I’m forced to find ways that are safer for both dog and human to provide an outing for the dog(s).
It’s not that (attacks) are a daily thing but I’ve been training companion dogs full time for around 30 years and the frequency has climbed gradually until here we are. I’ll teach heel but not for the purpose of a neighbourhood jaunt any longer.
And on a related note, I know of many older people (without dogs) that have given up walking because of close encounters of the uncontrolled dog kind. And others that have been actually injured by negatively aggressive and aggressively friendly dogs.
And on a final note the worst bites I’ve seen dog owners receive have been when they’ve tried to break up a dog fight trying to save their dog (sometimes accidentally from their own dog). It’s simply not worth it anymore.
I wrote a tongue in cheek column a few years ago where I translated dog speak which is what dog owners say vs what they mean. When a dog owner says, “He’s okay.!”, what they sometimes mean is, “I hope he’s okay because I can’t control him if he’s not.”
5 Comments… add one
Pat Ramsden

I had a 3.8 lb Yorkie out for a walk at our cottage on July1st long weekend. We stopped to visit with some friends and ot of the corner of my eye I saw a person but no dog. The next thing I knew my dog was attacked, shaken and killed within an instant. We rushed away and took our dog to London emergency clinic, although I knew he was dead. We think we know who owns the dog, but are not sure.
We called the police and the municipality, but received little assistance in finding the dog and the owner. We are victims in this and are still suffering the loss of our lovable pet that was a healthy 8 year old dog.
I remember hearing the owner comment “did you not see my dog” and also “he must have thought it was a stuffed toy.” We are adamant the dog should be muzzled at the least and possibly put down. What if it had been a child with a stuffed toy?
I will never walk my next dog near any other dogs.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Pat,

Thanks for sharing your story. It happens more than it needs to. Sorry you had to go through this.

John

Marion

I had just moved to London in an apartment. I had my cockatoo at the side of the building, a man came out with an American Bulldog, who hated small dogs. When this dog saw my dog, it pulled itself out of its THIN collar and attacked my dog. The dog badly broke my dog’s jaw and a lot of teeth. I saved my dog by grabbing the side of the bull with hands, causing the attacker to let go and bite my leg. My dog ran away, which saved his life. $6000. Vet fee, and permanent emotional damage to both of us. The owner was not the least concerned. Told the judge that I should not have been there in the first place, in my apartment grounds. Police do NOTHING in Canada. Muzzle now on the dog, but shows you why owners should be thrown in jail, they do not care.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

I’m glad to hear that some level of accountability was thrust on the owner of the dog. If you have the time, share how you ended up in court and received a settlement. It will be helpful to others to know one of the options they have in these circumstances.

John

Marion

I had to find out his name, thankfully the condo manager saw it. Because of the privacy act, it took 2 months to get his name from the city/animal control. Many forms to fill out as well as serve the bitter dog owner. You can get these forms on line or at the court house (small claims) court. after months of processing, we had to go to a private pre hearing at the court house with a judge. The judge told the dog owner that he would never win, because of all of my proof. The owner of the dog is not working, so I settled for half, with $100. Monthly. You are never guaranteed money, because if the dog owner becomes unable to pay, then you need to go to judgement procedures. Again a long road ahead.

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