2016 and dog laws have changed! Over the past 10 years a zero tolerance in anti-dog culture has been sought with the press and the public taking a hardened attitude toward dogs and, in particular, towards Bull breeds. We consistently get homing applications with the naivety and innocence in expecting most dogs will achieve off lead status within perhaps two weeks of careful guidance. We have needed to spell out some of the realities which we hope will make you think about the expectations placed on a dog’s shoulders to be an off lead dog.
A few facts: Dogs Trust Stray Dog Survey 2014 - with figures from only 90% 0f Local Authorities complying, the other 10% probably having a high kill rate so are embarrassed to declare their figures. 110,000 dogs were found stray; 55,253 (50%) passed back to owner; 7,805 (less than 10%) put to sleep; 29,236 (20%) passed to welfare rescues (many not making it through to homing); 20% not accounted for! Source: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/whats-happ ... report.pdf
Rescue Remedies is a responsible rescue. We help council pound “death row dogs” either handed in as supposed strays or genuinely stray from lost off lead or escaping from insecure gardens. These rescued dogs’ original owners did not stand there for them! Council pound dogs get seven days to be reclaimed and cost at least £100 to reclaim. Even when chipped owners claim they sold them on or deny ever owning them; from April 6 this year they will face hefty fines for failing to change ownership details.
Expectations on a dog who is “Off Lead”
Our dogs must achieve 100% recall despite distractions such as cats; squirrels; birds; running children; joggers; cyclists or other dogs running. They must never chase or jump up in excitement especially if they are a Bull breed.
Our dog must show exemplary behaviour when off lead never intruding into an unsociable dog’s space; they must walk away if another dog challenges or starts a fight and they must never run across a road or out of a park gate etc.
Our off lead dog must not risk their health when going down a hole; drinking from a river and possibly catching Weils disease contracted from rats urine or pick up rotten food.
Our dog must never challenge or steal from children, fisher people, picnickers or another dog’s, food, toys or balls.
IF OR WHEN my dog ever has an altercation with another dog and one or both get bitten I will stand by my dog and take full responsibility and pay the vet bill for the on lead dog. I will accept a visit by a council official to my property and from then on live by the resulting “Control Order” where I have to muzzle my dog in public never to come off lead again and know I am the one that will be prosecuted despite the fact I may blame my dog!
IF OR WHEN a member of public gets inadvertently, accidentally or actually bitten; for example; by an over excited dog or splitting up an altercation: I will stand by them when a police officer visits and I receive a Control Order or possibly a ‘Destruction Order’ which could result in my dog being killed or, I will accept my dog may be seized and fight for them through the courts to prove their character and save my much treasured pet’s life.
OUTCOME: I wanted my dog to be an off lead dog! I have ended up with a dog that by law must now be muzzled; we both have to bear this cross and deal with all the social stigma that comes with the use of a muzzle but, I won’t blame the dog will I!
If I then decide to get rid of my dog I will spend two days on the phone trying to get a rescue to believe in my dog that I put far too much expectation upon and they failed to meet my grade. I will tell them it’s my fault not the dogs, or perhaps, I will put the blame on the dog and kill my dog for not meeting my ideals; after all they were the one that didn’t walk away when provoked; they were the one that didn’t read the other dog who didn’t want an over social dog in their face, who was held on a lead by a ‘responsible’ owner who tried to call and tell me. I wasn’t paying attention and it’s my fault they jumped up at a family who didn’t want a dog saying hello, or they knocked over a child or caught their coat with their claw or plastered mud on their suit on route to work; I will pay the price or will my dog by losing its home or its life??
Some Rescue Remedies homing’s that we trusted to first take their dog and themselves on a training course, do not, but call in a behaviourist within weeks of homing, placing the blame on the dog. Some fail to grasp basic breed traits which give them chase drive and exuberance or remember the impoverished background they had. Some families who insisted they will keep our dog on a lead call us to say our dog has been missing for four hours and they are worried sick, or is fighting for its life after being run over or got into a fight with an antisocial dog. Some ask us to take their dog back as they aren’t that ‘100% all singing, all dancing, perfect mannered’ dog they’d hoped them to be. Many of our responsible homers do stand by our dogs and ensure they are on lead supported with dog encounters and are safe in public; these dogs go on to enjoy fulfilled and cherished lives.
Would you like to foster one of our kennels dogs? The process is explained here and includes a Foster Questionnaire for you to complete
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