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An Off-Leash Walk Ended in Tragedy for My Dog, and I Was Powerless to Stop It


Offbeat  (tags: animals, environment, protection, dogs )

Cher
- 506 days ago - dogster.com
My experience as a trainer couldn't change the fact that dogs don't always come on command



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Comments

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:30 am

That really is a tragic story. I'm glad the emphasis is still on the command words, and I agree that they will save a life, most of the time.
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:56 am

I'm confused as to where my comment has gone. Each article had to be noted 5 or 6 times, comments are disappearing again, and it's slow on Care2 I feel I am moving backwards.

This really is a sad story. I think command words can save a dog's life more times than not. I'm glad the author emphasized that.
 

Kit B. (276)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:57 am

Oh, now the other one shows up.
 

Barbara D. (73)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 8:31 am
My dogs are all obedience and agility champions and certified companion dogs. Guess what? I NEVER turn my back and never let my guard down. This is why my dogs are always on-lead in public and why we enjoy the Invisible Fence on our property.
As a rather uncouth veterinarian I once worked with stated, *We have a whole freezer full of dogs who never did that before!*
 

Gloria picchetti (290)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 8:39 am
RIP Lynal. It's so sad.
 

Ruth S. (307)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 9:41 am
You never loose sight of your animals, they are like children, you must always know where they are.
 

Connie O. (42)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 11:01 am
Kit B.... I have had that problem for a couple days now...maybe there are so many out here commenting, that the system is getting bogged down!
 

Connie O. (42)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 11:03 am
That is a sad story. Even if they had an invisible fence, sometimes dogs will barge through.
 

Marianna Molnar Woods (9)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 12:25 pm
so very sorry. i always grieve the death of a dog esp. if his death was in vain.
 

Kerrie G. (135)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 1:14 pm
Noted, thanks.
 

Dianne D. (463)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 1:19 pm
I've had 2 neighbors who had very well trained dogs and one was out practicing commands out in a field by our house. The dog saw a rabbit and started to chase it. Would not listen to any commands. The dog got hit by a car. The second neighbor tried to walk her dog without a leash, and he saw children across the street and ran after them and got hit by a car in front of the children. Always keep your dogs on leashes or in an enclosed area. I thought all 50 states had leash laws.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 1:21 pm
Important to note, certainly.
 

Birgit W. (144)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 1:23 pm
Very sad.
 

Carlene V. (203)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 2:20 pm
So sorry for the loss of the dog. We never, ever let our dogs off leash unless we were in a fenced area like a dog park. One of the reasons was we were told a Schipperke would "run 10 miles before he looked back". It is dangerous to let them off leash in the wild and we certainly cannot always expect that they will obey our command to "come". Just not worth the chance to lose our little charges.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (453)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 2:35 pm
Was the truck so loud the dog didn't hear the command? I'm just so sorry for this girl.
 

Jude Hand (59)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 2:48 pm
Noted. Good words to hear and relay, thanks!
 

Sandra S. (126)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 3:39 pm
Horrible tragedy,with hindsight we are all sadly wiser,x
 

Ruth M. (252)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 3:56 pm
It's always easier to be wiser with hindsight !!!
 

M. (Moo) Prince (16)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 5:11 pm
So sorry & sad for your loss. R.I.P. Sweet angel Baby :( Noted
 

Fred Krohn (34)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 5:44 pm
I was almost on the other end of this sort of thing a few times; it proved to me why running the speed limit in residential neighbourhoods makes sense, as the owner comes out to collect the confused pet at the sound of my loud horn instead of having to scrape remains up. Drive as if any roadside obstruction could hide your own child in a residential zone; slow enough to screech and honk makes more sense than thump and die.
 

Eternal Gardener (743)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:02 pm
A hard lesson, especially for a dog trainer: "no dog can ever be 100-percent trained."
 

janet f. (29)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:20 pm
The moral of this story is that no dog should be off leash if he isn't in a contained area. Dogs aren't responsible for their own safety, we are. It's the arrogance and stupidity of the owner that puts an animal at risk. This is a tragic and heartbreaking lesson.
 

Aletta Kraan (146)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 7:06 pm
Very sad !
 

Mm M. (456)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 7:47 pm
Tears for both the dog as well as the Owner, but even when I know my dog will stop immediately, I never ever allow her off lease PERIOD unless it is in an area that is protected...THAT WOULD BE MY LOCKED YARD where she plays ball! Most of my dogs my age 2 have always been "Hunting Dogs" you can train them all you want ~ just takes one mistake. Now, I had a German Shepherd ~ She was always by my leg and ignored anything period. Never ever trusted a dog like that period....but, again that was on a private property away from everything ~ I could walk her on the beach - by my side when I rode horses and she was always there. ~ That was in the late 1970's, with all around So. California I would not even trust "Sister" Noted with sadness!
 

Dale O. (190)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 8:13 pm
So very tragic when something unexpected happens, sadly it can just take that one time with a dog. This can also happen with young children if they see something and suddenly dash across the road to get a ball or something, so in many situations one always has to be on guard for the unexpected. Leashes can often be one of the dog's best friends.
 

Constance F. (433)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 10:34 pm
Heartbreak and my worst fear. And this should not be a black and white issue either. I have seen exceptionally trained dogs, absolutely. And many dogs can be off leash in a park setting with no roads or traffic near by - I see this all the time - everyday. Like Marilynn's Shepherd, and other dogs I know. On the other hand, some dogs will take off - mine just lost her freedom ticket - because she kept going and going and going. My other dogs would always come back if they ran up or down a hill, but not my newest dog - o no - no treat would entice her - she was headed for the picnic tables. The lesson is: not only to be extremely careful about where you might let your dog off leash, but to know your dog. She's just never going to march to my tune. She has her own plans. I have tried and tried. Freedom ticket gone.
 

Marie W. (65)
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 10:49 pm
BUY AND USE A LEASH.
 

paul m. (93)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 12:41 am

Sadly Noted....
 

Constance F. (433)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 12:41 am
And this should not be a black and white issue ! GET IT !
 

Anne S. (14)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 3:10 am
Very sad!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 4:51 am
Very sad. Thanks for sharing. People should keep their dogs leashed to prevent issues like this.
 

Fi T. (16)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 7:31 am
When can there be a safe place for our furry friends?
 

Ge M. (217)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 8:25 am
Thanks Cher, a good reminder that dogs can never be fully trusted. Even Cesar Milan has never left his dogs alone with children.

My dogs are foster dogs and I do not claim to be a trainer but have always succeeded in dealing with bad habits (elderly dogs pick up some awful ones). My current dog is one who didn't make it out of the door.... They are always on the leash unless they are in an area where it is safe to let them go even when they have shown the ability to return immediately. It only takes a moment's distraction for a tragedy like this.

I have often initiated a conversation with someone who tells me that the dog will return eventually or won't let them off the lead because they won't! Dog training should be done daily and continually reinforced.

Even then I have seen other people with dogs who will not respond to come and run out of the park.
 

Sandi C. (236)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 8:41 am
sadly noted.
 

Shawna S. (43)
Thursday May 2, 2013, 10:41 am
noted..sadly
 

. (0)
Friday May 3, 2013, 7:52 am
sad sad sad - noted - thank you dear Cher
 

Carol H. (229)
Friday May 10, 2013, 11:22 am
very sadly noted, thanks Cher
 

Debbie Crowe (78)
Wednesday June 19, 2013, 5:00 am
So sorry for your loss, Clarissa!

Rest in Peace, little Lynal - you sure were a good looking little guy!!
 
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