Dogs, owners and legalities in America

1 boxer dogThis may sound like a strange first article, but unfortunately it is becoming more and more common for people to be sued by other people because of dogs.

Issues can range from dog noise (barking); dog biting to death (death of a dog or human).

You will find plenty of lawyers willing to represent paying clients, and plenty of people wanting to make money off of dogs. So how can you avoid all of this?

Usually its as simple as walking your dog, off lead !

Really? Wont that be more likely to cause problems than solve them?

The answer is about 95% no and 5% yes.

The reason that I split the answer this way is this. If you have a regular companion dog, that doesn’t have any aggression issues, then the only way to keep them safe is to daily walk them off lead in an off lead park, around other social dogs.

Dogs are pack animals and this is Vital to their lives, their stability, their health and their good behavior.

You can train a dog to within an inch of their lives, but they will mostly obey you while you are present. A social dog, that is not 100% trained might have some recall issues (particularly when they are a puppy), but they will not run over to another human or dog and cause a fight. They will not bite them, unless they are protecting themselves.

There are those who walk among us who will tell you that this is ill advice. They will want you to lock up your dog at all costs, never let the dog mingle with another dog, and definitely not off lead. These people are usually litigators who think they are giving you the best advice to reduce law suits.

The point is they are 100% right, within the frame of reference of their own lives. If your dog never interacts with another dog or another human, they are 100% unable to cause harm to those creatures. However, when you realise that nearly 50% of human deaths by dog bite occur in the owner family, you may soon realise that you are not really protecting yourself by making your dog purposely unsocial.

Walking a dog daily takes a big commitment. Doing it before work means rising early and often walking to the park in the dark. It means doing it in all kinds of weather. It means many not fun things, but when you see a relaxed, happy, non bored, non destructive dog in your house when you come home from work you will soon realise the massive benefits outweigh a few extra hours per week. Hours that you have established and maintained a perfect dog owner connection !