LETTER: Respect for leashed dogs

I’m the owner of a wonderful Australian Shepherd dog and mother to a six-month-old baby girl. Despite my dog’s many amazing characteristics, the one thing I’ve not managed to teach him is that it is rude to jump on complete strangers. As a result of this, I am very wary about letting him off lead. I take him on long walks with my daughter in her carrier, and him on a leash attached to me.

Since having my daughter it really has come to bother me how many other dog owners don’t respect dogs on a lead.   I’m understandably concerned for my daughter’s safety now in addition to his, which makes the situation of dealing with other people’s off-leash dogs a lot more difficult.

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I’m writing this as a consequence of the walk I just had. Whilst precariously walking on wet snow and ice, we were surrounded by three off-leash (by all accounts friendly) large dogs. These dogs meant no harm, but my dog was smaller and on leash. The owners appeared oblivious to mine and my dog’s discomfort and did nothing to call their dogs away. I ask you how would you feel if you were confined with limited movement, and then surrounded by three large excitable people? I bet it would make you very uncomfortable, no matter how outgoing and friendly you are.

My dog is so loving and friendly, but even he is scared in these situations. What about the dogs that are already wary of other dogs?

This is not limited to larger off-leash dogs. Recently my dog had to put up with a smaller dog barking and nipping at his neck, whilst its owner ran around trying to grab it. The result of that encounter could have played out very different if my dog were not so friendly.

Please, dog owners of Squamish can you start respecting other dogs who are on leash.

Karen Hillary


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