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Why Rescue Dog Safety Protocols are So Strict – Part 1

Guest Article by Mia Andrews

At a recent seminar given by Ken Price, founder of The Dream Team, an organization that helps to retrieve lost pets, rescue dog owners learned about the dangers of loosening safety protocols before their dogs are ready. Throughout his presentation, Ken emphasized this point.

Dogs are living beings that need your care and attention just like children.

The seminar was hosted by local volunteers with Soi Dog, a rescue organization founded to provide a humane solution for the stray dog population in Asia. Also attending were representatives of Free Korean Dogs, who work to move dogs away from the dog meat trade to homes in North America. Both organizations require anyone adopting a dog to adhere to strict safety protocols.

As Ken talked about these safety protocols, he continually reminded the group to think of dogs as two-year-old children. This was the helpful context for talking about the following scenarios:

  • Leaving your dog alone outside a store or loose in your house: For the same reasons these would be unsafe for a child, they’re unsafe for a dog
  • Letting your dog walk off-leash in the city: Would you allow a child to walk on a busy street without holding your hand?
  • Allowing a dog to be loose in a car: You would worry about your child’s safety so why not your dog’s?
  • Teaching your dog safety commands: These have the same effect as teaching your child to be safe.

Ken’s advice is that thinking of your dog as a small child provides a good checkpoint whenever you have a question about what boundaries to set as a responsible owner. While he believes this type of safety thinking is good for all dog owners, Ken discussed an additional challenge in adopting a rescue dog.

A dog that has previously been loose or was a street dog will have PTSD that will trigger a response for the dog to run just at the sight of an open door.  The dog won’t even grasp what it is doing until it is loose and too late

Adopters of dogs from Free Korean Dogs have a similar challenge. Many of their dogs include the Jindo, a breed that is not suitable for being off-leash because of its drive to chase and run free.

Ken’s extra advice for those adopting rescue dogs is that no door opens before the dog is secured. He suggests the following practices:

  • Between the doorbell and door opening, the dog should be crated, contained in a closed room, or secured in hand with a leash.
  • When going in and out of a car, a dog’s leash is in hand while the car harness is clipped/unclipped

Read More

Why rescue dog safety protocols are so strict – Part 2
Why this expert never lets his dog off-leash

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