Ken Price, founder of The Dream Team, an organization that helps to retrieve lost pets, has advice for rescue dog owners who want to keep their dogs safe. He practices what he preaches: His own dog, highly trained and used to track and find lost animals, is always on leash!
At a recent seminar sponsored by Soi Dog, Ken outlined six reasons why he thinks every dog owner should do the same:
- Coyotes. They’re out there, tracking you in wooded areas and ravines, sometimes challenging you on your path. Your off-leash dog has a slim chance of surviving a coyote encounter.
- Fright. Any dog, no matter how highly trained, can be frightened enough in one instant to resort to fleeing from you. If scared enough, or the flight takes her too far away from you, she can become lost. Things that can trigger flight: loud noise such as a backfiring car or fireworks, an encounter with another dog, a flag or bag waving or tumbling in the wind, and many others. All of these are particularly scary for a rescue dog.
- Chase. Your dog can have the best recall, obedient and constantly at your side. He can demonstrate impulse control year over year. Then along comes that one squirrel…
- Cars. If your dog is on a six-foot leash and you are always six feet from the road, then you never have to worry about her accidentally stepping into the path of traffic. All it takes is a momentary distraction – a leaf, a piece of food, a child’s ball rolling into the street – and your off-leash dog could be in danger.
- Other dogs. Not all dogs are friendly and even the friendly ones don’t always get along. If you see another dog giving yours “the stare,” you want to ensure you have the leash control needed to gently guide him away from a potential encounter. In an encounter, a leash – especially if attached to a harness – gives you the best chance to retract your dog to a safe distance.
- Edibles. The ground is full of items that can make your dog sick, or worse. An off-leash dog can swallow an item before you might even know what it was.
Finally, here’s a great quote from Ken
Police dogs are the most highly-trained and obedient dogs known. Yet, other than when they’re commanded to give chase, have you ever seen one let off leash? There’s a reason for that.
Written by Mia Andrews
The Dream Team is all too familiar with what can go wrong, having helped retrieve hundreds of dogs in the southern Ontario area: a fraction of the dogs that go missing. Ken’s mission with his safety seminar is to educate rescue dog owners about the reality of lost dogs so that we can safely enjoy our new pets.
Soi Dog, a rescue organization founded to provide a humane solution for the stray dog population in Asia hosted the recent seminar given by Ken Price. 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.