Reading this article I know it could easily be me, or any of my clients that walk their dogs off leash. I walk this path a lot with my fur clients and my dogs, and I’ve seen a lot of dogs off leash…and shiver at the thought of seeing a similar situation. (The picture above by Dishion Buckner Photography is the Del Mar Track, the exact spot in the article)
My heart breaks for the man’s family and the dog, even though the dog is ok as you can see in the video the man lost his life leaving the Labrador without an owner.
Walking our dogs off leash is a gamble, it doesn’t matter if your dog is trained by the best, or attached to you by an invisible leash, or is the most obedient dog there’s always a chance the dog can be spooked or sees something he must investigate closer and quickly. I never walk my dogs or clients off leash near the track or roads. I don’t care how obedient they are, it’s too much of a gamble and I know I’d give my life to save them leaving my son without a mother and my husband a widow.
As a professional dog walker I suggest keeping the pups on a leash at all times, unless you’re on a hike after Rattlesnake Training and/or vaccinations (if summer) and after adolescence and an excellent recall. And you must be aware and mentally connected with your dog at all times.
This Labrador has his collar on so I didn’t slip off however I’ve heard horror stories from my clients about the collar slipping off and the dog was spooked, took off in the middle of traffic …. miraculously the pups were safe. JenLovesPets dog walkers always check the collars before walks to make sure they are tight enough and can’t slip over the heads of our dogs. The 2 finger rule is common, where you can easily fit 2 fingers and no more under the collars, I prefer the 1 1/2 finger snug fit.
Be safe during your walks, make sure the collars are snug but not tight, test to confirm they don’t slip over heads, a martingale collars is great also! And if you squirm at the thought of a tight collar a harness works great but test all scenarios and get a no pull and non slip one because I know a few pups that slip thru the harnesses!
JenLoesPets mourns with this family and dog, we will keep them in our hearts and prayers. May this gentleman rest in peace.