Wednesday, 13 January 2016
House of rules
As a good friend and trainer says to me, I have a lot of rules.
Things like ' Don't eat people', 'Don't eat other dogs', 'Don't eat Nanny', well they are obvious of course. All of my rules have either come from actual personal experience or seeing the consequences.
When I used to stay over in the surgery to help a vet friend I've seen dogs with sticks at the back of their throats, broken teeth. It's just awful to see. Then from personal experience you see the dogs who scavenge or have been used to picking up sticks that get the wood or bone jammed sideways across the roof of their mouths, distressing them and often causing abscesses. I don't see them now simply because for many years now the rules has been no sticks, don't pick them up and certainly don't carry them. Dogs being the wonderful malleable souls that they are understand and learn quickly even when they are allowed to pick up sticks at home.
You would never consider your dog chasing a sheep or cow to be ok yet many will walk their dogs on crops, loving to see their dogs leaping through the, nearly ready to be harvested, barley or wheat....obviously ( presumably) crops don't feel pain the way sheep and cows may however the cost to the farmer can be on a similar level. A knee length grass field is not just a park, it's likely to be a silage crop or hay crop, I don't want to buy hay with dog poop in it any more than the farmer wants faecal waste in his stock's feed ration. So I have a rule, don't walk on farm crops unless I have full permission to be on the land and it is stubble ( left over from the corn harvest) or grass field that isn't ready to be cut. This includes freshly sown fields that just look like grass is growing in orderly lines.
I try my best to have a personal rule to not attach lines to collars when free running ( thankfully I have not had an incident however I have worked with my physio enough to know the damage done when the lines are stood on or caught up, so i am working towards a 100% harness+line . Flexi leads attached to halters I can barely face to watch, the whole point of a halter is to help turn the head when a dog starts to pull the forces work that way. Than add the leverage that a long lead produces you can easily see the damage that can be done.
There isn't enough time or space to work through my many rules however they are all based in sensible safety measures.
Now I know I am already given the nickname Nee Naw the fat police so I can take it on the chin to be Nee Naw Mrs Rules however you can't call me the Nee Naw fun police .....our guys and gals have a lot of fun. They have safe full on fun. My role in your dogs life is to enhance their life and yours, not be at risk of causing any harm.
I often wonder what everyone else considers to be a vital safe rule....