Monday, September 17, 2007

Retractable(brain) Leashes

This morning Sully and I had a run-in with what The Willa Woman calls a "Stupid "Pet" Dog Owner With a Flexi-Leash". I think there are definitely different levels of dog ownership and "pet" people are those people who have a dog, for whatever reason, but are not actively involved in its care beyond feeding and maybe walking it. They may know their dog has some bad habits but have no idea or no gumption to find out how to fix them so they just live with it or get rid of that dog and start over with a new one. These people are a major pet peeve of mine and a major reason I could never professionally teach dog training or be involved in any other business that deals with these people. At least right now. I know I should want to educate them and help simplify their lives and their dogs lives but they just annoy me and I don't have the patience.

So lady walking two dogs on two seperate flexi leashes. How in the world do you hold two flexi leashes and then pick up dog poop/carry poo bag/treat dogs for being good or anything else that would require hands? Answer-you can't. She fumbles with keys/poo bag/flexi leashes and drops one, dog rushes at us, I grab the dog's harness and return dog to her.

Then she drops it a SECOND time! At this point I am probably noticeably disgusted but make nice because accidents happen. But they wouldn't happen if people didn't insist on using those darn flexi leashes.
5 reasons not to use Flexi leashes:

1-As demonstrated by this lady not once but TWICE, they can severely cut your hands if you grab the leash part when trying to restrain a dog. Which you will invariable do because you will NOT be able to grab the handle while it goes flying after your dog. And the handles are VERY easy to drop/slip out of you grip.

2-You have no control over a dog that is 20 feet in front of you. If your dog sees a squirrel teasing him in the street, you will NOT be able to stop him from darting after it and possibly getting hit.

3-People like them because it lets their dog run a bit without them having to really work. Maybe if the dog needs more exercise than you can provide, that's not the right dog for you. And maybe the right dog for you is a cat.

4-Dogs walked on Flexi leashes learn to pull when on a walk. Try to transition them to a normal leash and you'll have a terrible habit to break and most people aren't willing to spend the time to break it. Who in their right mind thought up a leash where the DOG is in charge of how far they go and how fast they get there? Does that sound like a recipe for a healthy, obedient pet? I will acknowledge that if you have a large area with no one you might bother and nothing to get wrapped around, the flexi leash is admissible. But a 20' training line would work just as well and it's much less gadgety and much less likely to slip out of you hand and go careening after your dog, scaring it to bits.

5-A flexi leash is not a substitute to training. A lot of people get them so their dog can roam free on the side walk and not tear their arm off pulling after every little thing. It takes much less time and effort to pop into your local pet supply store and pick up a flexi or for that matter a halti, an easy walk harness, an anti-jump harness or any other substitute for proper, positive training than it is to work with your dog consistently and intelligently.

Pet dog people and their Flexi leashes, just two of my many pet-related pet peeves. Also on the list- dog parks, people who don't spay and neuter their pets, the "disposability" of pocket pets, dogs tied out in back yards, people who buy puppies at pet stores, people who always carry their small dogs, and designer mutts. I'll try not to rant about them all at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. that is tooo funny AND TRUE! I used them for a while with some older dogs but when we got a LAB PUPPY, it was OBVIOUS we were in need of a bit o' training! Haven't used them since! Oh, and a dog park? yeah....dogs get killed there. In Fort Worth a corgi was 'too big' for the little dog side so they made him go to the 'big' dog side where a pit bull promptly broke his made the news. Can you IMAGINE? Oh, and they contract diseases there too, who is dumb enough to TRUST that your average joe blow will vaccinate his dog or keep him mange free?...........the list goes on........