Last fall we had a potential client, we'll call her Sheri, come to watch our group class. She asked if she could bring her dog to the field since her dog was "wild" and would ruin the inside of her car. I said sure. I explained that we do off leash training with all the dogs we train, in fact our company Motto is "If you need a leash...your dog's not trained!"
After watching for a while Sheri tried to make the case that our off leash training wasn't needed, since her dog would never be off leash. I found the remark almost funny, accept that she believed it. We talked about dogs bolting out doors at worst, and at best jumping on guests entering her home or self serving food from the table. She just didn't think she needed it. I've heard arguments like this many times, but rarely when someone comes to our group class and can see 25 dogs off leash. Well, you can't win them all.
I went back to teaching my class and from a distance I watched in horror as Sheri's dog slipped the collar she was wearing. Sheri found herself holding her leash and collar in her hands, and her leash less dog started a 200 yard dash towards a very busy Wantagh Ave. About 10 of my clients told their dogs to down, and ran to help keep Sheri's dog alive.
Maybe Sheri was having a lucky day, or perhaps it was the grace of God, but the church we rent a field from had an event on their front lawn. They had craft tables lined up across the lawn, and it kept the dog from getting to the street. If this happened a week earlier, or a week later, I am sure the dog would be very dead.
The dog ran around dodging everyone, and Sheri couldn't catch her dog. It looked very bad, and the two minuets the dog was loose seemed to last a lifetime. Finally, one of my clients, Robert, snagged the leash less, collarless dog and dangled her until Sheri could re-apply her useless devices to her untrained dog. She left hysterically sobbing. I seriously doubt she noticed that everyone who had downed their leash less dogs and ran off to help her, came back to all of those dogs patiently waiting in a down for their owners return. She never called. She did however; give everyone who showed up to the training class that day, a reminder of what brought them there when they were first called us for help.
Have a great week.
Copyright 2005, Best Friend's Dog Training Inc