Friday, December 28, 2007

Do you know where your dog is?

If your dog is outside on a chain, you may be brewing trouble.
Millions of dogs across the country spend their entire lives confined to small kennels or at the end of chains. This “solitary confinement” with little exercise or interaction with humans or others of their own kind can drive dogs insane. Dogs on chains become overly fearful of intruders and protective of their tiny patch of ground. Chained dogs are also exposed to taunts, teasing, and worse from anyone who passes by, further putting their defenses on red alert. Leaving dogs outside unattended increases the chances that children or others may wander into your yard and expose themselves to the risk of injury.
Dogs who spend a great deal of time alone in the back yard or tied out on a chain often become dangerous, while dogs who are well socialized and supervised rarely bite. It’s safest for everyone—both dogs and kids—when dogs are treated as treasured family members. Don’t turn your dog into a killer. If your dog is an “outside dog,” bring him or her inside now, for everyone’s sake.

Cool Ideas for Hot Dogs

A Naples, Florida, man was convicted of cruelty when his dog died after being locked in a car for four hours on a warm day. The dead dog’s temperature was still almost 110ºF a full two hours after police removed him from the car. The man was sentenced to six months in jail and slapped with a $1,000 fine for “animal cruelty by abandonment.”

“I always try to have sympathy for defendants before making a decision,” the sentencing judge told the man. “I don’t have any sympathy for you.”

Why was the judge so unsympathetic? Because he believed that the man, a doctor, should have known better than to leave a dog in a car for hours with one window cracked open just an inch. Indeed, all of us should know better, especially when temperatures climb into the 80s and 90s. But even a mild day can be dangerous. Recently, a dog died after being locked in a parked car on a sunny, 67°F day in Albany, New York, even though the car windows had allegedly been left open a crack.

During the “dog days” of summer, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to well above 100ºF in just a matter of minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.

Heatstroke can come on quickly and result in brain damage or death. Watch for symptoms such as restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, or lack of coordination. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, get her or him into the shade immediately and call your veterinarian. Lower the animal’s body temperature gradually by providing water to drink, applying a cold towel or ice pack to the head, neck, and chest, or immersing the dog in lukewarm (not cold) water.

“Every summer, we hear about tragedies that could have been prevented,” says PETA casework division manager Martin Mersereau. “Many people don’t realize how quickly animals left in a hot car or outside without shade or water can succumb to the heat.”

Prevent Heatstroke by Taking
These Precautions:

Never leave a dog in a parked car. On a mild 73ºF day, the temperature inside a car can reach 120ºF in 30 minutes. On a 90ºF day, the interior of a vehicle can reach 160ºF in minutes.
If you see a dog in a car and in distress, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license-plate number, have the owner paged inside nearby stores, and call local humane authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal, and then wait for authorities to arrive. Contact PETA for a supply of fliers on the dangers of heatstroke to leave on windshields.

Don’t carry your dog in the bed of a pickup truck. This is always dangerous, but the heat brings the added danger of burning the dog’s feet on the hot metal.

Don’t take your dog jogging—except on cool mornings or evenings—and don’t force exercise. On long walks, rest often and take plenty of water. Hot pavement can burn dogs’ paws; choose shady, grassy routes.

Trim heavy-coated dogs’ fur, but leave an inch for protection against insects and sunburn. Keep an eye on areas where hair is thin, like eyelids, ears, and nose as they can get sunburned.

Keep your dog indoors. If he or she must stay outside for long, avoid the hottest part of the day. Provide shade, water, and a kiddie pool. Keep drinking water in an anchored bucket or a heavy bowl that won’t tip over.

Be a watchdog for chained dogs. Make sure that they have food, water, and shelter. If you see a dog in distress, contact humane authorities. Give the dog immediate relief by providing water.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


What is Animal Cruelty?

Animal Cruelty is when someone hurts an animal or does not care for an animal responsibly, like giving him food and water. It is against the law to be cruel to or harm animals, even your own pets.

What Should You Do About It?

Since an animal that is being hurt can not get help on her own, she needs you to speak up for her. Depending on the situation, there are different ways to respond to animal cruelty:

If you see someone hurting an animal

#1 – Don’t Touch. The first thing to remember, is do not try to make the people stop hurting the animal. Even though it can be very upsetting to see someone being cruel, those people may try to hurt you if you get involved.
#2 – Get an Adult You Trust. This could be your mom, dad, grandparent, teacher or neighbor. Tell the adult what you saw and together, call for help.
#3 – Call 911. Have your trusted adult explain the emergency to the operator. The operator will tell the police or Animal Control officers to go immediately to the scene to help the animal.
If you know an animal who is not being cared for responsibly

# 1 – Don’t Touch. Even if you know the animal needs help, don’t try to help him on your own. If he is hurt or has been abused he may not realize you are trying to help.
#2 – Get an Adult You Trust. This could be your mom, dad, grandparent, teacher or neighbor. Tell the adult what you saw and together, get help.
#3 – Call Animal Control. The animal control officers or animal cops can help the animal or advise you on how to help the animal.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"Dangerous Dog" Ordinance is Unconstitutional

Judge: Dog ordinance unconstitutional By Bill Morlin
Staff writer
December 1, 2007
Video reports Watch video: Owners reunited with their
Spokane's "dangerous dog" ordinance is unconstitutional because it denies
pet owners the right of due process, a Superior Court judge ruled Friday in
a case that may have far-reaching effects.
As a matter of law, the administrative procedures used in the city of
Spokane regarding "dangerous dog" determinations and appeals from those
rulings violate citizens' due process rights, Judge Robert Austin said in
his ruling.
It came in the case of Patty Schoendorf, a 57-year-old resident of the
city's West Central neighborhood. Her dog, a 1½-year-old boxer and golden
Lab mix named Kenny, and her daughter's 4-year-old border collie and black
Lab mix, Tai, were impounded in mid-August by SpokAnimal officers working
under a city animal control contract.
The ruling suggests the City Council now must correct the legal issues
with its "dangerous dog" ordinance and provide more constitutional
protections to citizens whose animals are picked up and destroyed, sometimes
in a matter of days.
In the current system, dogs tagged as "dangerous" by the city and its
contractor, SpokAnimal, are deemed to be that unless the owner can prove
otherwise – flying in the face of the notion of presumed innocence.
City Attorney Jim Craven said he would have a comment after reading the
judge's four-page ruling. It's the latest legal setback for the City
Attorney's Office and the City Council, which recently granted a 26-month
contract extension to SpokAnimal.
Shortly after the judge released his 4-page ruling, Schoendorf, her
daughter, Emily Kaeding, and their attorneys, Cheryl Mitchell and Richard
Lee, raced to SpokAnimal's facility at 710 N. Napa late Friday afternoon for
a tail-wagging reunion with Kenny and Tai.
They are home this weekend after spending more than three months in
solitary confinement while Schoendorf paid $14 a day and hired a team of
attorneys to keep them from being euthanized. She was only allowed two
visits – sticking her fingers through the chain mesh – after the court
"I've been praying for this day for so long," Schoendorf said Friday
afternoon, nervously fondling her dog's leash. SpokAnimal officials had her
spend several minutes signing legal papers before the dogs could be
"I think I'm going to give him a steak bone, even though I can't afford
one after all this," Schoendorf said when asked what she would do with her
dog this evening. Tai, who spends days at Schoendorf's home, went to another
home with Kaeding.
They were being held in the public-restricted "dangerous dog" area – sort
of a doggy death row – where dogs labeled dangerous are euthanized within 14
days unless their owners pay $98 in advance, demand a hearing and get a
Superior Court restraining order preventing them from being destroyed.
"Most poor people can't afford to fight the city like this, so they just
lose their dogs," Schoendorf said.
SpokAnimal officers alleged her dogs killed a neighborhood cat in late
July, but Schoendorf says the contract dog catchers grabbed the wrong black
and tan dogs. She said 13 other sets of black and brown dogs live within a
two block radius of her West Central home, but she wasn't given an
opportunity to make that case before a city hearing examiner.
The judge said the city violated Schoendorf's constitutional rights by
taking her property – her dogs – and intending to destroy them after a
hearing where she wasn't allowed to cross-examine or impeach witnesses
involved in the dogs' impoundment.
She also wasn't given access to documents in the city's "dangerous dog"
file and the opportunity to rebut those allegations – another denial of due
process guaranteed by the Constitution.
The judge not only ordered SpokAnimal to immediately release the dogs, he
ordered the city to pay as-yet undetermined legal bills for a team of
"The attorney fees are going to be pretty healthy in this," said attorney
Robert Caruso, who worked with Lee of his firm and Mitchell, who specializes
in animal rights legal issues.
Mitchell said she has "been fighting" with the city and its contract that
allows SpokAnimal to pick up dogs and label them dangerous on the spot, even
if they have returned home, as Kenny and Tai had done after someone opened
the gate at Schoendorf's home.
Her adult son was there Aug. 16 when SpokAnimal control officers said they
had come to pick up two black and brown dogs, tentatively described by an
80-year-old man who witnessed a cat mauled by two dogs in late July. The cat
later died.
"They told my son, 'If you don't give us those dogs, we're going to arrest
you and put you in jail,'" so he went in the house and handed over the two
dogs," Schoendorf said. Her third dog, a golden retriever named Hannah,
escaped attention and remained in the home.
After getting off work that day, Schoendorf went to SpokAnimal and was
told she would have to pay $98 in advance – $7 a day for each dog – to keep
them from being euthanized while she filed an appeal with City Hearing
Examiner Greg Smith.
At the informal hearing, witnesses were not given an oath, Schoendorf
said, and she wasn't given a chance to challenge their version of events,
accusing her dogs of killing the cat. There also were documents given to the
hearing examiner by SpokAnimal that she wasn't allowed to see, she said.
The hearing examiner ruled her pets were "dangerous dogs" and said they
could be returned to Schoendorf and her daughter only if they posted a
$100,000 bond per animal, had them wear muzzles any time they were outside,
and built a special concrete-floor outdoor kennel posted with "dangerous
dogs" signs.
After lining up Mitchell and Caruso's law firm, where she works as a
paralegal, Schoendorf instructed the lawyers to get a restraining order to
prevent SpokAnimal from euthanizing her dogs while she appealed the hearing
examiner's dangerous dog ruling to Superior Court.
Mitchell drafted the legal papers, asking the judge to declare the city's
dangerous dog ordinance – part of the Spokane Municipal Code –
"I'm absolutely delighted," Mitchell said of the ruling. "Finally, a judge
has told them – the city and SpokAnimal – they have to have rules and follow
the Constitution."
The judge said dogs clearly are property, so a government agency must
comply with due process provisions of the Constitution when seizing animals.
The judge said the city and SpokAnimal failed to identify a "standard of
proof" – the legal criteria – in labeling dangerous dogs.
"Similarly, in this case, the appellant (Schoendorf) was at no time during
the hearing allowed to cross-examine the witnesses testifying against them,"
Austin said. "In addition, the appellant was not given, prior to the
hearing, certain documents used in the hearing."
Furthermore, the judge said, instead of a presumption of innocence that
accompanies most legal proceedings, the burden of proof shifted to
Schoendorf to prove her dogs weren't the dangerous dogs responsible for the
cat's death.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Changing the Owner-Pet Relationship

Changing the Owner-Pet Relationship

Debra Horwitz, DVM, Diplomate ACVB
Veterinary Behavior Consultations
St. Louis, Missouri
When an owner is having problems with their pet, there are both owner driven factors and pet driven factors that are contributory. Some animals with problem behaviors are normal but have learned that certain behaviors are tolerated and beneficial for them. Other animals may be abnormal and respond to owner interaction in a different manner than expected1. In some situations the owner is interacting with the pet in an inappropriate manner that although unintended may prolong, worsen, or facilitate the problem behavior. The pet on the other hand, is often unaware of what the owner considers proper behavior and therefore is choosing behaviors that it feels are the most appropriate responses. What commonly occurs is miscommunication between the owner and their pet. The owner is using a human form of communication, reasoning and language, something most pets do not understand in the same manner as intended by their owners. The pet however, is communicating in the manner most appropriate for its species, and therefore often misunderstood by the human. The first step in behavior therapy is changing the pet-owner relationship and creating clear rules and expectations. This must be done in a manner that is understood by the pet. The goal of changing how owners and their pets communicate is to create an environment where it is easier for the owner to control the pet and thus elicit good behavior. This step is most useful in treating behavior problems in companion dogs.

The Theory

The theory involved in changing the pet owner relationship is that cross species communication often results in misunderstandings and thus problem behaviors. Therefore, clearer communication is needed. Owners frequently misunderstand a dog's expectations in social communication and group living. Communication is a behavior that has a goal and a function. Communication is an action that takes place between a sender and a receiver. 2 For communication to be functional, the receiver must understand the message. The information that is transferred between sender and receiver can have 4 possible outcomes: 1.) benefit the sender and receiver, 2.) benefit the sender and manipulate the receiver, 3.) disadvantage the sender and benefit the receiver (eavesdropping), 4.) disadvantage the sender and the receiver (spite).2 Although owners often feel that the fourth option spite is taking place, most likely what is occurring is a miscommunication between species. Without clear communication problems can arise. The goal is to give the pet clear signals of what is expected so that behavior can begin to change and conform to owner's expectations. By bundling a series of learning and control tasks together, the owner can create an environment for clearer communication.

When owners seek help with their problem dog, the problem may be labeled a "dominance" or leadership problem, which can be a simplification of the issue. Practitioners of applied animal behavior interpret dominance hierarchies, ranking and how they interact in the human-dog relationship many different ways and may use varying criteria to define dominance 3, 4, 5. The concept of dominant and subordinate relationships between animals was developed from observation of animals (wolves, baboons, chickens) living in social groups. 6 Social hierarchies arranged around dominant and subordinate relationships decrease the conflict associated with the allocation of critical resources, i.e. food, shelter, mates and territory7. When living in social groups, canids will establish dominance hierarchies that may dictate access to certain resources such as food, resting places, favored possessions, territory and mates but may or may not involve aggression 8. These social relationships can be extended to the human members of the household9. However, a case could be made that dominance behavior may occur without aggression and instead be about control of the outcome. In domestic canid groupings, overt aggression is rare and deference common8. Owners often inadvertently reinforce a dominant outcome for the dog by deferring to the dog's demands. This sets the dog up as the one in charge, and each interaction that ends with deference to the dog reinforces that assumption. So perhaps the issue is not always one of "dominance" as much as one of control. The animal has learned that certain behaviors result in certain outcomes, which are favorable to the dog. In addition, often a behavior occurs because it can, in other words, the owners do not prevent the dog from engaging in a certain behavior and that in and of itself can be reinforcing. Some dogs that control their environment may do so because it is important to them to be in control. Others may control because they can but yet are anxious about the outcome. Changing the pet-owner relationship focuses on "control" of the dog, which often prohibits the dog from engaging in behaviors that "control" the environment and thus the owner. This alone can have an effect on the expression of problem behaviors.

The Program

None of the elements in this program are new. They have been used before and discussed many places in the applied animal behavior literature. The goal of this program is to place them together and counsel the owner on how and why changing the pet-owner relationship is beneficial to them and their pet. Initially, the owner is educated about canid social structure. Second, the owner is told how dogs communicate and what dominance and subordinance mean to dogs. Third, how animals learn is briefly explained to the owner. Finally, owners are told of how increasing their control over their dog is a positive action that can make their dog more relaxed and compliant in the long term.

The first step is a program that requires the dog to comply with an owner command to obtain anything the dog wants. This has been called numerous things since its inception. ("Nothing in life is free" by Dr. Victoria Voith10 and "No such thing as a free lunch" and "Learn to earn" by William E. Campbell11) In essence, the dog is required to follow an owner command, such as "sit" to obtain anything that the dog wants. This could be access to the outdoors to eliminate, food, petting, a ball the list is endless. The goal is for the dog to "earn" everything they desire by deferring to the owner. Deference is accomplished when the dog follows the command to sit or down. If the dog performs the command prior to being asked, it must do something else. This is critical. Unless the owner gives a command and then the dog complies, the dog is still controlling the situation and deference has not occurred. The goal is for the owner to have control. Although many owners have been told that they should control their dog, usually they are counseled to use physical control methods. While an owner can have control by trying to physically control a dog this can be difficult and potentially dangerous. Instead, in this program the owner uses their ability to physically control the environment and the resources to control the dog. By using benign control of resources and deference for access, the owners place themselves in a "dominant" position. It is not necessary for the owner to physically control the dog, merely to control access to things the dog wants. If the dog will not obey the command, the resource is withheld. In essence the dog is offered a choice-do you want the resource enough to comply or not. For some dogs the answer is yes, for others the answer may be no. Once the dog has learned to comply, if they defer by waiting quietly, the resource may be given.

The second step is control of attention. Many dogs with problem behaviors engage in numerous attention seeking behaviors. These include nudging the owner, pushing, leaning, barking, whining, pacing, scratching the owner, bringing toys and climbing on the owners lap to get attention. The attention can even be "negative" attention such as pushing the dog away or yelling at it; the desired response is an interaction. Some dogs use attention seeking behavior to control the owner, while other may have underlying anxieties which stimulate them to constantly seek information about their environment and social status12. In either case, the owners are told that they must ignore all attention seeking behaviors. If the dog approaches them for attention, they must ignore the dog. If the dog persists, then they must leave the room. Again, their response is to be benign. They are not to allow the dog to engage them in any interaction. However, this is not a prescription for ignoring the dog. They can give the dog attention, but with certain rules.

• They are only to give attention to the dog on their initiative.
• The attention should be given when the dog is calm and quiet.
• The goal is to reward calm, quiet, good behavior with positive owner-pet interaction.
They can call the dog over, request that the dog sit or lie down and then pet the dog. However, it is also critical that they end the interaction and send the dog away. If the problem is aggression, the type and amount of interaction are structured and detailed for the owner. This program of controlling attention has been used in other treatment plans for various behavior problems. 13, 14, 15 These rules also extend to how they are to play with their pet. The owner is instructed to only play with the pet when they initiate the playtime and end the game when they are done. The owner is encouraged to play games such as fetch, or engage in a walk with the dog if they can control the pace of the walk.

Finally, the dog is taught to sit/stay or down/stay on a verbal command. Eventually the dog should be able to sit while the owner leaves the room, returns and releases the dog. Once the dog can do this well, the owner is to introduce a verbal phrase to signal relaxation such as "chill", "relax" or "easy". Again the goal is to teach the dog to take contextual cues from the owner. When given the "chill" command, the dog is to be watching the owner with a calm, relaxed facial expression and body posture. If the owner tells the dog to "chill" the dog learns that this means to focus on my owner and wait for the next command. To facilitate learning this task, food rewards are used. This task is useful as a basis for counterconditioning, which is often used in behavior modification programs for other problem behaviors.7, 16, 17, 18 This program has also been called "Protocol for relaxation: behavior modification tier 1" by Karen Overall. 19

The techniques described have been combined various ways in treatment protocols for separation anxiety, dominance aggression, fear aggression and compulsive behaviors7, 12,13,14.

Potential problems and pitfalls

This plan is not without its problems. Many owners have difficulty ignoring the attention seeking behaviors. What they like about their pet is the persistence and the perceived "need" the pet has for them. These owners are unaware of how their actions are reinforcing behaviors that they do not like or may be contributing to the problem behavior. It is imperative that the concept of control be explained to the owner and how their behavior can change the problem behavior exhibited by their pet. In addition, it is important that the owner not feel as though they are neglecting their pet. Therefore, they must be given guidelines for appropriate interactions. This can include a list of appropriate games, walks, and number of times that they can call the dog and pet it. Each case will be different and have different needs to encourage compliance. If aggression is the major problem then the owners must also be given instructions for safety around their pet and avoidance of further injury.

Another problem area can occur 10-14 days into the program. Many animals will initially respond well to the new rules for interaction. However, once they realize that the rules have changed, some dogs will increase their efforts to get the owner to interact in the old manner. This usually results in the dog engaging in attention seeking behaviors at even a higher level than previously exhibited. This is an extinction burst. If owners are warned about this phenomenon, they are prepared and ready to continue the program and wait out the pet. Many dogs will then return to compliant behavior if the owner persists with the plan.


This is not meant to be a stand alone treatment plan for any and all behavior problems. Neither does it replace the need for complete behavioral histories and diagnosis of behavior problems. Nearly all dog owners are given this plan as an adjunct to a more complete behavior modification program designed to treat their specific problem(s). In each case this plan can act as a framework for beginning to change problem behaviors. Each environment and problem will be different and require modifications to this plan as well as a more in-depth behavioral treatment plan. However, what often is surprising is that many dogs improve greatly as judged by owner reports with only these three steps. What this plan seems to accomplish is to allow owners to change the way they interact with their pet with easy to follow and understand steps. Once owners see that they have the ability to control their pet, and in many cases still have a satisfying relationship, they are often empowered to continue to shape behaviors in more positive directions.


Changing the pet-owner interaction is the first step in behavior therapy. It allows owners to be in control of their pet and its behavior in a benign way. When done correctly it empowers the owner to change their pet's behavior. This will often encourage them to go further and work on specific problems. When explained correctly owners gain a better understanding of canine communication and learning and can use this information in all their interactions with their pet.


1. Odendaal, JSJ. A diagnostic classification of problem behavior in dogs and cats. In: Veterinary Clinics of North American: Small Animal Practice. Vol. 27:3. 1997. Pp. 427-443.
2. Simpson, BS, Canine Communication, In: Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, Vol. 27:3, 1997. Pp.445-464.
3. Hallgren, A. Mother and Pups. Animal Behavior Consultant Newsletter, July 1990 Vol. 7:3
4. Trattner, A. Letter to the Editor. Animal Behavior Consultant Newsletter, Oct. 1990. Vol.7:4
5. Schilder, MBH, Netto, WJ. Letter to the Editor. Animal Behavior Consultant Newsletter. July 1991. Vol.8: 3.
6. Alcock, J, Animal Behavior: An evolutionary approach. Edition 2. Sunderland, Mass, Sinauer Associates Inc. 1979.
7. Voith, VL, Borchelt, PL, Diagnosis and treatment of Dominance Aggression in dogs, In: Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, Vol. 12:4, 1982, pp. 655-663.
8. Bradshaw, JWS, Nott, HMR. Social and Communication behaviour of companion dogs. In: The Domestic Dog, J. Serpell Ed. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, 1995, pp. 116-130.
9. Line, S, Voith, VL. Dominance Aggression of dogs towards people: Behavior Profile and Response to treatment. Applied Animal Behavior Science. 16(1986) 77-83
10. Voith, VL, Treatment of Dominance aggression of dogs toward people, Modern Veterinary Practice, 63:2, 1982, 149-152.
11. Campbell, WE, Social attraction the ultimate tool for canine control. Modern Veterinary Practice, 1973
12. Overall, KL. Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, Mosby, St. Louis, 1997. Pp. 118.
13. Reisner, IR, Management of Canine Aggression, Veterinary International, Nestec Ltd. Blackwell Scientific Special Projects, Oxford, 1994, pp.28-35.
14. Horwitz, DF. Diagnosis and Treatment of separation-related disorders. Veterinary International. Nestec Ltd. Blackwell Scientific Special Projects, Oxford, 1998, pp. 26-34.
15. Landsberg, G, Hunthausen, W, Ackerman, L Handbook of Behavior Problems in the Dog and Cat. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 1997, pp.102.
16. Overall, KL Treating Canine Aggression. Canine Practice. 18:6, 1993. Pp.24-28.
17. Voith, VL, Borchelt, PL. Fears and Phobia in Companion Animals. In: Readings in Companion Animal Behavior, Voith & Borchelt Eds. Veterinary Learning Systems, Trenton, NJ. 1996, pp.140-152.
18. Luescher, AU. Compulsive behaviour in dogs. Veterinary International. Nestec Ltd. Blackwell Science Ltd. Oxford, 1998. Pp. 7-14.
19. Overall, KL B-2 Protocol for Relaxation: Behavior modification tier 1, Appendix B In: Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, Mosby, St. Louis, 1997. Pp. 413

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dog bite Law

Dog Bite Law

If Your Dog Bites Someone
Things you can do to minimize the losses.

What to do at the scene of the attack
In the weeks after the attack
Report the incident to your insurance company
Tell the truth about the dog and what happened
Blunt advice about your future
What to do at the scene of the attack

If your dog bites someone, and the victim was not committing a crime at the time of the attack, there are a few things that you should do:
Stay calm. Don't argue. Don't accuse. Be nice to the victim because he or she will have to make a decision about pursuing you for damages; if you are nice, the victim may decide to go easy on both you and your dog.
Make sure the victim gets medical attention. Take him or her to the hospital or to a doctor. Be considerate.
Whether or not you have insurance, if you have any money or credit at all, you should offer to pay for the victim's medical bills. Be a hero.
Take steps to protect others from your dog.
Obtain the name, address and phone number of every witness.
Avoid making statements because there are possible criminal consequences when a dog bites or injures someone. See Dangerous and Vicious Dogs.

In the weeks after the attack

In the days and weeks after the attack, keep in touch with the victim if possible, and continue showing a genuine interest in his or her condition. Victims often love dogs and may decide to forget the entire thing if you are kind and they are not badly hurt.
What you say can hurt you later. You might have to face charges of some kind. There are three possible places where you and your dog might land:

Civil court. In most states, dog owners are strictly responsible for injuries from bites. (See Legal Rights of Dog Bite Victims in the USA .)
Criminal court. Usually you will not face criminal charges. However, if the present attack was serious or if the dog previously bit someone, you could be accused of a variety of crimes. (See Dangerous and vicious dogs and also Criminal penalties for dog bites.)
"Dog court." The animal control authorities might take action against you, your dog or both, under state, county and/or municipal laws. (See Dangerous and vicious dogs.)
Some states protect you if you express sympathy and compassion for the victim; those statements will not be used against you.
If you pay the victim's medical bills or insurance deductible and/or co-payment, you probably will favorably impress the victim and therefore will reduce the chances of a claim or lawsuit against you. However, do not expect your insurance company (if any) to reimburse you. Most policies state that the insurer will not be responsible for any "voluntary" payments that you make.

The local animal control authorities may require that your dog be quarantined. Sometimes the quarantine can be at your own home. Ask whether home quarantine might be agreeable in view of the circumstances that apply to your incident.

If the authorities cite you into "dog court," you need to prepare a defense. See Protect You and Your Dog.

Locate and preserve your dog's medical records, including proof that it has received rabies shots. Make a copy of the rabies certificate and give it to the victim, to put his or her mind at ease.

You generally are not required to submit your dog for tests unless the authorities or your insurance company request that you do so. If you suspect that your dog has rabies or some other disease, however, you voluntarily should take steps to warn the victim, and you should talk to your insurance company or an attorney.

Whether you need to seek legal advice depends on the circumstances and whether you were insured. If you have not ruled out criminal consequences in your city and state, contact an attorney who is familiar with dog bite criminal laws. (See Dangerous and Vicious Dogs.) If you are insured, see Report to your insurance company, below. If you do not know whether you are insured, read Insurance for the Dog Owner. If you definitely are not insured, talk to an attorney if:

The victim asks for money
You are paying a significant amount of money to the victim
You receive a claim or suspect that the victim will make a claim in the future
The bite was significant (for example, it drew blood)
You suspect that your dog has rabies or another significant illness or disease
You have a bad feeling about the situation or the intentions of the victim
You hear from the police
You suspect there may be criminal consequences in your city and state.

Report to your insurance company

If you are a homeowner or renter, or if there is any possibility that you have other insurance that may possibly provide coverage for the dog attack, get in touch with your insurance agent and make a proper report if:
The victim asks for money
You are paying a significant amount of money to the victim
You receive a claim or suspect that the victim will make a claim in the future
The bite was significant (for example, it drew blood)
You suspect that your dog has rabies or another significant illness or disease
You have a bad feeling about the situation or the intentions of the victim
You hear from the police
You may have medical payments coverage which you can offer to the victim; this will make him or her feel better toward you and possibly your dog. Be sure to ask your agent whether you have medical payments coverage.
Every insurance policy has a "cooperation clause." It requires you (as the insured person) to make reports of incidents, and then cooperate fully with the insurance company. Obviously, give them the name, address and telephone number of every witness.

Tell the truth about the dog and what happened

Because of the possibility that a dog attack can lead to criminal prosecution, generally you should refrain from making any statements as to who owned the dog, what happened, where it happened, and anything else about the incident. However, there are circumstances where you are required to give information. If so, be sure that it is the truth.
When dog owners give statements, they often provide inaccurate information. The biggest problem defending a dog bite claim is not necessarily the dog attack or the severity of the bite, but the untruthful statements made by the dog owner. Owners frequently misstate how the attack happened and the dog's history of biting. This ultimately can hurt you and your dog. Consider this scenario:

The owner tells her insurance company that her dog has never bitten anyone
The insurance company refuses to make an adequate settlement offer, thinking that the victim must have provoked the dog
The victim retains an attorney who is knowledgeable about dog bite cases, and conducts a thorough investigation that reveals the dog's history of biting
Instead of making a claim for simple negligence or violation of the dog bite statute, the attorney requests additional damages to punish the dog owner for keeping a dangerous dog
Now the insurance company really doesn't want to settle! The claim becomes a lawsuit, and the lawsuit starts taking up the dog owner's time. Eventually the truth comes out.
Keep in mind that you should not make statements about the incident until you know that there can be no criminal consequences. Generally, you should contact an attorney familiar with the criminal aspects of dog bites.

Blunt advice about your future

If this is the first time that your dog bit a person, and if you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, you have very little to worry about because criminal prosecutions are very rare, and "dog court" usually cannot do much to hurt you (although it can hurt your dog).

Nevertheless, your dog is dangerous from both a practical and legal standpoint. Yes, you may have an explanation for his behavior, but the fact is that he attacked a human. For whatever reason, at the present time your dog is dangerous.

The real problem in most cases is that, because he has bitten one person, your legal position has changed. You face immediate and long-term consequences. In the near future, you may find yourself in three courts, namely civil court, criminal court and "dog court." For now, you have the excuse that you didn't know that your dog would bite anyone because he never did it before. In the long range, however, you may find yourself without insurance and defending yourself in four courts instead of just three -- all of the above, plus bankruptcy court, because the owner of a dangerous dog may not be permitted to get a discharge of debt toward a victim of the dog. Furthermore, you will not be able to assert that you had no way of knowing that your dog would bite.

Keep in mind the fate of Marjorie Knoller of San Francisco, one of the defendants in the Diane Whipple murder trial. She spent a year in jail and two years in prison because her dog, which had never broken the skin of any human being, took it upon itself to kill a person. Although it is highly unlikely that your dog would ever do that, it must be noted that people who own dogs that bite other people no longer get the benefit of the doubt. The insurance industry, the government and the public are fed up with the dog bite epidemic, which has seen the number of serious dog bites go up by 33% while the number of dogs has risen only 2% (see Dog Bite Statistics). The insurance industry is limiting insurance, the government is tightening the laws and the public has become intolerant, as evidenced by the jury's guilty verdict in the Knoller case.

You need to see the dog as a dog, not as a beloved family member, and to protect your family and neighbors from it in the future.

Consider taking your dog to an applied animal behaviorist certified by the ABS. The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) is a group of professionals (veterinarians and PhD's) who are concerned with the study and clinical practice of animal behavior. It has a credentialing program for an "Accredited Applied Animal Behaviorist." See the Directory of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists.

You also could take your dog to a veterinarian, provided that he or she is certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB). See the Directory of Diplomats of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cults in Dog Training?

Cults in Dog Training??? - by Roger Hild
“In a way, I find dog people and their strong ideas on dog training methods to be almost like religion.”

This comment, made by a member of a dog-training email group I belong to, reflects similar thoughts that have, at times, occurred to me. As debates rage on about methodology and theory, as people passionately state their beliefs and try to convince others, the religion analogy seems to fit. The passion most of us have for our dogs is what drives many of us - always looking for what’s best. This speaks to the need for CAUTION as there are those who, being aware of the depth of feelings involved, would seek to exploit and manipulate the passions of others.

Knowing how there are people searching for good dog trainers and due to recent events that resulted in very painful experiences for some of these owners, I began to look past the religion analogy and began thinking in terms of “cult-like” experience. I don’t mean to say that these people joined a cult or even that those holding out the “holy-grail” of dog training are themselves a cult. What I want to do is expose the tactics and psychology that are used which are similar to those used by cults. I also hope to help people become aware of what to watch out for when researching someone to help train their dog. These points would apply whenever we are entering into a teacher-student type of relationship.

The following points I got from: which is the web site for “AFF (American Family Foundation). Throughout the following quotes, the word “leader” can be used in place of the word “group.”

“The AFF is a nonprofit, tax-exempt research center and educational organization founded in 1979. AFF's mission is to study psychological manipulation and cultic groups, to educate the public and professionals, and to assist those who have been adversely affected by a cult-related experience. AFF consists of a professional staff and a growing network of more than 150 volunteer professionals in fields ranging from education, psychology, and religion to journalism, law enforcement, and business.”

“Cults & Mind Control

What is a Cult?

A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control designed to advance the goals of the group’s leader, to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.

These groups tend to dictate, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel, claim a special exalted status for themselves and/or their leader(s), and intensify their opposition to and alienation from society at large.

Because the capacity to exploit human beings is universal, any group could become a cult. However, most mainstream, established groups have accountability mechanisms that restrain the development of cultic subgroups.”

What is Mind Control?

“Mind control (also known as "brainwashing," "coercive persuasion," and "thought reform") refers to a process in which a group or individual systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s). Such methods include the following:

1. extensive control of information in order to limit alternatives from which members may make "choices."

2. deception

3. group pressure

4. intense indoctrination into a belief system that denigrates independent critical thinking and considers the world outside the group to be threatening, evil, or gravely in error. An insistence that members’ distress (much of which may consist of anxiety and guilt subtly induced by the group) can be relieved only by conforming to the group.

5. physical and/or psychological debilitation . . . . in which attention is narrowed, suggestibility heightened, and independent critical thinking weakened.

6. alternation of harshness/threats and leniency/love in order to effect compliance with the leadership’s wishes isolation from social supports pressured public confessions

. . . contemporary cultic groups induce dependent states to gain control over recruits and employ psychological (sometimes physical) punishment ("dread") to maintain control. The process, in my view, can be briefly described by a modified "DDD syndrome": deception, dependency, and dread. “

“Although the process here described is complex and varied, the following appears to occur in the prototypical cult conversion:

- A vulnerable prospect encounters a cultic group.

- The group (leader[s]) deceptively presents itself as a benevolent authority that can improve the prospect's well-being.

- The prospect responds positively, experiencing an increase in self-esteem and security, at least some of which is in response to what could be considered "placebo" The prospect can now be considered a "recruit".

- Through the use of "sharing" exercises, "confessions," and skillful individualized probing, the group [leader(s)] assesses the recruit's strengths and weaknesses.

- Through testimonies of group members, the denigration of the group's "competitors" (e.g., other religious groups, other therapists), the tactful accentuation of the recruit's shameful memories and other weaknesses, and the gradual indoctrination of the recruit into a closed, “no falsifiable” belief system, the group's superiority is affirmed as a fundamental assumption.

- Members' testimonies, positive reinforcement of the recruit's expressions of trust in the group, discrete reminders about the recruit's weaknesses, and various forms of group pressure induce the recruit to acknowledge that his/her future well-being depends upon adherence to
the group's belief system, more specifically its "change program."

- These same influence techniques are joined by a subtle undermining of the recruit's self-esteem (e.g., by exaggerating the "sinfulness" of experiences the recruit is encouraged to confess"), the suppression or weakening of critical thinking . . . . These manipulations induce the recruit to declare allegiance to the group and to commit to change him/herself as directed by the group. He or she can now be considered a convert embarking on a path of "purification", "enlightenment", "self-actualization", "higher consciousness," or whatever. The recruit's dependency on the group is established and implicitly, if not explicitly, acknowledged. Moreover, he/she has accepted the group's authority in defining what is true and good, within the convert's heart and mind as well as in the world.

- The convert is next fully subjected to the unrealistically high expectations of the group. The recruit's "potential" is "lovingly" affirmed, while members testify to the great heights they and "heroic" models have scaled. The group's all-important mission, e.g., save the world, justifies its all-consuming expectations.

- Because by definition the group is always right and "negative" thinking is unacceptable, the convert's failures become totally his or her responsibility, while his or her doubts and criticisms are suppressed . . . or redefined as personal failures. The convert thus experiences increasing self-alienation. The "pre-cult self" is rejected; doubts about the group are pushed out of consciousness; the sense of failure generated by not measuring up to the group's expectations is bottled up inside. The only possible adaptation is fragmentation and compartmentalization. It is not surprising, then, that many clinicians consider dissociation to lie the heart of cult-related distress and dysfunction (Ash, 1985).

- The convert's self-alienation will tend to demand further psychological, if not physical, alienation from the non-group world (especially family), information from which can threaten to upset whatever dissociative equilibrium the convert establishes in an attempt to adjust to the consuming and conflicting demands of the group. This alienation accentuates the convert's dependency on the group.

- The group supports the convert's dissociative equilibrium by actively encouraging escalating dependency, e.g., by exaggerating the convert's past "sins" and conflicts with family, by denigrating outsiders, by positively reinforcing chanting or other "thought-stopping" activities, and by providing and positively reinforcing ways in which the convert can find a valued role within the group (e.g., work for a group-owned business, sell magazines on the street).

- The group strengthens the convert's growing dependency by threatening or inflicting punishment whenever the convert or an outside force (e.g., a visit by a family member) disturbs the dissociative equilibrium that enables him or her to function in a closed, nonfalsifiable system (the "dread" of DDD). Punishment may sometimes by physical. Usually, however, the punishment is psychological, sometimes even metaphysical. Certain fringe Christian groups, for example, can at the command of the leadership immediately begin shunning someone singled out as being "factious" or possessed of a "rebellious spirit." Many groups also threaten wavering converts with punishments in the hereafter, for example, being "doomed to Hell." It should be remembered that these threats and punishments occur within a context of induced dependency and psychological alienation from the person's former support network. This fact makes them much more potent than the garden-variety admonistions of traditional religious, such as "you will go to hell if you die with mortal sin."

“The result of this process, when carried to its consummation, is a person who proclaims great happiness but hides great suffering. I have talked to many former cultists who, when they left their groups and talked to other former members, were surprised to discover that many of their fellow members were also smilingly unhappy, all thinking they were the only ones who felt miserable inside.”

When I began looking at cult-like experiences, I was looking at it from the point of view of someone who gets unknowingly taken in. What is the psychology and group dynamics that work on the individual and could anyone be conned by a “good enough salesman?” I was very curious as to what types of “hooks” are used and also why would someone, over time, willingly hand over so much control to someone else. Why would someone give over his or her decision-making capacity and self-confidence?

I believe this also is a relevant dog training discussion. The obvious hook for someone who loves their dog, and who is having serious concerns about their dog, would be someone who comes along and holds out what they see as the only hope. They might sell themselves as a type of messiah meaning they and no one else can save this dog.

Initially the client invests hope in this new system or individual. Such systems or individuals (that make almost magical claims) would then somehow convince the client that all failure was the fault of the client and, through guilt, have the client redouble their efforts to achieve something that is always just beyond reach. One must be very careful when investing so much emotion and handing over so much power, that they are not being taken advantage of and are getting what they bargained for.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crate Training Tips

Crate Training and "Potty" Training
Remember that repetition is necessary. Your puppy will not understand what you want unless you repeatedly show him/her the desired behavior MANY times.

Keep in mind also that your puppy does not know what is expected and must be shown the proper place to eliminate, and when.

Your best potty training friend is your crate. When you cannot watch your puppy, use a crate. Think of the crate the same way you think of a playpen for a human child. Even if you are only leaving the room for a "minute," either take the puppy with you or use the crate. After all, you would not leave a toddler in the house alone "for just a minute" would you?

Crate training can be fun for the puppy if you make it a POSITIVE experience. The DEN is an integral part of the wild dogs upbringing and safety zone. The same thing applies to the "crate". Giving the pup special "treats" is a great way to introduce him to his crate. The only time the puppy receives these special treats is when he is in the crate; the treats become associated with the crate.

Use the crate wisely. Don't crate only when you are leaving the house. Place the puppy in the crate while you are home as well. Use it as a "safe" zone, or for "time outs". (thus keeping your sanity)

By crating when you are home AND while you are gone, the puppy becomes comfortable in the crate and not worried that you will not return, or that you are leaving him/her alone. This helps to eliminate separation anxiety later in life.

Most puppies will not soil their "den." The first couple of tries you might have some accidents, but don't be discouraged. An easy way to avoid accidents in the night for the first few weeks is by following this routine:

1. Set your alarm for about 3 hrs after your normal bed time. When the alarm goes off, get up immediately, go to the crate and CARRY the pup outside (I do this in my robe, with my shoes kept by the door to the outside). Place him on the ground and encourage him to eliminate. PRAISE when he does, and bring him back to the crate. Go back to bed.

2. Set your alarm for another 3 hrs, and get back to sleep. When the alarm goes off repeat part 1.

3. After about a week of the above routine, IF it has been successful (no crate messing) then you can set the alarm for * way through your sleep time. Follow the remainder of part 1. When you arise in the morning, TAKE the pup outside BEFORE you do anything else. Feed the pup and then crate. Follow your regular waking routine, then walk the pup one more time before going off to work.

4. Repeat the feeding, walking and crating at lunch time. Pups from the ages of 2 to 4 months CANNOT control their elimination for much more than 4 hours, so if you cannot return home at lunch time, arrange for someone to do this for you at lunch.

If the CRATE is too large, the pup can easily soil on one side and sleep on the other. The way to prevent this is to buy a crate that will accommodate your pet when it is fully grown. Then get a box that will fit inside the back of the crate. The box should be large enough that there is only room for the puppy to stand and lie down comfortably.

As the puppy grows, provide more room by putting in a smaller box, or cutting down the size. When the puppy reliably asks to be put outside to eliminate, remove the box so the puppy can use the whole crate.

If the puppy messes the crate, replace the box size to the point at which the puppy was reliable, and just give the pup a little more time to learn. In conjunction with crate training, potty training starts immediately.

Whenever you remove the puppy from the crate or just want the puppy to "go potty," take the dog to the door that will always be used to "go outside." Use the SAME door throughout the training period.

On the handle of this door, tie a bell to a string, dropping it even with the height of the puppy's nose. When you bring the puppy to the door, lure the puppy to touch the bell with either it's nose or paw, (using a treat) causing the bell to ring.

After the puppy rings the bell, give it the treat, (use a SMALL piece of meat or dried liver) and say "OUTSIDE" in a happy tone of voice. Take the puppy outside on leash.

Reminder: During housebreaking DO NOT allow the pup outside to eliminate alone or loose in the yard. Yes, that means in the rain, snow, whatever: YOU GO OUTSIDE ALSO. Give the puppy plenty of time. Don't rush or you will be sorry. When the puppy urinates or defecates, praise the puppy with "Good Outside" and again, give the puppy a tiny, tiny treat.

Continue to wait. When the puppy poops, again praise the puppy with "Good Outside" and give a treat. Go back inside, stop at the door again, and treat once again. If the puppy does not "potty" even after staying outside 15 minutes, return back inside, place the puppy back into the crate, wait 15 minutes and start again from the beginning.

If done religiously, this training process should take only about 2 weeks for the puppy to understand. This method will work with any dog, regardless of age. If you adopt a dog from a shelter or a rescue program, follow the same routine. Remember, even though the dog is older or even an adult, he still does not know the rules of your home, and may not have ever BEEN in a house. Be PATIENT and this method WILL work.

Take it slow and PATIENT....and have FUN with your dog!

Reprinted from NetPets

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My dog Dutch

As many of you know, Adrian and I train for French Ring a few times per week. We decided to attend to trial in Utah last weekend. Unfortunately my dog "Dutch" was injured the day before the trial and could not compete. It took me a week to figure out exactly how my dog was injured. Now that I feel I know what happened I'd like to share it on this blog in hopes that maybe other dog owners will prevent it from happening when they see signs of it.
First of all, the night before we left I participated in one last training session with Adrian and other club members. My dog was doing a protection exercise when his right front paw pad started bleeding everywhere like he cut it on glass. We all assumed that the dog did step on a sharp object in the grass and cut the pad. Upon closer inspection I noticed that a good portion of two pads was entirely ripped off! This of course was very upsetting and puzzling at the same time. It was not a cut like you would find from a sharp object. I took him home and soak his foot in hydrogen peroxide and crated him.
For the next few days (including trial day) my dog had great difficulty with simple walking. I basically crated him for a week and gave a percautionary dose of antibiotics. Within five days he was much better and upon close inspection of the pads I noticed that the other feet had pieces of dead loose pad falling off. It was at this time that I realized what really had happened.
I don't think the injury happened during the training session. The injury occurred in my backyard when I let him out to pee and stretch for a couple of hours.
A couple of months ago I installed artificial grass in my backyard because my dog has a compulsive desire to pace in big figure eights in the backyard. This behavior destroyed my grass regardless of how much I would nurture it. I finally broke down and spent the money to get this really clean looking bullet-proof grass installed that also doesn't require watering. Well, the grass really is strong. dogs can't dig holes in it, it's easy to clean and it looks pretty good for plastic. The down side to this grass was noticed early on. It gets REALLY hot in the mid-day sun. I mean TOO hot for dogs to walk on! Your probably thinking "put up shade idiot!" of course I put up shade! I covered half of the yard with awesome sunshade material that people use over gardens and also put up a 12 X 12 easy up fo dogs to lounge under to sip Margaritas and take lazy naps.
The one thing that I forgot to factor in was that my dog is NUTS! There is about a hundred square feet of sun-filled plastic grass exposed through out the day. This exposed grass is part of my dogs figure eight race track area. So for a couple of hours my dog ran around the yard refusing to just settle in the shade and got what I percieve to be carpet burns on his paws. He actually had blood blisters that popped during the training session where I though the accident first occurred. My dogs feet are much better now just one week later.
I own a Belgian Malinios. He is a HIGH maintenance dog. I love him but he needs a lot of exercise and he must be crated for his own safety at times. I take him out every day for exercise in addition to his strenuous training for French Ring Sport. He is very hard, very driven, capable of great damage and very delicate at the same time. He is a high performance animal.
My message to you this summer is "BE AWARE OF YOUR DOGS FEET" The pavement is hot and they are barefoot out there. I have since purchased a "Pad Toughener" product on the "DOBBS" hunting dog website. There are also booties available for working dogs that go jogging with you, etc.. One company is "MuttLuks". If your just starting to jog with your dog break his pads in slow on the pavement. They will toughen naturally but if you rush it they won't want to go on that jog anymore because it will be associated with pain. That's it for now. Happy training and enjoy your four-legged friends!

Friday, June 8, 2007

California Bill for Mandatory Spay/Neuter passed.....

For those who haven't heard, the California bill for mandatory spay/
neuter passed the house. Now it goes to the state senate. It would
be a terrible precedent for this bill to become law, guys. As
Virginia could just as easily be next. And for all of us who show we
have to keep our dogs intact. Besides, there are all kinds of health
risks to pets when spayed/neutered early.

If you feel strongly that the government should stay out of our
decisions about spaying/neutering our pets, and you're tired of
legislation about dogs being crammed down our throats against our
collective opposition, here are two ways to contact the state
senators in California. This battle may be in another state, but it
is our fight too, as dog fanciers.

here is the link to senators names in CA

here are the e-mails....

it would help to print out the first link...then compare to the second
not all senators have an e-mail address

Friday, June 1, 2007

New Training Location!

As some of you already know Beyond The Leash has moved to the Roger Barkley Community Center in beautiful downtown La Canada, California. The address and directions are on our website
I'm sure that we will all enjoy this new location. There is plenty of off street parking (this was a previous problem) and we have MUCH more room for dog training. There is limited access to two atheletic fields as well as an enclosed outdoor training area for puppy classes and one on one private dog training.
For those of you that are coming for the first time, when approaching the community center building from the parking lot we are in the left corner office. I will make some type of signage to help get you to the right room. It's not really that tough. PLEASE keep your dogs on a short leash when coming to train or for a free evaluation. There are childrens' programs at this location and nobody wants to scare or upset any children or adults for that matter with an unruly jumping crazy pup or worse. Simply air on the side of caution and assume that other people are afraid of your dog even though you know he's a big lovable Teddy Bear underneath all the aggression...ha...ha. I would also like to ask that you curb your dog in a respectful way. Bring poop bags with you, pick up after your dog and take him away from the building to go pee before you bring him in. Most dogs need to take a pee break after a ten minute car ride. Even if it's just to let everyone know he's been there.