DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Last week a really tragic accident happened just down the street. Our neighbor was walking his 1-year-old German Shepherd, Champ, on a sturdy leash. The dog tended to tug on his leash or jump away from his owner when something grabbed his attention. Sadly, when the owner paused to let his dog sniff at a tree on the curb while he waved to a neighbor, Champ suddenly darted into the busy street. Before his owner could tug him back on the curb, Champ was struck by a car and killed almost instantly.
Please warn your readers to keep their dogs under control and on the sidewalk, even while on a leash, and to pay attention to their dogs during their walks. My neighbor is suffering terrible grief, and I hate to think of anyone else, or their pets, suffering from preventable accidents. — Sharon in Utica, N.Y.
DEAR SHARON: You’re right: While accidents do happen, many can be prevented by knowing how to correctly walk your dog on a leash. Reinforcing your dog’s basic obedience training, including sit, stay and heel commands, is an important daily task.
If you’re having trouble controlling your dog on the leash despite following common leash-training techniques, contact a professional dog trainer for group or private sessions so you and your dog will learn to walk together safely.