Protecting your pets
September 10. 2017 11:33PM
To the Editor: I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Burrell regarding the danger and annoyance of unrestrained dogs. I’m a volunteer dog trainer specializing in “bully” breeds and Rottweilers. If an unrestrained Chihuahua escaped its “invisible fence” and bit a leashed pit bull, the resultant liability will be on the pit bull’s owner, rather than where it belongs.
Invisible fences are never a good choice because they can fail during a power outage. Hard dogs with high prey drives and low pain thresholds can and will accept the low-voltage electrical collar shock to chase that rabbit or (yikes) that child on a bike. Invisible fences do not protect your dog from encounters with wildlife, neighborhood pets, delivery people, dog-nappers, trespassers or preschoolers. Guess who would be liable in that situation if your dog becomes territorial?
No matter what breed you have, don’t for a moment think it won’t happen to you. I, along with the Humane Society of the United States, don’t approve tethering any dog for the above reasons. Tethering creates a high level of frustration when the dog is choked back at the end of the tether, leading to a constant state of anxiety and aggression. Additionally, the dog can become tangled and even strangled by the tether. The safest place for your dog when you can’t supervise it directly is securely indoors. If you must have a fence, secure it one foot underground, lock it, post signs, and make it at least 6 feet, preferably with a roof!