Don’t blame the big dogs all the time: Letting small dogs off leash too often

In an open letter to a dog owner who allowed her five-pound YorkiePoo to run off leash coming back from the beach on Sunday, should act as a reminder to pet owners to be responsible for their dog’s safety. Sure, an adorable well-coiffed little pooch is deemed harmless to most people, but how about to other dogs.

On Sunday, Wendy Johnson had been walking Juno – a 90-pound tolerant pit bull when the tiny YorkiePoo was spotted sniffing the beach path all alone.

“In slow motion, I watched as PhePhe caught a glimpse and started running towards us. I watched Juno’s hackles raise and her ears point forward. And I gave her a slight correction on her prong collar, along with a verbal warning.

She relaxed a bit, but PhePhe was now near her face, growling and yapping. Then, she ran around to try to climb up Juno’s hind legs. I held her leash taut, even though Juno wasn’t the one who needed correction. It didn’t hurt … but it wasn’t fair,” Wendy wrote.

PhePhe’s owner arrived and apologized for her dog’s rather rude behavior. Juno stood there politely as PhePhe was leashed and escorted away – still yapping as they walked down the beach path.

“This could’ve really been bad,” Wendy called back, but luckily for the PhePhe (and for pitbulls everywhere), it wasn’t bad.”

Juno had been rescued from a bad situation five months ago. She arrived at the Smiling Dog Rescue in Florida emaciated with open sores and patches of fur missing. As tolerant as the pup could be at times, there came other instances when Juno didn’t get along with other dogs. Wendy has spent months working with the dog teaching her proper behaviors and using a prong collar to help with communication, Juno’s behavior has improved.

“As I walked down the beach today, I thought of the possible headline, had things gone differently,” Wendy thought. “And I’m pretty sure it would’ve been ‘Pitbull Mauls Yorkie on Beach Path.” Yet the Yorkie has horrible manners. And an irresponsible owner. And the pit bull would’ve been protecting herself. But nobody would have known that.”

On Sunday, Juno made Wendy proud.

“And so next time when I walk down the path, and I see your yorkie poo. I won’t cower or go the other way as some people do to me when I walk my well behaved, trained pit bull. But I will ask that you keep your aggressive, untrained princess leashed … or leave her home.”

Check out Smiling Dog Rescue Florida. Check out Juno’s video.

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2 replies
  1. Bunny Peters says:

    My Dad always said: “Common sense is not so common” & “You can fix many things, but you cannot fix “stupid””…….

    Where we live, there are twice yearly migrations of hawks and eagles. Sadly, it’s very easy for aerial predators to snatch dogs and cats. Unlike “wild animals”, dogs and cats are not accustomed to looking up for danger signs….. Hawks, eagles and owls will ALL snatch small dogs and cats…… to us our pets are precious little treasures who are absolutely beloved family members……. to a bird of prey, our furbabies are “free food”…….

    It is NEVER “safe” to allow a small dog off lead, unsupervised!!! I NEVER allow my dogs off lead in our yard/orchard. Any pet less than 15 pounds is in danger (think dogs like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, Toy poodles, puppies, kittens)…….


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