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Be a responsible dog owner

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Hanging out with a dog can be one of the best parts of our day.

Dogs unconditionally love us, they make us smile and they’re content being by our side.

Living with a pet also makes us healthier. Having a dog lowers our cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduces our stress levels, is heart-healthy, brings blood pressure down, and even decreases children’s asthma risk.

It’s a privilege to be entrusted with a pet.

For everything they give us, we owners have it easy.

All we have to do is give pets food, vaccines, shelter and companionship.

And we’re supposed to make sure they’re always safe.

We owe our pets that safety net.

Keeping our pets safe is easy to do, unless we have a neighbor who is an irresponsible dog owner.

While most owners keep their dogs leashed and under control when away from home, others refuse to control their aggressive dogs. That small number of irresponsible owners puts our animals and us in jeopardy of being attacked, knocked down, relentlessly bitten and even killed.

Not everyone should own a dog.

Irresponsible dog owners aren’t concerned when their potentially aggressive pets wander or escape from home and roam nearby. Unfortunately, these owners don’t take their dogs to a trainer to both eliminate aggression and the desire to attack other animals and/or humans.

 And yet training an aggressive dog is the right step to take. Dogs are trainable.

The Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) recommends aggressive dogs and their owners work with a dog obedience instructor endorsed by the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors or a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist.

Owners can also contact the SPCA’s behavior help line at 916-782-7722, extension 258, or 530-885-7387, extension 258 or email behavior@placerspca.org for more information and resources. To find a trainer, check out iaabc.org. IAABC stands for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

This editorial is in honor of those beloved pets senselessly hurt and/or killed by aggressive dogs. If we can make some of those neglectful owners rethink their actions and become more responsible, then this editorial has done its job.

It’s not just the aggressive dog at fault here; the owner who fails to enlist training is at fault. Training should be the owner's first priority. Then innocent animals and humans will not have to suffer serious injuries and/or die. 
 

Making sure an aggressive dog becomes trained is also simply being a good neighbor and exhibiting common decency.