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What Would You Do?

What would you do?

Have you ever seen the ABC TV show by the above title? That show has actually made me cry.

It’s similar to the old Candid Camera show of the 1960s, in which people were filmed having a prank pulled on them. Only in this updated show, the set-ups aren’t funny. They usually involve injustice or unethical behavior portrayed by actors, and the unwitting participants’ reactions to it are filmed.

In the latest episode, they had actors portray customers who were verbally abusive to a store employee with Down syndrome and, in another scenario, a server in a restaurant who refused to wait on a gay couple with children.

But the episode that brought me to tears was one in which an actor portrayed a homeless man lying unconscious on a busy city sidewalk. The hidden cameras rolled as hundreds of pedestrians simply walked on by, ignoring the man. The only person who stopped was a disabled homeless woman, and she began to plead with passersby to use their cell phones to call 911, but still no one would stop and help.

It was both heartbreaking and appalling – even shocking. Why don’t people do something? The most common excuse offered by people who didn’t intervene and were interviewed afterward was “I didn’t want to get involved.”

What happened to the empathy that each of these people was born with, and what frightens them so much about getting involved? I wish they would just put themselves in the shoes of the victim and think, “How would I feel if that were me? Wouldn’t I want someone to stick up for me?” Of course, this phenomenon reminds me of situations in which dogs are abused or neglected and no one says a word.

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you spoke up in defense of a dog or tried to intervene in a dog-abuse situation? I’ve been making a concerted effort to be bold and not shrink from such situations for years, and the worst thing that has ever happened to me is that a woman twice my size got in my face and yelled, “Shut up! Shut up!” over and over again. It was actually pretty comical, though I didn’t dare laugh.

No, the absolute worst thing that could happen would be if you were unsuccessful in your intervention and thus unable to improve the life of the dog. Once you decide that you’re going to be brave and stand up for mistreated animals, the opportunities to do so begin to present themselves, like magic, especially in the case of dogs.

I can’t go to the dog park, the beach, or the vet without one of these opportunities popping up. And it’s not always easy to rise to the occasion, but I try to keep in mind that if I don’t speak up, who will? Probably no one, if What Would You Do? is any indication. I might be this dog’s only chance for better treatment.

Here is small sampling of real-life situations that I have encountered over the last few years in which dogs were not being treated fairly. In each situation, I intervened, though with varying degrees of success. What would you do if you encountered these situations?

• The water bowl of the sheltie who lives in the yard across the street is often bone dry, even during the hot summer months, and his coat is matted and filthy.

• An older dog in the vet’s reception area has extremely long nails that are affecting her gait.

• One of the women you frequently see at the beach makes her poodle wear a shock collar.

• It’s 35 degrees outside, and you encounter a man walking a shivering short-haired Chihuahua.

• At agility class, one of the participants refuses to let his Dalmatian drink any water; he says that the Dalmatian “drinks too much.”

• While driving down the street, you see a young boy yelling at and hitting his leashed dog.

• It’s December, and one of your neighbors has a “backyard dog” whose doghouse only has three wall, the front is completely open.

• While waiting for a vet appointment, the woman next to you keeps jerking on her German shepherd’s prong collar both when he gets fidgety and when he is calm; she does nothing to reward his calmness.

• Driving through a residential neighborhood, you spy a chained dog who is completely tangled up in junk so that he can’t move more than a couple of inches in any direction.

Commenting is closed.
  • MKitty says:

    Being an intervener plenty of times on behalf of voiceless abused animals, I can say it is imperative to do so whenever necessary. I feel like there needs to be some significant change to our society. I can see there are celebrities who do care about animals, but I feel like it is not enough. Why not have a big campaign against animal cruelty? Why not use all of your money you spend on Bentleys and jets to create a sanctuary for all types of animals? Not only celebrities, children, teens, and even adults need to be taught. Perhaps there needs to be a mandatory class to teach them how to treat animals with care and love. After all, sex – ed made it through didn’t it? I just feel horrendous that there aren’t enough no-kill shelters and sanctuaries to keep these poor things out of harms way..and to the assholes who keep them in the conditions that they are in and continue to abuse them, I can’t wait until you all burn in hell for eternity.

  • Adrianne says:

    I deeply enjoyed reading this article. It shows that people can’t be selfish. Having an animal is a lot of responsibility and I’ve noticed that many people aren’t responsible enough to care for a pet.

  • alejandra says:

    really this is so bad it`s not good fro the word we need hepl… right now

  • E. B. Russell says:

    I have been involved in animal welfare work for over 30 years and have seen and heard it all. If you see suffering, please try to intervene and if you are afraid, try to get help from someone or call the authorities – don’t just walk away. That animal’s life may be depending on YOU. Other ways you can help is to join animal welfare groups and walk the dogs, or sit with cats or do fund raising, or pass out literature and the list goes on. And for those who truly don’t have time, then at the very least be willing to write a letter here and there to the legislators or pick up the phone when you are asked to call and make a difference. You won’t be sorry and you will sleep better at night.

  • Brittany says:

    Ooh i saw this episode last night.! funny, cause i was juss flipping thru channels & i decided to juss leave it there. but yes, i understand what choo mean.

  • Filipe Rodrigues says:

    Hope some day people and animals can live in full harmony and peace!!

  • Lesli Lytle says:

    I cannot even begin to express how horrifying this world has become. Who in the hell raised such monsters?

    Why is “reality tv” such a hit? Why do we need to watch the lives of others, rather than going out and living a life of our own?

    Why do we need to “punk” and “prank” others? That isn’t funny. That is cruel.
    The “cool culture” of now thinks it needs to be “edgy.” Why? Why the “in your face ” mentality?
    Why is “mean” cool? I think it is mean. Period.

    I say let’s turn the tide- go for the next new thing. In order to be ‘edgier than edgy’ let’s go to the next extreme- NICE.
    Why don’t we try to be considerate of one another? Try to NOT hurt each other. Do a good deed.

  • Kim says:

    It is our resposibility as Humans to report any & all abuse, to ignore it is to do what the abuser is doing. Love all Animals !! it is a Priviledge to have a pet, so do the right thing . Praise your animal when he or she has done good & talk to them & teach them . Animals are smart & want to learn if we are just patient with them & take the time, dont leave your animal out in the cold or in the scorching sun !! & Always leave cool water for them by doing these simple things you will be ensuring that your Furry friend will be Happy & Healthy.

  • Kristin Wilson says:

    The very least we can do is say something to the vet, police, or local humane society. You can even do this anonymously if you ‘don’t want to get involved’. I will speak up boldly!!! I want them to know I’m watching and won’t back down!

  • Mary Ann DeGannett says:

    It is up to us humans to stand up and defend innocent animals. Together we can end animal abuse by educating our children that this is not acceptable and that we have a responsibility to step in and help when we see unjustice done to our four legged friends.

  • Laura Blanchette says:

    I agree 100%. It is not always easy to stand up for animals. As a matter of fact it is rather difficult at times. But as you said, what if we are their only chance? We Are Their Only Chance. WE ARE THEIR ONLY CHANCE!

    Just keep telling yourself that and it will help give you the courage to be their Saving Grace.
    God bless and thanks to all who help the innocent animals of the world.

  • Dunia says:

    Non parlo molto bene l’inglese, ma ho capito una cosa: se voltiamo la testa davanti ad un abuso, su esseri umani o animali, siamo responsabili anche noi. Capisco che è difficile, a volte può essere rischioso…ma dobbiamo cominciare. Grazie della tua testimonianza. 🙂

  • Bhavna says:

    This is so true.. I also think that if I dont do anythng… who will.Just last week when I had taken my dogs for a walk, I saw that someone in my neighbourhood had destroyed a pigeons nest and left the chicks to die on the side of the road. One of them was already dead and the other had broken leg.
    I took the pigeon in and handed it over to a bird hospital in Delhi, India.If i had ignored the bird he would have been long dead. But its alive and well and it hurts me that humans who love their kids so much, can actually kill someone else’s.
    Great article! We need more people to step up and voice their concerns.
    Only then will the world be a better place worth living in.

  • rohit says:

    i would adopt dog from owner

  • Reenie Gilbert says:

    Call animal control & the police……….write a letter to the editer of the local paper…….ring the door bell……Do everything!

  • April says:

    It’s amazing how often people walk past things that they should intervene, myself included at times. However your point relating to walking past homeless people sleeping on the streets? I live in the inner streets of Sydney and see many homeless people sleeping on the streets on a daily basis. One in fact sleeps on a bench in the local dog park and I think if I woke him and asked him if he was ok everytime I saw him he’d probably get annoyed at me. 🙂 But it does happen all too often that people “don’t want to get involved”, yet at work or socially they Love to gossip about other people.

  • gevrey chambertin says:

    I would say most people don’t get involved because they probably assume the man is passed out drunk. They would rather not get involved with him because if he does wake up, he would probably ask for money. Most of us don’t have friends that constantly ask us for things and never give anything in return. Relationships go two ways. The man passed out in the city is most likely not going to contribute anything to any relationship you start with him. I know this sounds mean but it’s common sense.

  • Laura Young says:

    Trying to help and intervene when you see animal abuse, cruelty, & neglect is a never-ending job. There is a never-ending multitude of animals that desperately need someone to help and speak up for them. The number of animal owners that obviously have no clue how to treat their pets is staggering. But you have to keep on trying–what else can you do? If it brings about even the smallest improvement in an animal’s life, then it’s worth the effort.

  • Anonymous says:

    Though I completely agree with you on most of your points, sometimes intervening does have dangerous consequences. It depends entirely on the situation. A particular incident I recall happened in my home town just 2 years ago. A man was jogging with his 2 dogs in a metro park when he came across a man verbally and physically abusing his girlfriend/wife. The jogger attempted to intervene and the man stabbed the jogger and then killed both of the jogger’s dogs who were attempting to defend their owner.

    Sometimes you have to weigh the potential outcomes and decide what the right thing to do is. Had the jogger simply ran back to his car and called 911, another appropriate action, the abuser most likely wouldn’t have been caught. The jogger did the right thing according to your logic, but he paid a heavy price for intervention.

    My point is that sometimes people who are committing absolute violations against human rights and dignity, are often unstable and intervening directly can pose serious risks. That fact must be weighed into the decision process.

    With stories like the one I just presented in the news regularly, it is understandable why someone may choose not to get involved.

  • Tucker says:

    I TOTALY AGREE~!!!!!!

  • Angie says:

    I agree! I don’t know how anyone can turn a blind eye to abuse of any kind. Humans should be humane to each other and to all creatures.

  • natalia perides says:

    its too horrible.

  • Iva Bircher says:

    If you can’t take care of yourself, you don’t need a dog or kids. People abuse both. Dogs & Cats are stillliving animals that hae a heart, that GOD put there. He put it there for a reason. Maybe to bring you blood pressure down when you get home from work. Or maybe just to be there when you get home so you won’t be alone. They don’t ask for much. How can you hurt and abuse something that can’t talk or hit you back. I was always told, if you jit a women you aren’t a man. Think about that one.

  • Kelly says:

    I’m a shy person but I was once sitting in a car in a supermarket carpark and a dog had been tied up outside while his owner was shopping. A couple of girls (@11 or so , so old enough to know better) started teasing this dog, running towards him and making him jump, “barking” at him and sticking their faces upto his. He was clearly getting alarmed and was looking like he could snap (and WHO would get blamed?) So I shouted out the window “Is he YOUR dog??” and they ran away.

  • Alidon says:

    I have many times spoken up for people and animals. I stormed into a cafe and shouted that the person driving a white truck please stand up. The dog was in the car in 105 degrees. I told him if he did not get outside and get the dog out I would break his window and get the dog myself. ( which is legal to do by the way. If you see anything in distress you can break the window). I got a standing ovationfro everyone in the cafe.

  • kate Golden says:

    Dear Anna,
    I like to express a deep gratitude for not only this article but for interving. Funny I can not resist telling you that My Uncle Edward Golden played the Father in the film Black Beauty. From reading and watching Black Beauty I had always developed a deep sensitive nature to the spirit and being of an Animal . depressionaI have to admit here in Ireland, the cruelty has seeped in to these SPCA branches
    Not the National one but the ones that are not regulated
    I say this as I was a member of the Gorey SPCA and ITS COMMITTEE wheee dispickable cruel to Animals just get rid is their chair mans motto . A politican of course but is on this committee for publcity only. Given a handful of our volunteers are geniune I intervened by publicly protesting . Naturally the heart brakes when your toldforced to leave your home and move from the bulling. However I have resolved by complaing to the government supported SPCA about this individual . “The progress of a country can be measured by the welfare of their ANimals health” I think Gandhi said this. ?
    I believe education is the key and creative stories like yours is the way .
    To recall one experiance I had as an SPCA inspector. A owner who got the dog from us was neglecting her. We took the dog back on the grounds he didn’t get a licence . His response was ” but didn’t you lot not give me?” we looked at him and from his back pocket he pulled out the dogs vacitation card !!! Dear lord i said yoy have produced some serious idiots
    Regards kate

  • p doe says:

    I commend you. We live in a suburb and behind our yard and is a vacant office building and it lot. One day I found a female pit bull out there sleeping in the sun. I have two small dogs so I am worried. I bring the dog,not going too close food and water because she is stick thin and nursing pups from the looks of her. she gobbles down the whole can of food and sleeps in the sun for a while. I then get nervous because there is a day care next to that building and Monday morning this little kids will be trickling in. I call animal control but of course it is sunday no luck until Monday. But Monday she has gone home. Which from cruising the neighborhood I spot her in this filthy home with her mate hooked to the thickest chain I have seen tied in the garage with a 8 foot lenght to move in a cluttered garage. Mommy and one baby in yard. In our city pit bulls have to be chipped and tattooed. Animal control contacts me Tuesday, I tell him where the person lives, he goes by. Dogs are gone now. I feel bad because I disturbed her trying to sleep and get rest in yard behind me, but more worried about children and my little dogs. If you are going to have a dog they should be treated like your children not, lets abuse this poor animal. I am so sickened of how people just kick, burn, poke and torture animals. And as people tell me god has a reason for everything, I have my doubts with the sick people in this world

  • Dianne Bentley says:

    Please keep these comments polite? No, sorry I cannot. There is an inner voice in us all that screams humanity, dignity, kindness and compassion. If you ignore any one, you are a freaking dead man/woman walking and I for one will not abide you. I catch you hurting an animal….I’ll bust your a**. If I see you making fun of the less fortunate, I’ll disable you. When the dogs cry and wolves howl in pain, distress, when you freaking heartless morons skin animals alive to profit or dress yourselves, I’ll be there.

  • Golnaz Bassam tabar says:

    I agree with you 100% and it would absolutely shred me to pieces to see animals suffering like this. I would speak up as much as I could and pray to have the courage to always do it.

  • victoria pillow says:

    that saddened me. Back in 2007, i called the aspca on my best friend’s neighbors becuase there dog ws always out side and the owners never ever showed up to give it food or water.

  • Victoria says:

    This made me cry.

  • Laura Frisk says:

    You are a kind person Karen. And a true friend to animals. You are so right, speaking up is not difficult to do and it just might save an animals life. People should put aside their inhibitions when it comes to animal abuse and give a voice to those animals who have no voice of their own. Thanks for the post, such great advice.


    im thinking of getting a pincher collar for my GSD and would like too know where i can get one and if they really do work?

    KP’s Response:

    Hi Kevin,
    Please don’t get one. Read my post ‘Prong Collars, My Arse’ and the comments that follow, and you’ll see that prong collars really are a bad idea.

  • Becky says:

    I don’t know how effective prong collars really are. My mom got one for her dog to stop him from lunging, but it didn’t work. He’s a chow chow, so he might not even feel the collar through all his fur! Still, if you do get the collar, get the kind that has rubber caps at the end of the prongs so they can’t pierce the skin. That way, the pain will go no further than a pinch.

  • Marie says:

    Thanks Gia,
    I have never heard of Chris Bach before or Third Way Training. But I will certainly look into it!

  • Gia says:

    Marie: I am a Third Way Trainer. It’s a very dog friendly positive method that is different from a lot of the other positive styles of training. Chris Bach is the creator.

    Let me know if you got this message, I know its been a while.

  • Aly says:

    I am not a “very hateful, angry little girl”. I have a moth who uses a prong collar, and I feel like it isn’t wrong to have them. They work well, and it doesn’t hurt them. IT gives a pinch similar to what their mothers would give them as puppies. It would be in their instincts to make a correction. Also, I feel like PETA is hateful. They give money to arsonists each year and they euthanize many animals. And that’s not my opinion. It’s FACT. I am not just trying to be contrary, these are my views. This is America, and I can voice them. Otherwise, this would be unconstitutional.

    >>>KP’s Response:

    Hi Aly,
    Did you know that what you just wrote is libelous and that you could be sued for it if you were an adult? If I had your mother’s phone number, I would call her right now and tell her that her daughter’s foul mouth and reckless attitude is going to get her in trouble with the law. Luckily, you’re just a little girl who only repeats what she hears instead of really researching the facts.

  • DeeAnna Wardle says:

    I have a pitbull and we have been leash training him, he “hates” the halti, a trainer that wasn’t so good that we paid alot!!!! of money for, that was supposed to know pits recommended it. But we just have this harness type thing, I can’t remember the name of it e-mail me and I will find out, but I’ve bought two of them so far it like pulls under their arms if they pull too hard and it really works great at controlling him. Otherwise he would just drag me along where ever he would like to go. I had one for my other pit may she rest in peace so that I could walk both of them at the same time and it makes him more managable. I just tie a loop in the middle of the leash so it shortens so I can keep him closer to me and I seem to be able to control him pretty well. He has the same issue’s with barking dogs! It’s like the noise makes him crazy but with this harness I can acutally pull him away from the situation and then once I have control of him he moves on like nothing has happened. I bought them all at Wal Mart, I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else. I had to buy new one because when we kenneled him they left it on him and he got it off and chewed one of the buckles. If I would have had the harnesses on them when I lost Babygirl then it may not have happened. I just had regular collars to take them to the bathroom and the neighbors barking dog caused the male to lunge and the female went off the other direction then turned to look at me and it flipped right off of her (I always check them too) she took off into the road and I don’t need to say anymore. I now use the harness all the time. When we get up in the morning and go for a walk I leave it on him until we go to bed at night. Hope that helps!

    KP’s Response:

    Hi DeeAnna!
    Is this a Sporn harness or maybe a Holt? I’m using the Holt again right now but it’s not ideal for pulling (it doesn’t go directly under the armpits), so I bet you’ve got Sporn harnesses. I’ve used them in the past, and I know they do help with pulling. But I always worried that that heavy plastic buckle on the top was digging into my dogs’ shoulderblades–have you seen that? Maybe they’ve even changed them a bit by now. I should look into that. Thanks for your suggestion!

  • RG says:

    Don’t use this collar! i wouldn’t dream of putting something like that on my dog! i don’t have any advice on what to do but i suggest finding another alternative.

  • Amanda says:

    You’ve made it very clear that you disagree with KP’s views, and now it seems like you’re simply disagreeing to be contary. If you really believe that sharp, steel prongs that encircle a dog’s entire neck are a legitimate stimulation of a correction from a mother dog who has, as Gia correctly stated, two front canines, there’s nothing anyone can do about it, but that doesn’t make you right. I hope that at some point in your life you realize the importance of educating yourself before you start stating your opinion as fact. You are a very hateful, angry little girl and I truly feel sorry for you and any animals you live with.

  • Aly says:

    Well, I haven’t been here in a couple months, so hopefully you remember me;).
    I disagree with your views. It IS supposed to simulate a mother, and if that’s fine in nature, what’s wrong with it now? It doesn’t hurt the dog, so there’s really no problem. Also, if the vet thinks it’s fine, then why not? Just because you have some radical views on animals doesn’t mean that you can put your dog in danger.

  • Marie says:

    Just out of curiosity, where did you learn about your dog training methods? So far I really like all of your ideas and opinions. Do you have any links you could send me? Or even some book names for me to read? Thanks!

  • Shannon says:

    Have you tried a Martingale collar? They’re designed for sighthounds and work in a manner similar to a traditional choke chain but they are much, much gentler on the neck. When he starts lunging, just stand still, and he’ll probably stop once he feel the pressure on his neck. Since they’re usually made of nylon it will be more comfortable than a chain.

  • Bob says:

    Don’t use the prong collar! Pain is an unpredictable teacher.

    What I’ve found works with my dog to stop continued barking or other unwanted behavior, is to do something that startles or surprises her. I usually speak softly to my dog, but one time when her barking annoyed me, I screamed “STOP” at the top of my voice. She hit the ground with all four paws out and her chin on the ground.

    If you were to start jumping around or doing something that Dexter found unusal and alarming, he would stop whatever else he was doing, I think; but I suspect you’ll get better suggestions too.

  • Gia says:

    I would NOT use a prong collar, especially on a dog who is behaving in a defensive manner towards reactive dogs. The prong collar will have behavioral consequences on the dog. The pinch collar adds the pain factor into the equation. So, your dog will come to associate not only fear but pain when a strange dog acts in an innapropriate manner. The idea that a prong collar stimulates a mothers teeth is preposterous. A mother has two front canines, not 30 that would enclose a pup’s entire neck,with unceasing pressure. Also, the mother might nip, not bite down and apply a painful pressure. Furthermore, a mother dog would not discipline her pup for acting in a defensive manner. As you probably know, your dog is behaving this way on lead because he knows he has no escape, so he feels the need to defend himself. Time and time again a defensive dog has turned into a dog that is a hysterical cujo by the prong collar.

    I would try a few things. First, I would work on teaching the dog to stop being reactive on leash. During this process I would really try to walk the same, safe routes with the dog to prevent a rehearsal of the behavior. You might also try the Canny Collar, which is very different from the common head halters your chiropractor knows of. It might take a few weeks to come from the UK but it is well worth it. Here is what the site says about it “he Canny Collar should be thought of more as a dog training collar rather than a headcollar. As the name suggests, a headcollar encompasses the whole of your dog’s head. The Canny Collar fits only around the nose, gently guiding from behind the head, so that your dog is less restricted and more comfortable. It also does not jerk the head sideways (which in some cases can cause injury to your dog’s neck) nor ride up into the eyes. As the Canny Collar operates from both sides of your dog’s head, gentle pressure is all that is needed for it to work. It is a kind, safe and effective method of dog training.” When your dog pulls, it will put a gentle pressure on the nose, but from behind the head, and attached to a padded collar. The neck does not get jerked, and the pressure provides a calming effect.

    It is not like the traditional head collars at all, and so doesn’t cause pain on the dog, and won’t damage the neck either.

    I wouldn’t take training advice from a vet or animal chiropractor, either (Unless they had extensive behavioral training.)

    There are some other options too, as far as management tools go. One is the calming cap made by premier. It basically limits his vision, making him more calm. Then, you could try an anxiety wrap, which is a spandex pressure suit for dogs. It works for some but not for others, and is rather pricey. You could make your own with a spandex shirt, too. Lastly, I like to carry a circular elastic band with me at all times. If you place it around the dogs neck and nose in a figure eight, it presses down on a nerve in the face, and gives a calming effect. It can be used for 10 minutes at a time, but, it does make the dog want to lay down and rest.

    As far as rehabilitation goes, I would check out the books Click To Calm, and anything Pam Dennison who specializes in this sort of thing. Her book is called How to Right a dog gone wrong, and she also has a new one out about rehabbing city dogs too. You could be doing things that unwittingly promote your dogs defensive behavior, and these books will help you analyze this and make a good training plan.

    The prong collar will not teach your dog not to react to other dogs. It will teach your dog that other dogs equal fear AND pain. The prong collar does teach dogs Not to pull when its on, but the issue here isn’t a pulling problem. It is a defensiveness and fear problem.

    Hope that helps

    >>>KP’s Response:

    Hi Gia!
    These sound like great ideas. I was already thinking about the anxiety wrap, but I’ve never heard of the Canny Collar, the Calming Cap, or the elastic band worn in a figure eight. The Canny Collar really sounds perfect for this situation. I think I’ll look into that one right away.
    I would love to take a “safe route” every time we walk, but unfortunately, my neighborhood is extremely dog-intensive, so there really are no safe routes.
    That’s a really good point about the mother dog–how her teeth are configured and how she wouldn’t discipline her puppy for being defensive. Also, the point about associating the pain with the other dogs. Dexter would be a perfect candidate for becoming hysterical if he were handled in a scary, painful manner.
    Thanks so much for your suggestions. I’m glad I asked this question!

  • Jaclyn says:

    I just started reading your blog about a week ago. I recently found this little dog that was trying to cross a busy street. There were no signs for a lost dog around the neighborhood where I found him and a good thing since I got attached way too quickly and Pepper is now a part of my household.

    I don’t know much about dogs, I know more about cats since I have two, and as a result I find your blog so interesting! I look forward to all your new posts.

  • rachel says:

    have you tried the whistle leash?

    there is a leash that whistles whenever it gets taut. so, if the dog is walking fine, no noise. if the dog pulls, there is a whistle.

    i dont know if this would stop lunging at another dog, but it might help stop run of the mill pulling.

    >>>KP’s Response:

    Hi Rachel!
    Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll have to try this. It sounds like it could help a lot, since Dexter kind of goes into a trance when he pulls. Maybe the whistle is just the thing to snap him out of it.

  • Jess says:

    Mmmm…reading your blog a couple of times and having a very strong dog myself who lunges too (nearly dragged me over the meadow this morning) I agree with the other posters, give it a try. You describe the “confused, scared” look you imagine he will have, but what if he doesn’t? As the vet says it could resemble his mom correcting him and it might be LESS confusing than other stuff! And dog-logic isn’t necessarily human logic…

    You would not be hurting him every time you put the thing on, that’s up to him! It doesn’t hurt if he doesn’t lunge, right? I think the aftermath of more health problems with his neck might be more painful (and maybe more confusing?) in the long run.
    Please let us know how things work out for the both of you, I’ve tried a number of things with our dog, the stop at pull, the front-end leash, treats, but still he thinks he can be the boat in a waterski competition ;-). Good luck for both your joints!

  • skagey says:

    I was reading about Dexter and your problem.I have english mastiffs and they are like my childrn(yes I have two children)when my oldest mastiff was about two years old and we would go for a walk he would pull my shoulder out of place and I would have to go to my chiropractor and have it put back in dog was not trying to run away he was just stronger than me and walked faster than me.I put him in doggie school with me along by his side in school .I also thought that the pincher collar looked like some midevil tortcher device .I finally gave in and bought one.I never have to use it on Ben (my oldest mastiff) and he learned to stay close enough to me so he did not send me to the doctor every time we go me every time I go to the truck he is excited and ready to jump in the back of the truck to ride.the pincher collar saved my behind one time also.I rescued a mastiff bitch and was told she was people,and animal friendly boy did they lie to me.I put the pincher collar on her and thank goodness I did because she jumped the fence after ben and the pincher collar is the only thing that stopped her.It could have been very bad.I think my digs are like my children,they have to learn right from wrong ,when the girls (two legged )were growing up if they were not behaving they ot a spanking when the boys(four legged )act up they have to learn as well.I see all kinds of dogs that have no manners,I can take my mastiffs anywhere and will be told they are very well behaved .You may think it looks awful and so did I but it is alot safer than having something bad happen to your four legged pal.And I love my boys.I had to have the female put down,she would try to kill Ben every time she saw him.with a dog with that much power you cant just give her away and it killed me because mastiffs are a wonderful breed that loves every one and every thing.
    ood luck,

  • Marie says:

    I’m not a huge fan of prong collars myself. In my opinion, they’re last resort. And it looks like you have a last resort problem. If Dexter keeps lunging he could do serious harm to himself. A prong collar does not have to inflict a lot of pain. Of course, research should go into them and in his case, a more gentle kind should be used. At the most, he shouldn’t feel a ton of pain, just a small pinch. and if it stops his lunging problem, then there will be less pain in the long run. My suggestion would be to just try it and see what it does. Is there a way you could just avoid the lunging situation altogether?
    If anyone else has any ideas I would be interested to hearing about them as well. I’ve never had this problem before but it would be great for future reference.