In Search of Lassie


First Trip:
I saw seven dogs in the park and down at the ravine.

All but one of them pulled on lead.

I did have a momentary chuckle at a friendly English bulldog who threw himself on the ground fifteen yards away inviting play with the Drama Prince. It was only a few days ago when I was dealing with the same thing. The fellow’s other dog, a black Labrador mix, was not pulling on the lead.

I let the Drama Prince play off leash with a dog that was a golden colour with blue husky eyes. They had a blast racing around and leaping in the creek to swim. Her friend with the seemingly friendly pit-bull couldn’t let it off the harness, she stated due to “an inability to play nicely”.

As the golden dog and DP played, the pit-bull on its harness dragged the woman hither and yon. When play time was over the woman couldn’t get her golden dog back as she called “COME” over and over. Now the Drama Prince doesn’t have a consistent recall so I got within a few yards and said, “SIT”. He did. Then I told him to “DOWN” and he did, right in front of her [still playing “catch-me-if-you-can”] dog. Then I heeled him away.

She asked me how I did it. I told her the truth. I trained the dog to understand the commands, and when he couldn’t manage other dogs as distractions, I put a prong collar on.

She snorted in disgust at me then her dog dragged her home.

I am the Evil Dog Lady now, I guess.


THE NUMBERS: {if you’re easily bored you can skip this bit and drop down to the bottom results}

  • Dogs seen: 7
  • Dogs Walking Nearby Off Lead: 0
  • Dogs Not Pulling On Lead: 1
  • Dogs with Strong Recall: 0

Later that day:

  • Dogs Found: 12
  • Dogs Walking Nicely: 0


  • Dogs Found: 6
  • Dogs Walking Off Leash: 2
  • Dogs Walking Nicely On Lead: 2/4
  • Dogs with Recall Under Distraction: 2

Here’s the story of the two off lead dogs.

OPA–Chocolate Labrador–10 years:
The owners got as 10 week puppy. The breeder had taught her to ring a bell and come when called.  From the start, Opa was offlead in the park, coming when called and friendly to other dogs. The owners took Opa to a Petsmart puppy class for pulling where they put a haltie on her head. Opa hated it. They switched her back to a flat collar after a month and she stopped pulling. Walks leashless within 1/4 block of owners. She waits on the corner while they put her leash on to cross the busy streets. Friendly to all dogs and people.

Kayla–Sheltie–12 Years:
Got as pup. Walks offleash everywhere with owner. No training classes. Comes when called. Owner took her off leash after first year. Snarls and snaps at dogs that get too close.


  • Dogs: 25
  • Dogs Not Pulling On Lead: 3
  • Dogs That Recall: 2
  • Training Classes Taken For Dogs Off lead: 1
    • Dogs that Could Pass as Good Citizens {Come on Command, Walk Nicely on Leash, No aggression}: 1
    • Dogs That Could Pass a Basic Obedience Test {Heel on and off lead, Down, Sit, Stay, Come}: 0

      Where have all the Good Dogs Gone? Long time passing…

      I’m going to ask dog owners their training methods when they are being dragged around.

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