Stuck on Stupid Alert–Dogs Do NOT Come Before the Common Good

Today’s big ‘Sob for the Dog Story’  [really, read the comments section–talk about “stuck on stupid”] is: NYPD Shoots Dog While Her Owner Has a Seizure

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We all don’t want our dogs hurt. It’s a visceral reaction to blame the cops on this one–especially if we don’t like cops.

I love dogs to pieces. I even think that any time we can possibly give dogs a second chance if they have social unacceptable behaviours, they should have the opportunity to be corrected provided it is done so in a way that does not endanger the general public or family where the dog resides.

I feel incredible compassion for this owner who is going to  find out her dog has been shot and may die. I don’t dispute that it’s a traumatic event. However, I have no pity [pardon le pun] reserved for those who say the police did not do the right thing by shooting the dog in this case.

A dog on a public sidewalk lunging and growling is a public menace no matter what the reason is. For all those weeping and moaning that the police were wrong in this case–what if that dog, in a state of hyper-arousal had lunged off and attacked a toddler? Dogs are far faster than humans and can run 35+ mph. It takes less than a second for them to cross 30 feet of ground and attack.

THAT is the problem the police were faced with. They did not have time to mess around hoping for a happy outcome, play dog psychologist, beg Animal Control to show up with a dart or even the time to look in the trunk if they happened to have such an item on hand. They had to contain the area and control the dog.

Nor are they experts in canine behaviour and shouldn’t have to be unless they’re dog handlers.

It is the responsibility of the owner to control the dog 100% of the time even when not physically available. Does that get messed up sometimes? Yes. Especially in the first year of training. That doesn’t mean it’s the fault of anyone other than the dog owner.

Two things jump out at me here.The first is–this is not a service dog.It was not wearing a vest and barking to draw attention to the owner. The second is, sad as it may be, this owner did NOT adequately train this dog in what it should do [even lay down quietly] in case of a seizure. The dog cannot be expected to know what to do if there are strangers hovering over her or touching her because it’s a dog.

Maybe she didn’t get that far in the training, maybe she simply never saw it as something she needed to do. Who knows? I suspect she got this dog so it would protect her or at least look a bit fierce.  It is New York after all and she’s vulnerable.

According to the neighbours it was a friendly dog and more power to her for training it to be friendly. Unless a dog is protection trained to know when and how to do that and when to stop–the likely outcome is exactly what happened. If a dog is not protection trained, no owner should tolerate any protective behaviours from that dog.

This was an unfortunate incident for both dog owner and dog.

But there are no villains in this tale.


  • Dogs Observed: 7
  • Walk Nicely on Leash: 1
  • Heel Offleash: 2
  • Recall: 2
  • Good Companion: 1
  • Basic Obedience: 0

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