Opinion

Get dogs on leashes – and under control

Re: “Delta considers lax dog leash bylaw.”

No doubt U.B.C.’s dog expert and psychology professor Dr. Stanley Coren won’t mind if I cite him in my effort to remind Deltans and their council of why we have dog leashes and a bylaw that requires dogs to be leashed when off their property.

In August, Canada Post called on Professor Coren to appeal to Canadians to get our dogs under better – not worse – control.

Canada Post cited the soaring rate of posties being bitten.

Its safety officer William Lynd put the “spike in attacks” to our letting our dogs of all breeds and sizes “roam around instead of taking precautions.”

Dr. Coren concurred, adding two bits of advice:

First, “Do not let your dog run free. Hang a leash near the door to clip on your dog’s collar to prevent it from running out when you open the door.”

And, second: “Do not allow your pooches to patrol your yard or keep them on a short rope.”

Why? “For thousands of years,” Dr. Coren explained, “we’ve known that allowing a dog to patrol a yard makes it more vicious. Every time a dog barks at a kid passing by and the kid goes away, it thinks its defence is working and it becomes more vicious.”

Canada Post’s Lynd added “yappier dogs” are of concern, too: “Everyone thinks its humorous when little dogs think they’re tough, but it’s not humorous to the victims of their bites.”

Myself? I’d like to see a dog bylaw that’s beefed up with higher fees, stiffer fines, strict enforcement, and licensing conditions that consider applicants’ maturity and histories, much the way our gun licensing laws do; doing so, would eliminate many vicious dogs from our city.

Professor Coren asked: “Why wouldn’t people want to control their dogs better? It’s not rocket science. It improves public safety, protects our postal workers and the little red-haired girl down the street.”

Deltans, what is good for our posties, and that little red-haired girl down Dr. Coren’s street, is good for us all.

Greg J. Edwards

Delta

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