Alas, people doing idiotic things with dogs are a daily sight in our streets, parks and countryside. Dogs off lead on main roads, coastal paths and a host of other dangerous places are a common sight.
Sometimes, though, it is insidious things that are upsetting, the sort where dogs suffer and their owners are oblivious.
It was just such an incident that inspired me to highlight this month’s “Idiot”.
I was walking along the high street with my dog (on a lead of course). It is a wide street and was not very busy that particular morning. We passed a woman with a small, young terrier. As she saw us, she jerked the dog’s lead, pulling it up by it’s throat. Startled, the dog barked, whereupon she shouted at it for barking.
In her mind, she needed to be worried because a bigger dog was passing. It didn’t matter that the bigger dog is well socialised, actually paid no attention to her dog whatsoever and she was far too far away for the dogs to make contact in any case.
She of course was teaching her dog to be afraid and then punishing it for reacting in the way that she had prompted.
Poor little, confused dog. Just the sort to be kept in for being unable to cope with other dogs, medicated for being neurotic or re-homed.