Guidelines for Area Walks*
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Eastern Canada
Purpose: to provide a safe location for Club members, and other RR owners, to walk with their dogs, leashed or off leash, to promote socialisation of both owners and dogs, to promote information exchange and to encourage a healthy, friendly environment.
Coordinator: a Club member, or member of the Executive, acts as Coordinator. The Coordinator is responsible for having checked out the area, for reminding participants of the walk date, for ensuring there is a first aid kit at the walk site. The Coordinator, or coordinators, retain full authority for behaviour during the walks.
The Coordinator(s) uses discretion but should offer counsel should an altercation occur and will request that unruly dogs be kept on leash. The Coordinator(s) should have sufficient experience that advice and assistance can be offered to RR owners with untrained dogs.
Participants: all participants are responsible for their own dogs. Participants are expected to control their dogs and let others know should their dog be difficult (i.e. be aggressive, be hyper-active, be shy, etc. etc.).
all participants bring their own leads, water, treats and all of their own needs.
General procedures: the Coordinator(s) is/are at the meet site punctually. The group will wait for approximately 5-10 minutes. There is no obligation for RR owners to attend every time, they may advice the Coordinator(s), or another walker, otherwise.
Poop and scoop rules apply in all cases. If the walk is in the woods or a less trafficked area, pushing poop off into the bush is OK.
Generally common sense behaviour applies. For instance, If an owner gives a dog a treat, be sure there are sufficient treats for all the dogs that may be around you; be sure all dogs are sitting; called by name and do not grab. If in doubt, do not give treats and ask the other dog’s owner first.
The walks commence with all dogs leashed. Once initial excitement has quietened down, the dogs are let off leash. However, this choice is up to the owner of the RR. There is no obligation to be off leash. On average participation is between 10-15 RRs; from a low of 3-5 to a high of 20! It is suggested that a group of this number (20) is too large to let all dogs off leash at one time. In the event that large numbers become the norm, the consideration should be given to dividing the group into two or more gatherings for safety and a more enjoyable outing.
If the walks are held in an area where one is likely to encounter other walkers (dogless), owners are to leash dogs and stand back off the trail. Or if there are other dogs in the area, participants are responsible for ensuring their own dog remains close (and leashed) and does not create a nuisance with others in the park. If the walk is over open areas the dogs run and play together freely – walkers remain watchful.
If there is an aggressive dog, the Coordinator(s) are responsible for speaking to the owner and requesting the dog be leashed. The Coordinator(s) have the responsibility of necessary follow-up (suggesting training techniques; OB classes, discussing veterinary visits (if unneutered dog) and including the possibility that the dog should not return to the walks until behaviour has been corrected.
In the event of an altercation where the involved owners dispute which dog started the confrontation, all owners are required to leash or crate their dogs.
Normal practice dictates that any veterinary bills should be resolved between the parties involved. In no case is the RRCEC responsible.
*Currently we are requesting all area walks in public areas be on leash. If the walk is held on private property, dogs may be off leash at the discretion of the area coordinator and property owner.
Guidelines for Group Picnics
The objective of these guidelines is to promote a friendly, safe environment for our picnics, as well as promoting responsible dog ownership.
- Owners are responsible to monitor closely their own dog or dogs while they are off leash. Please inform other owners if your dog could be shy, aggressive, or rough when playing with other dogs.
- Owners shall be responsible for picking up after their dog (poop & scoop rules apply).
- During mealtimes, all dogs must be put on leashes or if it is not too hot, returned to their owners vehicles. This should eliminate any food aggression that may occur and stop, hopefully, any food theft .
- Given the potential for undesirable interaction between intact males, the basic policy will for all intact males that are 2 years of age & over, or have been used for breeding, are to be leashed with an opportunity to be off leash one at a time, for timed intervals . The younger males that start to be randy, or show any signs of aggression will also have to be leashed.
- We would ask that all owners of bitches that are in season to please leave them at home. There will be other picnics that they will be able to attend.
- All dogs must be leashed when activities such as lure coursing, games, or canine good neighbour testing are underway in order to ensure the safety and focus of all the dogs participating in such events.
- Should there be an altercation, the owner of the dog that started the altercation will be asked immediately to put that dog on a leash for the rest of the picnic. Should the owner not agree and leave the dog off leash, he or she will then be asked to leave the picnic.
- As responsible dog owners, should there be an altercation in which the victim of an aggression requires professional attention, the owner of the dog responsible for the attack should consider themselves responsible for paying all of the vet bills.
Assuming there is a member of the RRCEC Executive present, they should attempt to arbitrate between the owners of the dogs involved.