Thursday, December 22, 2011

The DINOS (Dogs in Need of Space)™ Movement

What Is DINOS™? 

There is this beautiful scenic trail not far from our house.  It's not heavily traveled by people, dogs, or bikes which makes it ideal for running with our dog Chico who is fearful and reactive to just about anything that moves while he's on a leash.  We have leash laws in our city which makes it unlawful for dogs to be off leash within the city.  Besides the law, we always leash our dogs while out walking and running for their safety and others as well. On this day, the weather was mild. A perfect day for Chico and I to go running along on our scenic trail.  After about a mile into our run I saw a couple walking towards us with two larger dogs that were both off leash.  The couple immediately leashed one dog the dogs, but never leashed the other dog.  (I assume this is because the one dog wasn't friendly, while the other was.)  Initially, I stepped off the path so they could pass, however the unleashed dog insistently kept trying to approach Chico and I.  When I saw they weren't going to leash the dog nor could they recall it, I had to come up with another get-a-way plan.  Here we were weaving and bobbing around like a beer bottle in the water trying to stay reactive free and stay clear of the off leash dog.  Finally the owner grabbed their dog by the collar and took him on their way.  Unfortunately Chico did react to the dog, which is probably the only reason they took their dog by the collar.  It was incredibly stressful for Chico and I as we tried to calmly get out of this unnecessary situation.  

 Rue and Chico 

There is a movement spreading the nation.  It's called DINOS (Dogs in Need of Space)™.  This evolution focuses on educating the general public that some dogs need more space while out in public. This concept was created by fellow blogger Jessica Dolce, Notes From A Dog Walker.   Many dogs need more space for a variety of reasons, the DINOS Facebook Page lists a variety of reasons that includes: contagious diseases, leash reactivity, service and working dogs, injuries and painful physical conditions, intolerance of other animals, recovery from surgery, fearful of unfamiliar or rowdy dogs, aging and elderly, learning self control around other dogs and lastly, are owned by people that want to be left alone.  I have a DINOS™, do you?

Click this hyperlink to see more wonderful illustrations by Lili Chin

A Manifesto?

What good public movement doesn't have a Manifesto? Jessica Dolce covered this too when she created a public declaration for DINOS™.  To briefly outline the Manifesto it has eight main points, four pledges to uphold and a subsection.  Check out Notes From A Dog Walker for the full Manifesto. 

1.  Obey Leash Laws
2.  Ask permission Before Approaching
3.  Listen to our Response
4.  Respect Our Space
5.  Do Not Give Chase
6.  Lock your Leashes: If you walk your dog on a retractable leash (aka a Flexi Lead)
7.  Zip it: Keep your judgments and nasty comments to yourself
8.  No Matter How Nice You Are, the Rules Still Apply

Dynamic DINOS™ 

If you own, know someone who does, or have ever owned a DINOS™, you know that life with these dogs are often a challenge.  We've all encountered other people and dog owners who have violated the DINOS™ manifesto.  But that's actually the cool thing about being a part of this movement.  We can join together to spread the word about Dogs In Need Of Space.  Maybe even help take away some of the stigmas about our DINOS™.  After all, we know there's more to our dogs that meets the eye.  Do you have a dynamic DINOS? Share your stories.

My DINOS, My Chico

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  1. Hi! Great Blogpost and really interesting blog. I write about Treo and I and our adventures with reactivity, motion sensitivity and agression here: Wish you lived in Nebraska! Would love to have you in agility or flyball classes! We know how to work through issues at our club.

  2. Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for reading about our True Dogs. We LOVE hearing and reading about other people and their TRUES! I’m really glad to hear that your club helps people and their dogs work through behavioral issues that develop. I wish that there were more groups out there that provided more help and support. We look forward to hearing more about your Red Dog!