As many of you will know if you're a regular reader of my Blog or you may watch my Weekly Vlogs on my YouTube Channel, you'll know I have a 10 Month Old Pug Puppy called Arla.
I've always loved dogs and have always dreamt of owning my own little fawn puglet since I was 11.
10 years later, I was lucky enough to meet Arla and take her home.

Since owning a dog I've not only become a crazy dog lady but I've realised some important areas and issues with owning, walking and training a dog that I think should be spoken about more openly, and some awareness definitely needs to be raised regarding certain issues in particular.

Photo of my Pug puppy, Arla taken by Bartley Studios at DogFest 2016
As I'm writing this, I've just watched Loose Women, where TOWIE's Bobby Norris is talking about his dramatic experience where his gorgeous little dog, Beau was killed by another dog.
This is an awful experience for anyone to experience and even more terrible to see happen to your own dog, however it might not have happened as you'd expect...

Bobby described that it was a normal day, on Beau's favourite walk where Bobby walked him regularly.
This is where Beau was attacked and sadly his injuries were too critical to treat.
Beau was killed by a larger dog on a lead which was extended very far, and round a corner from its owner. Bobby described that the larger dog thought Beau was possibly a Toy or smaller animal like a rabbit, by the way the dog shook Beau in his mouth.
As shocking as this awful experience was for Bobby as he's now lost his 'little man' forever, apparently these occurrences are not that rare and sadly happen more than often.
But dog attacks don't just happen to other dogs, or by big or small dogs especially - or by a particular breeds.. Dog attacks also happen to adults and children too.

Since owning Arla I've come across all kinds of different behaviours from my dog, other dogs and people when I'm walking Arla on a street, in a town, a field etc and you should always be aware, even on you (or your dogs) favourite walk.

On one occasion outside my house where I walk Arla more than once a day, we came across a gorgeous Springer Spaniel being walked by his owners who were further around the street corner than the dog was as it was on an extendable lead.
The dog was quite slow, looked quite old and calm. However when it saw Arla it completely changed, and this was before its owners had got round the corner and finished their conversation before they realised their dog was going for Arla whilst making an awful aggressive noise at her.
Alra is very, very small and may have caught the dog by surprise or made him jump - or maybe it wasn't fond of little dogs. We luckily had Arla on a 1m Leather Lead so we were able to pull her out the way quick enough, and scooped her up out of the dogs way and remove her from a scary situation.
The dog did not look like it had an aggressive bone in it's body, but how do we know that for sure?

My overall point is, why do we risk it?

I thinks, there is a way we can raise awareness and prevent the situation from happening, or at least try to!

After owning Arla for over 7 months we had had so many adults, dog owners and children ask me if Arla is 'friendly' and if they can approach or stroke her.
But what if they don't ask? What if they don't have the chance to ask? Or what if they dog gets there before the owners and it's nearly too late?

My answer?
Buy a Dog Awareness Warning collar, harness or lead.
Don't be sorry!

Earlier this year I visited DogFest and took Arla with me!
I was so pleased to see the amount of dogs wearing these simple but oh-so important doggy inventions and I loved it.
Also Arla isn't anxious or aggressive - actually she's possibly too friendly! - I bought Arla a 'Friendly' Harness so that other dog owners, passers by and children - who might want to approach her for a fuss, know that they can! As well as dog owners knowing that they can bring their dog up to say 'Hi' and meet her too!

Both I and members of the public feel more comfortable now Arla wears her 'Friendly' harness.
You can get so many different types of these awareness accessories for your dog with collars, leads and harnesses saying; 'Do Not Feed', 'Stubborn', 'Nervous', 'In Training' 'No Dogs!' etc...
There is one for every dog and I think they are a must. Especially if your dog is anxious, on the side of caution or maybe your pooch just prefers people to other dogs! Which is absolutely fine, but I do think it's important to share that with other dog owners and members of the public before bringing your dog out in public, to avoid any devastating accidents that maybe beyond your control.

Buy one?
If you're looking to buy one of these for your dog or a friends dog, you can get them from most pets shops or even easier - buy one online!
You can find them by searching on Google for 'Dog Warning Collar/Lead/Harness' or 'Dog Awareness Collar/Lead/Harness' and they're usually around the £10 price bracket.

Hearing Bobby's story really shocked me and I was devastated for him.
I'd love to see more and more dogs with these collars, leads or harness on as it makes being a dog owner and dog lover safer, easier and more enjoyable!

Let me know if you've had any experience with dogs or with your dog that you think might have been helped by one of these amazing creations.

Thanks for reading,

Charlie xo

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