By Jake Mokris
Teen Takeover staff
In my experience, dogs are not always man’s best friends. I have had more than one bad encounter with dogs: Since I jog around my neighborhood, dogs frequently bark at me and sometimes chase me. Recently, I started running on a different course because of the dogs that live at certain houses along one road. I do not have a fear of dogs in and of themselves, but I do have to be wary of dogs while I run.
A family might think that its dog is gentle and restrained, but that cannot be completely ascertained. Even if it is well behaved indoors, the family dog has the potential to become aggressive when a stranger runs by on the sidewalk.
Every few years, dogs injure or kill someone. In some cases, the dogs were abused or treated in a way that would make them antagonistic, but in others, the owners were not paying attention to what their dogs were doing. Dog owners must keep their dogs under their control; that is Pennsylvania law. Leaving dogs unattended and unleashed in front yards is unwise; small dogs might be hurt, and large dogs could hurt someone. All dogs might wander off.
If you put your dog in your yard, either keep it on a leash that is attached to a sturdy object or stay outside with the dog. Some townships and boroughs have leash laws, so if you own a dog, contact your local government to learn those laws.
Above all, be considerate. Dogs can bother or unsettle people, so take your dog inside if it often barks at the people walking by.