Both the popularity and the price tag of the French Bulldog is on the rise and unfortunately this means the theft of French Bulldogs is also on the rise. French Bulldogs are among the most commonly stolen dog breeds. By now I am sure you have read at least one of the news articles about Lady Gaga’s French Bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, who were stolen on February 24, 2021. Two men jumped out of a vehicle and assaulted Lady Gaga’s dog walker in an attempt to steal the three French Bulldogs he was walking. A struggle ensued and the dog walker ended up shot in the chest and the two men made off with two of the three French Bulldogs. Thankfully, the dogs were returned, and the dog walker ended up being okay. However, this has brought the reality of frenchies being stolen and the associated dangers to the forefront. This, of course, is not the first time something like this has happened. This time it was just much more publicized since it was Lady Gaga’s dogs who were stolen. Her frenchies were returned but many others are not so lucky. Many frenchie parents have their dogs stolen and never see them again. As a frenchie mama, I have to say, I would be absolutely devastated if this happened to me and my frenchies. This begs the question, how do we keep our frenchies, and ourselves for that matter, safe while we are out on walks. In response to the theft of Lady Gaga’s French Bulldogs, I have seen and heard many people discussing carrying guns to protect themselves while walking their dogs. Because of this, I want to begin by discussing firearm safety.
If you choose to protect yourself and your dogs by carrying a firearm, it is important to do so safely. First and foremost, be sure you are comfortable carrying a firearm and that you have received training to properly utilize the firearm. If you search online, you will find many firearm safety classes available. Second, be sure the barrel of the gun is always pointed in a safe direction. Never point a gun towards any person or animal and be very aware of your surroundings. If the gun has a safety, be sure it is on while carrying the firearm. However, you should treat a gun as if it does not have a safety even if it does. This means treat the gun as if the safety is always off and can fire at any time. One of the most important things I can tell you is to never have your finger on the trigger unless you are planning to shoot the gun. Most firearm accidents occur because people do not follow the trigger finger rule and because the firearm is pointed at something they did not intend to shoot. Lastly, check your state laws on gun carrying so you do not get yourself in trouble. What if you do not want to carry a gun? What are some other ways you can protect yourself and your frenchies?
Protecting Yourself While Walking Your Frenchie
The best advice I can give you, whether you are carrying a firearm or not, is to be very aware of your surroundings. Know what is in front of you, behind you, and beside you at all times. Do not use headphones while you are walking as this will not able you to hear what is going on around you. Avoid walking your dog alone in the dark. If you must walk your dog alone in the dark, you may consider carrying pepper spray or mace. A reflective leash could also help deter criminals. Another good idea for protection is an emergency survival whistle. The emergency survival whistle I own is the Michael Josh 2PCS Emergency Survival Whistle Kit with Lanyards for Outdoor(Silver)(#ad). Keep away from large bushes and dense vegetation, as well as doorways. These areas give potential criminals the element of surprise. If a vehicle stops to ask you questions, keep a large distance between yourself and the vehicle. If a vehicle starts following you, turn around and walk towards a place where there are people and where it is well lit. Studies have shown that criminals target people who look less confident so walk with your head up, walk tall, and look people in the eyes. The last piece of advice I can offer is always carry your phone. We all have cell phones in todays’ day and age, and they can be used to call a friend or 9-1-1. Additionally, most cell phones now have flashlights which could come in handy in a suspicious situation. Just remember, do not show fear or weakness since this is what criminals look for.
If you have any other suggestions for staying safe while walking your dog, feel free to leave a reply below.