Che's Defense 1 | American Kennel Club | Dogs



We are here today to assess whether my dog, Che, deserves a second chance at life or whether death is the only option for a well-trained, well-mannered dog that made a mistake when confronted with overwhelming circumstances. I, Carlina Muglia, am a professional dog trainer and legal tenant at 1700 Rabb Road, Austin, Texas 78704. I have owned Che for three years. On Saturday, January 8, 2011, at approximately 10:00 in the morning, I was sitting in my house with Che. My landlord, Ms. Tamara Carlisle, four boys, and two dogs ventured to the backyard. Upon seeing that Ms. Carlisle and the boys intended to use the zipline that is in the backyard, I instructed Che to assume a ―down, stay‖ position. Thus, he was lying down on the floor by the side of my chair. Shortly afterwards, I was preparing to leave (with Che) for a training appointment. Che remained in the aforementioned position as I gathered my belongings and walked to the door, which faces away from the backyard. Che's leash was in my car, but as he wears a collar with a handle, my intention was to lead him to the car by the handle. I instructed Che to come to me at the door and ―sit, stay.‖ As I opened the door, he heard yelling and dogs barking. His curiosity peaked and he broke his command. As I followed in pursuit of Che to restrain him, I saw Tamara standing with her arms raised in the air, catching the Plaintiff (a guest), who was riding the zipline at the time, to help him out of the harness. Within the few seconds it took me to catch up, Che had already bitten the Plaintiff and released him. I grabbed Che by his collar handle and turned him away from the scene without any difficulty. He readily complied without displaying

A reasonable person could infer that Che was acting according to and under the exact circumstance as dictated by Texas Healthy and Safety Code Title 10 Chapter 822. The battery of tests required for the certification includes: Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural. The American Kennel Club (AKC) standardizes this program. and the dog was defending a person from an assault or person's property from damage or theft by the injured person. . As a result of the incident. everyday situation. . The training that I have done with Che over the past three years.003(f)(4): ―The court may not order the dog destroyed if the court finds that the dog caused the serious bodily injury to a person by . he did not realize the object of his action was a person. Upon adopting Che. Given my expertise and Che’s disposition. I immediately began working with a trainer to put him through a recognized temperament assessment called the Canine Good Citizen certification (CGC). . The incident at hand occurred on the property where I live —property that I use freely in the manner stated in my lease. Carlisle never felt the need to establish a protocol for when she and her children were in the yard. Upon such a realization he released his grip. Che proved to be a very trainable dog. Plaintiff was secured in the harness when Che bit him.any resistance or attempt to re-engage with the Plaintiff. stands as proof that Che is of sound temperament. Plaintiff sustained injury that necessitated medical treatment. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets . Ms. and was unable to identify the suspended object as a child. . was acting in a manner that was defensive. biting. Upon initial instinct.‖ Che is a dog. Anyone with a dog would recognize this as a strong indication of substantial training and enduring obedience.

The dog may stand in place as it is petted. praise it and give encouragement throughout. and the handler may talk to the dog. Che is always accepting of friendly strangers. and in a natural manner. lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. groomer or friend of the owner. Che sits politely and always allows himself to be petted. proper weight. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination. The dog must not show shyness or resentment. It also demonstrates the owner's care. such as a veterinarian. clean. With the dog sitting at the handler's side. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. concern and sense of responsibility. Che is always willing to be groomed and does not take issue with veterinarians. the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body.. ignoring the dog. Test 3: Appearance and grooming This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone. Test 2: Sitting politely for petting This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness. and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog. healthy and alert). to begin the exercise.e. to do so. The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog.the handler in a friendly manner. Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead) . The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. left turn. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired. will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position. praise the dog. without evidence of over-exuberance. then the owner . shyness or resentment. there should be a right turn. In either case. The handler may talk to the dog along the way. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command. and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place This test demonstrates that the dog has training. Che is completely obedient on walks and does not pull at his leash. The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler. or give commands in a normal tone of voice. Che always displays good behavior in crowds and is friendly. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction.

Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. Che reverts to me when I call his name. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler. the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line. Test 7: Coming when called This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. The dog may be released from the front or the side. Except on the very rare occasion where his curiosity prevails for a moment. and continue on for about 10 feet. shake hands and exchange pleasantries. . Che consistently follows my command in this regard. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. and call the dog.chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. When instructed by the evaluator. turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. stop. Prior to this test. giving no instructions to the dog. turn to face the dog. Che is neither hostile to nor does he overwhelm friendly dogs. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. Test 8: Reaction to another dog This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet.

there. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking. or bark. or dropping a crutch or cane. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. I invoked proved . or pace unnecessarily. show aggressiveness. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark. "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. if necessary. His sense of protection was triggered upon seeing a foreign element. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. petting. rolling a crate dolly past the dog. and will maintain training and good manners. Even in this uncommon instance (the zipline has only been used once since I have been living at this address and Che has never seen it being used). whine. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like. his training did not end with the AKC course.g. it's alright"). or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Though Che passed his training with great success and earned his certification as a good canine. or management attempts (e. "there. Che reacted in an investigatory fashion and did not display bark. As a dog trainer myself.Test 9: Reaction to distraction This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. try to run away. Test 10: Supervised separation This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person. I regularly am able to leave Che with trusted friends and family members. having a jogger run in front of the dog.

Che’s actions were merely in defense of what he perceived to be a direct threat to Ms. Carlisle’s position in relation to an unidentifiable object as an assault upon her and acted in her defense. Che maintained his passive demeanor that Saturday morning. Even so. Due to the systematic and careful way I have raised and trained Che it is clear that he is not an aggressive or dangerous dog in any regard. suspended in his immediate environment or elsewhere. Carlisle and her family. until he became alarmed by the fervent yelling and barking. Che is permitted to serve as my in-cabin Emotional Support Animal (ESA) for when I fly.positive-training methods. As I have been living alongside Ms. However. As a single woman. I was informed of the intended use of the zipline in advance and made arrangements for Che to be boarded elsewhere. I derive comfort and safety from knowing that Che is capable of protecting me should a dangerous situation arise. he extends that shield to all others that share our environment. with an incredible variety of people and always in a controlled manner. Che has encountered crowds consisting of people of all ages in high-excitement scenarios such as parades and parks and remains calm in those situations. and two other dogs were also running around barking. In that vein. because he is a loving and friendly dog. the zipline has only been used once in a party scenario. he has never encountered moving objects dangling. Carlisle was standing with her arms raised to catch Plaintiff and help him out of the harness while children were running around and yelling. Ms. On January 8th. . As an example of his extremely good conduct and sound temperament. Since I have lived at this residence. Che perceived Ms. and regularly exposed Che to new and exciting situations. Carlisle – a person he considers to be part of his family. Che has also begun to watch over them.

Che was acting defensively to protect Ms. is a demonstration of how he learned immediately from his mistake and acted to correct it as best a dog can. the severity of the Plaintiff’s injury has as much to do with gravity and the momentum of Plaintiff’s movement in the harness as it does the force applied by Che. Carlisle from a perceived threat to her. it is clear that he exhibited control and inhibited his bite. friendly and safe behavior in equally exciting situations that differ only in that he recognized everyone involved as being a human and non-threatening. He has lived an exceptional life. and is as close to me as a family member. The Texas provision laid forth as defense is designed to save good dogs that find themselves in unfortunate situations like this one. upon hearing of this regrettable incident. The law is intended to protect the public from vicious dogs who cannot control their emotions or actions.He has an exemplary record of good. Further. This. Though unfortunate. Please acknowledge his innocence and do not subject him to unjust and unwarranted punishment. given Che’s size and strength. . Che has a throng of avid supporters who. accompanied with his immediate release and lack of resistance. Che could not be further from this characterization. have written passionate testimonies to ensure his sociable and loving demeanor.

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