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The "101" Department: One Cool Tool

An expert explains how to use the Y pole, a tool for working with fearful dogs

One of your animal control officers has brought in a dog found roaming the streets. The dog has a collar, and through her matted hair you can see an ID tag. But no matter how calmly you approach the dog, she is so fearful you cannot safely touch her. The dog becomes defensively aggressive, and you have to back off.

You need to handle this dog to provide the best care and to read her tag, but the dog refuses to cooperate.

What are your options?

The Traditional Catch Pole
The common option for working with uncooperative dogs is the catch pole (also known as the control pole or the snare pole). Every shelter in North America has one or knows what it is. It is the tool most ACOs and shelter staff resort to when a dog refuses to be handled.

The catch pole is a valuable and fundamental tool for the ACO, allowing an officer to work safely with potentially dangerous dogs and to catch a dog who may not be captured with a leash. With the catch pole, a properly trained ACO can catch a dog out in the open so that the animal does not have to be cornered. This is one of its most important assets. And when necessary, the catch pole also allows an ACO to work by himself, because it controls a dog in every direction she might try to move.

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