To not care how 'friendly' your dog is, if you can't control it, it should be on a lead

(246 Posts)
IcouldstillbeJoseph Thu 18-Jul-13 03:20:54

I'm neither a lover or hater of dogs but this is beginning to piss me right off rankle.

Near to where I live is a lovely lake. Nice path, children's play area, ducks etc. Popular in this weather.

I was out walking today with DS 2.6 and DD 6mo. As has happened on so many occasions now, we'll be stood feeding the ducks, only to have somebody's dog come bounding along to us, no owner in sight (the path is quite bendy) and start sniffing about. Now, obviously the sniffing I don't mind so much but DS is a bit wary of dogs and today one started trying to lick his face and was licking at DD's feet in the buggy. The owner then saunters around the corner, calling dog's name (to which it pays no attention) and then looks endearingly at the dog and at DS's worried expression and says "oh don't worry she just wants to give you kisses". No attempt to get control of the dog at all.

I gave tight-lipped half smile and turned away resisting urge to wipe DD feet with an anti-bac wipe

ThatsSoVanquish Thu 18-Jul-13 03:36:08

YANBU, definitely. They can't be certain of a dog's reaction, very selfish.

Fuzzysnout Thu 18-Jul-13 06:34:43

I absolutely agree. The same should also apply to the children of parents who let them run up to me or my dog and make no effort to control them.

mikkii Thu 18-Jul-13 06:40:24

I agree. We have 2 dogs, one can be trusted off the lead (stays with us, comes when called etc.), the other has to stay on s lead. My only comment old be that we have a lake nearby that has a fenced dog exercise area here we do let him off the lead. We re trying to train him to be better, like his sister. If you were in an area such as this, then, and only then would I say YABU

Morgause Thu 18-Jul-13 06:41:01

Dogs should always be on a lead in places like that, it doesn't matter how "friendly" the owner thinks they are - they should be under control. It used to annoy me as well when the DCs were little.

If you do say anything about not wanting wet doggy tongues and noses on the DCs some owners take it as a personal affront.

Sirzy Thu 18-Jul-13 06:46:54


In the same way if someone can see a child isn't happy with their dog sniffing around them don't make the extendable lead longer and laugh as they jump up at the child. DS was fine with dogs until some silly cow did that and now he is wary of them.

It's a shame because most dog owners are so sensible but there are a few idiots which make it harder for everyone.

chinup2011 Thu 18-Jul-13 06:52:30

I have a phobia of dogs.
Dogs off leads prevent me from walking anywhere in the countryside. Something I'd love to be able to do but the fear of what could run up to me or the children around every corner is too much.

jaggythistle Thu 18-Jul-13 06:58:06

YANBU. DS1 is currently terrified of dogs thanks to a huge one jumping all over him in the park. sad

DH said the owner showed no concern and was nowhere near their dog.

We're trying to show him all the well behaved dogs and owners playing happily or on leads when we're out, so that he doesn't want picked up every time he sees one. (he's 3).

SpiderCharlotte Thu 18-Jul-13 06:58:38

YANBU. At all.

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 18-Jul-13 07:02:23

Dear 'friendly dog' owner,
I don't care how friendly your dog is, I don't want it to run up to me, sniff me or jump up at me.
Thank you.

3MonthMaid Thu 18-Jul-13 07:03:33

YANBU it's the bane of my life at the moment.

DD is 6 and we live right next door to a park (actually its more of a cultured garden than a free running park). We have to walk through it every morning to school.

Steadily it's becoming a serious issue. DD used to be weary of dogs. Now she is downright terrified. She has had one too many bound up to her.

One nasty owner even told her to "grow up". I nearly spontaneously combusted on the spot. She was 5 FFS.

YANBU. We were at the vet with our cat and a dog started barking its head off. DD2 (who is currently wary of dogs due to MIL's dog barking at her all the time!) started to cry and got very upset. The dog's owners thought it was funny, the sight (and sound) of a small child in distress. I was sad and angry in equal measure.

Whilst I agree with you OP I would also say that if your child is getting particularly scared of dogs it is worth doing what you can to tackle that. Ds2 used to be terrified of dogs, mainly because he didn't know how to behave around them - he would run so of course dogs would chase him thinking he was playing. If one ran up to him he would make eye contact and lift his arms - none of which are great if you want dogs to ignore you.

Anyway his fear got so bad that he would start crying every time he was in close contact with a dog & that was problematic because the vast majority of his friends had dogs & so he stopped getting invitations to tea or to play a people's houses. I could understand why - rather than having a quiet few hours while the kids played would be having to deal with ds2 wailing.

In ds2's case his fear developed not fr

Grr not from any particularly bad incident, just from dogs doing normal doggy things.

Anyway we solved it with the rather extreme step of getting our own dog & ds2 is now a bloody dog whisperer who loves dogs (& they love him). But socially it is so much easier - and the invitations to visit other people started again.

Ragwort Thu 18-Jul-13 07:26:23

YANBU at all - and it is not just in case a child is 'scared' of a dog, I do not like dogs (or cats) at all, why should I have to experience them slobbering all over me, sniffing me etc etc. Why can't dog owners understand that not everyone likes dogs; I probably give a very dirty look at dogs and am often told 'don't worry, it won't hurt you' - it's not particularly that I think it will hurt me, but I just don't want it near me. grin. Especially if you are trying to enjoy a picnic at the beach or in a park, you are sitting down and a dog bounds over to you - horrible.

FourGates Thu 18-Jul-13 07:29:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FourGates Thu 18-Jul-13 07:30:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 18-Jul-13 07:30:53

saintly My physical instinct when a dog runs right up to me is to lift my arms hmm in a kind of 'I don't like this, go away, I'm backing off' kind of way. Please tell me that this isn't a sign to them that I want to play?

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 18-Jul-13 07:33:17

four other people's children and pets! Just because the parents/ owners love them doesn't mean everyone else does!

Sirzy Thu 18-Jul-13 07:34:26

It is much easier to get children used to dogs when strangers aren't making decision to allow their unknown dog to run up to and upset children.

I have worked really hard to get DS used to known dogs, and to know how to behave around strange dogs but people not controlling their dogs can knock all of that right back

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 18-Jul-13 07:35:08

Totally agree Ragwort

Twattybollocks Thu 18-Jul-13 07:35:09

It doesn't matter if you are 110% certain your dog will not bite, even if it has no teeth.
Not everyone wants to be covered in dog slobber and muddy paw marks.

Mslouis - yep you are saying 'here doggy doggy doggy'. If you keep your arms down and ignore the dog they will probably ignore you - if they approach give them the back of your hand to sniff & they'll be gone.

My dog ignores everyone endless they talk to him which he then takes as an invitation to throw himself all over them in excitement. Luckily only dog lovers tend to talk to him.

Rosa Thu 18-Jul-13 07:37:27

YANBU at all. When DD was a toddler a dog bounded up and knocked her over she is now 4 and terrified of dogs.
Every opportunity we can we try to get her used to dogs - Then a very 'friendly ' dog bounces past being a happy dog and she freaks out . We have to start the process all over again. Yesterday it took us 10 mins to get her to stroke a placid guide dog - she has been asking about it again and wants to stroke it again which we will try to do. she really does squeal in terror when one runs near her so in our case consideration is appreciated.

If someone lifted their arms he'd probably think 'oh my word a ball a ball they have a ball' and leap around.

The other thing to do with an over enthusiastic dog is turn your back to them while making no eye contact etc.

But yes I'd put lifting your arms at the bottom of the list unless you like dogs on your shoulders!

bodingading Thu 18-Jul-13 07:38:39

I'm so with you. SO with you.

I walk in a very similar area daily. I get on well with the regular and responsible dog owners--the old gentleman with his pair of huskies, the young woman with her Alsatian, we always hail the man with his changing crowd of rescued Old English sheepdogs with haircuts in varying severity - these are all good.

But now the weather is fine the place is filled with awful awful people with awful awful dogs, that are not remotely trained, and tear around the place fighting, barking, eating geese and menacing children (and me!), while the owners tag along behind calling their names over and over. Not just one person, you understand. You might meet twenty or more "challenges" just going round the lake. It's not that big a lake!

(I don't even know the huskies names and I've seen them every day for four years. Their owner just taps his cane to his foot and they immediately go to him.)

It's got so bad this year I think I must give up my walks until it starts raining. The playpark, I notice, is pretty empty too.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Thu 18-Jul-13 07:43:25

I have tried to explain there is nothing to be scared of and im not scared myself so I don't think he's picking that up. I did, however, say that you don't touch dogs until mummy says its ok as they may bite you. I think that might have been what did it....

It happens all the bloody time though. Once a dog sneaked up behind him whilst throwing bread for the ducks and he panicked so much I thought he was going to end up in the water! I was stood right night to him before anyone suggests I was sat on my phone somewhere, being neglectful wink

Emilythornesbff Thu 18-Jul-13 07:47:44


"irkes" me too.

christinarossetti Thu 18-Jul-13 07:50:47

I completely agree. I would never let my children bother other people let alone actively jump up at them and it drives me potty when dog owners let their hounds bother other people.

One charming dog owner told me I was 'stupid' when I asked her to stop her large dog jumping up at my 6 week old in the sling.

Chopstheduck Thu 18-Jul-13 07:51:54

Mine were very nervous of dogs at that age, but they've gotten better as they get older, by approaching friend's dogs. Having an uninvited dog bounding towards you is too much for some toddlers.


Though it never really bothered me that much, until I started running. The number of people who let their dogs come bounding up to me, or chase me. It is very annoying, especially smaller breeds trying to get at my ankles - I swear I'm going to end up indadvertedly kicking one! Even quite placcid dogs often get excited when they see someone running, and so many owners just leave them to it.

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 18-Jul-13 07:51:57

Saintly : The other thing to do with an over enthusiastic dog is turn your back to them while making no eye contact etc
I will do this!
I raise my arms to say 'back off'! FGS! I didn't realise that dogs see it as a sign that I want to play ball with them. grin

Dogs make my skin crawl and I feel like I can't enjoy a walk with my kids around local beauty spots ,

ChoudeBruxelles Thu 18-Jul-13 07:56:31

biscuitdone so many times. Yes other people's dogs are annoying. They should be under control. But people have dogs - get used to it. Blah blah

cory Thu 18-Jul-13 07:58:06

How do you teach a 2yo, strapped in his buggy, not to lift his arms to protect his face when a strange dog jumps up and licks him in the face?

Would you have the self control not to do that yourself if you were in a situtation where an animal larger than yourself suddenly jumped at your face?

I found it incredibly frustrating to put in so much work to teach dc to be good around dogs only to have my good work undone by situations that I didn't have any control over.

And once something has happened, it is incredibly difficult to tell the child they must never show a fear reaction again. Particularly if the child is small.

It is all very well to say you must teach them to do x, y or z but a small child who has been hurt or frightened in a certain situation may well go hysterical the next time they are faced with a similar situation.

And to undo that takes time and patience: not a stranger who insists that you have to put up with having the thing you fear most shoved in your face because "he's lovely with children".

milktraylady Thu 18-Jul-13 08:00:18

I basically hate dogs & it puts me off going for walks with dd in the pram.
I have watched a lot of Cesar Milan & so I do try to project confidence when a dog runs up.

Are there any good MN phrases I can have up my sleeve to get dog owners to control their dog/ call it off?
Polite but to the point!
I always just freeze & feel panicky.

Good tip about not raising arms & offering back of hand to sniff. Not sure I have the confidence to turn my back- what if it leaps up at my back?

TheSecondComing Thu 18-Jul-13 08:02:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 18-Jul-13 08:03:15

choude Get used to it?
I don't think so.

HandMini Thu 18-Jul-13 08:04:22

Agree strongly. I had dinner outside a pub on Monday night. The couple at the table next to us had two dogs, both off leads. Five/six times one of the dogs came over to our table, licked legs, sniffed around, pushed under chairs and drooled/begged for food. Each time, the couple called them back, fairly ineffectually, ie they'd already sniffed/licked/rooted in handbag. Never once did they stand up and pull them away or put them on a lead. After the repeated annoyances, I asked them to put the dogs on a lead. They didn't have one with them.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Thu 18-Jul-13 08:09:23

choude I didn't realise I had to search the MN archive before posting, in case I inadvertently bored somebody.

Szeli Thu 18-Jul-13 08:19:16

YANBU I hate dogs, dirty, yappy things; but other people don't and that's their choice.

What I hate though is being made to feel like you're being unreasonable for not liking dogs when you're trying to go about your daily business.

It's a but like the religious fanatics in town who shout about their religion and force flyers on you - I don't like that either.

I don't know why there can't be designated doggy running bits in multi use parks then everyone can use the space fairly, but there you go

HandMini Thu 18-Jul-13 08:22:54

Choude YABU.

Yanbu. I nanny a boy who is scared of dogs, he's autistic too which makes things a bit more difficult than my 2yo who is scared of them (for the two year old she was fine until one knocked her down not long ago!). It took a year for me to stop him screaming and running from 'friendly' dogs who jumped at him. A few weeks ago one 'friendly' dog ate his lunch at the park. He's now screaming and running from them again and it's undone a years work. If you cannot control your dogs and if they do not have good recall they should not be off of the lead.

DameEdnasBridesmaid Thu 18-Jul-13 08:32:06


I don't want any dogs near me ever, they should all be on leads in any public place. It should be the law.

It really pisses me off when the only says "he won't harm you, he likes you", well I don't fucking like it, so get it away from me immediately!

choude can't have enough of these threads IMO, they remind the very vocal dog brigade that amazingly some of the population don't share their view. So YABU.

spacegoat Thu 18-Jul-13 08:34:43

No you are not being unreasonable. My hounds would never come back so are on leads, and no body has to see them if they come to my house.

Having said that I have come back from walks covered in the paw prints of other dogs. Because I have dogs therefore I won't mind other dogs jumping up on me. Well yes I do actually.

If you want dogs to stay away. Fold your arms, turn your back, no eye contact. If you have a young child shouting at the dog owner is reasonable in my opinion!

At the same time some young children do run up to dogs to cuddle and stroke them, even when they are on leads! Now my dogs are great usually... but not really used to young children. So please get them to be a bit careful and ask please!!

TheFallenNinja Thu 18-Jul-13 08:37:32

Dogs aren't annoying per se, but what they are is unpredictable.

All dogs, without exception should be legally required to be on a lead at all times period.

I don't give a monkeys how friendly or lovely it is, it's unpredictable. Plus if it's on a lead it won't poop in a place too far for you to walk to clean it up.

Too many dog owners regard their animals a humans. They are not.

I love dogs by the way. It's just some owners.


If there were not so many irresponsible dog owners, there would not be so many children with a total fear of dogs!

Having said that, I think most dog owners are pretty irresponsible. I have yet to encounter one who call their dog back with any success, when they run after and nip at my child. angry They mostly just laugh and say "oh look at doggy, he loves children SO much, just wants to play" about scowling labrador/yorkshire terrier who has a firm grip of my childs trousers with its teeth. I wish I could carry around a dart gun with sleep inducing darts to use on dogs like this.

SparkyTGD Thu 18-Jul-13 08:42:59


I'm a dog owner.

Out of control, off lead dogs annoy other dog owners too. angry

We have four dogs and try really hard to be responsible dog owners. We walk on lead, pick up poo (and worm regularly), our dogs are chipped, neutered and wear ID. We spend money and time to invest in training classes so they have good doggy manners when they greet people. We only go off lead in certain areas, when there is no-one around and regularly pay to hire an private field for off lead high speed play.

One of our dogs is elderly, arthritic and has poor eyesight - he gets very flustered and upset if an off lead dog comes bounding over.

I'm particularly conscious of the fact that in many parks, Councils already have the power to impose Dog Control Orders that either ban dogs completely or make on lead walking compulsory so an irresponsible minority (as so often) can spoil it for those of us who do try to do the right thing.

As others have posted, off lead dogs usually seems to go hand in hand with owners being oblivious to the poo too. angry

DEFRA will be changing the law next year, and it looks likely it will be stricter, and will also apply in more places. Any dog owner who are currently oblivious to this might get a nasty shock when it is introduced.

SparkyTGD Thu 18-Jul-13 08:52:36

milktraylady I think to step in front of pram & say "NO" firmly (not screechy, think teacher voice), most dogs will stop, IME.

I have a sensitive dog who doesn't like other dogs bounding at her/bothering her and that usually works.

Thinking about it, I could say to other dog owners "She doesn't like other dogs" and most of the time that would be respected, shame people don't do same for children.

But I suppose if I say that & the other owner replies with the "Its ok, he's friendly" I can say "But she's not" and they keep their dog away.

MSLouis - are you every doggy's friend? grin god they must love you. Honestly the more you ignore them the more they will ignore you. You don't need to turn completely but just turning a shoulder will help given them 'I'm not interested' signs. Raising arms is definitely treated as a sign to play (or maybe there's a treat in that hand - double the excitement).

Both ds2 and ds1 used to be scared of dogs. DS2 would raise his hands, so the dog would jump up, then he'd run screaming and the dogs thought he was great fun. I remember one memorable moment when he had three dogs chasing him with happy doggy faces while he ran screaming across the moors. I was yelling 'STAND STILL' but he was struggling to do that and so the dogs carried on - it looked like something from a cartoon. The of course he'd go to friends houses and do the same and end up a gibbering wailing wreck so he stopped being invited (I don't blame the parents - their dogs were perfectly friendly & who wants a playdate designed to occupy your child turn into 3 hours of comforting someone else's child). I can honestly say he never met an aggressive dog, they were all friendly but his reactions just made them very playful which he felt overwhelmed by.

DS1 is severely autistic and doesn't like fur. But his reaction to dogs has always been to freeze and they do generally ignore him. They might sniff but they just run away from from. Now we have our own dog he has a slightly worrying habit of occasionally extending a finger towards a strange dog (because he does that with ours who then licks his finger).

Ds2 is very sensible about dogs now and asks before approaching. I spend a lot of time at home saying 'fgs get your hands out of the dog's mouth/get the dog out of your bed (it's a retriever it's not small)/ will you please not let the dog lie on you'. So it is possible to go from absolutely terrified at 8 to dog whisperer at 11.

DS3 loves all dogs and has to be reminded to not approach unknown dogs.

newestbridearound Thu 18-Jul-13 09:26:46


I absolutely hate this too.

YANBU. I cocked up this morning, and the puppy practically ran into the jaws of an on lead staff that clearly did not want to be approached. My error, and thankfully no harm done. Next time I will lead him immediately. I would have apologised, but the staff's owner let his other dog directly approach my on lead bastard spaniel, causing some argy bargy. I figure we're even. Anyway, I would always lead my dogs around young children. The bastard spaniel never approaches people, but the puppy would canon ball into them.

PoppadomPreach Thu 18-Jul-13 09:33:10

i absolutely LOVE dogs but am in total agreement with you OP.


Bogeyface Thu 18-Jul-13 09:33:34

"You must teach your children how to behave around dogs"

Errrr no actually, you should keep your fucking dog away from me and my children!

TroublesomeEx Thu 18-Jul-13 09:33:51

For those saying we should teach our children to not be afraid of dogs...

Most of the children who are scared of dogs are because one (or more) has 'worried' them, jumped up at them, bounded towards them etc.

My son was scared of dogs from being 4 until he grew older and was taller than most of them. Until a dog ran up to him and fussed him, he wasn't in the slightest bit bothered by them. I had brought him up to have a healthy respect - don't stroke/approach dogs you don't know without us checking that it's ok with the owner first, and all that.

but that was all undone at 4 years old. And not knowing anyone with a dog as a pet, it was hard to expose him to friendly dogs to get past it.

Surely it would be more beneficial for some dog owners to not allow the fears to develop in the first place!

Bogeyface - maybe it depends where you go/socialise, but as we spend most of our time on the moors & beach and 90% of our friends have dogs ds2's behaviour around dogs was a real problem. His fear of friendly dogs behaving perfectly normally did have to be overcome because it was impacting on him. I did see it as something that needed to be sorted, especially when people stopped inviting him to their houses to play with his friends because he was so scared of dogs.

He was terrified of swimming/water as well until recently. By the time he got to nearly 11 this was a problem because again he was missing out on things - he was too old for special arrangements in pool parties etc. So we organised 1:1 swimming lessons and now he dives, jumps in, swims in pyjamas etc.

I just saw the dog stuff as the same as the swimming issues (actually more of a problem because swimming parties could be missed without too much problem, but being unable to go to the majority of friend's houses was a much bigger thing to miss)

quoteunquote Thu 18-Jul-13 09:50:25

calling dog's name

The owner has no idea about dog training, the dog's name is just that it's name not a command, so that always gives you a clue as to how the dog is being managed.

(to which it pays no attention)

Not surprising, if someone repetitively said your name all the time you would start blanking them too.

"oh don't worry she just wants to give you kisses".

No one would have to worry if you took responsibility and learnt to control your dog.

Sorry you met a rubbish owner, we are not all like that, it is annoying these people cause problems, because it gives good owners a bad name.

People can be arrogant, they see it as some sort of weakness to acknowledge they guidance prior to taking on a dog,

If you put in the correct training when you get the puppy, you are set for life, most don't even do half of what is required, every month you leave it, doubles the amount of training that will need to go in, by six months, they realise the foundations are missing, but rather than address the void, they spend the 12 years trying to get everyone else to go along with ignoring the problem.

It is entirely the owners responsibility to meet the dog's need, their choice if they want to do that, most are too lazy.

We do free pre dog owning classes, the success rate(none troublesome K9) for those owner (new and old) who do them is very high, considering it is free, it shocking how many people turn up six to nine months down the line begging for help to fix the dog, yet had no intention from the outset of educating themselves on K9 psychology,

It is also amazing considering how much they "loved" the dog they are reluctant to put in the required effort.

TroublesomeEx Thu 18-Jul-13 09:52:15



AltogetherAndrews Thu 18-Jul-13 09:58:11

I'm badly allergic to dogs. I don't want to be licked or jumped on by something that will make me ill. Dd has allergies too, so I don't want anyone's dog near her either.

Both my kids are a bit frightened of dogs, but that is probably because I freeze and am not even remotely friendly when we are approached by one. Because, no matter how friendly or lovely you think your dog is being, letting him lick me will make me ill.

I don't dislike dogs, just selfish owners who make no effort to control them.

sleeplessbunny Thu 18-Jul-13 09:58:56


hate this

kisses?? ewww
no i do NOT want an animal (or human for that matter) to lick my face. really.

YA-SO -NBU. my three dds are all now wary of dogs. when they're generally relaxed and not tired/ hot/sick/hungry/thirsty which is never it's just a slight wariness. when there's anything else bothering them the sight of dogs on the loose cause mayhem

BTW I don't think the OP is unreasonable. I keep my dog away from children (and I ask approaching children not to stroke him) & don't let him run off lead where there are lots of people picnicking etc. He goes straight back on the lead if he bothers someone (but because I choose my spots carefully I can't really remember the last time that happened). I do keep him away from dogs on leads as well as I assume they don't want to be approached but that's a lot harder than keeping him away from people who are ignoring him and we do very occasionally get it wrong - he is learning though.

TBH of all the dogs I see there's only one that I think has a highly irresponsible owner. I also think that dog is going to kill or badly another dog one day (she seems safe around people - but has terrible dog aggression) so we give her a wide berth. There are other dogs I know that need avoiding but they have sensible owners which makes it a lot easier, even if sometimes greetings go a little wrong.

spacegoat Thu 18-Jul-13 10:11:43

"You must teach your children how to behave around dogs"Errrr no actually, you should keep your fucking dog away from me and my children!

Well, yes but some children run up to dogs on leads. That's dangerous too.

I don't want to be kissed by anything that licks it's own genitals and bumhole and can't brush its teeth <standards>

Agree with that spacegoat

Also my suggestion to teach children how to behave around dogs was as a result of seeing ds2 escalate every situation he was in with a dog by his behaviour. I did work hard to teach him how to respond to make it easier for him . Not because I think rampaging dogs should be allowed. This was in terms of his response to friendly dogs and family pets with sensible owners - the problems he was having were as a result of his behaviour.

And allowing your dog to lick someone and then say it's just kissing you is clearly bonkers, but I haven't ever met anyone like that tbh. Usually people apologise if their dog drools everywhere.

Parmarella Thu 18-Jul-13 10:25:54

All of you comparing dogs and kids...

I have lived all over te word, and ONLY in Britain do kids have a comparable social status to dogs.

In a next lfe, I would lie to come back as a dog in England please.

Also, my kids do not run up to you, wedge their noses in your crotch and jump up at you, even on days they feel friendly.

Owllady Thu 18-Jul-13 10:26:37

god I can't stand nutters who think dogs give other people/themselves kisses
wtf is it all about?! bark bark

if you live Beds and want to get used to a nice dog, my old one is lovely. She is a very sensible dog and would not lick anyone without invitation (unlike the other dog who think sthe world and strangers revolve her so she kept on lead wink )

Owllady Thu 18-Jul-13 10:29:15

saintly, I don't think we need explain our two children to parmarella winkgrin

Nancy66 Thu 18-Jul-13 10:37:46

The people who let their dogs go a long way ahead or behind them are also the ones who never pick up their shit. A deliberate 'I can't see it, so therefore I don't have to deal with it' action.

I don't think YABU OP, but also I don't think dog owners can't win sometimes!

My dog is extremely friendly and getting much more sensible now he's no longer a pup. He stays on lead in areas that seem to be "people" areas. Such as fields with picnic tables or near playparks etc. He has never jumped up at or caused a child to scream. If a child wants to say hello, I ask him to sit and hold his collar to make sure everyone is comfortable.

Dogs do need time off lead though, and he gets that in the woods and more remote fields. If people are in the woods with small kids off lead (grin) I'll call him back and put him on the lead until they're past, because I am paranoid that they will take offence at normal, friendly, polite doggy behaviour such as walking past them wagging his tail on a narrow path.

Oh, and I pick up after him smile

CerealMom Thu 18-Jul-13 10:46:43

I'm with Chickens - and I have a dog!

I swear I'm the only one in the village to walk around with a filled poo bag. No it's not a fashion accessory.

Erm, not that I walk around all the time with a filled bag. Just when I walk the dog and only when he poos :-)

ha ha ha ha ha owllady -the thought did occur to me - errrr.

I do remember when ds1 was a puppy and in the middle of an otherwise empty beach we came across a picnic blanket with a fruit bowl containing about 12 apples. My first though was 'shiiiiit which one do I grab?' as ds1 and the dog were spread out. I decided a teenager nabbing an apple and running off was probably more socially acceptable than a dog so the dog was grabbed and missed out that day.

And ds1 did grab an apple and luckily the fruit bowl owners laughed and offered him another one (none for the dog though grin )

Owllady Thu 18-Jul-13 10:51:38

he's fab grin

Babouche Thu 18-Jul-13 10:53:51

Seeing dogs off leads makes me a bit nervous ,never mind my DCs.Especially if the dog doesn't come when called

FloJo151 Thu 18-Jul-13 10:56:46

totally agree op, my ds1 and ds2 had a bad experience with a dog - in park playing with a ball each. dog comes up to ds1 and starts barking and circling (prob wanted to play with the ball) ds1 trys to run away but trips and falls, dog continues to circle him barking. Mil (who was with them at the time) goes over shoos dog away and picks up ds1 who is balling his eyes out by this time. turns around as hears ds2 screaming. ds2 is now somehow on the floor with the same dog circling him and barking. owner nowhere near. Mil finlly finds the owner and has a go but now have 2 ch who are petrified of dogs. Iv worked really hard over the last few years to change this and we have finally come to a point where they are able to do the standing still ignoring the dog til it goes away and can even stroke some friends dogs! After the incident they would become hysterical when a dog came anywhere near them.

the other thing tht annoys me is not putting signs up to warn you have a dog. dh was delivering leaflets and was being very careful when delivering to houses that had dog signs. He went to one house which had no signs, lifted the letterbox and pushed the leaflet in and suddenly with no sound of warning got bitten quite hard by a dog(he had to go to the docs to get it bandaged and was on antibiotics)

please if you have a dog put a sign up warning people, ds1 was with dh helping and it could easily have been his finger bitten off as he was only delivering to houses that didn't have dog signs

PenelopePipPop Thu 18-Jul-13 10:58:19

"I don't think YABU OP, but also I don't think dog owners can't win sometimes!"

I'm not sure that is true. You and a lot of the dog owners on here sound perfectly considerate. The key thing is you realise that your dog's behaviour could upset people and you do what you can to control it. You don't think the onus is on parents to just stop their children having a fear of dogs.

Having a dog bound up and be friendly can be a positive experience for a child if all the adults around are reassuring. When we were on holiday at an aire on a French motorway my 3 year old got a faceful of golden retriever saliva after a very very friendly hound bounded over to her when stretching his legs during a long car journey. She very sensibly stayed still but was obviously freaked out and I picked her up to reassure her whilst saying 'No' firmly to the dog. The owner raced over, put the dog on a lead and apologised very sincerely to my DD whilst explaining that the dog loved children and was being too friendly. He then walked the dog away to another part of the aire so my DD could play and so could the dog. I then praised DD loads for responding calmly even though she was frightened. So what could have been a horrible hostile experience was actually something that built her confidence around dogs because both the owner and I took her feelings seriously.

Both dog owners and parents have a duty to help children feel safe around dogs. It isn't either/or. The dog owners who get defensive and imply that it is a parent's duty to make their parents tolerate dogs unilaterally annoy me because I think they are too blinkered and their 'It's not my fault you haven't taught your kids not to be frightened' attitude can translate in to not taking appropriate consideration for the feelings of small children when out and about. But dog owners who take time to hold their dog's collar whilst saying 'Do you want to say hello?' are lovely. Thank you.

arabesque Thu 18-Jul-13 10:59:53

YANBU. Some dog owners are incredibly gormless and seem to see nothing wrong with smiling idiotically while their pet terrifies a small child or slobbers over an obviously uncomfortable adult. And no, inane remarks like 'he's very friendly' or 'he's just playing' are of no help whatsoever.
Just keep your dog under control and away from strangers in public spaces.

northlight Thu 18-Jul-13 11:01:49

Perhaps if thoughtless dog owners could imagine being the size of a small child or imagine their dog scaled up in relation to them, they might understand the child's apprehension.

I'd like to see how some of these 'my dog's just being friendly' would cope with something the size of a small pony jumping on them.

i'm bitter because one morning a dog with muddy paws jumped up on me. I got the 'don't worry' speech to which I replied, 'I'm on my way to a job interview and your dog has just smeared mud all over my suit.' 'Well I didn't know that,' was the witless response.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Jul-13 11:08:28

YANBU, and all responsible dog owners will agree.

I've never been hurt by an out-of-control dog but my last dog was - basically stood on by a much larger friendly dog who really did only want to play.

catpark Thu 18-Jul-13 11:15:11

My DD1 is highly allergic to dogs. Her skin reacts terribly to it. Looks like a burn. it was worse when she was little and had excema as well, it would end up weeping.

So I don't care that your dog is friendly, trying to say hello as it licks and jumps on her. And you as the owner stand there telling me not to be so silly and not moving the dog. I ended up shouting at one owner who told me I was making a fuss about nothing, and that I needed to get Dd1 used to dogs as her giant dog stood with it's paws on Dd1's shoulders. Even after telling her Dd1 was allergic she still insisted I was being silly, until she saw Dd1's face swelling up. She then pulled her dog off and hurried of still muttering about silly mothers !

DD2 was knocked over by an overexcited dog who charged into our garden as the gate was open. No apology from the owner, just a 'Oh he's being friendly'

Get a fucking lead.

Flobbadobs Thu 18-Jul-13 11:17:34

I am a dog person, don't mind being licked at all and love seeing them out enjoying themselves, DH and the DC's are the same but I worry when unattached dogs approach us. The main reason is that at the moment Dd2 is at the poking and prodding stage, we control it by holding her hand and encouraging gentle stroking, getting her to hold her hand out etc but she's 18 months old! Toddlers are not known for gentleness..
The other reason is really just because as a childminder I usually have a large group of children with me. The calmest friendliest dog that approaches would not stay calm for long in the middle of a lively group of primary age children, nor would I expect it to.when it's happened before I have intervened on behalf of the dog, tried to find its owner to be told "he loves children". Good, I'm glad, they love dogs too but dogs, like humans have a limited supply of patience!
spacegoat the first thing we taught the DC's was to approach the owner not the dog and ask if they can stroke it. It's usually apppreciated by the owners.

spacegoat Thu 18-Jul-13 11:36:15

spacegoat the first thing we taught the DC's was to approach the owner not the dog and ask if they can stroke it. It's usually apppreciated by the owners.

Absolutely! It is very appreciated!

Flobbadobs Thu 18-Jul-13 11:37:55

Bleeding hard work enforcing it at time though! DD1 is convinced that every dog is smiling at her and tries to work out what it's saying grin

Canidae Thu 18-Jul-13 12:06:32

I'm a dog owner and the words 'he's just being friendly' make me cringe. Many dogs need off lead time to run and sniff and just be doggy but owners must take the time and effort to train good recall and manners. I have worked bloody hard to ensure my dogs don't go too far and stop on a whistle/come back with a call and sit by me when bikes/people/horses pass.

I have a GSD that likes to lick children so if he is approched by kids I will give warning. If I have said that he will lick and parents still let their kids pet him then it's not my fault right?

Flobbadobs I would love to know what your DD would think my dogs were saying!

PastelMacaroons Thu 18-Jul-13 12:12:47

Ah the famous last words:

"He won't hurt you, he's friendly". Just before the Alsation sank its teeth into my mothers leg as she cycled into her own drive.

A well trained dog wont even bat an eye lid if you walk past.

Last night at a village pub, three huge dogs, one a dog de bordeax dominated the out door area.

When my DD walked past one, it was straining on the leach after her.

We sat behind them and then they let the lead go.

So we had to then modify our behaviour because I was wary of the dog.

Then the other dog owner saw our baby and was watching his dog like a hawk and gripping its lead as they walked past. Which was great....but why did he have to do that?

PastelMacaroons Thu 18-Jul-13 12:15:58

the first thing we taught the DC's was to approach the owner not the dog and ask if they can stroke it. It's usually apppreciated by the owners

I am a dog owner and I am quite strict now about saying to dc who have not ask to stroke - to ask, and praise the ones that do.

I also tied up my dog in a quiet spot to then find, about 8 pre shcoolers all crowding her, she was looking distressed and the parents happily watching on all chatting!

Dickwhittington Thu 18-Jul-13 12:38:31

you most certainly are not
pet hate of mine

stopgap Thu 18-Jul-13 12:39:36

YANBU. Where I live now (NYC) the leash laws are far stricter concerning dogs. Dogs can only be off lead in city parks before the hours of 9am and after 7pm. This makes for a far more pleasant experience at the park for the majority, in my opinion.

And I say this as an owner of two dogs.

jeanmiguelfangio Thu 18-Jul-13 12:39:48

YADNBU my dad does this with his dog, I bloody hate it. Not everyone likes your dog, I'm not overly keen to be honest. I certainly don't want it round my 4 month old either.

Dickwhittington Thu 18-Jul-13 12:47:32

my child's behaviour around dogs is nothing to do with what I have taught him and everything to do with the irresponsible behaviour of dog owners in the past

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 18-Jul-13 12:55:18

As a dog person who'd rather meet loose dogs than children ( wink ) I agree. If you have a dog, you have a responsibility to keep it under control in all environments. The risk of it scaring a child, or chasing a horse, or destroying ground nesting bird nests, or getting onto a road, depending on the circumstances, are too great.

My current dog is always off the lead because he's great [smug]

My previous dog OTOH once gate crashed a wedding as he was a slightly more "independent" beast blush

If you have a dog, you have a responsibility to keep it under control in all environments

I agree wholeheartedly. My point about dog owners not being able to win is people's definition of 'under control' differs. Some people encourage my dog to approach them, slap their knees to get him to jump up angry and are very happy to see him. Some posters here would prefer him to be on a tight leash at all times, ideally far away from them. That's fine, you are entitled not to want to ever see a dog...

Like all these scenarios where one group wants to enjoy an activity (walking a well behaved dog off leash somewhere where it is sensible to do so, in their opinion) and others want to do something different (ramble through woods with their toddlers) there is going to have to be mutual accommodation and consideration on both sides, imo.

And no, I don't include shouting "it's OK he's friendly" as my dog bounds around said toddler in the woods as considerate. Before you all hunt me down!

Madmum24 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:01:16

I just hate this! Dog owners thinking that everyone else shares their passion for their dog.......

Several years ago we were having a BBQ in a nice beach which is popular for dog walkers (signs up everywhere that dogs must be kept on leads) Anyway this boxer came bounding over to our BBQ and started licking the meat, dh starting trying to shoo it away frantically and then the owner appeared without a care in the world, not even an acknowledgement let alone an apology! DH then not very calmly told the owner what happened, owner exploded and said it was the dog's right to enjoy himself!!!! I despair....

That dog owner was very unreasonable.

You didn't have music at your BBQ Madmum24 did you? Or allow the smell of your meat to drift over to other people who might be staunchly vegan or something?

My point being that everybody does things that incenses somebody else. The trick being mutual accommodation and consideration.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 18-Jul-13 13:10:25

I think some dog owners just don't understand that some people just don't like dogs.

I don't want a dog slobbering over me or my DS. I don't hate dogs at all but I wish that when a dog decides to come over the owner would come and get it rather than standing half a mile away ineffectively calling it.

Plus I hate the 'oh it's just being friendly', thing. I don't care. I've seen enough dog bites on children to know that a family pet can still bite a small child. It happens.

Mhysa Thu 18-Jul-13 13:17:25

Yanbu, my DS is terrified of dogs and we now have a dog, but it's not helping his fear of strange dogs, I think the owners attitude sucks when they just say 'don't worry, he's friendly' I don't bloody care how friendly it is, how whould you feel if my DSs pet spider was all over you? He's very friendly you know! Grrr.

I used to spend a lot of time in Richmond park and had some awful experiences there, one Labrador very 'affectionately' grabed DSs drink from the pram and bit through the bottle, so DS was without a drink for an hour untill we got home, owner couldn't careless that a toddler was dehydrated midsummer angry

And some wonderful Staff owner who threatened to punch me as I politely asked him to call his dog away from DS, he said she friendly, just wants to play and got agro when I said, well DS doesn't as he is terrified! Plus numerous picnics ruined angry

Mhysa Thu 18-Jul-13 13:18:25

Also would be terrified of my kids being knocked into water if was near a pond.

5Foot5 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:44:31

I have yet to encounter one who call their dog back with any success

Exactly! But you see this all the time and the owner must know the dog is not going to respond but presumably they think if they do some ineffectual calling it will make them look like they are responsible and in control.

We were recently out for a walk on a public footpath that crossed fields. A woman and girl were walking some distance away with their two dogs off leads. The dogs came tearing up to us barking and circling furiously. I am not afraid of dogs and these dogs did not come quite close enough to be really threatening, but they did not go away they continued to follow us and snarl at us. DH is not very comfortable with dogs, better than he was but never totally at ease.

The woman kept calling them and of course they didn't take a blind bit of notice. When we finally met them on the path DH challenged her, not aggressively or shouting, just "Do they always behave like this?" She didn't answer and looked quite miffed and I presume went away talking to her daughter about the awful man who didn't like Candy and Yappy or whatever they were called.

But I think for a child or someone with a genuine fear of dogs this would have been a terrifying encounter. They were completely out of control.

Minifingers Thu 18-Jul-13 14:01:08


My dog doesn't jump up or lick - I think this is completely unacceptable and I've done everything I can to train her not to do this. She always comes when she's called unless she's enjoying a good roll in fox shit But her eyesight isn't great and it impacts on the way she approaches people. Anyone who looks vaguely like me or any member of my family she runs towards grinning at, veering to one side at the last minute as she realises it's not us.

My ds (age 4) is terrified of dogs, so we ended up changing playground parks (one in a children's centre so no dogs allowed) because I got fed up with "it's all right he's being friendly". Last experience I had, the dog came bounding up to him, ds starts crying and climbing up me, then the dog turns to his baby brother and takes a bite out of his chocolate bar! I'm turning into victor meldrew!

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 14:05:59

^^everybody does things that incenses somebody else. The trick being mutual accommodation and consideration

I don't see why I should either accommodate or consider a fucking animal. Humans, yes, but not animals.

Nanny0gg Thu 18-Jul-13 14:12:07

Went to the seaside the other day. Lots of families on the beach, lots of children.

Lots of dogs. Mostly off lead. Bounding up to children, chasing their beachballs, running in and out of seated families. Peeing and pooing where they felt like - including over child's dinghy (tide not due in for a few hours), ignoring their ineffectual owners.

One jumped up to a toddler and (unintentionally) scratched him, as he was bare-chested - it being the beach and everything - and scared him.

Spoilt an otherwise lovely day.

PenelopePipPop Thu 18-Jul-13 14:13:20

"I don't see why I should either accommodate or consider a fucking animal. Humans, yes, but not animals."

Because by accommodating the dog you are implicitly accommodating its owners. Owning a dog and caring for it and enjoying its company really really matters to some people. Not me and obviously not you but some people. So I tolerate it because it is all part of getting along with the diverse spectrum of weirdos around me.

Just as raising a child and getting to enjoy her company gives me intense pleasure but not everyone wants children.

Of course some dog owners are nobbers and some parents are nobbers. But the majority are just normal people like me who for reasons I do not fully understand want to keep a noisy smelly animal in their house. Those of them who do not like children may be equally baffled by my decision to keep a noisy smelly toddler in mine.

Quenelle Thu 18-Jul-13 14:18:55

There's a fabulous park near us, with a big, lake that you can walk round, with loads of footpaths going off it into big, grassy meadows. It's a wonderful natural area in the middle of a large town, but it's ruined by dogs bounding around off their leads.

I'm not scared of dogs, and neither is DS. I've always believed 99.9% of dogs to be friendly and harmless, but recently an old man walking in the park with his wife was bitten on the hand by an off the lead dog and had to have plastic surgery. I won't risk that or worse happening to DS.

I want DS to be able to run ahead of me on the path, exploring and enjoying a bit of freedom, but I won't take him there any more.

Yes, I didn't mean that you should accommodate an animal (though of course you must to some extent, they do share the planet with us!) I mean if both dog owners and people who dislike dogs were mutually considerate and accommodating of one another, then there would be fewer problems. No?

I suppose I should depart this thread gracefully in the knowledge that I am a responsible dog owner that doesn't allow their dog to run up to people. He comes when called, because I spent many hours training him to do so.

The only reason I've kept posting is that it makes me sad that you seem to hate all dogs and all owners on the assumption that we don't give two hoots for the welfare of your dc. Most dog owners, those of us who are responsible and considerate, care very much about whether our dog's behaviour is making someone else uncomfortable. But with the attitudes here, it seems we are guilty until proven tolerable sad.

OrmirianResurgam Thu 18-Jul-13 14:28:01

My dog couldn't give a stuff about you TBH. You are simply not that interesting. If you are furry and have 4 legs, if you have a tendency to scurry up tree trunks or if you are a stick, he might pay attention. And no, I let him off the lead because I can't run with a dog on the lead and he likes to be able to sniff about. But humans? Nope, not interested. When we pass people I will call him to me and make him walk to heel but only because I know that some people don't care for him.

PenelopePipPop Thu 18-Jul-13 14:44:07

It is the nature of AIBU Buffy that people who have had bad experiences post first. I don't think anyone is actually attacking you and I agree that you are a responsible dog owner. Some people are understandably venting. I don't think you need to get a grip but some of the more aggrieved statements being made on here could be taken with a pinch of salt. I've probably said grumpy things about other people's irritating small children after long train journeys in the past and only now I have the 3 year old who Will Not Stop Talking do I realise that these things do not come with a sodding off switch.

The overall thread has been dominated by dog owners and not owners agreeing that its is reasonable for dogs to be under control in public places. Which you agree on too. There is the problem that what 'control' means varies from dog to dog. And people only notice the dogs that are not well-controlled. Dogs which are on leads in parks, rarely bark and come immediately when called are invisible.

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 14:56:58

PenelopePlipPlop, I don't see how you can compare raising a child to having a dog. One is human, the other isn't. One has or should have priority, the other shouldn't.

Quenelle, that is a real shame. So many areas are made unpleasant by off-lead dogs (not to mention the piss and shit they leave behind) - we should start to reclaim our open spaces.

PenelopePipPop Thu 18-Jul-13 15:33:04

I'm not saying dogs and children are equivalent. Nor is anyone else on this thread. I'm saying that if we want to try and get along with other people we accommodate the fact that different people have different priorities. We don't accommodate dogs because they are important per se. We accommodate dogs because they are important to other people.

I don't like motorbikes much. The road I live on is popular with bikers, and noisy and dangerous as a result. But riding motorbikes gives other people pleasure so I would never seek to ban riding motorbikes. For the record this does not mean I think motorbikes are like children.

When I was young I only ever met very well trained dogs - working or retired working dogs (from the police or farms). So I am definitely not afraid of dogs. I also have the confidence to block a strange dog who tries to put his face in my pram or picnic.

That said, I am cautious of dogs locally because here they are family pets owned by amateurs and the range of training is vast. I'm cautious of dog owners, really, as I don't believe any individual animal is born dangerous/antisocial.

The rule we have for our DC for all animals is "don't scare it". In effect that means giving it plenty of space and approaching calmly and with caution. It also means they no longer bring me spiders <shudder> .

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 16:09:31

I think there is a bit too much accommodating going on though. Sure, if you want a dog, get a dog; makes no odds to me. But I don't see why my enjoyment of open public spaces should be compromised by other people and their desire for their dogs to run around off-lead, pissing, shitting, barking and biting as they go.

BeCool Thu 18-Jul-13 16:21:58

not read whole thread - but even if it is the friendliest dog in the world the chances are this dog has just eaten another animals faeces or worse, right before it "kissed" your DC.

BeCool Thu 18-Jul-13 16:24:41

it's seems apt to post here what I just posted on another thread:

my DD is fearful of dogs and DD2 looks like she is learning from her sister. it's dreadful. I support her to get to know friendly small dogs etc but she isn't having any of it. I've done this since a young age - no change. (she is also frightened of kittens, puppies and cats but has no problem at all with snakes, spiders and bugs).

people who let their dogs off the lead and then give me and the DD's dirty looks because we don't love their dogs fuck me right off. I used to be a dog lover - but the attitude of dog owners in this country is a huge reason why I am now indifferent to them AT BEST.

Except when I stand in dog poo when I openly loath them all

I get really angry/upset with the patronising looks, the oh dears, the head shaking and tutting the DD's and I get from dog owners because DD/s react to dogs either off the lead, or on a long lead bounding everywhere. Like there is something wrong with them. FFS not everyone likes dogs!!

Shove your freaking dog up your patronising arse I want to scream at them. But I don't - we just keep as far away from them as we can - which can be rather difficult when someone's smelly hairy bundle of bounce is unrestrained.

The amount of times I've heard "don't worry he wont hurt you" - which spectacularly misses the point! So we should be grateful the dog won't bite us???? and be so grateful we should be ok with the slobbering and bouncing and unrestrained behaviour. FFS they have no idea.

Rant over - cheers grin

BeCool Thu 18-Jul-13 16:30:02

We live in zone 2 London. In a flat. There is a small park across the road with grass and a play area. Except the children can't really play on the grass area as it is a dogs toilet.

Every day I walk passed and will see several dogs doing a crap, and no children playing on the grass. Local parents don't want their DC playing in a dogs toilet.

Couldn't' the 'considerate dog owners' get their dog to poo in the gutter or some other hard place where they can easily pick it up. Why do they take them to the only local grass to crap on? Especially when this grass is part of a small park and playground?

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 16:36:10

Similar story here in lots of areas, BeCool, although not in London but another city. Precious scant green spaces ruined for people by dogs shitting all over them and running around off-lead. It's entirely different in the countryside - country dog-owners train their animals properly so even when they're off-lead they will go back when called, and a lot of them just roam around farmland and don't bother anyone anyway. But in urban areas, especially around here where having a fierce dog and never using a lead with it is seen as a status symbol, they are not to put too fine a point on it a dangerous menace and they spoil the few green areas that we have.

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 16:44:40

Although, having said that, there are small gains being made. For example, there was a grassy area next to a footpath leading to DS's school, where the local rough types used to let their dogs off-lead to fight and shit all over the place and scare small children on their way to and from school. After much wrangling with so-called dog-"lovers", the school got permission from the council to turn it into a forest school, so now the area actually is being used for a good purpose for the community, and the kids can walk down the path without having some feral fucking hound snapping at them. Good.

PenelopePipPop Thu 18-Jul-13 16:45:54

"country dog-owners train their animals properly so even when they're off-lead they will go back when called"

Seriously? Where did you pick up this impression? At least in rural Derbyshire where I live it is not true. Dogs that live in relative isolation and see far fewer people are much more likely to be hostile and bark at strangers because they don't see many of them. Working dogs will always come when called, but only a minority of rural dogs are working dogs and every year round us sheep get destroyed by dogs that get loose in fields and will not come back. There are farmers who shoot dogs who get on to their land but most of my farmer friends are dog-lovers and would rather do anything but this if they can.

And country people often don't pick up because they assume no one will walk the same way as them.

When I lived in cities I met fewer badly trained dogs, although I appreciate picking up is a big issue because if only one person fails to do it in a small park it can screw things up for loads of people.

BeCool Thu 18-Jul-13 16:47:34

YY re lots of fierce breeds of dogs not on leads around here too - often with teenagers.

Thing is I used to class myself as a dog lover. I was crazy about dogs up until age about 30. I've had several wonderful dogs. But living in a big city has changed my outlook on pets such as dogs and cats completely. The issues esp re their waste, are massive. And it's not just about the pet owners as we all have to deal with these problems.

At least cats do keep rats and mice levels down - shame about the birds though.

I do know a few people with really well behaved well looked after pets and I still enjoy contact with those animals - but I am increasingly anti-dogs in the city.

Pizdets Thu 18-Jul-13 16:51:37

My puppy used to come back 100% of the time when called, but since the sun's come out and the park's full of sunbathers and families it's a nightmare. Not because he's after food, or because he jumps on people (he will usually trot over and keep a safe distance as he's a bit nervous) but because he's soooooo cute, people can't resist calling him over.

It drives me mad, they'll hear me calling him back and will offer food or try to call louder to tempt him to come to them instead. Yes he's small and yes he's cute, but my mum's allergic to dogs and I was brought up to believe dogs shouldn't get into anyone's personal space unless they want them to. However, because most people encourage him now, he believes he's adorable to everyone and it's getting harder and harder to get him back. I don't disagree at all if you're upset by dogs in your personal space, but if you're the kind of person who calls to a cute puppy to stroke it without the owner's permission, then bear in mind you're contributing to the problem for other people!

Huh, well if we're banning dogs from public spaces, then let's ban cats too. Fuckers used to treat my garden as their private latrine and took one of dd's baby bunnies. Once I picked up 23 cat poos from my small lawn in 1 week.

ZolaBuddleia Thu 18-Jul-13 17:43:17

I challenged a man recently whose dog frightened my DD, and told him directly that he had no control over it. His face was like this: shock

I'm not normally confrontational, but I was with a friend and felt a bit braver. Unless people actually say something that is clear and direct, these people will think that their witless uttering of "he's just being friendly" is enough.

Lambsie Thu 18-Jul-13 17:43:48

My son doesn't understand how to behave around dogs and due to his very severe learning difficulties may never understand. I cannot take him to places where dogs are allowed to run free. What really annoys me is taking him somewhere where dogs are supposed to be on leads but selfish owners are letting them loose, frequently out of their sight.

soverylucky Thu 18-Jul-13 17:53:06

Hate dogs but will tolerate them if on a lead or if they stay well away from me and my family. Do not like them sniffing me, licking me, jumping on me. I am terrified of some dogs round here though - really horrible, strong looking dogs on no lead with an owner who looks like they will thump you.

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 18:09:53

Buffy, I don't think they should be banned - obviously some nutters people want to have them around. But I do think they should be required to be on a leash - it's clearly not working letting them run around free.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 18-Jul-13 18:13:15

Yanbu. 100%.

OP, totally agree with you and ragwort. I have even more of a problem withthe total idiot who walked her large dog, on a lead (ok, so it was a lab) right up to my 2yo DD and let it lick her face! angry. "oh, my dog is SO friendly", yes, it might be but right now it's the size of an elephant to a 2yo, you moron! My DD freaked out and frankly I don't blame her!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 18-Jul-13 18:47:28

A friend of mine has six d

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 18-Jul-13 18:50:00

Oh FFS!!

A friend of mine has six dogs (why?) and cannot understand why DH (who doesn't care about animals particularly) doesn't want a dog or want to visit her dogs.

She thinks he'll change his mind, he won't. Her house is his idea of hell.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 18-Jul-13 19:05:11

6 dogs?! 6?! I love dogs but one is definitely enough for me.

SelectAUserName Thu 18-Jul-13 19:06:49

YANBU,and I say that as a dog owner.

Owners who don't control their dogs or don't pick up after them don't only ruin open spaces for non-dog owners, they ruin them for those of us who are trying to be responsible too. I don't want to step in dog shit any more than the rest of you, which is why I always bag it and put it in the nearest bin. Also, my rescue dog is dog reactive so it really pisses me off when some out-of-control hound comes charging over to my on-lead dog "to play" while the owner shouts ineffectively from half a field away "it's okay, he's friendly". To which I usually snarl "yes, but mine's not", probably around the same time SelectASpaniel starts barking and I end up getting bitch-face (no pun intended) from them because their pwecious ickle puppy-wuppy has been seen off.

And breathe...

Selectausername I think I might need to hire a selectaspaniel myself grin


I was out walking my two not-terribly-sociable small dogs, firmly on their leads, in the country, when this fucking crone older woman let her hyperactive, huge dogs come bounding up to mine and did not call them back, assuming that the blanket cry of, 'they won't do any harm!' might stop my poor, lovely, loving but completely antisocial girl dog from, literally, shitting herself, releasing her anal glands and becoming horribly distressed. Just as I was trying make my voice heard over the yelping to ask this completely oblivious woman to restrain her dogs, my poor F fear-bit at one of the big dogs. This, for some reason was entirely my fault, and I got an earful from this stupid woman for 'letting' my dog bite hers EVEN THOUGH MINE WERE ON THEIR FUCKING LEADS AND HERS WEREN'T.

Not a sore point. Not a sore point at all...angryangryangry

macreturnofthe Thu 18-Jul-13 19:43:17

i agree people should keep dogs under control. I was bitten as a kid and was scared for a long time.

The reason I was bitten - i lifted my arms up and he thought i was playing. No ones fault, but maybe some better education of our youngsters about being with animals may help avoid this kind of thing.

I now have dogs and think that it is most important to teach children to be around dogs and dogs around children.

Oh and one thing that is going to upset people - I don't trust anyone who hates any animal.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 18-Jul-13 19:47:50

I have yet to encounter one who call their dog back with any success

Well you clearly haven't met mine.

He'll drop on the first whistle, and come flying back to me on the second or a call of his name, even at half a mile (across open hillside, with tantalising livestock moving in front of him) or in a busy urban park with other dogs and kids playing all around him.

He's the most obedient animal I've ever had the pleasure of owning.

Inertia Thu 18-Jul-13 19:59:43


I get really really pissed off when people suggest it's the responsibility of parents to stop their child being scared, rather than the responsibility of the dog owner to keep the dog under control.

YouTheCat Thu 18-Jul-13 20:00:01

Mac, you'd love my severely autistic ds. He's 18 and petrified of dogs and not only is it not possible to teach him how to be around dogs, it is also quite possible that he might harm a dog out of total and utter fear.

I don't hate any animals but I do hate self-entitled pet owners. Dogs should be on a lead unless they are in a specific place for dogs.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Thu 18-Jul-13 21:00:46

zola can I ask what you said as a challenge? I've been trying to think of a suitable thing to say next time this happens I.e. tomorrow

SelectAUserName Thu 18-Jul-13 21:24:45

I'm not Zola, but I would say something like "I don't want him to be friendly, I want him to be under control."

Turniptwirl Thu 18-Jul-13 21:36:15

Parents, put yourself physically between your DC and the dog and give all the "go away" signals like turning your back and no eye contact. Hold onto your DC so they don't run because the dog will think that's a game. Yes it's unreasonable to expect a small child to do anything other than their natural fear response so you have to do it for them.

Also teach your kids to only approach a dog with permission from the owner. Some kids just run up to pet dogs and most are fine but some may snap, especially if surprised or if they're elderly and cant see properly what happening.

madhairday Thu 18-Jul-13 21:36:23

YANBU. I'm fond of some dogs but can't stand this, particularly after the day we were out at a country riverside place, loads of people, picnicking etc. ds was playing by the river on the stones, he was 4, we were right next to him. A dog came out of nowhere and bounded into ds, knocking him into the river. we were so shocked and ds beside himself, though he loves dogs. More than that, the owners showed no remorse, even when dh waded in to pick soaking ds up, and asked them to put their dog on the lead and control it. They lost it, shouting at us that they were entitled to a nice day out as much as us, and their dog was entitled to run around off the lead, and now they'd have to go home because it wouldn't be any fun if he was on his lead and could we pay their car parking then.

Yes, really.

We were shock

Where are all these nutter dog owners? I have never come across any like this. Ds2 did get dogs bounding after him but that was definitely because of the signals/communication he was giving off and the owners were always apologetic. I spend loads of time around dogs and there's only one that I would say has a blinkered owner who thinks her dog can do no wrong - but she's a PITA to other dogs rather than kids. Other dogs might occasionally do something wrong (especially the pups) but the owners are always apologetic and never entitled (except the one mentioned above)

CloudsAndTrees Thu 18-Jul-13 22:19:23

Dogs that jump up at other people or who are inclined to lick strangers should be on a lead in busy places, but my dog does neither of those things and I've had dirty looks just for allowing my dog to run straight past people before.

I think there are some people that don't think dogs should ever be allowed off a lead.

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 23:05:50

Tbh I'm inclined to fall into that camp, CloudsandTrees, just because I so often have had dogs chase me/ds when we're on our bikes or indeed even just frigging walking along a footpath/in the park/at the nature reserve etc. If I hadn't have had those negative experiences I'm sure I wouldn't think like that, but I am so sick of dogs spoiling what we are doing even if our ambitions are no more adventurous than just having a walk in peace, that I have lost patience with dogs and their owners. Too many of them are just a menace and I am fucking sick of pandering to them. As far as I'm concerned, dog-owners have had their chance and been found wanting, so they should be required to leash what are after all dangerous animals.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 18-Jul-13 23:22:20

As far as I'm concerned, dog-owners have had their chance and been found wanting, so they should be required to leash what are after all dangerous animals

It's pretty blinkered to presume that your experience of dog owners is representative. I have to say, the majority of dog owners I know put effort into training, and handle their dogs according to their control over it. The majority shouldn't suffer for the faults of the few.

I'm sick of pandering to cyclists who take up the whole road, parents who don't keep their kids under control and let them scream/ run around public places, and all manner of antisocial behaviours. I don't, however, believe that these basic activities should be banned or limited to confined spaces.

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 23:23:58

Yes, but you are talking about the actions of people, who are entitled to expect a bit of give and take. I don't see why I should extend that same courtesy to an animal. Put them on a sodding leash.

cloutiedumpling Thu 18-Jul-13 23:36:19

I really dislike irresponsible dog owners. They do give good dog owners a bad name. Bad dog owners either don't see or don't care how their actions impact on others. I am completely fed up with dogs jumping up on my kids and me in our local park. Dog owners that yell "oh, he's just playing" while the dog has its teeth clamped round my jeans or my DCs trousers really make me mad. I would strongly support any moves to force all dogs to be kept on leads when in public places unless they are in areas designated for exercising dogs in parks. I appreciate that this will impact negatively on good owners, but think that this move would be good for public safety.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 18-Jul-13 23:36:23

Yes, but you are talking about the actions of people, who are entitled to expect a bit of give and take. I don't see why I should extend that same courtesy to an animal. Put them on a sodding leash.

No, I'm talking about a human owner, who deserves as much consideration and courtesy as anyone else.

I'm also talking about a well trained dog, who deserves to be allowed to express his natural behaviour (by which I mean, running around and playing). Indeed, the 5 freedoms, listed by the RSPCA as basic welfare for any animal include this freedom to indulge in natural behaviours - which is frankly impossible for an active breed, exercised exclusively on a lead. Dogs do deserve consideration - they are living, feeling animals, with needs and the right to a basic standard of welfare - and that does include exercise.

Of course, I'm in the fortunate position of being able to exercise mine on private property, so I don't have to encounter idiots who can't handle a dog off the lead (who is not allowed to approach them, or interact with them) unless they're trespassing smile Sadly, many dog owners don't have that luxury.

Wallison Thu 18-Jul-13 23:40:28

Five freedoms my arse. The RSPCA can fucking bite me if they think that human society should structure itself around the needs of bloody dogs.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 18-Jul-13 23:50:31

Well that's just charming. Human society has a responsibility to structure itself around the animals it uses and interacts with. What a selfish attitude to have - we don't have a god-given right to destroy other life on the planet, or chain it up for our own amusement. People chose to domesticate dogs for hunting, and later companionship, same as we keep other animals for meat and entertainment. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but we have a responsibility to ensure those animals have some sort of quality of life, and that includes the basic freedom to perform natural behaviours.

Aside from anything else, I honestly believe that it is a very short step from denying those freedoms to animals, to denying them to other humans. After all, a dog feels pain, loneliness and sadness too - where does one draw the line? If it's acceptable to inflict suffering on a dog, why not a child, or a vulnerable member of society?

Wallison Fri 19-Jul-13 00:01:17

Because a dog is not the same as a person. Hth.

I might have a bit more sympathy for the RSPCA if there weren't so many crap dog-owners. But, there are so many crap dog-owners. There are thousands of people bitten to the extent of requiring hospital treatment every year so clearly dogs and their idiot owners cannot be trusted, ergo they need to be leashed.

pinkr Fri 19-Jul-13 00:01:37

dogs that are not under control and that act in any way aggressively near children are likely to get booted in my experience. I have a family member who was bitten by a supposedly friendly owners who have animals they can't control should be fined put have the animal taken off them. Children and people in. general are more important than animals

Bogeyface Fri 19-Jul-13 00:01:58

Children do deserve consideration - they are living, feeling animals, with needs and the right to a basic standard of welfare - and that does include not being frightened

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 00:09:45

Because a dog is not the same as a person. Hth

On an ethical level, that's a pretty feeble dichotomy.

Bogeyface nobody's disputing that. That's why the by-law which states that in public areas, dogs must be under control defined as coming immediately to call or leashed) should be more strictly enforced. This would protect the rights of all concerned, rather than villifying dog owners indescriminately, and inflicting unnecessary curtailment on the exercise of well trained dogs.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 00:11:14

*indiscriminately. It's late...

Bogeyface Fri 19-Jul-13 00:23:49

Define a well trained dog please.

You cant, because (as with children) what is a little darling to one dog owner is a little shit to other owners. So unfortunately, for the good of the many, indiscriminate ruling is the only to go.

Bogeyface Fri 19-Jul-13 00:24:03

the only way to go

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 00:33:12

Under control, defined as returning to owner immediately on being called back, or on a lead. I.e. well trained = will return instantly on call back.

Wow that was easy to define...

Trigglesx Fri 19-Jul-13 00:44:50

I teach my DCs to never ever touch or approach someone else's dog without first asking the owner's permission. I expect dog owners to show the same respect to me and my children. If they cannot control their dog, their dog should either be on a lead or just not there at the park. I don't care if you consider the dog friendly or not. Controlled or absent. Very simple.

These are most likely the same dog owners that bring their dogs on school property, despite all the signage saying "No dogs on school property." hmm

The problem is that there is a wide swath of people (dog owners or not) that feel the general societal (and other) rules don't apply to them.

Bogeyface Fri 19-Jul-13 00:47:02

That is the official definition, but you try telling the owner of a little darling that!

LessMissAbs Fri 19-Jul-13 00:59:18

Hmmn. I have horses, and most of my time is spent training them to be well behaved and easy to handle. Its obvious that many dog owners simply don't have a clue. Not so much a problem for me when riding, as my horses love dogs and dogs tend to respect them, even when loose and under no control, but when I'm out running, I attract dogs like the Pied Piper. I don't know whats worse, a loose dog running along with me, or a shrieking owner to whom the dog is paying no attention whatsoever. I've had to bring dogs back to their owners, and then hold them for them by the ruff thing on their necks or whatever its called while they get their leads on because their own bloody dog won't let them catch it.

I know nothing about dogs, never had one, but surely any dog is going to tune out of continual shrieking of varied nonsense, none of which is a recognisable and clear voice aid? Surely having one or two words for recall, repeated firmly and less frequently, is more likely to work?

moodymai Fri 19-Jul-13 01:13:06


WestieMamma Fri 19-Jul-13 01:15:02

YANBU at all. My dog is never off the lead because he's a disobedient bugger who likes to be chased by me. My sister on the other hand rarely puts her dog on the lead and its behaviour is terrible but she thinks it's funny and thinks other people think it is too, despite me getting really angry about it.

When we go camping together my dogs are staked to the ground. She refuses to do this to hers as 'he's well trained'. That is until he gets a whiff of something and then he's off, helping himself to other people's sausages, picnics, ice-creams. She's had him 6 years now. I don't know how she's got away without a complete bollocking off someone for so long. She is absolutely convinced that people don't mind.

'I now have dogs and think that it is most important to teach children to be around dogs and dogs around children'

No. It might be sensible to teach children how to be around dogs, but it should ALWAYS be assumed by the owners that they haven't been, or they have SN that make it impossible to not act in a way that aggravates the dog, or that they are severely allergic, and they should keep their dogs away from other people.

A dog licked my baby's sippy-cup today because he was crawling around the grass with it, - yuck.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Fri 19-Jul-13 05:55:13

madhairday - that is truly shocking. Made worse by the fact it is entirely believable as what the response from some dog owners would be.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Fri 19-Jul-13 05:56:55

I wonder if I challenge the owner of a 'friendly' dog today whether there will be an AIBU about me grin

BoundandRebound Fri 19-Jul-13 06:17:32

I'm a dog owner

My dog will never approach anyone, will back away when approached. He has an "away" command which means if he's heading close to someone he'll veer away rather than continue in that line

I completely appreciate that people may be nervous around him, although he's spaniel sized and very cute teddy bear looking he is basically a ball of fur, claws and teeth at child level.

I do believe also that children need to be taught not to approach without asking, not to pull, tug, slap at him and if they're frightened and there's a dog off lead to stay still not to jig around and run. My youngest was petrified of dogs until the age of about 4 and was a jiggler and it took a lot of effort, but loves them and all animals including insects now

LtEveDallas Fri 19-Jul-13 06:53:57

My dog has immaculate recall. One sharp shout of her name and "here" and she will instantly return. In the woods (where humans are not supposed to be) she may need a couple of shouts, but that's because she can smell deer, rabbit, squirrel, rat, mouse and god knows what else - it's probably overwhelming! I've had humans shout to 'keep the dog away' (she barks a lot) but a quick "No, you are trespassing" is usually enough. Even then I wouldn't let Mutt approach them.

I must be very lucky. Even before I was a dog owner I never had any of the bad experiences that people are describing here. I have 2 friends, each with 6 dogs. 1st friends dogs have no interest in humans - except their owner. They don't want fuss, they don't want to play, they want to work. But because they are spaniels, parents think they must be friendly and allow their kids to approach, even after my friend has told them not to. Then when the dogs low growl or bare teeth the parents complain. Luckily where he lives there are very few children.

The other friends dogs have never been around children (except DD) but are amazingly respectful of them, they are desperate to play, but stay away until the child approaches them. 3 of the six are very large dogs (Rott and Rott type mongrels), are ridiculously friendly and well trained but parents say things like 'keep those killers away from my children' and 'you shouldn't have dogs like that around children'. The dogs have done nothing wrong, but are judged on their size and/or reputation. I think that is sad, especially as one of the large dogs is a PAT dog.

Bad dog owners deserve scorn/annoyance/derision. But don't tar us all with the same brush.

Trigglesx Fri 19-Jul-13 07:03:46

I don't think all dog owners are tarred with the same brush. I have seen some people out with their dogs that very obviously have their dogs under control.

But, for example, our 6yo DS1 has SNs and cannot cope with strange dogs bounding up to him and licking him or what have you. He absolutely will panic and scream and get highly upset. To have the dog owner stand there and grin inanely saying "Oh don't worry, he's friendly" doesn't alleviate his fears AT ALL. And by then, the damage is done - it will take hours to calm him down, and for weeks after every time he sees a dog he will panic.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 19-Jul-13 07:19:30

I really don't think it's in any way reasonable to insist that all dogs are kept on leads and are basically denied being able to run just in case they happen to be in a park at the same time as a child who doesn't like them.

I don't have a problem with my dog running up to people and licking them or sniffing them. He might run past people and be near them, but we use a public park which we have as much right to use as parents with children and my dog does nothing wrong.

We share this planet with other people and other species, which means that unless we are all going to buy vast amounts of our own land to take our children or dogs on walks, then we are all just going to have to accept that we have to put up with each other.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 19-Jul-13 07:23:28

i don't have a problem with my dog running up to people and licking them or sniffing them I do hope you mean that you don't have a problem with it as in, it doesn't happen?

jeansthatfit Fri 19-Jul-13 07:55:06

Some unbelievable attitudes from (some) dog owners here.

A dog can very easily push a small child over. 'Jumping up' isn't being 'boisterous' or playful when their claws leave scratches that hurt and bleed. A lot of them make growling sounds or bark loudly right next to a child when they are being 'playful'. All of which can injure and terrify a small child, and create an ongoing and problematic fear of dogs.

Dogs are NOT on a par with humans. This is where dog owners totally lose the plot and turn into nightmare antisocial selfish entitled idiots.

I grew up with dogs. Love 'em. My family still has dogs and my toddler ds thinks they are the bees knees. We have established certain rules for when they are around each other, including the need for my son to be gentle and respectful of the dogs. I also teach him not to assume other dogs are friendly and not to approach them.

It makes my blood boil when dogs bound around the park out of control and scaring children, some feeble owner pointlessly warbling their name (dog not trained, might as well recite a poem at them) or worse, ignoring or doing the 'ha ha he's only playing' spiel.

Sadly I can't go up to these owners and push them over, scratching their arms and legs, dribbling spit in their face and then say 'ooh don't be scared, I'm only PLAYING!'

Til then I'll content myself with shouting 'Get your badly behaved dog on a lead please!' Which approach does sometimes get me abuse but very often gets me thanks from grateful parents.

AnneTwacky Fri 19-Jul-13 08:01:20

CloudsandTrees not saying your dog has to be on a lead all the time nor implying you and your dog cannot go in the park, but you do need to keep it under control.

Letting it sniff/ lick other people is not on, especially if the other person it's bothering is a child.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Fri 19-Jul-13 08:04:48

DS1 (12) is not a natural dog lover, I fact he was terrified until the age of 8, and neither am I. We got a dog last year to help with DS2' SN and I've spent a lot if time and money training her not to jump up when out as I hate it too. I won't let her off in a play park, but I do in a local dog walking area where literally all the dogs are off lead. I honestly think I'm going to have a coronary sometimes when a massive dog comes up to me, but it's the only place my own dog gets to run properly around properly.

5amisnotmorning Fri 19-Jul-13 08:12:14

CloudsandTrees, your attitude really gets my back up and this is as a dog lover who always had a dog growing up.

I live near Greenwich park and a 2 yr old DD who won't touch animals unless I say it's ok but she is 2 and gets scared. It's not ok therefore for animals to bound up and try and lick her in the face. And actually if you are interfering in my enjoyment of the park then sorry but I think you have less right to be there than me.

There is also a wood nearby where most dog owners take their dogs instead of the park. We enjoy a walk there however as I know that it is a place where people go to let their dogs run off the lead then I make sure I pick her up if any dogs run up rather than asking the owners to put them on the lead. It's about showing respect for other people not a selfish 'I'm alright' attitude.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 19-Jul-13 08:12:24

> I do hope you mean that you don't have a problem with it as in, it doesn't happen?

that's clearly what she meant - that it might run past people but that it doesn't engage with them.

>Some unbelievable attitudes from (some) dog owners here.
But the vast majority who've posted have been in the YANBU camp. You'll find the same thing on DogHouse threads - there's one at the moment about the importance of keeping off-lead dogs under control around other dogs.

The title of this thread is exactly right:
if you can't control it, it should be on a lead - any responsible dog owner should be happy with that condition.

paperlantern Fri 19-Jul-13 08:12:54

I hate being slobbered on by it's only being friendly dogs.

Incidentally how are you supposed to teach a child to approach the owner first if the dog gets to yp you before the owner.

I tend now to take the dog by the collar, at arms length of it's mouth and lead it to it's owner with a pointed "is this yours?" There may not like it but it shouldn't have been hassling me and mine in the first place. Often in places they shouldn't be off lead anyway

CloudsAndTrees Fri 19-Jul-13 08:16:12

I do hope you mean that you don't have a problem with it as in, it doesn't happen?

Yes, that's what I meant! Sorry, should have been clearer!

Anne, some posters do seem to be implying that a dog should be on the lead at all times though.

I'm sure a child that's uncomfortable with dogs is going to feel uncomfortable if the dog is anywhere near them even if the dog isn't sniffing or licking them. So even when a dog is doing nothing wrong there are some people that don't want them there. But other people's children are for them to deal with, and my dog is for me to deal with.

If my dog is scaring a small child just for being there, then I will put the dog back on the lead or make him stay close until we have passed said child. But I'm not going to spoil his entire walk by keeping him on the lead for the whole time we are there.

missmargot Fri 19-Jul-13 08:16:46

My two dogs are very good off the lead, their recall isn't 100% but probably about 98% which isn't bad for puppies. That said, if I see small children, dogs on the lead or people having picnics they go back on the lead. I don't want one of the rare occasions where temptation is too much and they don't come back on the first call to be a time when it causes a problem for a child or a nervous dog.

I've noticed more and more that children ask me before they stroke the dogs which is really nice to see. As it is my two are incredibly friendly but I do always tell the children that they may be licked if they start stroking them so at least they are pre-warned.

It does make me cross when I've put so much time and effort into training my dogs (they are definitely not perfect, but we try our best) to see other dog owners who don't have the same regard for other people and let their dogs run around with their behaviour unchecked. I was almost knocked flat by a huge dog recently who covered me with mud whilst the owner stood there laughing. I wasn't thrilled.

SaltySeaBird Fri 19-Jul-13 08:18:30


I hate strange dogs running up to me and the DC. I grew up with dogs but don't really like them, I was attacked when younger. Now they make me nervous.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 09:41:59

bogeyface you're missing the point - it doesn't matter what an owner thinks about their dog's behaviour - if it is not under control by the definition of the by law. It is out of control.

The law is the law - same as speeding is illegal even if the driver thinks it's ok, and a teenage with an ASBO has behaved anti-socially whether its mother thinks its a little darling or not.

Honestly, some posters on this thread are being a little obtuse. Nobody has said 'a dog is as important as a human', or that the OP is unreasonable. People are disputing the extremist responses of some posters that all dogs should be leashed at all times, and pointing out that it is ethically unacceptable to curtail the basic needs of animals whose lives are, through no fault of their own, entwined with humans, when that animal has been sufficiently trained so that it can be trusted to avoid children, runners, cyclists and other users of the space.

cloutiedumpling Fri 19-Jul-13 09:53:49

Clouds and trees - you may not have a problem with your dog running up to and licking children but other people do. I think it is disgusting and repulsive when some dog comes up to my children and slobbers all over them. I cannot understand why some dog owners think that this is acceptable.

Chopstheduck Fri 19-Jul-13 10:01:05


Just had ANOTHER one. Terrier type, small rather than toy breed. NOT on the lead, runs up to me quite ferociously growling and barking and pushing it's nose towards my feet in a warning kind of motion. I had to stop running, the owner was walking off ahead oblivious to his animal until it started barking.

'he won't hurt you, he only wants to chase you!'

I don't fucking want your fucker dog to chase me, it is 22C outside and I want to get my run done before it gets any hotter and it should be on a fucking lead!

I didn't really swear at him, I was mid run and didn't want to waste any more time arguing with him. If this has been DH though, who is very nervous of dogs, he'd have been terrified. He'd have probably sped up and agitated the dog even more and possibly got bitten! Why DO people have dogs they can't control sad

LtEveDallas Fri 19-Jul-13 10:02:03

cloutie, RTFT, Clouds has already clarified that she means her dogs don't ever do that.

Chopstheduck Fri 19-Jul-13 10:05:32

Oh and just to clarify, this was a road where the dog should have been on the lead and not a park or such.

I LIKE dogs, but I hate irresponsible owners. Half the time I end up feeling sorry for the dog really. I worry that I am going to kick one, or that it is going to bite someone who doesn't know how to react to it, and that's hardly the dog's fault, not having been properly trained!

Here's a scenario for you to consider: near where I live there is a large field. At one end, the easiest one to get to, is a play park, football goal etc. Obviously a 'people end'. At the other end, near the path to the remote field and woods, is a bit that is totally empty. A football pitch distance away from the play park and goal.

Lots of people (including me, sometimes) walk their dogs there, at the dog end. They walk through the play park bit with their dog on a lead or walking to heel and let the dog off at the other end.

Once, I saw a mum and toddler walk right down to the dog end and start playing football there. The rest of the field was empty, no teenagers lounging around playing by the goal or anything. They came right down to the dog end of the field.

All the dog owners, including myself, called their dogs and either put them on their leads and went home or went off into the woods.

Of course, what they did was considerate of the toddler. Nobody wants their dog to distress (or, heaven forbid, hurt a child).

Was this fair to the dog owners, though? Wouldn't mutual consideration have meant the toddler stayed up the field leaving the other end to the 5 or 6 dog owners allowing their animals to play off lead?

Let me emphasise that my dog is friendly, has excellent recall, never jumps up at strangers on walks, would absolutely not, never be allowed to approach you or your dc and jump up or lick you.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 10:12:09

Chops, that owner needs their head banging off a wall. If they know if wants to chase, it has done it before - and why take the risk on a road, ffs.

macreturnofthe Fri 19-Jul-13 10:13:40


clearly in your son's case this wouldn't help - its a generalisation. But I do believe in most cases teaching both people and dogs to be with each other would minimise trouble.

Cromwell44 Fri 19-Jul-13 10:22:34

OP, don't give a smile, tight lipped or not.
I find the appropriate response to 'don't worry he's only being freindly' when a dog runs up to me yapping, barking, jumping up or otherwise being too friendly is 'I'm not worried, I just don't want your dog near me'. It's a complete sentence, not impolite and clearly states what you want to happen.
I don't have a problem with dogs off the lead so long as they keep to themselves.

YouTheCat Fri 19-Jul-13 10:28:22

My point was, you don't know if someone out there, being sniffed by your friendly dog, has SN. You don't know if someone is absolutely terrified of dogs or not. I don't know if your dog is friendly and so I assume not. Yes, children need to be shown how to be around dogs and not to run to them.

Dogs need to be on a lead. If your dog tends to snap, then it needs a muzzle when out.

Ds has made some progress when he goes to the stables and there are dogs around. Progress is that he doesn't totally freak out if he can see a dog, but they still have to be kept away from him or he will go into total fear lead meltdown, which is dangerous for him, the people around him and any dogs. Bad dog owners really limit where he can go.

With the exception of one dog-dangerous dog with stupid owner who doesn't seem to realise that pinning another dog to the floor isn't playing I have just never met all these strange owners. And I see loads of dogs of lead.

Must be lucky.

pussycatwillum Fri 19-Jul-13 12:20:04

My pet hate. 'Oh he's really friendly'. My friend's 'really friendly' dog bit DS on the face when he was two. He still has the scar and still struggles when near dogs, although at 18 he is more likely to quietly remove himself than to scream and get upset. He has AS and a fear of dogs has not been helpful to him growing up. He will not, for example, go walking round lakes or in areas where people walk dogs and until recently would cross the road if he saw a dog coming on a lead. Now he is more likely to walk in the gutter to avoid it.
I also hate the way people walking round our local lake, where it clearly states 'All dogs must be on a lead during the breeding season' think it doesn't apply to their dog, because it will walk to heel.
Dogs are animals and they can be unpredictable. There was no indication that the dog concerned was going to bite DS. He suddenly lunged forward and did it.

miffybun73 Fri 19-Jul-13 12:24:10

YANBU, just revolting.

I would go absolutely crazy if a dog tried to lick me or my children.

Yes, it's completely irrelevant if the dog is "friendly".

I do not want to be "friends" with your dog grin

Eyesunderarock Fri 19-Jul-13 12:27:38

'I don't have a problem with my dog running up to people and licking them or sniffing them. He might run past people and be near them, but we use a public park which we have as much right to use as parents with children and my dog does nothing wrong. '

Would you have a problem with your dog having a pot of cayenne tipped over it if it ran up to me and touched me?
All I want is to be ignored by dogs. That's it really. Completely ignored.

Beastofburden Fri 19-Jul-13 12:34:25

I remember being at the beach with DS 4 years old, DD 2 and DS2 a baby. Some dog ran up, jumped at DD and knocked her under the waves. It was seriously unwelcome, and the owner didnt give a stuff.

All those owners who go for a nice walk with their mates through our local park, with their dogs off the lead, behind them where they cant see them, or dont bother to watch, while they shit everywhere and jump up at us.

Owners who walk their dogs along the pavement on extending leads, and let them set up a nice little tripwire at ankle height just as you come round the corner.

Keep an eye on your dog. Recognise that other people dont have your strong stomach for the smell of dog lick and the sight and smell of poo.

I grew up with a staffy. I adored her. She was always under complete control, that went with the deal.

cloutiedumpling Fri 19-Jul-13 12:35:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cloutiedumpling Fri 19-Jul-13 12:37:56

Sorry - I've just read it again. I had read it to mean that she didn't see dogs licking strangers as being a problem. I'll ask for the posts to be deleted.

LtEveDallas Fri 19-Jul-13 12:46:17

smile no worries, poor old Clouds is getting it in the neck that's all.

BlueSkySunnyDay Fri 19-Jul-13 13:10:53

I completely understand some people don't like dogs, I loathe cats. I wouldn't assume an adult or child would want anything to do with my dog but I do get a bit weary of the children who immediately start screeching the second they see a dog - really if your child is that traumatised by something it will see pretty much on a daily basis then it would be wise to try to make them more comfortable around dogs rather than pander to it. They perhaps may never like them but to acclimatise them so they can walk past one in the street would be wise. We had two dogs when the children were small, I always kept them away from visiting children but would definitely not invite around a child I knew was scared.

But all dogs should be on leads at all times" hmmnot allowing a dog to run, particularly an active dog like mine, would actually be cruel. In the unlikely event that she were to jump up, or lick I would tell her off - she is rarely out of my sight though so unlikely to hassle anyone.

Mine would not run up to you, if she liked the look of you she may stop in front of you and put her head down for a stroke - she is cautious as she has been too badly treated by her previous owner.

Ignoring and stepping back if dogs hassle you is the best way to deal with them - making a fuss just excites them more.

We all have things we don't like - I hate motorbikes, cats, rabbits and intrusive children (you know the ones who hang off of your seat and run up and down the aisle on the plane while their indulgent gimp parents looks on) Other people dong so I just have to find a way to deal with it.

YouTheCat Fri 19-Jul-13 13:15:17

Good luck with that then when someone like my ds is approached by a dog all hell breaks loose and there is bugger all you can do about it once it's happening.

You could, however, keep your dog on a lead where other members of the public are likely to be and then it won't happen.

Just a thought.

cloutiedumpling Fri 19-Jul-13 13:17:14

Thanks. I'm probably biased because for years I had my music teacher's dog climbing up and slobbering over me for forty five minutes while my sister had her lesson in the room next door. No one ever stopped the dog or told me what I could do to stop it and I felt scared and ashamed. Dogs still scare me because I don't know how to handle them. A neighbour lets my older kids pet his very well trained spaniels and so thankfully they are better around dogs than I am.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 13:20:15

Owners who walk their dogs along the pavement on extending leads, and let them set up a nice little tripwire at ankle height just as you come round the corner

Now, extending leads are an abomination. Honestly, they're the most dangerous things ever conceived and they really should be banned in public. If it needs a lead, it should be on a short one. If you can guarentee its recall without interacting with other people, let it loose in an appropriate place.

Trigglesx Fri 19-Jul-13 13:26:32

I don't expect all dogs to be on leads at all times. I do, however, expect owners to be responsible and if they are in areas such as a park or where children are playing, they should either be under firm control or on a lead. I don't have any problem with dogs that are not on leads and are behaving without getting in people's faces and such. It's all down to the owner behaving responsibly and training their dog properly.

I don't have a dog, because we don't live in the kind of area where a dog can have the kind of running about freedom it would need.

A dog that "has" to be let off the lead on busy public roads/paths or in children's play areas is IMHO not living in a suitable environment.

BeCool Fri 19-Jul-13 16:29:44

I positively LOVE dog owners who have their dogs well trained and under control.

Unfortunately I encounter very few of them.

Tomorrow we are off to Hyde Park for a picnic with a couple of other families. Want to place bets now on how many bounders and dogs off the lead (enjoying their rights to be a dog FFS) we encounter? Will I get bonus points for the dogs that actually leap into our picnic and stomp on food etc?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 19-Jul-13 16:54:06

Maybe some of you should move! I live in Lancashire and the majority of dogs are under control (and nearly all children ask before stroking my sausage dog). We cycle on off-road paths quite a bit and at least 95% of people walking dogs get them beautifully to heel, usually sitting - sometimes they'll put them on the lead, often don't need to. When we're walking our dog, most of the people with larger dogs will - one way or another - stop ours from being overwhelmed.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 19-Jul-13 17:02:45

Whoever mentioned extending leads. You are right! They are the work of the devil.

My dog is much better behaved with a normal short lead than she ever was on the extending lead we first got her. They get in the way and make recall an issue when it bloody well shouldn't be!

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 19-Jul-13 17:31:21

A dog that "has" to be let off the lead on busy public roads/paths or in children's play areas is IMHO not living in a suitable environment

Children's play areas are normally "no dogs" at all, and nobody in their right mind exercises a loose dog on a road. The issue is more prominent in "shared" spaces - country parks, urban parks with large fields (which are practically desserted by children and other people for most of the year when they're muddy!), footpaths etc.

Keeping a very active dog if you don't have access to anything but a play park, yes, is unsuitable. Keeping an active breed when you have access to what should be a shared space is hardly unreasonable, if you ensure that it is sufficiently trained to call back from other people and kept within sight and call of the owner.

Eyesunderarock Fri 19-Jul-13 17:51:41

Move to Lancashire Grimma? shock
Oldham was where I learned to carry cayenne, due to the number of aggressive dogs not only off the leash but with no owner within sight.
And those running in packs.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 19-Jul-13 17:55:16

The right bit of Lancashire then! ( fylde coast, bowland, silverdale not t' mill towns)

But Diseases mention has been made on this thread of people's only chance to let the dog run being in what you and I call unsuitable spaces. Which makes me wonder why they think they live somewhere suitable to keep a dog.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 19-Jul-13 18:01:47

Yes - if you live somewhere like that and want a dog, get an appropriate dog - there are plenty of breeds which really don't need to be allowed to run free.

Exactly. Not a collie, for instance.

LtEveDallas Fri 19-Jul-13 19:26:19

All dogs should be given some time off lead. Searching and sniffing is also part of exercise - dogs brains need 'exercise' as well, just as ours do and off lead exploring is part of that. It's the dogs equivalent of reading a book or a newspaper smile. Doesn't matter if its a collie or a Sausage Dog.

MuttDog doesn't spend much time on lead, but we live in an area where this isn't an issue. Town dogs should be lead walked to parks/open spaces and then let off, even just for a short time (the only dog I think is the exception is the Husky - if you let them off you might never see them again!). That doesn't mean it's acceptable to let them off in a kids play park, but a run across an open space, where other animals have been is pretty essential.

Bad dog owners make it harder for the rest of us, but please don't think we are all like that. Most of us are considerate and have our pets best interest at heart.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 19-Jul-13 19:49:03

That 'just kissing' stuff gives me the purple rage. I know where their noses and tongues have been, unless they've learned to wash their arses with soap and flannel since I was a girl (that'd be quite some feat of training). How about I give your face a nice rub with my panty liner? Grrrrr

IcouldstillbeJoseph Fri 19-Jul-13 19:52:43

I have had another dog encounter today!

I visited a friend with my toddler & baby. There was another friend there with her baby and her dog. The friend whose house it was has a dog too.

First thing I did when I got in was have to change my baby, was in the downstairs bathroom doing it. My toddler is hiding behind me as he is v shy for a while when we go places. Anyway, in bounds the dog and licks my baby's face. So I pushed his nose away and said "no". My friend then says "aww he's being friendly"
I said "I don't want her being licked"
Friend: "I want him to get used to babies so when I have one he's used to them (she's not pregnant)"
Me: "that's great but I'd rather you didn't practice on my children"
Awkward silence
Me: "I think actually we'll just go and leave you all to it"
Much British apologizing and shuffling about ensued but I did leave anyway.

Uh oh

Probably not going to be invited back - although admittedly we weren't that close anyway! I'm just fed up of it! And I know it's her own house so the dog has every right to do as it pleases so I can't complain but it really just makes me cringe to see a 6month old being slobbered on!

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 19-Jul-13 19:57:38

shock just shock

Filthy cah.

dementedma Fri 19-Jul-13 20:29:10

My friend's wife was knocked over by a very friendly young Alsation who was off the lead and wanted to play. She broke her knee and had to have a metal plate put in, and months of physiotherapy.

OneUp Fri 19-Jul-13 20:32:08

Sorry to all responsible dog owners but after some of the experiences I've had I honestly think all dogs should HAVE to be kept on leads to protect people from the dangerous ones.

Eyesunderarock Fri 19-Jul-13 20:47:07

Leads, muzzles and humans who pick up the shit.
Should be compulsory rules for ownership of a dog.

PoodleFlavouredFreddos Fri 19-Jul-13 21:23:40

I have a lovely, lovely dog who is lovely, and friendly but he is also big and bouncy and unpredictable, he is always on a lead near people because we live in an incredible tourist trap.
He goes to a field in the evening when we no no other regular dog walkers from the village are out and has off lead time then.

I think it is incredibly irresponsible for dog owners to allow them off the lead in places with lots of people, because even if the owner knows the dog is friendly, it doesn't mean other people will love the dog.

MissBetseyTrotwood Fri 19-Jul-13 21:41:01

My DSs are worryingly unafraid of bouncy approaches by random dogs. In fact, they positively love it.

One of my dogs, however, hates other dogs and is utterly terrified of them. He also weighs nearly 40 kilos and stands as tall as my waist. So I'm fairly regularly to be found shouting at the top of my voice 'Helloooo, whose dog is this? Can you call it back pleeeeassse?' with the DSs playing with the random dog, one of my dogs trying to join in and the other one cowering behind me.

So yes, I do prefer dogs to be well controlled but for rather different reasons to the OP!

BlueSkySunnyDay Sat 20-Jul-13 20:23:01

In this spirit of intolerance can I request then that those of you who love cat stop them from shitting in other peoples gardens my friend has to pick up carrier bags of the stuff from her garden on a regular basis.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 20-Jul-13 20:41:22

All dogs should be given some time off lead

Yes, but a greyhound will need less time and space off lead than, for example, a collie, since the former tend to tire rapidly during exercise, while collies are bred to work all day. Similarly, a pug will be capable of less exercise than a JRT, due to its physiological deformities features. There are more appropriate breeds if you have limited access to open spaces.

I didn't notice anyone posting that their only place to exercise their mutt loose is a child's play park or a road, but it's a long thread. I can't guarentee I didn't miss it!

BlueSkySunnyDay Sat 20-Jul-13 20:51:04

I have a collie I would never choose to take her to a child's play park as to be honest excited children would overwhelm her a bit. I'm guessing the people with the biggest issue with this are going to be town dwellers where the choice of place to exercise a dog is more limited.

I'd never do it but loads of people take their dogs on the school run and tie them up on the gate and I'm amazed by how many children never seem to have been taught not to run up to and stroke a dog they do not know.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 20-Jul-13 21:16:35


I totally see where you are coming from and I'm a dog owner. On another thread somebody said they can't understand why parks are divided into dog walking/no dog areas. I think that is a great idea personally.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 20-Jul-13 21:16:52

*aren't not are blush

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 20-Jul-13 21:25:24

Bluesky I also have a collie and wouldn't be seen dead with him at a children's play park. He'd probably love it (christ he'd be a total slide hog!) but I just don't see the attraction grin Give us an open field any day!

LtEveDallas Sat 20-Jul-13 21:33:27

Woods for us. MuttDog loves nothing better than sniffing and searching. Although the day the Muntjac came piling out of the bushes was one she'd rather forget.

The funniest thing I ever saw was a (wonderfully trained and friendly) collie 'rounding up' all the children at a families Barbeque. Dog was in its element and the kids thought it was hilarious grin

grin LtEve Border collies will herd anything. Makes them challenging to walk in my (limited) experience.

I once walked one off lead on a road that typically had no walkers or traffic in 24h, past fields I thought were empty. But the neighbour had moved his hoggs... She smelt them and legged it. She herded about a hundred sheep all the way round the field twice, gave them a quick look over, realised two or three had been hiding, and herded those few round the field too, for good measure. I was dying of shame, and very glad nobody was around, as she was by now too far away to hear me shout, and I stupidly hadn't brought her whistle. She eventually calmly trotted back to me grinning, and gave me a look as if to say "Right, that's that done, off we go."

LtEveDallas Sat 20-Jul-13 21:42:39

grin that's a great story. I bet she was quite pleased with herself!

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 20-Jul-13 21:44:48

Yep, mine's been used to herd many unusual species, in various unusual circumstances. Not sure I'd want to risk herding children after this thread though shock Mind you, I'd probably get arrested for some sort of child snatching anyway!

Woods are nice, dallas but we don't have many round here. I have wood-envy... Open fields also work nicely for distance hand signal training.

She was totally delighted. She had only recently been retired so I think she missed it just a smidge.

Miss her sad She got old and deaf and diabetic so eventually had to be PTS.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 20-Jul-13 21:48:16

I have a collie story! They are fab dogs!

We were walking across open fields in Llantrisant with tindog. Sheep graze on these fields. My dp,myself and the dog got a bit stuck (and lost) due to a criss crossing stream. Out of nowhere a collie appeared (totally alone) and led us the 15 minutes back to the main path. It was only when the collie was content we were back where we should be he accepted the treat my dp had been trying to give him the entire him.

I was amazed and most grateful!

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 20-Jul-13 21:48:53

*entire time even <ahem>

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 20-Jul-13 21:49:58

I like the stealth herding, Horry!

Alis, that's mental. Are you sure that wasn't an episode of Lassie?! grin

GrimmaTheNome Sat 20-Jul-13 21:50:40

My uncle had a collie which liked to herd people - so if walking the group had to stay fairly tight. She was sorely perplexed how to manage us when we went out in two rowing boats!

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 20-Jul-13 21:55:15

It so does sound like Lassie! This was definitely a Welsh collie though (blue eyes,black and white)

Honest to god it happened! I was 100% sober at the time too!

Spent about 3 days afterwards telling everybody I met about it, I was that stunned it had happened! smile

GrimmaTheNome Sat 20-Jul-13 21:57:42

>And I know it's her own house so the dog has every right to do as it pleases so I can't complain

er. no - I usually believe in 'my house my rules' but I'd have been mortified if I'd let my dog lick someone else's baby (or child for that matter). She shouldn't have let it happen in the first place, and when it did should have apologised straight off.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 20-Jul-13 21:57:47

It's a brilliant story - I love it. Thanks for sharing smile

Alis I love that! Having a little sob at lovely doggies...

kungfupannda Sat 20-Jul-13 22:27:30


A manager at the firm I trained at was terrified of dogs after being badly bitten a few years earlier. She also couldn't ride a bike. She decided to get fitter and learned to cycle. The first time she tried to cycle to work, as she went through the park (on a legitimate cycle path) a large dog went bounding up to her and started jumping up at her. She screamed and started wobbling around, as the owners (an oldish couple) shouted "don't worry, he just wants to play."

Predictably enough, she fell off the bike and broke her shoulder. The owners then told her that if she hadn't been screaming, it wouldn't have happened, before walking off and leaving her on the ground. Someone from one of the cafes in the park had to get help for her.

I couldn't actually stand her. She was a terrible bully and several people left the firm because of her. But I had enormous sympathy for her that day and would have liked a chance to tell the owners exactly what I thought of them.

oldandcrabby Sat 20-Jul-13 23:41:57

To counter the negativity, have you considered what you are passing on to your children? I have two dogs and am constantly surprised at the reaction by parents when I pass them with my two dogs, on lead, bumbling along paying no attention to them or their DCs. Now if they were squealing and flapping their hands in the air, the dogs might be interested wink.
My dogs are both PAT dogs and have done phobic work. This works if both the child and parent are committed. We reinforce the playing statues, turning one's back and being boring. Don't flap your arms, squeal and run, unless you want the dog to play with you. Phobic work is quite hard on the dog, they are in a confined, strange place with people who are antagonistic.
Those of you who want to ban dogs from the planet, have you considered the role they play as working or assistance dogs? There is considerable interest in pairing children on the autistic spectrum with companion dogs with great results. I am a widow and my dogs keep me sane and get me out whatever the weather. Very early mornings or late evening at the moment grin. Dogs are great companions.

Yes that's true oldandcrabby. My severely autistic son is not dog crazy (it's no unusual to find children on the spectrum to be dog obsessed). He used to be wary of dogs because he doesn't like fur. But he loves our retriever. Likes giving him treats, likes taking him for walks - he's been a big bonus for a boy whose world is forced to be relatively narrow because of his disability.

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