To think that if your child is scared of dogs you should encourage them not to scre and wail if my dog is 300 ft away...

(469 Posts)
Beccadugs Wed 30-Oct-13 21:50:15

Walking my dog today, she was of lead, about 10ft ahea of me waiting for me to chuck the ball. A child cycled towards us, saw my dog (who is half toy poodle so tiny) and started screaming. My dog just looked at her and then carried on our walk, if she was the type to run up to strangers/kids she wouldn't be off the lead. However, when she was a puppy and less well trained this screaming was an invitation (in her mind) to investigate.

While I accept that some children are scared of dogs, and that is fine. I would have thought that if there is a dog in the general vicinity encouraging your DC not to scream is probably for the best when the dog is ignoring you completely. AIBU, we all want to use the local facilities happily.

Beccadugs Wed 30-Oct-13 21:54:30

Off lead not of lead...

AngelsLieToKeepControl Wed 30-Oct-13 21:56:03

Who was encouraging her to scream? confused

My dd would have done the same at one stage, she was terrified, there is no way I could have stopped her screaming and crying. It took years and a very, very kind lady to get her over her phobia of dogs and I was always looked down upon by dog owners who thought I was somehow encoraging her phobia.

You need to keep your dog under control at all times, no matter what anyone does. Or would you really like to see it destroyed because a child screamed, startled the dog, and it bit them?
Children take priority over dogs in our society, legally, and generally speaking except among dog owners in everyone's minds too.
<pops corn and awaits flames to toast marshmallows over>
I'd put your asbestos knickers on if I were you lovey grin

Tulip26 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:58:07

Kids need to be taught that screaming will potentially encourage a dog, as it will naturally want to know what's wrong. They can sense emotions.

caruthers Wed 30-Oct-13 22:00:20

Children wouldn't have to worry about Dogs if the Dogs were kept on the lead.

UniS Wed 30-Oct-13 22:00:54

But a frightened child doesn't think " I was told that a dog might come to me if I scream and a dog might think I want to play if I flap" they just see dog and go into panic mode.

Beccadugs Wed 30-Oct-13 22:02:33

As I said in my post she is under control otherwise wouldn't be off her lead. She's not bothered by noise or children screaming. I'm asking about the screaming when the dog is in the same vicinity.

cornflakegirl Wed 30-Oct-13 22:03:14

My friend's DD had a dog phobia. She was okayish if the dog was on a lead, but very scared if not. Not unreasonable in my opinion - even a small dog is pretty big to a small child. I don't like it when dogs are off the lead in an area where children play.

Beccadugs Wed 30-Oct-13 22:03:41

And she was no where near the child who cycled towards me.

Sirzy Wed 30-Oct-13 22:04:00

It's because of an irresponsible dog owner that DS (nearly 4) screams when he sees dogs. I have managed to get it so most of the time he just hides behind me which is much better.

He was great with dogs until a stupid woman let her dog jump up at him and knock him over using the normal "he is just being friendly" crap!

BuzzardBirdBloodBath Wed 30-Oct-13 22:04:23

How ridiculous, how could a child not scream if it's instinct is to scream? I believe a fear is a fear confused

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:05:00

As I said in my post she is under control otherwise wouldn't be off her lead.

If she is off her lead she is not under control.

isitsnowingyet Wed 30-Oct-13 22:07:01

FFS confused

isitsnowingyet Wed 30-Oct-13 22:07:59

Cross post - oops - I'll get my coat

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:09:01

Don't do that least not before saying which post you FFS was in response to! grin

YOU know the dog is under control but no-one else does - they just have to assume ...

This is so arrogant .... And makes me so angry! I don't want anyone's dog anywhere near me.

It is a bit like asking kids just to stop being afraid of the dark ...

isitsnowingyet Wed 30-Oct-13 22:10:16

We walk our dog in a very large wood. Sometimes I let my dog off the lead in this very big wood. Very occasionally, will meet a person or group of people. Perhaps the OP was in a place like this, not in a park with a children's area etc, and has every right to walk her well behaved dog.

5madthings Wed 30-Oct-13 22:10:27

What sirzy says was the case with my ds2 and is the case with my ds4. Ds2 has got over his fear, ds4 we are working on it.

Most parents dotn encourage their child to scream and wail ffs. Its just what children do of scared.

Oh and ds4 would have and a fit as your dog was off lead, he is okish with dogs that he can see are on a lead.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:12:31


My dog is mostly off lead. He is called to me if anybody comes close etc and told to sit and wait, which he does. Insinuating dogs should never be let off their leads is ridiculous. Not every dog owner is irresponsible.

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:12:58

and has every right to walk her well behaved dog.

of course she does, as long as the dog is on a lead.

How are the rest of us supposed to know that your dog is under control? Other dog owners have made it risky to make that assumption.

In other news I see they have increased the maximum jail sentence for the owners of dogs that attack and kill someone. Because dogs sometimes attack and kill people

isitsnowingyet Wed 30-Oct-13 22:14:21


LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:14:33

Op should keep her dog leashed everywhere?! Really?

Lweji Wed 30-Oct-13 22:15:12

If you could explain how to train a child who is frightened of dogs not to scream, that would be helpful.

What treats do you suggest? What command word?

Guess who takes priority between a child and a dog.

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:15:24

Op should keep her dog leashed everywhere?! Really?

Yes, really (except of course in her own garden). HTH

Sirzy Wed 30-Oct-13 22:15:32

I have spent a lot of time with DS doing the "oh look that's a nice dog on his lead so his owner can walk him" type stuff to try to reassure him that he is safe being near the dog on a lead. Dogs which aren't on leads he struggles with a lot more because in his mind it is going to come for him.

I do think that dogs should be on leads unless they are somewhere which is a designated dog walking area or somewhere very quiet. Dog owners need to remember not everyone loves their dog.

killpeppa Wed 30-Oct-13 22:15:57

a lot of canine haters on heresmile

I understand both sides, I've one DS who is scared and one who lovvvvves any dog going!

he's never had a bad experience he's just a cautious child.

but I feel If the child was old enough to be out cycling alone then they should have a bit more common sense to not scream and if they don't like/ are scared of dogs then move to the side until it passes. this is what I teach my son.

isitsnowingyet Wed 30-Oct-13 22:16:22

oops x posting again - grin directed at beccagain - looks like there are not many dog lovers on mumsnet tonight!

Lots of folk over reacting though wink

If she doesn't like people treating her dog as a threat then one solution would be to keep it on a lead everywhere.

killpeppa Wed 30-Oct-13 22:17:03

btw I wasn't being bitchy.
was just a light hearted comment
so don't hate mesmile

I'm sure some of you have dogs.

Beccadugs Wed 30-Oct-13 22:17:12

Yes, not in a park, at an abandoned aerodrome.

Cyclist, jiggers and dog walkers on the whole.

Would like to reiterate my dog had no interaction which the child whatsoever.

Yes, children can't help what they are afraid of, not should they, but I think parents (and obviously many are) need to support them when coming across those fears in a public place.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:18:29

How silly. On one in every 10 walks I go on I call my dog too me because of someone else. I am sorry but I am not leasing my dog when he is playing with his ball well away from anybody else.

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:18:56

a lot of canine haters on here

Maybe, but I'm not one, if that's what you were thinking. I just place greater value on children and their comfort/safety

but I feel If the child was old enough to be out cycling alone What makes you think she was? I understood (perhaps wrongly) that a parent was with her but was unable to calm her fear.

And also a lot of opinionated, arrogant dog owners ... smile

Lweji Wed 30-Oct-13 22:20:37

I quite like dogs. I just don't know what the OP is going on about, or what exactly she's asking for.

What were this child's parents supposed to have done?

And how can we stop children from screaming in fright?

TiredDog Wed 30-Oct-13 22:20:51

I walk my dog off the lead and am absolutely confident of his behaviour. Hysteria would irritate me tbh.

We did pass a woman with 15 dogs today all off the lead confused which made me feel anxious! I restrained my emotions though wink

Sirzy Wed 30-Oct-13 22:20:54

But becca can you not see that the reaction may be because you let the dog off the lead making it more worrying for the child?

Nobody else knows how you dog is going to react. You can't expect people to be happy to see a dog off lead especially if they have had a bad experience.

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:21:42

Cyclist, jiggers and dog walkers ...

This typo has really lightened the mood for me ! grin


but I am not leasing my dog when he is playing with his ball well away from anybody else.

Well let's hope you (or more to the point, some child or their parent) never has cause to regret that decision.

5madthings Wed 30-Oct-13 22:21:57

I have no problem with dogs on or off lead as long as they don't come near me (allergic) or jump up on me or my children. I dont let my chidlre run up to/jump on other people so I appreciate it she dog owners afford me the same,e courtesy.

A dog off leas that comes when called is fine, this when they run up, jump all over my kids ams their owner just says 'its jsit wanting to play/it won't hurt' that I get pisses off!

My parents and many other family member own dogs and wouldn't let them behave like that. If I weren't allergic we would have a dog, I like them.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:22:42

Was that aimed at me isjustafleshwound? Because I have not been at all arrogant

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:23:15

But becca can you not see that the reaction may be because you let the dog off the lead making it more worrying for the child?

A confusing preponderance of Beccas on this thread! Especially as we are firmly positioned on either side of the debate!

losingtrust Wed 30-Oct-13 22:23:26

My Dd had a cake bitten out of her mouth by a dog in a park when she was about 4. She was terrified of dogs after that and I did try to get her to stop screaming but it was impossible. She is only just able to go near dogs now at 9. Still a bit wary though. What really pissed me off though was the owner of the original dog did not even apologise.

shellbot Wed 30-Oct-13 22:23:30

I'm not sure how you think parents can train their children not to scream when they're scared.

I remember screaming as a child when a spider dropped on my arm. It was uncontrollable fear and not something I could have controlled.

Sirzy Wed 30-Oct-13 22:23:45

Yes I noticed that after I posted - I meant becca as in the op!

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:24:10

I don't need to hope my dear as I am not an irresponsible dog owner wink

Coldlightofday Wed 30-Oct-13 22:24:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:24:50

Because I have not been at all arrogant

I'll second LST that even though I disagree with you quite vehemently!

Snowlike Wed 30-Oct-13 22:25:37

My child first screamed because she was attacked by a lab puppy who was allowed to jump and use teeth on her when she was 3 years old. Then again was violently growled at by the German shepherd next door 6 month later, who apparently was harmless and was then attacked by 2 jack russets who were off lead and whose owner blamed me for her reaction - so it was me who encouraged her to scream - really? I love dogs but some dog owners are fucking mindless idiots!

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:26:08

I don't need to hope my dear as I am not an irresponsible dog owner

I don't doubt that either, but surely every dog can be unpredictable, can get spooked etc etc?

pianodoodle Wed 30-Oct-13 22:26:49

If the dog was under control and not anywhere near the child there's no problem.

Not sure there's much you can do about children screaming.

Ideally, you don't want a child to be screaming at seeing a dog, but some are scared.

If your dog just carried on his way that's a good thing.

I let my wee dog off lead in the park she doesn't stray or bother people. If someone screamed at her I'd be surprised but I wouldn't be annoyed really I'd just go the other way.

pixiegumboot Wed 30-Oct-13 22:26:58

If your dog is not on a leash in a public place it is not under control. If one other person with a huge fucking dog thinks its OK for their mutt to come bounding up to us for a sniff and says its OK he's just being friendly I will scream. Allowing your dog to approach, touch, lick, sniff other people is NOT under control, and frankly if you think that is you need your head read.

Not wanting to be bitten by a dog is a rational reaction.

So is not wanting it jumping up you and drooling on you.

If a dog is not on a lead the only way to find out if its going to do either is to wait and see.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:27:59

I do not doubt that. Which is why I call him if ever we need to pass someone etc.

My toddler on the other hand I agree should be leashed grin

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Wed 30-Oct-13 22:28:15

Yes, children can't help what they are afraid of, not should they, but I think parents (and obviously many are) need to support them when coming across those fears in a public place.

But you haven't mentioned what the parents did at all. Did they "encourage her to scream?"

Who says the parents aren't supporting the child in their fears?

It sounds like you're just pissed off that a small child made a noise near your dog.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:29:54

Pixie who has said that is acceptable? If a dog was likely to do that I 100% agree it should be on a lead.

christinarossetti Wed 30-Oct-13 22:31:31

Ah, a dog thread. Haven't been on one for a while smile.

I'm firmly in the dogs should be on a lead at all times unless on the private property of their owners camp.

If dogs were better controlled, there would be fewer children frightened of them. It's usually dogs barking, jumping, nipping, biting or chasing children that cause them to be afraid.

As you say OP, some children are scared of dogs and it's simply common curtesy to let people use public facilities free of fear.

Lweji Wed 30-Oct-13 22:32:15

Furthermore, I think we need pictures of your dog so that we can encourage our children not to wail and scream when they see it 300 feet away.

Is it ok if they scream when he's 100 feet away? What about 600 feet away? Is screaming in another country ok?

christinarossetti Wed 30-Oct-13 22:33:06

pixie puts it much better than me.

yy to wanting to throttle the 'he's only being friendly - he's fine around children' mob. That's exactly what the owners of the two (different) dogs who bit me as a child said.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Wed 30-Oct-13 22:33:22


LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:34:15


Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:34:45

My toddler on the other hand I agree should be leashed grin

Most amusing LST but I think you make a very valid point: toddlers should be restrained when outside; by being in a push chair, on reins, hand held or at the very least within easy grabbing distance. They may be docile and obedient as you like but it would only take one incident of straying from this for the results to be potentially disastrous if they weren't restrained, though in that case it is likely that only the toddler would suffer.

Similarly an incredibly well behaved and good natured dog only has to misbehave once for it to be tragic, but possibly not for the dog. And it's so easily avoided (ie by keeping him/her on a lead when there are other people around).

And yes, you call him. What if he ignores you?

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:35:04

Totally didn't mean to shout that! blush Apologies!

Lweji Wed 30-Oct-13 22:35:36

Just, I think the OP is annoyed that a child showed feer upon sight of her dog.
The cheeky little... And the parents, how terrible are they that they allowed a frightened child to scream? SS, I say.

pixiegumboot Wed 30-Oct-13 22:35:56

Who knows what a dog is going to do? Certainly not someone who doesn't know your dog. Children and dogs are unpredictable. They should be kept separate if unknown to each other. Have you ever seen dogs pack?I have, and iI guarantee you would not want a small person anywhere near. Dog safety relies on its owner. Entirely. Put your bloody dog on its lead, and if you have to walk it off PUT A MUZZLE ON IT!

MrsMook Wed 30-Oct-13 22:36:45

DS is 2 and weary of dogs, especially those off a lead at the moment. His reaction is to quietly back off behind my legs or up to something like the pram. My reaction is to calmly bend down, greet the dog and show him that it's nothing to be scared of. Hopefully he should grow in confidence especially as he gets bigger compared to dogs. If I flapped around because my PFB was distressed then that would encourage a worse reaction. Parental reaction does have some impact.

DS has been known to wrap himself around strangers legs in error (usually when they're wearing similar colours to me). Maybe I should put him on a lead in all public places...

The high profile dog attacks I can think of have all been private property and involved someone "intruding" into the dog's territory (by dog, not human standards). I can't think of any in a public space.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Wed 30-Oct-13 22:37:04

I don't understand the point of this thread. Does anyone else?

Op seems to be moaning that the child screamed and that means the parents haven't taught the child how to behave around dogs. Although fear often has automatic responses so telling a scared child not to scream may not work.

But she doesn't actually mention the parents at all so who knows what they were doing.

So it seems like a judgement on someone else's parenting who she knows nothing about when parenting might have made to difference to the scream anyway.

Am i missing something?

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:37:16


Who has said they are? I would go further and say I don't know any dog owners who are knob heads. But dogs can be unpredictable. So you have to legislate for that (I don't mean literally, just that you have to act accordingly)

Beccagain Wed 30-Oct-13 22:38:14

Totally didn't mean to shout that!

Sorry my post quoting the shouting crossed with yours!

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:38:20

I give enough time for him to return. He is not in the least bit interested in other people. I am never with my dog where there are small children running around playing ball you understand. I tend to go to the back of beyond and he comes to me when I see a lone walker or cyclist in the distance.

JustThisOnceOrTwiceOrThrice Wed 30-Oct-13 22:38:55

Lweji. Thanks smile

I was scared of dogs as a child and until my 20s. Nothing anyone did ever got me not to scream and run (and then chased and bitten).

4yoniD Wed 30-Oct-13 22:39:40

"AIBU, we all want to use the local facilities happily."

Y*A*BU. Had the parents of the child complained at you for simply having a dog, that would have been wrong. However this didn't happen?

Both my kids went through phases of screaming insanely at the sight of a dog. I tried reassurance etc, it did nothing. I found the best thing to do was calmly say "don't be silly" and ignore them.

We were at a beach which allowed dogs, not all beaches here do. A lovely little dog ran roughly towards my daughter. She screamed and started crying. I calmly chivied her along (come on, the dog won't hurt you...). The owner of the dog come and started SHOUTING at me WHY have you brought your children to the beach, you shouldn't take them anywhere there are dogs, yada yada....

How are little children expected to get over a fear of dogs if we deliberately avoid all contact with them?

(Neither of my kids particularly mind dogs now, although I wouldn't say they really like them)

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:39:59

Pixie he wouldn't be able to fetch his ball with a muzzle on.. He would get rather frustrated.

coppertop Wed 30-Oct-13 22:40:39

If it's a public place then why shouldn't the child be allowed to scream?

If it's because a dog might react to the screaming, then the dog should be on a lead.

If the dog won't react to the screaming, then what's the problem? confused

inabeautifulplace Wed 30-Oct-13 22:40:57

Surely in that scenario wouldn't you just remove your dog from the vicinity of the screaming child? That would seem to be the best scenario for all involved.

If the opposite was true and your dog was being freaked out by an inquisitive toddler, wouldn't you expect the parents to remove the child?

Wouldn't disagree that it's a good idea for parents to encourage familiarity with dogs. Would disagree that a screaming child is evidence that this encouragement has not been attempted.

caruthers Wed 30-Oct-13 22:41:00

This thread has shot off like a Whippet out of the traps.

I don't understand how anyone can't feel sympathy for a child if they scream and are genuinely upset.

And if that scream "Upsets" the Dog what reaction will the Dog have to being upset?

DziezkoDisco Wed 30-Oct-13 22:41:10

Muzzle all dogs of leads ! That will make them less scary for small people, seriously it worked with hannibal lecter. hmm

specialsubject Wed 30-Oct-13 22:42:09

it's a toy poodle. One good stamp and the job is done if it attacks. But the child won't know this.

I had somebody on another thread tonight throwing a hissy fit because I dared to suggest that dogs are less important than people. Apparently that makes me a dog hater.

quite like the things, although less so now I have to keep clearing their crap off my garden.

christinarossetti Wed 30-Oct-13 22:42:22

The 'high profile' dog attacks have resulted in 6 people being killed since 2007.

Another 210,000 people are attacked each year in a 'lower profile' way.

Is your ds likely to bite?

FeltyPants Wed 30-Oct-13 22:43:09

I have no idea why people think a well trained dog should be on a lead on an old airfield?!? Surely in the normal real world all large open spaces are full of unleashed dogs?! God we have the hunt round here - i can remeber hounds coming through the playground!
I live opposite a green which has a few swings on but the purpose of the green in the byelaws and tenancy agreements is exercise of animals - most mornings and nights there's about 20 or so unleashed dogs on the there no problems. There is one man locally whose child hates dogs and sees fit to deliberately walk through the middle of the park when the dogs are out (not round the path or in the swing area) and then start screaming about dog owners when a puppy went towards his child but after several incidences of this the police had a word with him as he'd become threatening.

The worlds gone mad if you can't let a well trained dog run around! What would the point of the dogs life be??

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:43:44

My ds? Unlikely but he does lick you..

pixiegumboot Wed 30-Oct-13 22:44:20

Hannibal letter is not a dog last time I looked. And a fictional character.

MsVestibule Wed 30-Oct-13 22:44:42

I'm baffled by this, OP. What do you actually want the parents of a frightened child to do confused? If the parents were saying to their DC "OH MY GOD, LOOK, THERE'S A DOG OFF IT'S LEASH, QUICK, SCREAM AS LOUDLY AS YOU CAN, THAT WILL GET RID OF IT!!!", you'd have a point. But as all that happened is that a frightened child reacted as frightened children do (quite possibly despite their parents best efforts), what do you think should have happened in this little scenario?

Mollywashup Wed 30-Oct-13 22:45:01

Well said Felty

pixiegumboot Wed 30-Oct-13 22:45:15

Lecter. Bloody auto correct. Maybe it will correct my opinions to be pro dog!

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:45:45

I have a collie and his life wouldn't be worth living if we had to leash him and walk him on pavements. He'd go stir crazy!

christinarossetti Wed 30-Oct-13 22:46:16

I was replying to MrsMook.

I wouldn't want your ds licking me any more than a dog though, although I suspect that you wouldn't let him.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:47:07

Felty you have said what my mind was trying to get my hands to type..

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:49:23

Christ... I wouldn't have much choice in the matter I'm afraid.. He can run quicker than me grin

In all honest the licking was a guise.. He did go through a bitey stage and my dear but daft brother said 'don't bite, lick instead...' So that is what he does!

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:49:53


Lweji Wed 30-Oct-13 22:50:39

I don't think dogs need to be on leads, but I do get annoyed if dog owners get upset by children being frightened of them.

My DS also gets upset by flies, sometimes, although not so much by dogs these days. And he screams when our cat jumps at him (cat that he asked for, btw).
I would have very much liked him not to scream in fright.
So, still waiting for tips on how to encourage children not to scream in fright.


Lweji Wed 30-Oct-13 22:52:35

children being frightened of them.
The dogs, not the owners, of course. Although some owners can, apparently, be frightening.

I can too, if a dog frightens my child and the owner does nothing about it...

pixiegumboot Wed 30-Oct-13 22:53:08

And will you clean up their shit too, or is that from the irresponsible dog owners? Cause if you are all responsible owners whose dogs are shitting everywhere? Oh, the irresponsible ones that are off leads......back to the bloody start.
Let's get one thing straight. Dogs are animals. Not people, no matter how many times you talk to them in stupid baby voices.

I think that if your dog would react badly to a child screaming (as many do) then that dog should not be out of their lead in a public area, quite simply. However, your dog appears safe. I treat my dogs like kids, if they're at the toddler stage, then always with me apart from the garden/house, attached firmly, because it only takes one slip for disasters to occur. When they are 'older' (whether more experienced, better behaved or literally older) then they have more freedom. In grabbing distance (so for dogs, where grabbing probably won't work as well, this means close by so you can get to them quickly, in a few strides) but free.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:54:14

Oh course I clean up his shit.. Like I said I am not an irresponsible dog owner.

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:55:49


Snowlike Wed 30-Oct-13 22:57:32

I exercise in the park twice a week and in my experience dog owners have very little control over their unleashed dogs....

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 22:58:25

You have a lot of experience of irresponsible dog owners then...

Noideaatall Wed 30-Oct-13 22:59:06

What would the point of the dogs life be??
I've often wondered that myself.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Wed 30-Oct-13 22:59:24

Oh I despair of some of these replies. A well trained dog can be suitably under control off lead, and parents should try to discourage their kids from screaming and flailing their arms about if they see one in the distance. Yes, if the child is scared, it may scream regardless of parental discouragement, and yes, if the dog is likely to react to the child, it should be under closer control, probaby leashed. And yes, often kids who are scared, are afraid because of a feckless dog walker allowing their out of control mutt to hound the child. But that isn't the fault of every other dog walker who does control their animal, is it?

It's very frustrating to be walking a well trained dog off lead and under control and have kids screaming at you for daring to be within half a mile of them, when your dog couldn't give a flying fuck what the child does. So yea, I sympathise, OP.

Not every dog owner is responsible - fact.
Not every irresponsible dog owner has a friendly dog - fact.
Therefore I believe we do need to try our upmost to teach all children whether they are frightened or not how to behave appropriately around dogs.
You can argue till you turn blue in the face that dogs should be leashed but as it is not law it is not going to happen. I know it's not always possible and some children are very scared but a screaming child is a lot more likely to get bitten than a calm non reactive one.
I have a dog and he is let off the lead and is very well behaved but I do not let approach children as it may well result in a negative experience for both.
I have a toddler who is also let off the lead and I again am cautious of dogs approaching as he's 2 and a lot more unpredictable than the dog.gringrin

LST Wed 30-Oct-13 23:03:42

Well said diseases!

And Claire my toddler is 2 next week! I would trust my dog tenfold over him to return when I call grin

DiseasesOfTheSheep Wed 30-Oct-13 23:11:32

I'd rather take on a raging bull terrier in kill mode that a 2 year old in a tantrum wink

VonHerrBurton Wed 30-Oct-13 23:12:00

Am I missing something? WAS your dog '300 ft away'? Because it doesn't read that way. The thread title suggests you saw a screaming child in the distance - in which case I was going to ask how the hell you knew s/he was screaming in fear?

Then, reading the op, its talking 10ft, a child on a cycle... Which was it?

needaholidaynow Wed 30-Oct-13 23:21:14

My DS panics when he sees even the tiniest of dogs. A puppy came trying to play with him the other day and he just freaked. He hates all dogs. I don't go encouraging him to scream though when there are dogs around, he just does it anyway. If the dogs could sense his fear, then I would expect the dogs' owners to be mindful of the fact that many people (children in this case) dislike dogs and do not want their dogs running up to them "trying to find out what's wrong". The owners and their dogs have the right to be in a public place peacefully, and so do other people who aren't dog owners who may not want to be approached by a dog, so the owners need to remember that and control them.

Not everyone shares your love of dogs so piss off away from me and my child. Thanks smile

TheBigBangFairy Wed 30-Oct-13 23:24:17

So what if a kid screams? Kids do that a lot, sometimes when they're only playing. If you've got a dog that's likely to react to screaming in a bad way, it should be on a leash. If not, then owner and dog can both ignore the screaming and carry on with their walk, so what's the problem?

Are you concerned that the dog's feelings will get hurt? [Hmm]

TenthMuse Wed 30-Oct-13 23:27:12

Great post, DiseasesOfTheSheep! I don't normally get drawn into threads like this (don't even have a dog myself at the mo) but I find it really sad that there seems to be such a disconnect between some people and dogs. Yes, a minority of dog owners are irresponsible, and that's bloody annoying for dog lovers and the general public alike, but I really don't get where this general paranoia has come from. We've reached a depressing stage if people are genuinely implying that my parents' ageing and incredibly sweet-natured bichon frise should be muzzled when trotting along in the park.

I completely understand that some children are frightened of dogs. I work with children, and know that they can become scared of many different things for often quite random reasons. But I think this fear is exacerbated by some parents, who squeal and drag their children out of the dog's path when it approaches, even if it's on a lead and has shown no interest in the child at all. And children need to learn how to behave around dogs; when walking my parents' small toy dogs I've had more issues with small children running up and manhandling them, trying to pick them up etc. than I have with the dogs trying to get to the children.

I always find it quite refreshing when I visit Europe and see dogs happily co-existing with people and being welcomed into shops and restaurants. I once ate a lovely meal in a smart restaurant in Florence next to a beautiful (and beautifully behaved) Irish Setter - can't imagine that happening here!

I do think the OP is being unreasonable if she expects a frightened child not to scream - I think that's unavoidable in many cases - but it sounds as if her own dog was doing absolutely nothing wrong in this instance.

Igloofornow Wed 30-Oct-13 23:29:11

Well you haven't said what the parents did. It's normal to be wary of strange dogs but if my child was screaming in fear then I would try to reassure them. I'm not sure how one would cycle and scream at the same time tbh.

FWIW I walk my lab in the woods behind our house off lead, every day twice a day for the past year, I have never meet another person. Why would I put her on a lead? Some dogs need off lead exercise or the would be very highly strung.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Wed 30-Oct-13 23:30:36

My dog doesn't care if kids scream. I do. I don't like it at all - it makes me very uncomfortable. Plus you then fear that the parent will appear and hound you for the sheer gall of owning a dog and being seen in public with it, even though neither you, nor dog have done anything wrong.

It's not a problem I have often as I rarely walk anywhere I meet people or children, and mine are exercised on private land mostly, or in a remote area. But I've been there in the past and I can understand why the OP finds it upsetting and unpleasant during her walk.

I'm not saying there is a magic cure for the child's fear or that the parents could necessarily do anything to stop it (though some parents do seem to encourage it by over-reacting themselves) though.

ouryve Wed 30-Oct-13 23:32:55

You have no idea of the screaming child's background. My boys don't scream when they see a strange dog, but one of them has run into the road a few times, despite my counselling that that is not a good idea. Both boys have SN. That's more common than you may think.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Wed 30-Oct-13 23:36:49

Hey LST, TenthMuse thanks I didn't think anyone ever noticed me grin

Beccadugs Wed 30-Oct-13 23:44:36

Thanks for your back up Diseasesofsheep! You have summed up what I was feeling perfectly.

The parent was nowhere to be seen.

Yes the child was cycling and screaming (ahh a dog).

ouryve Wed 30-Oct-13 23:48:33

Not a dog hate, btw - grew up with them and my parents still have them. My kids still don't trust dogs they don't know.

TenthMuse you seem to be sure that fear of dogs is irrational. Go google a picture of a mauled baby and stare at it for half an hour then come back and tell us we're overreacting.

I'll say this one more time. The only way to know if a particular dog is dangerous is to wait and see if it bites your child or knocks it down "to be friendly".

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 00:03:37

BackOnlyBriefly generally a well mannered dog with a sensible owner will be pretty obvious. The owner is in the vicinity of the dog, certainly not out of sight. The owner will be watching the dog, and possibly keeping up a dialogue, dependent on the situation (i.e. Fetch, c'mon fido! as dog returns). The dog with be going about its own business - chasing a ball or trotting along sniffing - not bounding towards you.

If there's no owner in sight and the dog is bounding towards you, yea, absolutely. Idiot owner, dog out of control, etc. But that's even more reason for kids to understand that the best thing they can do is to stand still and try not to make themselves an attractive target. No, they shouldn't have to, but there are idiots in all walks of life. People shouldn't have to watch for folk jumping a red light when they cross the road, but...

From the OP's account, the second situation doesn't apply here.

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 31-Oct-13 00:12:47

I blame councils for this problem. Most public parks are big enough to have segregated gated off areas for dog walkers and non dog walkers. I wouldn't mind some taxes being used for that. Better than than a child or adult being mauled by a dog.

I don't think you can train small kids I.e toddlers. U can tell them 100 times when the situation arises they may act differently. Is it any diff than telling an adult who is scared of spiders don't scream if you see one?

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 00:22:29

Parents should keep their children muzzled and on the lead at all times so they can't scream or run off when encountering a random dog. hmm


BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 00:26:47

Have you ever tried to "encourage" a small child not to scream when they are freaked out or excited or whatever? I've been trying, unsuccessfully, for years.

Write a book on how to do this. I'll buy it. You'll be a child training guru. You will earn millions and can buy your own child free park.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 00:26:48

See I googled "HRWT" and it came up with "High Risk Warrant Team (SWAT)" which I'm guessing isn't what you mean... Care to explain for my sanity's sake? smile

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 00:27:39

Haven't Read Whole Thread grin

Pass it on.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 00:28:00

BTW, it's easy to encourage a child not to scream... It's just not easy to make that encouragement have any effect wink

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 00:28:27

Facial eczema! Ahem. grin

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 00:28:46

Thanks, BCF. Would never have got there. Am dim / it's late! grin

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 00:32:48

Yes I'm very encouraging. It's just my children are very oblivious. I also like dogs. My children scream at dogs off leads. I don't know why.

but when dog owners grin patronisingly at me/them and go "don't worry they are very friendly/won't hurt" etc (this happens all the fucking time) I feel like I might need a muzzle. grin

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 00:33:32

Are you impressed I quoted a sheep disease?

Threads with dogs and children certainly do tend to be very polarised!!

Dog owners need to be responsible and make sure their dogs are either a) sufficiently trained not to go near anyone else (especially children) and certainly not jump up on/sniff/lick them, or b) kept on a lead.

Child owners need make sure their children are a) sufficiently trained not to melt into a puddle every time they so much as see a dog or b) not taken to places where dogs will likely be loose and left ride a bike around without supervision.

There are idiots, poor training and poor behaviour either side of the spectrum, same as with most things in life involving humans. But most of us live in the middle and manage to get along with each other in a state of sensible mutual understanding and respect.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 00:37:36

I'm sure you are very encouraging - I'm only being pedantic and mocking wink sometimes you'd need to be superhuman to make them understand!

And yep, was slightly puzzled there for a second but very good grin

arrgh! of course I tell my kids not to scream but that doesn't mean they won't! Dogs should be on a lead in public. Full stop! YABU!

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 00:37:48

disease you aren't dim. I made HRWT up. Hoping it will catch on but sadly it hasn't. Yet.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 00:40:08

Lol good to know - thought I'd been living with my head in the sand oblivious to all the hip new abbreviations there!

Brokensoul Thu 31-Oct-13 00:43:36

Pombears you are spot on

Brokensoul Thu 31-Oct-13 00:44:29

Dogs= animals
Children= us

YesterdayI Thu 31-Oct-13 00:52:59

I would prefer dogs to be on a lead at all times unless in a designated dog walking area and I would like there to be lots more designated dog walking areas.
I do a lot of outdoor exercise and can't stand dogs coming up to me to sniff and slobber on me. I don't care that they 'are just being friendly'. I don't slobber on strangers and I don't won't anything slobbering on me.

Obviously most dogs are lovely but I can't tell which ones are the bad ones from looking at them. I definitely don't scream.

Rockinhippy Thu 31-Oct-13 01:03:10

Don't be so bloody ridiculous - why should a non dog owner actually know that is how your dog or any dog would react to a screaming child it's not a parents responsibility to second guess your dog & train DCs to react apropriately to your pet - it's your responsibility to keep your dog under control & it's not under control if its off its leadhmm - that's how it works as mentioned above

My own DD when younger would have wailed in fear too, not much I could have done to stop it as just like you say your dog naturally reacts with curiosity to the noise - a DC naturally reacts to fear by screaming - so maybe you need to get your head out of your arse & if you don't like it & won't keep your dog on a lead, do as my responsible dog iwning friend did & walk your precious pooch at a time when no kids are around

DDs fear of dogs was born out of owner with an attitude like your own - not only did the small yappy dog suddenly fly up & bite DD - who was nowhere near it & doing nothing wrong other than getting attention of its owner - she then got told off by the owner as "it must if been her fault, my sweety doesn't bite"hmm - thankfully I reacted quickly enough to grab DD & it missed biting her face, but it did catch her arm - before that she loved dogs & had been taught to respect them & ask first - funny that lady thought her dog was small & sweet & fine off a lead too hmm

DD spent a couple of years terrified of dogs as a result - only cured when she realised our friends much bigger dog was petrified if fireworks outside & she chose to override her fear to comfort him


TSSDNCOP Thu 31-Oct-13 01:25:44

What every parent wants: an hysterical screaming child hmm

Despite liking dogs myself I am becoming increasingly in favour of an all-leash policy.

I walked a friends dog recently, on a lead because he is valuable and I'm uncertain of how his recall would be or his reaction to other dogs.

A bouncy, unleashed dog leapt on him from behind a bush. He was very unamused and snarled. Unleashed dogs owner ripped into me saying my dog should be leashed, then realised he was, so ranted he should be muzzled.

She simply couldn't see it was her unleashed, uncontrolled dog that caused the trouble.

MarcelineTheVampireQueen Thu 31-Oct-13 01:26:34

So exactly how did the parents encourage this if they were nowhere to be seen?

WooWooOwl Thu 31-Oct-13 01:32:35

Some bizarre responses on this thread.

My dog will not be on a lead in our local park, and neither he nor I will give a teeny tiny shit if a child screams near us.

AveryJessup Thu 31-Oct-13 01:33:14

How exactly would you expect the kid's parents to encourage him / her not to scream? Kids aren't trained like dogs you know. They don't follow instructions like sitting up, rolling over and not barking screaming in exchange for doggie biscuits.

And as for that old chestnut 'if she was the type to run up to strangers/kids she wouldn't be off the lead', I had to laugh. Every single dog-owner I have ever encountered tells me that their dog is wonderful with kids and would never hurt a fly and isn't the type to bother me etc etc. Very easily said for the owner, not so easily observed or known by strangers, especially children, encountering a dog for the first time.

Rockinhippy Thu 31-Oct-13 01:43:44

WooWoo the big difference is that you are not complaining about a DC screaming in fear because it's spotted your unleashed dog & expecting parents to control said DC - which the OP is

Got to say that within reason I do agree with TSS though - I was sat outside a cafe the other week with friends & one of my friends dog - he was leashed as he always unless its early/late & no chance of other dogs around - a couple walking past had their own dog off its leash & it ran straight in to nuzzle my friends dog - thankfully my friend spotted it & grabbed him- the passing dogs owners didn't even notice that their do was about to have his head ripped off as my friends dog has had a difficult past & though a softy with DCs etc etc, won't chase after anything, but doesn't get on with other dogs at all if they invade his space my - friend was being responsible - they others dogs owners weren't

intitgrand Thu 31-Oct-13 01:55:11

my db was bitten by a dog whilst out running only last week .the hospital automatically notify the police .the owners ? He has never done anything like this before ? Well no ,he is ao animal and therefore unpredictable

DinosaurTooScary Thu 31-Oct-13 04:12:43


I am fed up of taking my daughter to the children's play area in the park and having numerous dogs jump up at us before we get into the fenced off children's bit.

I've brought my little one up to like dogs, so she doesn't panic....but neither she nor I like being covered in dog slobber, and she REALLY doesn't like getting pushed over by the "big doggy".

I know two people, who had perfectly well-trained dogs, that could be let off the leash as they were "never bothered by children or other dogs". They didn't run at people, or jump up or bite. Both had to be put down after years and bit a young girl out of the blue, and the other one spontaneously ate a goat!

Put them on a lead or bog off and walk them elsewhere. And get ALL the poo off the grass, not just the chunkiest bits.

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 06:39:52

Dogs= animals
Children= us

(just to point out that us are animals too - biologist here smile )

More like:
Children = our species, our loved ones
Dogs = another species that some people in our species keep as pets, but have much less rights in law than us (particularly our children)

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 06:43:13

It is also well known that little dogs can be more vicious than larger dogs.

My neighbour has a smallish dog that he says bites. He is very careful about it and so he should be.

If there are children around, dogs should be on a lead. There are those that extend, so they can still have a good run and catch balls, you know...

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 06:45:41

Child owners need make sure their children are a) sufficiently trained not to melt into a puddle every time they so much as see a dog or b) not taken to places where dogs will likely be loose and left ride a bike around without supervision.

Ah, ah, ah. No.
a) good luck with that
b) good luck with that too. You supervise your dog, my child has more of a right to go around on his bike, without being on a lead.

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 06:47:31

Be cool,

Try, I Haven't Read The Whole Thread, IHRTWT

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 06:52:18

lweji not a cat in hells chance can you get a lead long enough to exercise a high breed dog properly. especially with a ball!

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 06:56:37

Personally, I'm all in favour of designated dog areas in parks, as there are for children.

But where humans and dogs coexist then the dog should always be called on if there is any hint of them bothering a human.

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 07:02:45

My dog is never in that position. I do not allow it. Stricker rules should be in place in regards to dog ownership. But I am afraid that isn't going to happen, therefore I am not letting my well trained, obedient dog suffer because of some dogs owners who can't control their dog properly. And fwit I very rarely walk past children (when dog is leashed) and they run out and just start stroking and shouting awwwwwh in my dogs face.. That pisses me off. Not that my dog would do anything, but because someone's could.

maddening Thu 31-Oct-13 07:02:59

think about it - this screaming is an extreme reaction - possibly due to bad experience or a genuine phobia - so perhaps have some compassion.

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 07:03:26

stricker confused

I meant stricter!

Retropear Thu 31-Oct-13 07:04:32


Dogs jumping up at bikes are very dangerous.

I've come off and so has one of my dc.Dogs should be on leads near cyclists.

My DS has been bitten by a dog,that coupled with dogs jumping up and barking at bikes he would have meant he reacted the same.

Last I heard all dogs have teeth and if they run in front of bikes all can cause accidents.

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 07:04:36

arrrh it's too early!

I mean very rarely walk past children, without them running up...

HarryStottle Thu 31-Oct-13 07:29:48

If a dog can't be trusted to investigate a screaming child it should be kept on a lead. What if a child falls off it's bike and hurts itself - is it then supposed not to scream because there might be a dog in the vicinity?
Dogs are wild animals that are highly controlled in order to live in a domestic environment - they should be treated as such and not as fluffy-wuffy members of the family.

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 07:48:34

I agree. Children should be encouraged not to scream in these circumstances.

I do have children and if they are scared of something I get them to calm down and stop screaming - they need to be taught proper coping techniques. This goes for dogs, spiders or anything else they may encounter on a daily basis. It is good parenting and common sense.

The fact that the OP mentioned a dog has brought out the frothers.

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 07:49:21

If a dog can't be trusted to investigate a screaming child it should be kept on a lead

The OPs dog ignored the child

PolterGoose Thu 31-Oct-13 07:52:09

I'm another who has a child who would run into traffic to avoid a dog. He has improved but it's a worry.

What doesn't help is when dog owners do notice his fear but smile as their bounding dog comes toward us shouting "it's ok, he won't hurt you" hmm that really doesn't help with the fear.

What would help is when a dog owner notices his fear if they could call their dog and leash it just until we pass. This gives ds the clear message that unleashed dogs will do as they are told.

We've had a few dog owners leash their dogs and then have a chat with ds while the dog just sits there, these little encounters help, they really do. Doing a quick demonstration of your dog's reaponse to commands helps too.

Agree OP. ds2 used to be terrified of dogs & if he saw than would run, scream & wave his arms in the air. His fear (and ridiculous behaviour around dogs) meant he started not being invited to friends houses with dogs (ie nearly all his friends).

So I repeatedly taught him how to behave around dogs.

We now have our own dog, he now adores all dogs & I've had to work on the 'don't assume all dogs are friendly'

But yes as someone who had a very dog fearful child for their own sake they should be taught not to over react.

curlew Thu 31-Oct-13 07:55:35

I do think a lot of the problems would be solved if people thought of dogs as the fantastic, wonderful animals they are, rather than as "fur babies".

I think that generally dogs would b happier too.

Retropear Thu 31-Oct-13 07:56:19

Sorry I utterly disagree Soup

Teaching children that how they deal with fear and their first instinct which is to scream is wrong is likely to pile shedloads of self blame on their shoulders.

Kids also differ,why do they have to all react the same.Perhaps after the initial burst they do use other self coping mechanisms.

It was a child.

Personally I think it was the arrogance of the dog owner that brought out the frothers.

Lambsie Thu 31-Oct-13 07:57:10

My son has severe sn and is often noisy and flappy. I should still be able to take him out without dogs bothering him. If a dog can't be trusted not to run towards or bother people, it needs to be on a lead.

Retropear Thu 31-Oct-13 07:57:46

Saintly my bitten child can react however he wants to,dog owners don't get to decide.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 07:59:51

I think it should be very easy to meet a sensible common ground or compromise where dog/human interaction is the issue.

Dog owners should ensure that their dogs are taught recall above and beyond any other 'trick' and until then, should have their dogs on leads in public places. Recall training itself needs to take place firstly in non-populated areas as much as possible, or if not then the use of long lines, specifically for recall training (they are about 10m long). Once the training has kicked in, there needs to be further training, in areas where there are other people/kids, so they learn not to be distracted.

You can get high vis vests with "Dog Training" written on - I have one because I help my local rescue to train some of the younger dogs they get in. I'm not yet experienced enough (4 years) to train the older, more 'set in their ways' dogs. I'm lucky because I have permission to use a fenced MOD area for my recall training - but before then I always used long lines.

MuttDog for example is absolutely push button. I can recall her no matter what (well, except from squirrels smile) and as a result I hardly ever have to put her on a lead.

Parents should also 'train' children how to behave around dogs. We spent as much time training DD as we did training our dogs. She knows how to react around them, not to approach strange dogs, not to scream and squeal around dogs (unless she wants them to chase her grin) and to be wary of, but not scared of, dogs off leads. I think this is especially important if you have a dog fearful child, because unfortunately a child that screams when they see a dog is more likely to make the dog react and approach them, whereas a child that just stands there, or ignores and calmly walks away is far more 'boring' to a dog. Running away is the absolute WORST thing a child can do, even though its probably the first instinct.

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 08:01:27

Not unreasonable. Plenty of irresponsible dog owners, yes, but plenty of irresponsible child owners too that thinks the world revolves around their highly annoying offspring with no consideration for others. This thread comes across as somewhat hysterical.

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 08:04:18

And I mean no disrespect to those who have had genuinely frightening experiences. I personally hate being out with my dog and I see another off lead which is my own phobia. But let's not tar every one or every dog with the same brush.

curlew Thu 31-Oct-13 08:07:52

Look. I agree children should not scream and run away from dogs. But they do. And if your dog is going to react to either of these stimuli then that dog should not be off the lead where it might come across children. Simple. Dogs have rights. But people have more rights. Because they are people.

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 08:08:45

And i have come across children who scream when a dog that is ignoring them is on the lead. Let's not pretend this level of fear has anything necessarily to do with what a particular dog and dog owner is doing.

For example, I was walking a very elderly labrador on the lead. She walked slowly, and could physically not have run at anyone, but I still had her on the lead so no one was scared of her. Child on the opposite side of the road spots her and starts screaming in fear.

This had nothing to do with my dog or me at all. And there is nothing I could have done to prevent it. Mumsnet seems to love to bash dogs and dogs owners.

I walk my dog off lead through country parks where there are play areas for children.
She does not jump, she will occasionally take a sniff of the children who are calling to her and holding out hands (but soon walks on when it's apparent they have no treats grin) I will call her back if there are loads of kids hurtling towards us on scooters, mainly for her safety (spaniel of little brain).
The ones who scream (not generally because they're scared but because they are shrieking for fun) she gives a very wide berth to.

Having said that, she is very used to toddlers.

A dog off lead is only as out of control as a child out of hand. Surely everyone can get along. Of course if your dog is prone to loud barking, jumping up, aggression or has shite recall, then I am of the opinion that it should be on lead around anyone, regardless of age.

Incidentally my dd has been knocked about by a couple of dogs, puppies really, but luckily it doesn't seem to bother her.

christinarossetti Thu 31-Oct-13 08:09:57

But I don't think anyone is living. People are generally saying that they're very happy for dogs to be in control which often does mean being on a lead, not that they think their 'highly annoying offspring' can behave as they like.

Dogs on leads except in designated areas would be my preference. Fewer children would be scared or bitten, fewer motorists/cyclists in accidents caused by running dogs. Dogs absolutely no worse off.

And if people think that dogs need their freedom, they should perhaps reflect on their own need to have a 'pet'.

DixonBainbridge Thu 31-Oct-13 08:10:03

The trouble is, when my dog is on the lead it seems to be an invite for every bloody child to come up & pursue him around trying to stroke him. He doesn't like kids - as in is scared of them - but looks cute. The parents do little or nothing & having read some of the threads on MN I wouldn't dare to tell them not to.

When he's off the lead it's not a problem because he can get away from them.

Parents seem to have a blind spot with regards to kids & animals - I'll control my dog, you control your kids - sorted!!

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 08:11:17

Dogs should be allowed off leads in green areas, unless it is a designated no dog or dogs on leads area.

Get a grip.

christinarossetti Thu 31-Oct-13 08:12:06

Yes, dixon, I totally believe that hoards of parents let or encourage their child to stroke your dog when you don't want them to hmm.

intitgrand Thu 31-Oct-13 08:13:00

dogs should have to be on leads in public areas os where there is a public right of is not fair that a dogs rights to run over ride a humans to wander free from fear

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 08:14:38

I shouldn't have posted on this thread. I forgot how anti dogs some MNers are.

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 08:17:45

And very good post Lta - out jrt is still training even though he is 2 but he requires so much more work than my cav did. We are not all irresponsible owners!

curlew Thu 31-Oct-13 08:18:22

Who has been anti dog? That's a genuine question- I haven't seen any anti dogness on this thread

intitgrand Thu 31-Oct-13 08:18:50

dixon do you get troubled by all those flying pigs too when you are out ?

Sirzy Thu 31-Oct-13 08:21:41

I'm not anti dog, I would just rather dog owners would remember not everyone loves their dog.

I want to be able to go for a run without a "friendly" dog pounding up to me, DS wants to be able to play in the park without being knocked over by a dog. Neither is a lot to ask and most dogs owners manage to control their dogs but the ones that don't do contribute to people's fears of dogs - especially the fears of young children.

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 08:23:08

Saying dogs should never be off the lead ever is anti dog.

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 08:24:25

Christina there are so many comments about how a dog can turn on you, mauling and savaging being on the increase and how owners are so rubbish always letting their dog off lead blah blah. If that isn't hysteria then I don't know what is.

And Dixon is indeed correct. Lots of people let their children wander up to cute looking dogs all the time and only a few actually make sure they ask if it is ok to approach first. It was very annoying. This happened all the time with our last dog. Surely teaching a child when to approach is all part of a happy Co existence between parents, children, dog owners and dogs.

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 31-Oct-13 08:25:48

Oh gawd. Here we go again.
We share the planet with other animals. They have a right to be here too.

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 08:26:10

Grennie it seems to be a losing battle smile

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 08:27:14

Dogs on leads.....[.]....Dogs absolutely no worse off

Actually that's not quite true. Dogs need some time off lead. Exercise isn't just about walking. There needs to be running (for cardio fitness) and sniffing (for 'brain' fitness). MuttDog would be utterly utterly miserable (and probably bad tempered and dangerous) if she wasn't allowed to sniff out all the 'messages' left for her by other animals, or to run flat out until she is panting like a steam train.

Do people not get that try as they may to fix the world lots of dog owners are sadly irresponsible and or oblivious to their dogs actions. This is not going to change.
The fact is a screaming reactivate child is much more likely to get bitten. So to protect your child you should try your upmost to teach them how to behave appropriately.
There are books and I believe the company of animals had a programme for it too. It doesn't just go for scared children it goes for them all. Also children from as young an age as possible should be taught how to behave around all animals. Not to approach a sleeping cat, your likely to get scratched, not to walk behind a horse, you could get kicked and not to approach strange dogs or scream around them as you may get bitten.
I was brought up around animals but taught to have respect for them as they are just that animals and never 100% predictable.

oakmouse Thu 31-Oct-13 08:35:56

Please dog owners, be understanding about dog phobia even though it is a nuisance to you and like most phobias must seem quite ridiculously over-the-top to those not afflicted. I am an animal lover who adores dogs. Yes they do need to run and bounce around and explore, they cannot walk sedately all the time. Yes, it is sensible to teach your child how to behave around dogs.

I have an ASD boy who has a phobia of dogs. He was always wary as he is of all animals but could remain calm until one day a large dog - only young and very friendly - jumped up at him and chased him taking his screaming and running as an invitation to play. We still have hope of overcoming his phobia over time but it is slow and painful work with many setbacks.

It has changed our lives. He has been taught repeatedly not to scream and if the dog is on a lead and he is having a good day he can cope. If the dog is off the lead or it is the second or third one we have seen it is just blind panic and we have had to alter our bus route to avoid a busy stretch of road. I cannot drive and we must take public transport and walk everywhere, something we would really enjoy if it were not for this unpredictable factor.

If a child with otherwise decent road sense can run in front of an oncoming lorry in panic what chance has he got of remembering not to scream?

Dog owners, you are not obliged to leash your dog all the time on account of my son and others like him, but oh how grateful I have been with understanding dog owners who have called their dogs to heel while we passed and even a few sweeties who have picked their little dogs up or walked the other way until we got to 'safety'.

Believe me, it is not taken for granted but profoundly appreciated as it is understanding people like you - and your lovely co-operative dogs - that make our daily life liveable.

NotYoMomma Thu 31-Oct-13 08:41:08

I get enraged by threads like this

please educate yourselves about true phobias and not put animals before people angry

Hercy Thu 31-Oct-13 08:41:43

These threads always go the same way. But to add my two pence... I find it annoying when a child screams or runs about near my dog (I will always put my dog on a lead near a child as he's a big bouncy dog). But I accept it, they're children, they probably don't know any better. What really pisses me off is the parents - I've never had a thank you or sorry when their child wails like a banshee and my dog nearly rips my arm out the socket as a consequence, the dog that was perfectly well behaved until said wailing.

It's just a case of simple courtesy. It's funny, I've had a horse for over a decade as well, and not once has a child been allowed to scream or flap around in the near vicinity of her (and I do see a lot of people walking in the woods).

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 08:43:28

If ever a see a child is frightened, of course I would put the dog on the lead and walk away from the child. I have in fact done that. I do understand about phobias and any responsible dog owner would do this.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 08:48:09

Oakmouse, we are in a very lucky position that we have been able to use MuttDog as a 'teaching aid' for a couple of Dog Phobic children, one of whom has SN's. Mutt is very staid and calm when we need her to be, and it was lovely to watch both children as they improved. The young lad has improved so much that he often joins us on 'pack' walks - so going from a fear of all dogs to being able to walk with 9 of them is amazing.

needaholidaynow Thu 31-Oct-13 08:48:20

Not everyone shares the same love of dogs (including yours) as dog owners/lovers do. Don't expect everyone you see to go "awww" when they see your dog. It's fair enough that they have the right to be out and about, but just don't expect everyone to coo over them.

I find dogs annoying, I have absolutely no patience for them. I hardly go to my mum's because she has 4 dogs. I am just not a dog person at all. My 2 year old DS is petrified of them, and I was petrified of them as a child too. My brother was bitten by a Rottweiler when he was a child so that triggered my fear off. I still have a fear of dogs there, I'm wary of them, but I don't cry when I see one like my DS does. He's a child, it's not irrational to be scared of something as a child. The world is big to him and he's also scared of monsters so...

Haggischucker Thu 31-Oct-13 08:57:38

I love dogs and living on a farm grew up with at least three at any one time. We would let them run off leash on our own ground and if they had any issues with the farm animals like my parents current rescue dog (who is having intensive training but not working that well), they are leashed to protect themselves and others. That's the animal analogy - our dogs and our farm animals (who could destroy the dogs as all bigger)

I live in a city and firmly believe that all dogs should be on a leash at all times when in public places to protect themselves and others. I feel this is part of the responsibility of having a dog as as there will always be people who are scared of dogs, rightly or wrongly, and there will always be people who do not train dogs correctly/don't care/breed them for violence etc, etc

At the end of the day all life is precious and we should all respect and be respected in return. However, in my opinion having had dogs but no children as yet I still feel that humans needs to feel safe and comfortable should be put before animals need to run free. We all know the worst that can happen and could you imagine having to live with that?

Haggischucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:05:29

Just reading some more posts and would like to add I really like the idea of designated off lead places to manage the problem, perhaps that could be the way forward as well as better education on how to behave around all animals, and I'm talking adults here too!

Beccagain Thu 31-Oct-13 09:14:29

Saying dogs should never be off the lead ever is anti dog

No it's not. HTH

LEMisafucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:19:32

needaholiday - i am sorry you had a bad experience with dogs, it is a shame that you have passed this fear onto your child sad

I have seen this sooo many times - A woman at DDs school didn't like dogs, wasn't scared of them, just didn't like them - every time she saw a dog she would tell her DD to "come here, there's a dog" and the worse episode was when her DD was running off ahead at pick up and there were two dogs, on the other side of the road - she called her back and said, "i told you to stay with me, look, there are two dogs over there" hmm Of cousre the child is scared of dogs. It turned out that this woman wasn't a very nice person.

My instinct is to mistrust people who dislike animals, it is rarely incorrect.

Saying that, i walk my dogs on the beach - they are small, I don't let one off the lead because he is naughty a bastard with other dogs, the other one i do let off because he will come when called etc. He is nervous of people (probably alot more rational than the other way round!) so wont approach people. Generally folk like to see dogs, i have more children approach the dogs than not, some children are scared, the majority of their parents reassure them but some re-enforce the fear and that is sad. I often offer for children who are scared to stroke my dogs as they are 100% child friendly. Some do, some don't. Its sad to see a child scared of dogs, especially as the beach/parks/forrests and fun places to be are going to have dogs in them. I love to see dogs out and about.

curlew Thu 31-Oct-13 09:19:46

I think that if anyone who has ever used the term "fur baby" was banned from ever keeping a dog again, the lives of both dogs and humans would improve immeasurably.

Beccagain Thu 31-Oct-13 09:21:21

And just to clarify my last point: it's not anti dog, it's pro (human) child.

I realise it's probably not realistic to have a dog on a leash at all times, but I very firmly believe that a dog is not under control unless it is on a lead, no matter how strong the belief of the owner in its obedience.

Beccagain Thu 31-Oct-13 09:23:50

My instinct is to mistrust people who dislike animals, it is rarely incorrect.

<weeps with frustration>

* It turned out that this woman wasn't a very nice person*

Oh well that PROVES it then. Sorry I doubted you!

LEMisafucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:26:03

Haggischucker - whilst the designated off lead area is a good idea in theory, i don't think it would work for several reasons. Mainly i think the problem would be that you would get a high concentration of dogs in a smaller area and that is not ideal, it may lead to dog fights etc. Also, whilst pickng up poo is fine, you can't pick up wee - it will stink smile Maybe this would work in a park, but i think if you have a busy park then actually the dogs should be on a lead and you find somewhere more appropriate to let them off.

So i take my dogs for a walk on the beach, most of the time both are on the lead as there are lots of people, i keep them on lead due to lots of other dogs really, more than people. There are sections of the beach i will let one of them off as it is less busy, but still the odd dog or three, then i walk further on and can let them both off as i can watch for other dogs and decide whether to put the bastard JRT1 on the lead.

Its just about common sense, dog owners absolutely have to respect other people without dogs, just as other people need to respect peoples right to have pets and enjoy them.

LEMisafucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:28:13

but Becca - one of my best friends HATES dogs, so i am sometimes wrong - i do tell her she is an evil dog hater though - she pulls confused this face at me. But generally i feel that people who dislike animals seem to lack empathy. I am not talking about people who can take them or leave them, nor am i talking about people who are scared, but people who actively dislike them.

LEMisafucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:29:24

curlew - "furbaby" has just made me a little bit sick in my mouth

GobbolinoCat Thu 31-Oct-13 09:32:10

Dear OP, no one knows what your dog is like, don't you know most attacks by dogs that end up in A &E come from the friendly wouldn't hurt a fly, family dog.

Any discussion with children and dogs, children always trump dogs.

Arrogant bloody dog owners.

I hope you apologised profusely op.

KittyLane1 Thu 31-Oct-13 09:32:54

There is a park close to me which has a designated dog area and a fenced in designated children's playpark. The dog area has large signs stating that it is a dog area and people should expect dogs to be off the lead. The amount of people who stand in the dog area shouting at people to get their dogs on a lead is ridiculous! If you or your child can't behave in the dog area then you shouldn't be there, same as if my dog couldn't behave in the childrens area I wouldn't take her in.

I have a big German Shepherd and it goes two ways. People are either terrified of her and grab their child/dog if they see us approaching (even tho fluffy is wearing a halti harness and I can control her from both her neck and body) or parents point out my dog and tell their child to come over and rub it or children and adults will also run up to my dog to rub her without asking.

Dog owners really can't win!

There's a child near me who us clearly terrified of dogs. Every time I see her I make sure that MadDog is on a very tight lead & if the space is narrow I make him sit while they walk past. However, her parents really do not help. MadDog is a retriever so not a particularly fierce dog & whilst I don't expect then to fuss over him (nor would I want then to as he gets completely overexcited if someone talks to him - not great for a fearful child) their reaction doesn't help. They never reassure her, but always pick her up and swing her around & give us dirty looks! It's very odd. And as I said before I have had a child was who terrified of dogs.

My eldest ASD son isn't keen either - he doesn't like fur & used to be very scared - in his case exposure exposure exposure has worked. He's still not keen if a strange dog approaches him (shuts his eyes every time he's near my parents puppy) but he's not terrified like he used to be.

I think like most things there's a happy medium where everyone could co-exist happily with a bit of consideration from both sides. I DO occasionally see dogs that I think should not be off lead - although usually because they're dog reactive. I did see one this weekend that I felt should have been on the lead & I called my children away. However ime that is very rare.

And if you have young children just be aware in my experience a child who is fearful of dogs does start to lose out when kids get to the age where they start going to each others houses alone. Ds2 certainly did - he had to find a way to deal with his fear or he really was never going to get any out of school invitations at all, they were drying up. And he did switch from hating to absolutely loving dogs - it can be done.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 09:33:07

Hmmm, ONE poster on ONE very old thread used the term 'fur baby'. Why Curlew feels the need to bring that term up again and again on an unrelated thread is beyond me confused

curlew Thu 31-Oct-13 09:34:46

Eve- my Facebook newsfeed is full of them. And I suspect people on here of being closet "fur baby"ers.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 09:34:48

Gobbolino, what exactly do you want OP to apologise for? Living? Existing? Breathing?

needaholidaynow Thu 31-Oct-13 09:36:24

it is a shame that you have passed this fear onto your child

Eh? How on earth did I pass that fear on to him? He doesn't like dogs off his own accord. I have not behaved in any way to make him scared of them. I don't avoid passin them etc.. And I say "nice doggy" to DS.

There is a dog at the end of the street that barks every time we walk past. I just ignore it and carry on and don't make a fuss because I want DS to be scared. But ever since this dog has been barking relentlessly at us every time we walk past, DS has been scared of all dogs.

I don't believe that it is at all "my fault" that he has a fear of dogs.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 09:37:05

Curlew, you should choose your FB friends more discerningly then. No-one says it on mine, and mine is full of Rescuers, Rescue Owners, dog owners, dog lovers and one Dog Warden.

Brokensoul Thu 31-Oct-13 09:37:18

I like dogs but because their recles owners ( not all but the one I came across) I am seriously starting to dislike them. IT OWNERS who are sometimes deluded!!! Talking from very bad experience.

needaholidaynow Thu 31-Oct-13 09:37:32

Fucks sake.

Because I DONT want DS to be scared.

Beccagain Thu 31-Oct-13 09:38:20

But generally i feel that people who dislike animals seem to lack empathy

Okay LEMis I appreciate your expanding on this, and what you say in your longer version does make sense, but I could just as easily turn this phrase on its head and say that people who really (over) empathise with animals sometimes have something of a problem with human interraction (I'm not sure I actually believe that totally, but as a theory it holds water as much as the the reverse iyswim).

But in any case does anyone really actively dislike animals...apart from, as you say, those who can take them or leave them or who are scared? I'm not sure there is such a person...just in the imaginations of people who really LOVE animals (my goodness we could carry on all night like this...oh wait, we have! grin )

Brokensoul Thu 31-Oct-13 09:38:51

Needaholidaynow - dog owners will always talk tosh to us parents....

Brokensoul Thu 31-Oct-13 09:39:43

Beccagain- spot on

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 09:40:08

There are a wide variety of animals on this earth. Humans do not own the earth. We need to co exist with animals. We have lots of foxes in our City that sit out in grassy areas near houses. Should they be killed in case a child is scared of them?

GobbolinoCat Thu 31-Oct-13 09:40:36

No LT the fact a child was upset by her dog.

I am a dog owner, our problems go the other way we are usually fighting children off, stroking the cute little white dog, I can't walk down a street in peace without people wanting to pet my dog.

I am strict about letting children pet her who have asked nicely.

Those that do not ask, are told they should not approach a dog to stroke as they do not know what its nature.

My dog is fast like a bullett when she runs, I only take her off lead if we see no one about, as she can run towards people then veer off at the last minuet, There is nothing remotely scary about my dog.

However I appreciate that people are scared its scary having a dog bounding about.

If anyone looks scared near my dog, I always apologise.

Having a dog has opened up my eyes to the arrogant world of dog owners.

LEMisafucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:40:52

Im sorry needaholiday - i didn't mean to upset you, but you probably do pass on your fears without realisng it. I didn't mean it was your fault, i probably shouldn't have said anything. sad I think if you tackle your own fear/dislike you will be better placed to help your DS.. of course you do know the best thing is to face your fears, live with them all the time - you need to get a dog wink Actually only half joking, would you consider it?

needaholidaynow Thu 31-Oct-13 09:41:33

Brokensoul I've noticed! Never heard anything more ridiculous in all my life.

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 09:41:59

Becca - Yes some people who over empathise with animals do have problems with interaction with humans. This is very common amongst people who have suffered multiple abuse at the hands of parents, partners, relatives. I am not like them, I do have empathy for their situation.

LEMisafucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:42:49

becca hmmmmm, you could well be right blushgrin Seriously, i think that is quite a fair point.

needaholidaynow Thu 31-Oct-13 09:44:15

No I'd never ever consider getting a dog. It wouldn't be fair on the dog because I wouldn't have the patience to look after and care for one. I don't see the point in having an animal if I'm not up for everything that entails. Cleaning up dog poo, paying vet bills, walks in the cold, being jumped all over. No thanks.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 09:44:45

Gobbolino, but OPs dog ignored the child and didnt go anywhere near her, so how is it the dogs (or OPs) fault? There is nothing to apologise for.

Brokensoul Thu 31-Oct-13 09:46:46

I came to the point that if the dog will come close to me and owner doesn't give a two penny about it I go in a full rant.
I am sick of it. My dd was 3 times attacked in the park on three different occasions . First time was a heart stopping . She was two and I was holding her hand slow walking through the park and dog just came from the back and literally mount her- I went creazy. I pushed the dog with all my strength and did call police becaouse owner was real s....
On other yrwo occasions , she was also small- dog came uncalled and unprovoked and same stupid jumping thing.
DOG owners keep your dogs away, it's your fault kids are scared. My dd now freezes if dog is even across the road thanks to unresponsible dog owners.
So do not blame parents
Rant over.

LEMisafucker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:46:51

Gobblino, i know what you mean - although i dont have to fight folk off wth with my non-descript little jacks sad If i am walking my mum's yeti dog, huge overgrown GSD type dog that doesn't like being approached, you got it, im fighting off people who want to stroke the big doggie hmm I allow a very quick hello and move on as he doesn't like too much attention, but sometimes people just approach wthout asking. I had the same with my two rottweilers though, i would avoid walking near people because of the polar reactions - the people who would walk into a path of a bus to avoid and the ones who would come over to pet the big teddy bears, both of those dogs loved the attention but one had a habit of giving his paw and i'd worry he would knock someone's child out!

Brokensoul Thu 31-Oct-13 09:48:15

Sorry bad typo- my phone

GobbolinoCat Thu 31-Oct-13 09:49:58

because her dog caused the child to cry, if her dog had not been there it would not have cried.

DziezkoDisco Thu 31-Oct-13 09:53:00

Children need to be taught how to behave around dogs, Otherwise they are at risk of being bitten.
Life is full of risks, and children need to taught how to minimalism those dangers.

Otherwise how could you ever let them cross a road, play on a play park,play a sport, go swimming, chop with a knife, etc etc. all risk filled activites yet we tesch them how to respond snd act appropriate to rduce the dangers.

Dog owners also have to reduce risks, so if your dog is aggressive, train it, and give it a muzzle, but if your dog isnt just control it.

Of course dogs shoud be pff the lead, what sort of cotton wrapped kids do we want. Dogs are very rarely dangerous, kids very rarely get hurt, they are far more at risk of getting hurt on the roads.

My daughter is properly terrified of wasps, so we are teaching her to get used to them. Not run around like am idiot flappimg her arms as she will more likely get stung. Same goes with dogs.

frumpypigskin Thu 31-Oct-13 09:54:31

I agree with the OP. I have a child who would cry and get upset when she saw a dog. I do think children pick up on your reactions and your response.
She still doesn't like them but through talking and normalising exposure to dogs etc she is getting better and just makes sure she is close to me when she comes into contact with a dog.
Surely this is a more appropriate reaction? If the dog is a threat then being close to an adult is a much better response than wailing / screaming and flailing arms. It is a parents job to help a child to learn this. It does of course depend on the age of the child.
If a dog is well behaved and responds to instructions I have no problem with them being walked off lead.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 09:56:08

Gobbolino, so you ARE saying that OP apologises simply for the existence of her dog. How bloody ridiculous.

Gobbolino, I hate your posting name. It reminds me of a book that I was scared of as a child. You owe me an apology for choosing that name and exposing me to it.

(Daft, see? grin)

ErrolTheDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 10:01:57

>because her dog caused the child to cry, if her dog had not been there it would not have cried.

The dog didn't cause the child to cry; the child's dog phobia caused her to cry. There's a difference.

Stravy Thu 31-Oct-13 10:03:10

One of my dcs used to go batshit around dogs and took years to stop acting 'inappropriately'. This is not because I am a twat who encouraged her fear but because of a series of dog owners allowing their dogs to flatten her and 'lick her to death'. She seems to be unlucky around dogs. My other dcs have had dogs bound up to them and sniff them etc in that 'oh, he's just being friendly' way that I personally find fairly annoying but tolerate in the spirt of having to co-exist but she has literally been knocked off her feet and drooled over probably half a dozen times and its terrifying for a kid. Never had an apology either. Nor did I get an apology from the man who allowed his perfectly calm black lab to approach our (indoor) table in a cafe and remove a sausage from the sandwich that was in her mouth. I was very proud of her though, she just said 'that dog was very rude' rather than going into full scale panic.

I'm curious to know what harm the OPs dog came to from having to share a public space with a child. Kids scream sometimes, dogs are just going to have to learn to live with that.

Stravy Thu 31-Oct-13 10:05:00

I would also like to know how the (absent?) parent managed to encourage the screaming child.

Doctorbrownbear Thu 31-Oct-13 10:06:46

If you have a perfectly well behaved dog then I think you should be able to let it off the lead. The child sounds a bit neuotic in this instance and maybe the parents should be helping them to sort out their issues in one way or another.

Stravy Thu 31-Oct-13 10:07:41

How does anyone know the parents weren't trying to sort out the issue?

losingtrust Thu 31-Oct-13 10:11:44

My child's fear came from a dog. She would never have been afraid of dogs if the owner had had better control. I have had dogs all my childhood and would have one now if I did not work so much. To blaim parents for their child's fear is very below the belt. My DD's school has banned parents from bringing dogs into the school because one kid slipped on some dog shit that the owner had kindly left on the school path and because other dogs were jumping up sg the children which scared them. Is that down to the school or the dog owners. Surprisingly the dog owners said the school was anti-dogs but the prime responsibility for the schools was the children.

Stravy Thu 31-Oct-13 10:12:22

I mean, it's a bit like a non dog owner seeing a dog with shit recall and slagging the owner off for the dog having shit recall without having any idea what they are doing about it. They might be irresponsible dog owners or they might be working on it relentlessly but just haven't got there yet. Child or dog, they generally need telling more than once.

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Thu 31-Oct-13 10:23:23

I always apologise when my dog jumps up. (Even on lead). My issue? People who encourage her to jump at them! Seriously! People ask her for kisses and I have tried saying I am actually training her not to do that but frankly feel like giving up!!! When children come to our house (and are generally running around even when I put the dog somewhere) I now tell them to ignore the dog if she jumps up and turn away (and not put arms up), this works and she ignores them. Children it seems listen better than adults who still encourage jumping up!!!

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 10:26:41

Lweji ah ha that makes sense. grin
Abbreviating the abbreviation is a step too far!

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 10:26:56

Not everyone thinks dogs are cute. Even fewer people will think your children are cute and adorable yet we all have to tolerate their caterwauling in the park or misbehaving in public which is what the majority of these complains are. I remember my 4 month old leaded puppy happily sniffing a rock right next to a toddler who was 10 times the size of my pup yet promptly thew a tantrum that terrified my puppy and I was looked at like a child abuser. That was ridiculous. Just as I have to deal with your annoying children disrupting my peace so you have to deal with the fact that I and millions of others are going to have happy balanced dogs. Get over it.

Us dog owners have to put up with the bad ones too and we do not like it any more than you do - as well as harassing humans they will harass other dogs as well which is frightening. The reality is 99% of owners are fine it is the minority who give it all a bad name. Same as everything else in life but as usual the attention is on the negative not the positive. And the problem is with the owner not with the poor dog!

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 10:33:49

Btw I do not think it is ok for dogs to rush over to people, jump up, go crazy off lead or heaven forbid nip or bite. I will never also understand why people get breeds that they cannot control - I see a woman near us attempting to walk two huge rottweilers on her stilettos with no control whatsoever-they are untrained and straining at the lead. They have escaped from her twice. I do not want my dog or my baby or anyone else's children or animals to suffer as a result of her stupidity.

YesterdayI Thu 31-Oct-13 10:43:19

*livingzuid] has a good point, I would like ALL dogs and ALL all young children to be on a lead grin

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 11:00:16

This thread has gone even more nuts shock

This isn't a game of top trumps with child beating dog in every category. As far as I can tell nobody is saying that dogs have a greater right to existence or presence in a given area than a child.

And the OP should not have to apologise for the existence of her dog.

The question of "is a blanket rule on dogs being leashed an anti-dog idea?" in my opinion - yes. Not because dogs have greater rights than children, but because they do have some rights to live in a healthy and appropriate manner for their genetic background. I wholeheartedly agree with those saying they're not fur-babies -they're modified wolves (just as we're modified chimps grin ) and they do need to run around and let of steam. It would be utterly cruel to ban dogs from off lead exercise.

The idea of specialised dog areas would be fine, in principle. Unfortunately I imagine the logistics of this would mean it ended up too small and the high concentration of dogs would have a whole host of other issues - dog on dog aggression, plus it would be very hard for owners to train in such an area without space to work quietly. And there's the issue of compliance - the issue already is idiot dog owners who think it's acceptable for untrained animals to be loose around children. Not to mention those who believe dogs have no rights who might choose to trot across the dog area on a short cut and be similarly outraged at loose dogs hmm Hey, there's always one! I'm not saying it couldn't work. In urban areas, it may be a big improvement. In rural areas, I still believe dogs should be allowed off lead, under close control on any PROW.

Regarding the assertions that "a dog is not under control unless leashed". This may be the opinions of some on this thread, but under law, the definition is under close control, leashed or will return at first call.

It is not arrogance to have a well trained dog off leash. It's (should be?!) experience and years of training. I am confident my dog will return at first call because I've put that to the test. He has a distance drop and a recall that over-ride his natural instincts. Your child could jump up and down screaming, waving their arms around, having rolled in chocolate ice cream and throwing his favourite toys in the air, and he would drop and wait. I know this, because I've tested it, in controlled environments (ok, never rolled a kid in ice cream, but...) so I can be confident he will comply.

Yes, dogs are unpredictable. So are kids. And adults. Heck even trees can be unpredictable (more than once the sneaky devils have dropped branches on me when I've been walking under them). And as my latin teacher used to yell "BO! the future is always unpredictable" grin . I am still willing to bet that my dog ignoring my commands and turning savage is less likely than me turning savage and going on a biting spree...

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 11:04:28

BTW, livingzuid has a good point - out of control dogs are a major issue for dog owners too. Many leashed dogs display fear aggression when attacked or approached by loose dogs, and aggressive out of control dogs are often more likely to attack another dog than a child. And since we quite like our dogs, and don't like paying for our vet's next big holiday, it's an issue for us too.

All these threads do is polarise the responsible dog owners from the dog haters, and create a gulf where there should be an alliance!

Beccagain Thu 31-Oct-13 11:07:48

Excellent post Sheep but I still take issue with this:

Regarding the assertions that "a dog is not under control unless leashed". This may be the opinions of some on this thread, but under law, the definition is under close control, leashed or will return at first call

I know the law does not specify 'on leash' but (your excellent points notwithstanding) I still maintain that it is in the gift of NO dog owner (or anyone else) to say with 100% certainty that their dog will not suddenly behave out of character, with potentially horrendous results.

You may think that the risk is so small that it is worth taking, and this is where you and I will have to agree to differ. But you're right: the letter of the law is on your side.

Whogivesashit Thu 31-Oct-13 11:11:25

Just lead your dog Becca when you see screaming kids. Just so the pearl clutchers and bosom hoikers don't get too excited! FFS.

Beccagain Thu 31-Oct-13 11:17:40

Just so the pearl clutchers and bosom hoikers don't get too excited

You know this could describe either (and neither) side of the debate and I have to say has misread the (on the whole) good natured and reasoned tone of this thread And I know I'm not the Becca you mean. cake

Beccagain Thu 31-Oct-13 11:18:38

arf @ I am still willing to bet that my dog ignoring my commands and turning savage is less likely than me turning savage and going on a biting spree

I would say it's a nailed on certainty in my case! grin

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 11:26:20

Actually becca, as I said last night before this flipped out even more, not that I blame you for not noticing / recalling, I don't walk mine in the vicinity of small children. Well, I think we've met a child once in the last year and she belongs to a friend of mine and was being walked with her own dogs, also off leash wink So I choose to avoid the risk, in so far as possible. As I say, I think I'm more a threat to the world around me than my beast shock

However, whilst mine gets 80% of his exercise on private land and maybe 20% on a rural PROW (where we have met the aforementioned child once in the last year), if the suggestion of leashed all the time on any public land were to come in, he would lose that part of his life. And that would be a shame - he loves to play in the ford, and doesn't get in anyone's way.

I also feel that I am fortunate to have my own fields to exercise him, and a rural PROW to take him on. Most folk don't have that opportunity, and I think that having a well trained dog, loose in a quiet area is worth the risk (I'd say that by walking at off peak times in less popular areas with a well trained dog is risk minimising). I accept you may disagree that the minimised risk I'm talking about is acceptable, becca. Most folk have different ideas about risk management! And neither of us are necessarily right, or more valid in argument than the other smile

I can see a much stronger argument for banning off leash exercise in busy city parks - particularly during peak hours, for example - if there were provision of a dog area. As I say, I don't feel that a dog area is without problems - but neither is the current situation perfect. There is no easy answer.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 11:27:49

Ah becca, all my animals have much nicer temperaments than me - they'd have to, to put up with me! grin

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Thu 31-Oct-13 11:30:29

My opinion is that unless you are on private land, dogs should be on a lead when out. In all circumstances, regardless of breed.

Yes, YOU (general) 'know' that your darling pooch will not run/jump/snap. No one else does. Both of my kids love dogs (as do I) but I hate having to dodge the dogs running free when out on walks.

bunchoffives Thu 31-Oct-13 11:41:14

I understand dogs need exercise (which is why the majority of dog owners are selfish imho because they simply don't lead the lives to provide that or live in places where they can).

But can someone tell me why all dogs couldn't be muzzled when out for walks in public places?

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 11:51:58

How would my dog bring his ball back if he was muzzled?

NotYoMomma Thu 31-Oct-13 11:55:07

took me to be 28 years old and years of therapy and hypnothwrapy to getover my phobia (not dogs)

my mum is scared of dogs and I am not despite her nervousness and crossing the street.

people clearly have no understanding of phobias. I dont givea shit if your dog is nice and friendly, people are not psychic. if it isn't on a lead and approaches people it is not ok.

' am actually an animal lover and have had a fair few pets (cats atm) so dont assume people who don't agree with you are anti dog or anti animal

bunchoffives Thu 31-Oct-13 11:55:59

Couldn't you put them on an extending lead and take the muzzle off for ball playing?

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 12:02:09

Sheep you are very right about the polarisation. The majority of child and dog owners are fab. I hate how the minority of idiots get picked up on in the press and mass denunciation of all takes place. You describe my jrt exactly. He's so scared of bigger dogs and can get quite agitated. Even worse now I am pregnant as he is also super protective!

I live in the Netherlands now where it's quite a different attitude. I find dog owners here far worse on the whole so it's always a relief to bring the hound home! And they never clean up after their animals ever. It's so disgusting. They don't believe in neutering so there are lot of aggressive large male dogs running around. I know pit bulls have a bad press but they are legal here and some have been quite aggressive to my dog. Some of the posters on here have no idea how lucky they really are!

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 12:03:04

No. Not unless you have indestructible shoulders.

I didn't pay god knows how much at puppy classes and put in hours of work with my dog, just so when we go out and play ball on a deserted field he has to be on a lead or muzzled just incase someone the other side no where near is scared of dogs.

AllDirections Thu 31-Oct-13 12:09:49

Let's get one thing straight. Dogs are animals. Not people, no matter how many times you talk to them in stupid baby voices. Well said!

Children should not taken to places where dogs will likely be loose You mean like parks, beaches and woods?? Really hmm

My instinct is to mistrust people who dislike animals, it is rarely incorrect. shock I don't like dogs, some of my friends are dog lovers. We trust each other just as much because our friendships are not based on whether we like animals or not but on mutual respect and consideration.

DD3 (6) screams (and runs if I let her) if she spots a dog. Of course I don't let her or encourage her, they're the worst things a child can do if the dog is a vicious bastard. I can understand her being scared (people don't need any particular reason to be scared of something) but I do get irritated when she makes a fuss when walking past a quiet dog on a lead that is totally ignoring us. We have lots of talks about it and I'm sure she'll grow out of it. DD2 (13) was just as bad when she was small. I do anticipate DD3's reactions if we spot a dog so I often say things like 'See that dog over there, isn't he being good. Do you remember X had a dog like that, blah, blah?' So then she doesn't make a fuss unless the irresponsible dog owner lets the dog come bounding over.

And thank you to anyone who can see that a child is scared and moves over or stops to let them past. This goes a long way to dealing with a child being scared of dogs.

trixymalixy Thu 31-Oct-13 12:13:49

I was doing well teaching my kids how to act appropriately around dogs, until a twatty owner with out of control dogs allowed them to run at us and jump all over me and DD, knocking her over. We were in our way to her ballet class, her ballet tights were ruined and the pair of us were covered in mud and had to go home.

No apology from the dog owner. They were "just being friendly". Fucking twat. I could see that they were just wanting to play but DD was hysterical.

DD now gets hysterical if we go near the park never mind sees a dog.

So OP you are being very fucking unreasonable. If you want to blame someone blame other dog owners and keep your animals away from other people. I don't want a dog so much as sniffing me or my children thanks very much.

trixymalixy Thu 31-Oct-13 12:16:54

Children should not taken to places where dogs will likely be loose hmm angry Are you for real?!?!?!


LST Thu 31-Oct-13 12:23:34

trixy the ops dog did not go near the child. as she had said. numerous times.

BeCoolFucker Thu 31-Oct-13 12:24:45

I feel sorry for most of the dogs around our way. All these so called devoted animal lovers keeping dogs, in flats, without gardens, in a very urban area.

That is not loving animals - I think it is cruel and selfish behaviour obo the owners. Yet there are so many of them.

Mystuff Thu 31-Oct-13 12:24:49

Please please teach how to stop my 2 year old screaming when she sees a dog.......

Yes YABextremelyridiculouslyU

Fear of dogs when you are a small vulnerable child is IMO a completely rational self defence survival mechanism. Dogs can (and do) kill children.

When my child screams at strange dogs it has never occurred to me to feel sorry for the dog, or their owner!!!

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 12:30:33

I am a dog owner, have a 3yr old rescued JRT. He's soft with people but hates other dogs. He is always on lead and muzzled when on walks.

I grew up with dogs, but as someone else said earlier, having my own dog has really opened my eyes to how many other dog owners are so blinded by the love of their dog they act totally irresponsibly.

As I said, our JRT is on lead and muzzled, he also wears a yellow jacket identifying him as a dog that 'needs space'. I have lost count of the amount of times we have had to deal with situations where another dog owner has let their off lead dog approach ours without permission.

Yes there are some dogs that will not approach and ignore us - fabulous, I wish all dogs were as well trained. But sadly about 8 out of 10 dogs we meet on our walks will come bounding over and get in his face. When I see a dog approaching I will shout to the owner to recall their dog, to which I usually get a response of 'it's ok he's friendly', to which I have to shout back, 'but mine isn't, call off your dog!' all the while restraining mine in a smaller and smaller space as their dog is STILL approaching. Worse still wen he owner is too far away to hear me, and I end up having to pck my dog up. It really makes me angry that we have been responsible and muzzled our dog but they can't be arsed to keep theirs under control.

An off lead dog that approaches other dogs or people without invitation is NOT under control, and I don't care if it comes back to you when called or not, it shouldn't be approaching in the first place.

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:34:34

I have two questions:

1. If people really loved dogs, why would they keep them as pets?
2. If a dog runs up to my DD (2yo) and pushes her over am I allowed to kick the dog into touch? (I will of course announce loudly that I am just being friendly really).

I've never understood the obsession with dog ownership. Why is it so important? Why is it even necessary?

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 12:38:02

I'll set my free tonight ice...hmm

You could ssy that about having children. .. What a stupid thing to say!

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 12:38:13

Mystuff, your child screaming at strange dogs is more likely to get her bitten.

A good dog owner will see her distress and move their dog off, a good parent will teach her how dangerous her screaming is.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 12:39:38

Icebeing, would you kick another child that knocked your child over?

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 12:40:30

A dog is not a child

LST adult humans have a biological drive to procreate - hence children. They do not have a biological drive to keep dogs. So I ask, why is it even necessary?

territt Thu 31-Oct-13 12:45:06

Maybe the kids should be on a lead. at least twice in the last year I've had kids just run up and grab my dogs tail. and she's a pretty big German Shepard.

Luckily she only sees them as playing and licks back (unless food in involved). But surely the parent out with the child should be in control of it.

Chattymummyhere Thu 31-Oct-13 12:46:42

I have two dogs...

One goes off lead one does not unless in the only dog off lead area because she runs and runs but even in the dog off lead area we encounter all sorts of people terrified of dogs yet there is a sign clear as day " dogs allowed off lead unless cows in field" as its a gated field..

So even with the one place in my city that all dogs are allowed off we still have to contend with people scared of dogs and it does my head in.

One if my dogs is great and would just walk next to you and not even notice an elephant next to her the other likes freedom to much which is why she is kept on a lead unless in the off lead area..

We need more dog areas but then people also need to understand if they go into one of those areas dogs will be everywhere as it is their space..

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:47:48

would I kick a child? hmm interesting question.

I think the main difference is that a feel confident that I could pick up, move and restrain a child without further endangering myself or my DD.

With a dog I think I wouldn't feel I had that luxury....what with the teeth and claws and predatory attitude...

I am not saying that humans are not also predators...but young children aren't.

Yes - I think it all comes down to physical superiority. If an adult shoved my DD to the floor I would attempt to inflict pain on them as I would have no hope of restraining them. If it is a child, my superiority of strength would allow me a non violent route out.

An unknown dog falls into the questionable category regarding my ability to restrain without injury...

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:50:18

keeping dogs as pets is so very last millennium.....we really should have grown out of that kind of behaviour.

My guess is it won't last another 100 years.

trixymalixy Thu 31-Oct-13 12:52:27

<<snort>> LST, you think that was a stupid thing to say, really? Yet you say you could say that having children is not important or necessary. Words fail me.Your comment must be the most ridiculous thing I have read on MN. Hmm, let me think what would happen if people stopped having children.......

Chattymummyhere Thu 31-Oct-13 12:52:47

Oh and if someone kicked my friendly dog for daring to just be walking past their child I could garentee I would call the police for animal abuse and be passing on vets bills and the cost of behaviour training to then stop my dog being afraid of people..

Though if you kicked my dog you would proberly break your foot anyway as my vet always says my German shepherds are pure muscle not an inch of fat..

Unless a dog is attacking there is no need to attack a dog...

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:53:48

There is definitely something wrong with anyone who thinks dogs are as important to human society as children.

Yes they might be more important to you personally...but they will never be more important to society as a whole.

territt Thu 31-Oct-13 12:53:57


2. If a dog runs up to my DD (2yo) and pushes her over am I allowed to kick the dog into touch? (I will of course announce loudly that I am just being friendly really). - If your child runs up to my dog and pulls her tail are you ok with me kick your daughter into touch?

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:55:42

hmm maybe I misread LST's comments...were you saying that if people really loved children then they wouldn't keep them as pets?

I kinda think most people don't in fact keep children as pets?


LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 12:55:48

Well if people didn't keep dogs as pets they would be either running wild, untrained, and killing indiscriminately or they'd be extinct.

I'll keep rescuing and training thanks smile

trixymalixy Thu 31-Oct-13 12:56:03

An off lead dog that approaches other dogs or people without invitation is NOT under control, and I don't care if it comes back to you when called or not, it shouldn't be approaching in the first place.

Well said Rino.

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:56:14

territt pretty we have a deal?

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:57:22

extinct wouldn't be awful....running around untrained is the reality round my area anyway so no big difference in that case.....oh except I could get the pest control in...

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 12:57:38

I have children trixy. But it is selfish that some people have them. You have taken what I said completely the wrong way. never mind.

Retropear Thu 31-Oct-13 12:59:29

Chatty I kicked a dog jumping up and terrorising my children.Owner said it was just a puppy.

Ranger said we should call the police as he is sick of dogs(and their owners)but it is a nightmare to prosecute(so would love to see how you'd prosecute kicking a dog).grin

I can't even sue the owners of the "friendly" dog that bit my son for therapy in order to get over his now phobia.

So good luck!grin

Chattymummyhere Thu 31-Oct-13 13:01:06

It's normally smaller dogs which are untrained from what I've seen.

The owners very much believe their dog is playing and well because a small dog bite does not leave someone limbless it appears to be ok in their eyes..

There is a little chi that attacks anything and shits all over my front garden the owner says his playing... Till we asked him if my big dog could come and chew at his ankles and would it still be classed as playing or attacking... Not seen said dog walker and dog for a few months now.

LtAllHallowsEve Thu 31-Oct-13 13:02:24

OK Icebeing, you are just trying to goad people into attacking now, good job, I'll leave you to it as MNHQ asks us to. Cheers.

Chattymummyhere Thu 31-Oct-13 13:04:10


It's because it would come under the animal cruelty act and people have been charged and gone to court for much less than physically harming a pet, you can get charged fined and a jail sentence purely for not seeking vet attention. People get arrested for shooting cats with BB guns and poisoning water bowls with anti freeze.. We had our next door charged with animal cruelty for trying to harm our dogs.

gingee Thu 31-Oct-13 13:04:29

I have a question for people: i always keep my dog on a lead unless I am literally on the middle of no where in a large field and I see no other dogs or people of anything, this is because I have deep set anxiety that he will run over to hrm ( he would I'm positive) and there might be something they do that he doesn't like and growl or worse snap or generally just annoy or scare them. He is quite big and a lovely old boy but a breed that has a reputation to lash put if scared (our vet told me this but our dog likes the vet). When I go out with friends and their dogs they say I'm cruel for keeping him on his lead and just call him off of he gets away etc and if I'm worried to just say 'oh don't stroke him' to people. But they let their dogs run up to anyone/other dogs and never are aggressive but they jump up etc and my friend says that's normal etc. I'm just way too anxious to let mine off I feel like the one time I do he'll leap at a child or try and get another dogs toy or something. So am a being really awful and should I chill out and trust him/other people??

gingee Thu 31-Oct-13 13:06:28

God so many typos. New phone. Hope you can decipher.

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:07:01

Gingee since only you really know your dog and since you are the one legally responsible should anything happen, you should go with your instinct and ignore everyone else.

Retropear Thu 31-Oct-13 13:07:59

So no cruelty to children act re dogs then.hmm

Well I'll carry on kicking away when dogs jump over my kids causing them to wet themselves in fear thanks.Good luck to anybody who tries to prosecute.

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:08:10

Oh and it's not normal for dogs to run up to and jump up at other people and dogs. It's lazy dog ownership

pixiegumboot Thu 31-Oct-13 13:08:14

Tenthmuse, late reply sorry but catching up on thread. My parents ageing bichon bit my neice and had to be put down. So yes. A muzzle!

Chattymummyhere Thu 31-Oct-13 13:08:21

If you don't believe that it is safe to let your dog off then don't!

Yes dogs need a good run how much depends in breed but you can get extremely long training leads so if in an empty area he could have a run, also see if there are any local farms with unused fenced fields that you could use to build up training off lead or purely for the dogs big runs, also keep going to training classes no dog is too old and that is a very highly supervised area for him/her to meet other dogs and people

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:12:55

Sorry chattymummy but the law clearly states:

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control:

in a public place
in a private place where the dog isn’t allowed to be (eg a neighbour’s house or garden without permission)
The law applies to all dogs

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

injures someone
makes someone worried that it might injure them

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:14:33

And 'injure' doesn't have to be a bite. A small child can be injured just by being knocked to the ground by an overexcited dog.

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 13:15:58

It can worry someone on the lead though.. hmm confused

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:16:49

But it wouldn't be 'out of control' unless the owner was unable to hold onto it.

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 13:17:42

I will not ever class my dog as out of control just because he doesn't have a lead on

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:17:47

Oops posted too soon, so someone worried by a song on a lead would be seen to have an unreasonable worry as long as the owner wasn't being dragged along behind the dog

Chattymummyhere Thu 31-Oct-13 13:18:36

Yes that is true Rino

However a dog walking perfectly next to its owner that has not even noticed other people could in no way be counted as dangerous or out of control.

My point was is someone kicked my dog purely because it was a dog near their child while walking with me and my children I would call the police..

If someone considers a well behaved dog out of control in the situation I described then I really would worry for said persons mental state. Also the effect that would have on their child growing up.

Well trained dogs do not deserve to be attacked or victimised based on untrained dogs..

I said if a dog attacks you then sure make sure it cannot again, no ones dog should attack anyone (unless specially trained to do so with the appropriate licence and training and used in the correct way)

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:18:38

LST neither does the law, only if it injures or potentially injures

Chattymummyhere Thu 31-Oct-13 13:20:35

Also some dogs are more likely to attack while on lead than they would when off lead if the dog has been attacked while on lead itself by another dog causing the dog to suffer from being anxious

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:20:59

chattymummy in that situation, if your dog was ignoring the person, then yes, whoever lashes out at your dog is being unreasonable, as your dog would not be displaying any behaviour that could in any way be interpreted as threatening.

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:22:41

Not disputing your last point either, but if its on a lead you can pull the dog away. And if your dog (like mine) is likely to try and go for another dog then it should be muzzled, lead or no lead.

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:24:27

If an off lead dog approached an on lead dog uninvited an suffered injury, it would be the off lead dogs owner at fault in my opinion as it would be there dog who was not within their control.

NotYoMomma Thu 31-Oct-13 13:29:38

I think probably HALF - yes half - the dog owners in my area shouldnt have dogs.

we live in small council and ex council houses. some people have 4 dogs in a 2 bed house and they are noisy and dont get walked often

next door have an alsatian - never gets walked, cant even go on the back garden often - is very quiet and well behaved though.

some seem to be struggling to clothe and feed their kids (judging by the state of them) but have 2 dogs.

people work or have very little time (we live right next to a motorway and very urban) - I think some of owners get dogs for themselves of their DC, rather than because they want to love and nurture a dog.

(this isnt generalising all owners, just some in my immediate vacinity)

intitgrand Thu 31-Oct-13 13:29:57

or potentially injures
what does potentially injure mean? Behave in a threatening way I guess?? so if your doctor ran after your DC barking then it could be illegal

intitgrand Thu 31-Oct-13 13:30:35

dog, dog.Where did doctor come from? smile

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:33:33

intitgrand if a dog in the park ran after my son barking I would certainly see that as threatening behaviour. Wouldn't you?

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:34:07

And lol at my GP running after my son barking grin

Labradorwhisperer Thu 31-Oct-13 13:35:04

I read this post and replies when it first appeared this morning. Some hours on and it has become pretty horrible.

I was going to reply with the view that everybody has a responsibility to each other to make sure people feel safe, and supported, on both sides of this issue.

However, I have come to realise that there is no actual point. Nobody will reflect on a different opinion here anyway.

territt Thu 31-Oct-13 13:41:08

I think the problem is that some people really shouldn't own dogs.. they should have to take a test and get a licence.

But then I think the same about having kids :-)

Ministrone Thu 31-Oct-13 13:41:30

I own a small dog who is very friendly and adores small children, however I never let my dog jump up at strangers, often mothers of toddlers will ask if its ok for them to stroke my dog and because I know its safe I say yes

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 13:49:13

I agree on both points there territ.

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 13:51:24

I agree some sort of test or short course for dog owners, resulting in them receiving a license for dog ownership (or something) would be a very good idea!!

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 14:17:57

territt well I would certainly agree with that on both counts also.

I would have no problem with you kicking my child if she pulled your dogs tail because there is absolutely no chance she would do that / that I would allow her to do that.

Similarly I would expect most responsible dog owners would have no problem with the idea that I would kick their dog if it got in my DD's face or shoved her over because similarly they would be absolutely certain that this wouldn't happen / that they wouldn't allow that to happen.

It is the dog owners that say 'oh no you shouldn't kick a dog' but fail to see that their dog should never be in that position in the first place that worry me.

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 14:18:32

A dog should never run barking after children. And children should be taught to treat dogs well as well. I have at times after tying my elderly labrador outside a shop, had to rescue her from children climbing over her and treating her like a toy.

We should all have respect for other people and animals we share public space with.

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 14:20:38

And unrespectful dog owners with scary dogs, also tend to have dogs that attack and frighten our dogs. I have had to physically shove other dogs away, while a clueless owner insists there aggressive dog is just playing.

DixonBainbridge Thu 31-Oct-13 14:22:11

For all those saying I'm in cloud cuckoo land about kids coming up & stroking my dog - biscuit

When we used to pick our kids up from school we ended up getting a muzzle for him - just so he wouldn't be tempted as all these half-witted parents insisted that their little "darlin's" wouldn't hurt him when running up & putting their hands in his face.

At least when we're out walking now he can get away & between us we've managed to clothesline at least 1 sprog when he's on his (fantastically long) lead...

I'll make sure my dog behaves, you do the same with your sprogs - not sure why so many found that offensive??

DixonBainbridge Thu 31-Oct-13 14:24:18

FWIW - I get annoyed with other peoples dogs that run & jump up and I'm quite happy to cuff them away.

Not quite as extreme as a (non-dog owning) friend who, after someone's dog had left muddy footprints over his trousers, went up & wiped mud all over the owners jacket!!

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 14:26:51

Momma - I agree people should not have dogs if they can't look after them properly. I do know people in poor areas e.g. single mums, who are poor but still have a big dog as it is the only way they can make sure they are not burgled fairly often.

Single mums and women living alone in poor rough areas are often targeted. If a dog is the way they can defend themselves and their kids, in spite of being poor, I think that is fine. Although the dog should still be well looked after.

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 14:59:26

Why don't you tell that to all the countless tens of thousands of people who have a guide dog or other assistance dog in their household?

livingzuid Thu 31-Oct-13 15:02:37

In response to Ice's statement on dogs in society that is.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 15:22:20

IceBeing Thu 31-Oct-13 12:34:34

I have two questions

1. If people really loved dogs, why would they keep them as pets
2. If a dog runs up to my DD (2yo) and pushes her over am I allowed to kick the dog into touch? (I will of course announce loudly that I am just being friendly really

1. Because dogs are domesticated animals who enjoy being around their owners, and the owners get to enjoy their company and endless devotion. That's something you just don't get from a potted plant.

2. If my dog were to knock your child over, I would be encouraing you to kick him. For several reasons:

a) what a brilliant piece of negative re-inforcement. Kick him hard and he'll probably not repeat the manoeuvre. Yea, ok, he doesn't "deserve" it because it would be my fault, but life's not fair and I'll take a useful training experience where I can!

b) I would deserve any ensuing vet's fees and guilt for him being out of control

c) it's a hypothetical situation which I am confident wouldn't arise as my dog is not allowed to approach people wink

AutumnFire Thu 31-Oct-13 15:24:33

How can a dog on a muzzle bring a ball back?

Velcro on ball.

Velcro on muzzle.

Job sorted! grin

Grennie Thu 31-Oct-13 15:31:34

The majority of dogs can not survive without humans. They are domesticated animals.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 15:34:18

BTW, for the intermitent comments about long leads and extendable leads. Heaven help us all if folk start using them all the time.

If you've never been tangled or tripped up by one, you've probably not spent a lot of time around folk using them. Idiots use them as an excuse not to train, in my experience. They let the lead out and allow the dog to run free range, wreaking havoc in its wake and tripping folk up right, left and centre, safe in the knowledge that their precious little mutt can't escape from the area. Long leads are rarely a substitute for training, or sensible exercising. Plus extendable leads give a real jerk when you get to the end of the rope, which with a bigger dog particularly, is far more likely to be ripped out of your hand than a short leash.

Don't get me wrong, not everyone who uses them is so idiotic, and they do have a place - particularly long lines when training puppies (where the owner is in a sensible place before letting them out and pays attention to the situation!). But they are not the answer to this issue.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 31-Oct-13 15:44:42

I bloody detest those long leads. See so many of them. The dog is ten feet away from the owner as they walk up a path beside a road. What's to stop the dog from running into the road? Absolutely nothing. hmm

DiseasesOfTheSheep Thu 31-Oct-13 15:50:04

Glad it's not just me! grin

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 15:52:37

Haha Autumn. . that did make me actually lol grin

LST Thu 31-Oct-13 15:54:58

Extendable leads are worse for the dog as a whole. It just teaches a dog that they can up and away on a lead.. so when they do ever need to go on a short leash your shoulder gets dislocated!

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 15:58:12

Where is the op?

And why hasn't her explained how are parents supposed to discourage children from screaming when they are scared?

It's not so much a children vs dogs problem, but the OP's expectations.

halfwildlingwoman Thu 31-Oct-13 16:24:03

My DC are both scared of dogs. DS has what I consider a healthy respect for dogs. He never approaches them, even when on leads and only gently and calmly strokes dogs when he knows them. If he sees one even slightly approach him he will hide behind me. DD is petrified, due to a black lab slobbering all over her when she was 2. It must have been the equivalent of a lion licking me. Every time I think I have broken her fear, when I have calmed her around sensible dogs, shown her that dogs can be kind and talked her through it another stupid owner allows their dog to bound up to her and scare her again. Someone on the cliffs this summer allowed their dog to race right at her. I had to whisk her up in the air, she was shaking and crying, obviously traumatised and they didn't even apologise.

Beccadugs Thu 31-Oct-13 16:54:52

Perhaps my expectations are wrong Lweji. I expect a parent to be near their frightened child if they take it to a dog walking area, not a park. An abandoned airfield.

I had disappeared as the thread has turned into a how/how not to train/live with your dog. I don't feel I had anything to add.

Rinoachicken Thu 31-Oct-13 17:32:46

Surely everywhere is a potential dog walking area?

GreenVelvet Thu 31-Oct-13 17:51:16

I had a massive dog go tearing towards my (then) toddler in a park. He leapt over playground wall to try to get him (completely unprovoked). It was very scary indeed. I have had another dog (semi-feral) nearly attack him, again off -lead and very scary for me too.

None of the owners bothered to apologise whatsoever. One of them was an "animal lover" and had "saved" the feral dog. So, no surprise if young children are scared of strange dogs. Its actually a positive thing in many ways, so you are being unreasonable, and you should just ignore and steer your dog away and carry on.

TheGhostofAmandaClarke Thu 31-Oct-13 19:43:13

Why is it a problem for you that the girl screamed? What did I miss?

I assume you havee limited/ no appreciation of the nature/ manifestations of a phobia.
I know most spiders aren't going to harm me but if there was one near me now I 'd be shrieking my lungs out <looks around furtively>

CloverkissSparklecheeks Thu 31-Oct-13 20:59:44

I think it is ridiculous to expect owners to keep their dogs on leads at all times if in dog walking areas. I do not really like people who let big dogs off leads in play parks at busy times as many children are scared of them.

Unfortunately my DS (5) is terrified of all dogs, even tiny ones and he will naturally scream and has ran into the road twice when dogs on leads walked past him (they didn't even as much sniff at him). I have no idea why he is so scared. I have talked to him about it but cannot convince him not to be scared so I have no way to stop the screaming.

Caitlin17 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:33:03

A dog legally, certainly in Scotland, is not "not under control" just because it it's off a lead

Or, to avoid double negatives, a dog can still be under control when not on a lead.

NotYoMomma Thu 31-Oct-13 21:36:29

clover, just support him and he may need help if his phobia is that bad. I ended up at the doctors and referred for therapy.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Thu 31-Oct-13 21:59:16

NotYoMomma - I have been hoping he will grow out of it but it just seems to get worse. I will definitely consider help, it is not just dogs but cats as well.

Jolleigh Thu 31-Oct-13 22:13:44

Sorry, I've only read a few posts right at the beginning of this thread.

I am a huge dog lover and volunteer at a shelter.

Unless a dog is on private and enclosed property, it should always be on the lead. Regardless of the dog's breed, temperament, training or size.

Not everybody is a dog lover. And few people are as fast as their dogs. Should a dog run off, an owner is unlikely to catch up. The dog could unexpectedly attack someone or something. Or run into the road. Cause an accident. It's enormously irresponsible for anyone to assume that their dog's training is 100% infallible. The fact is, many owners realise this far too late.

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 22:22:32

I assume an abandoned airfield is also a good bike riding area. Were there lots of dogs around?
Were there other children around?

God knows why children get frightened at times. It may not be predictable and if there are no other safer riding areas, why shouldn't a child be able to ride around an airfield without having their parents following them in case a dog is nearby?
If there were those many dogs around, why didn't the child scream at the sight of them? Or was it only your dog? Or was your dog in a separate area from most other dogs?

It just seems odd that if it's a "dog walking area" that the child didn't scream at the other dogs. And I'm sure it's not a designated dog walking area. The parents may ask themselves what were the dogs doing there as it's a usual bike riding area.

OrmirianResurgam Thu 31-Oct-13 22:35:49

In that situation dog and I would both just think WTF?, roll our eyes, and ignore child. No big deal.

Lweji Thu 31-Oct-13 22:39:17

I think that's more or less my point.
I wouldn't say that the dog should not be there.
I am just a bit puzzled that the OP felt the need to post here and sort of blame the parents.
Children sometimes just happen to be frightened of dogs. Nothing much the parents can do and anywhere you take a child they are likely to meet dogs.

In the same way that DS loves our cat, he still screams if the cat jumps at him and there's not a lot I can do and DS wouldn't go without the cat either.

We just put up with each other. DS with the cat jumping at him (and me), the cat and me with his screams.

DanglingChillis Thu 31-Oct-13 22:44:13

The trouble is that there a few terrible dog owners that make it difficult for everyone. DD2 is terrified of dogs. We are lucky that my cousin has a well trained dog that is very patient and good with children and DD2 was getting a lot calmer around dogs. Then we were at the park over the summer and some fucking idiots let their three dogs run through the playpark and chase DD2. I was so angry with them, not least because they refused to put their dogs on the lead even when I asked them and told me 'if the dogs had bit her they would put them on a lead'. Funnily enough DD2 has started screaming around dogs again. Obviously we try and do as much as possible to stop it (not least because she is so young she would run into the road to get away from a dog if I didn't keep hold of her) but one bad experience takes months to get over.

fifi669 Thu 31-Oct-13 23:18:02

I'm 30 and still scared of dogs! If I don't know the owner and one comes towards me I hide behind DP and get him to shoo them away.... I may also go high pitched

Boardingblues Fri 01-Nov-13 00:18:05

I am more bothered by the parents who let their DC wonder up to and pet any dog. We have a big dog who is very soppy. We know that but the parents who tell their DC to pat the dog without asking us if that is ok don't.

I always stop the child, tell them that they must ask the owner first. I do this nicely and I show them how to approach a dog that they have never met before.

I have a DF who is blind and she had a fright with a child who screamed at her dog.

So you are not entirely unreasonable, but the children do come before the dogs.

TheGhostofAmandaClarke Fri 01-Nov-13 05:55:51

Quite Lweji

Seems like an excuse to start a bit of parent bashing/ dog owner bashing.
And plenty of people happy to comply. smile

Lweji Fri 01-Nov-13 06:51:53

For those who say we, as different species, coexist and must share our space, etc

From a biological point of view, dogs are wolves, hence predators. The natural reaction to a predator by their prey (guess who) is of fight, fright or flight. We have domesticated dogs by assuming an unnatural role of leaders of their pack. That's fine and that's why dog owners feel in control and mostly trust their dogs.

We, however, tend not to be comfortable sharing our space with predators, and non-dog owners are less comfortable.
We don't like sharing space with mice and rats, although some people have them and love them.

Children in particularly see a predator. Dogs look much bigger to them.
My son, for example, was scared of anything running towards him. It included cars, waves, even other children and dogs. He wanted a cat because "they ran from him" (ironic...)

Dogs, throughout history have mostly been work animals. Guard dogs, sheep dogs, hunting dogs, transport dogs. Ok for their pack leader, but not necessarily for everyone else. As cute and harmless as they mostly are, there is an increasing "intrusion" of dogs in our normal lives, with increasing numbers of dogs as pets. It's not surprising that coexisting is not easy.

My point is that although for some people their dogs are almost family and they trust them, it's still a predator that makes some people uncomfortable and having that in mind might make things easier on all parts.

Grennie Fri 01-Nov-13 07:03:37

It is a myth to compare dog behaviour to wolf behaviour. Read some research into dogs. This myth has been thoroughly debunked.

Lweji Fri 01-Nov-13 07:26:31

I'm not saying the beaviour is exactly the same.

Dogs have been bred for specific behaviours

They are still wolves, though. Biologically and carry a lot of similar behaviours. Some species more than others.

But my point still stands that for a child they are still seen as predators and bigger animals than for us. Our instinct is also to see them as predators too. Our brain can override it by learning, but it's not a natural conclusion that it's natural to share our space with dogs. And less so that we must. Dog owners should keep in mind that their animals are in fact intruding in the normal daily lives of other humans.

They are not exactly a natural part of our environment. We must learn how to deal with them if we want to interact with dogs. Sometimes people don't want to. Or some people don't want to. Dog owners should respect it and have it in mind.
(and yes, parents of children who approach dogs should also have in mind that dogs are not stuffed toys)

notanyanymore Fri 01-Nov-13 07:38:15

I think dog owners and parents both have a responsibility to be honest. We have a lovely green outside the front of our house, DC can't play out there as there is a large rottweiler and some sort of bull dog that both get out frequently. Whilst I accept they might be perfectly pleasant dogs, at the end of the day they're still dogs and big enough to kill or very seriously injure the DC, so I don't run the risk.
Where my parents dog is concerned, I teach the children how to behave appropriately towards him as a) its his house and b) i think they have better reasoning abilities and are more likely to understand the message than a dog. even at a very young age.
FWIW he's a very sweet animal and very protective of the children. he has bitten someone once, the postman who came to the house when the door was open, the baby was in the buggy ready to go out and the dog was stood between the too. he is a bit of a worrier about babies. But however sweet he is I still don't ever leave him in a room with them on his own, because at the end of the day, he's a dog! if he bit one of the children it would be my fault, not his and its not fair to put him in that position (or my parents.)

GinnelsandWhippets Fri 01-Nov-13 08:00:58

Oh and it's not normal for dogs to run up to and jump up at other people and dogs. It's lazy dog ownership

Well, actually it's pretty normal. Lazy dog ownership is very common. That's why so many people dislike dogs. I appreciate that most of the dog owners on here are responsible, but out on the streets of south London where I live - not so much. Dog shit everywhere, 'status' dogs walked by kids who aren't strong enough to contorl them, loads of 'oh he's bombproof, please encourage your toddler to maul him' dog 'lovers'. Sorry but irresponsible dog owners are everywhere.

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 01-Nov-13 08:06:52

'dogs are still wolves'
No they're not.
And it's not 'our environment' either. We share the world with animals.

TheGhostofAmandaClarke Fri 01-Nov-13 08:12:12

notanymore that's a good post. And any sensible person would agree (IMHO) that your approach is very reasonable.
But the words you use are interesting to me. you say you wouldn't leave the dog with your DCs unsupervised because you wouldn't want to put the dog in "that position". Personally, I wouldn't leave my DCs with a dog because I don't want them to be injured/ disfigured/ killed by the dog. It's the DCs that I don't want put in "that position".
Sorry to sound like I'm missing the point and I can see that it seems fussy, but your post isn't the first time i've seen that attitude and it reminded me that IMHO there is an excess of sentiment and anthropomorphism around dogs.

Ok, I am a dog lover, have lived with them all my life and would really like one. Unfortunately my two are terrified of them. It started with DS when my parents' dog barked loudly at him once for no apparent reason (dog is same age as DS so was a baby himself at the time - he is the softest, most harmless idiot of a dog ever). From that point on DS was terrified, and when DD arrived 9 months later it filtered down to her.

I have always reassured them about dogs, taught them that barking is their 'talking' etc and slowly DS (almost 4 now) is coming round to the idea (saying he'd like us to get a little one, stroking small ones (with owner's consent!) etc). DD, however, is still entrenched, and will scream whenever she sees one. I do the same reassurance with her and hopefully she will come round, but what does the OP expect me to do in the interim?

Telling her off would demonise the dogs even more as she would associate them with being in trouble, so all I can do is gently encourage her the way I have with DS. As a dog lover I do understand it is frustrating, but really of you cannot trust your dog not to attack a frightened child then that dog should not be off the lead. If you can trust the dog then let the parents get on with parenting their child in the way they best see fit.

Grennie Fri 01-Nov-13 08:55:03

The Smithsonian has a great article explaining about the latest research into dogs. One of the things it says is:

"One of the big schools of thought is you have to really be an alpha dog. You have to make sure the dog doesn’t think he can boss you around. That premise is probably based on some faulty rationale, that dogs evolved from wolves, and wolves have a very strict hierarchy. That’s a reasonable hypothesis, except that there’s one major problem: dogs are not wolves. Looking at feral dogs, what people have found is that they don’t have a strict hierarchy. It’s not that you follow the dominant individual. With feral dogs, the leader is the individual that has the most friendships in the group. It’s not about dominance."

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 01-Nov-13 08:58:01

It doesn't matter how small dog is, a phobia is a phobia. I missed the part where the childs parent encouraged her child to scream, OP, by running up and saying "looks, its a dog, scream louder", what was the title of this thread all about?

My ex's dog was the most sweet natured dog ever, and one day when we were walking him in woodland a little girl freaked out walking past, she didn't know he was very old, had arthritis and not capable/willing to chase her, she just saw her phobia.

I had a dog phobia growing up, I was especially scared of small yappy dogs as they were more agressive but the owners always seemed incapable of believing their dog would harm anyone. I still jump out of my skin whenever a dog barks at me, I'm embarassed to say.

I have no clue how to behave around dogs. I suffered from a dog phobia until my late thirties when I finally did something about it. The fear is gone, but that doesn't mean it has been replaced by any dog knowledge, lore or understanding. I don't know what type of dogs it might actually be sensible to be afraid of, I don't know how to talk to dogs or pet them, I haven't a clue. It's VERY HARD to model calm, normal behaviour around dogs for my dd. Threads like this do not make me feel relaxed.

LST Fri 01-Nov-13 09:06:28

This thread is getting ridiculous.

Anyway I'm off out now with my unleashed dog... I will try my hardest not to let the wolve maim to many people.. hmm

DiseasesOfTheSheep Fri 01-Nov-13 09:27:16

Technically dogs are a subspecies of wolves... So they really are just domesticated, selectively bred wolves.

But they do not have the same behavioural patterns, and most domesticated dogs would lack the survival instinct of wolves.

I've always fancied a wolf hybrid. I can understand why people might scream at that sight though ;)

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 01-Nov-13 09:49:18

Dogs are evolved from wolves. They are not wolves any more than we are still homo erectus.

VoiceofRaisin Fri 01-Nov-13 09:49:47

I am always torn on dog threads.

1/3 of households have a dog as a pet, so dogs are part of life and unlikely to go away. The dogs give an immense amount of pleasure and companionship to that third of the population. The vast majority of those dogs are no threat to anyone. Exercise is a necessary part of their well being and not really possible on a lead. On this basis, I agree with the OP that parents should help educate their DC how to behave appropriately round dogs (in the same way they teach them how not to flap their hands at wasps, and how not to run in front of a car and how they shouldn't make sudden loud noises near horses).

OTOH clearly dog mess is disgusting and many people (adults and children) are indeed terrified of dogs and (very occasionally) people can be bitten or worse. Given that people are more important than dogs, perhaps the answer is that dogs should be muzzled when off lead in public spaces. I can't see that this would do much harm to the dogs and might just reconcile the two camps. Obv dog owners should also ALWAYS clear up after their dogs as a matter of course. Most do.

So, to those of you who are scared of dogs, would a muzzle reassure you? To dog owners, could you live with that as a compromise so that you get no more anti dog rants in RL or on MN?

PS personally, I am a dog lover but not an owner. Not sure if relevant.