Disclaimer: I'm not particularly a dog lover, but I have no objection to dogs that are properly trained and controlled - my sister has a lab that we see frequently and we have friends with dogs that I have no problems with at all.
Today, for the second time, I have seen our neighbour's black lab jump over the fencing in their front garden and, for want of a better expression, harass a dog walker and her small dog - barking and snapping. Dog walker was clearly frightened, but probably didn't help the situation by shouting at the dog. On both occasions my neighbour has sauntered over the road protesting that "he's only a puppy" and basically failed to capture and control the dog. The dog is about 8-9 months old I believe - I understand that, apart from the training issue, it's really bad for the dog to be on its hind legs hanging over the fence all the time at this age.
Dog walker walked off shouting that she was calling the police. From what I can see now, a stranger in the park has brought back the dog some 5 minutes later which had apparently bounded along the road to the park. Neighbour seems completely unconcerned by the whole episode.
This dog is clearly not adequately contained in the front garden by the fence and the owner is (IMO) being irresponsible in failing to train it and control it. To be honest, I am concerned about the dog getting out when I have my baby son in the pram. There are loads of dog walkers along here and the black lab has been encouraged to be "friendly" and bark at them as they pass.
I don't know whether the police have, in fact, been called or even what they would do about it but I'd quite like to offer my support to the dog walker's story if they do. Is there any way I can do this without miring myself in an argument with the neighbour? What action would be taken - would they compel the neighbour to do puppy training for example?
As a dog owner I hate idiots like this that give us all a bad name.
Look on your local Council's website and report to the dog warden/animal control officer if they have one.
If not ring 101 and report it to them, tell them what you witnessed and that the dog is not adequately contained and can get out onto the road where it could cause an accident. In the first instance probably all they'll do is go round for a chat, but it get's the wheels in motion if the problem isn't resolved.
I've reported loose dogs to our local dog warden, most recently when a pair followed me and my 2 dogs (who I was walking on their leads) down onto a busy main road. It's as much for the loose dog's safety as anyone elses.
The dog walker could have been giving a stern "Go home!" command.
Part of being a responsible owner is making sure your dog is safe and secure Why has she had a puppy if she isn't keeping it safe? We all know accidents happen, sometimes a dog bolts (or whatever) but if it's constantly out and barking at strangers alone, how does she think it will ever learn good behaviour I don't know what the course of action is though
Definitely report it to your dog warden/animal control officer. It's an accident waiting to happen and the kind of thing that gives dog owners a bad name.
You are correct, in theory, if the dog got out and caused an accident any injured party could sue. All dogs should be covered by third party liability insurance just in case the unexpected should ever happen. Most veterinary insurance has third party cover included, but not everyone has their dog insured. You can also get third party cover by taking out membership of the Dogs' Trust.
Just spoken to 101. He was very helpful and noted it all down but the dog walker was obviously either bluffing or decided not to report in the end as they hasn't had a report already. They've made a note of the details and I said I'd be happy to lend support if there is any more trouble.
Since the dog walker hasn't made a complaint they can't do much, but at least it's been noted now.