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to think that if you have a dog you should control it?

(14 Posts)
sims2fan Tue 16-Nov-10 08:53:59

I live near the sea and got up early yesterday to go for a walk on the beach. It was quite early (between 7.30 and 8am) so not many people out and about, but a few dog walkers etc. As I walked along there was a woman quite a bit in front of me with a small white dog. I watched as it raced towards this young Chinese couple, barking, and then ran around their ankles yapping at them. It wasn't a large dog by any means but was acting aggressively, and I think the girl was a bit scared as she clung to her boyfriend. He kept putting his foot out to the dog, not to kick it, but as if to say, 'if you try to bite us I will kick you.' I'm not saying that was the right thing to do, and was probably enraging the dog further, but they were obviously worried that the dog would bite them. The woman, who looked about 30, made no effort to hurry over to the dog, but casually wandered up to them. Before she got there she did call the dog but it took no notice. Don't know what was said when she got near to the couple, but then the dog ran off and the couple could walk away.

So then the dog went racing up to another dog who had, until then, been quite happily playing Fetch with its owner. Cue lots of chasing, while aggressive dog's owner lazily wandered in the opposite direction, not even looking over.

Then, the white dog spotted me! It came running towards me, full pelt, barking away. I stood still as it barked around my ankles, then the woman called it (not sternly in any way) and it ran off. A few minutes later it was back and I thought, hmmm, perhaps it's trying to be friendly, so I said in very chirpy voice, 'hello!' It jumped at my ankles, growling and barking, and I was scared it would bite me, and will admit I may have given an audible yelp! The woman called it again and it did run off, and didn't trouble me again, but am I being unreasonable to think that if you can't guarantee that your dog isn't going to run and bark and act aggressively to people and other dogs, then you should have it on a bloody lead?!

Yes it was early in the morning and not many people were about, but so what? There were some people, and why should they have to be afraid of the dogs they meet? I say this as a dog lover. If a dog walks calmly up to me then I always bend down and stroke it and make a fuss of it, and I love watching dogs play on the beach. But I don't think I should have to be worried that a dog might bite me, and even if it never would have done, I don't think it's acceptable to let your dog off its lead if it's prone to jumping at people and growling at them. If a child had been there it might not have known to stand still, and might have run (like the other dog did) and been chased. My brother was once chased by a dog who thought he was playing, and was then terrified of dogs for the rest of his childhood! I just think pet owners should consider the fact that not everyone will find their dog as cute and lovely as they clearly do!!!

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 16-Nov-10 08:58:19

Of course YANBU. My DH went for a run in the local park on Sunday. A big bugger (his words) chased him thinking he was playing. DH was shouting to the owner who was giggling. DH was very angry and ran a lot further than he thought he would. And faster. He is wary of dogs too.

Ormirian Tue 16-Nov-10 09:06:16


I am also a dog lover and am rarely afraid of dogs but last night I was mildly terrorised by a yellow lab that was (I think hmm]) with a man on a bike. I was running and it came up to me and circled me barking and growling. I stopped and put my hand down to it at which point in backed away and barked some more. Normally this is where even the more scary looking dogs go soppy and start making the 'so pleased to see you, sorry about the barking' slightly embarrassed thing. So I decided it wasn't a nice dog but probably OK so I ran on half waiting for the bite on the calf.

Owner made a half-hearted attempt to call dog back but only when he thought he was getting too far ahead. Was twat!

whatdoiknowanyway Tue 16-Nov-10 09:09:23

Wholeheartedly agree. DD had great fear of dogs throughout her childhood and many dogowners were completely unsympathetic.
One lady demanded we got off our bikes when we were cycling on common as her dog was scared of bikes. We did and her dog then ran round jumping at our DCs. We asked politely if she could move on as our DD was terrified of dogs and we were harangued about how she should not be scared of dogs and we were bad parents.
We had that a lot, dogs jumping up at DD who was clearly scared, us making polite requests to owners, explaining that our child had a fear of dogs, only for dog owners to leave their dogs jumping up at the children whilst they shouted at us for being bad parents and daring to allow our child to be scared of their wonderful pet. Always puzzled me how they could so self righteously ignore an inceasingly hysterical child's fear.
Lowest point was my own brother who, despite having been told of the fear and despite promising to keep his dog on a leash when we were out, deliberately released the large dog to chase after the children playing in the woods as 'the dog wouldn't hurt anyone, she loved children'. Aaarrgghhh. It's immaterial if the dog loves children, the child is terrified of dogs. Why is that so difficult to understand? Plus the child's fear is for us, the parents, to deal with, not for random dog owners (even brothers) to lecture us about.

Sorry, bit of a rant but we had so much anguish from badly behaved dog and their agressive owners. (I know not all dogs are badly behaved, I know all owners are not agressive but enough were for us to have to stop country walks for a time).

whatdoiknowanyway Tue 16-Nov-10 09:10:31


frostyfingers Tue 16-Nov-10 09:10:35

Of course people should control their dogs. I'm very careful with mine, who I know wouldn't hurt a fly, but people meeting them for the first time don't know that. They are black labs and quite big, and I perfectly understand that not everyone likes dogs.

We are very rural so don't often meet people, but if I do see anyone I call the dogs to heel and either wait on one side while they pass or walk quietly past them. If the people want to stop and talk that's fine, but I never assume that they want my dogs running up to them.

Irresponsible dogs owners do so much damage to the reputation of the more sensible ones - as ever!

sims2fan Tue 16-Nov-10 09:20:34

It is very annoying when you get the line 'but my dog would never hurt anyone.' Yes, an adult might be able to think, 'oh yes, I see, the dog's just being friendly' but a child won't understand and will think that barking and chasing means the dog is to be feared. My mum still likes to tell the sotry of how, when I was a toddler we all went into our local park and a dog bounded up to me, put its paws up on my shoulders and knocked me over. My dad was irate, ordering the owner to put his dog on a lead etc, to which the man replied 'He wouldn't hurt her, he loves children.' My dad responded, a little incredulously, 'Wouldn't hurt her?! He's just knocked her off her feet, he's already hurt her!' At this point my older brother (had already been chased by a dog in the past and so was terrifed of all dogs at this stage) was slightly hysterical, and so my dad pointed out 'I've already got one child who's terrified of dogs, now I probably have 2!' I don't remember any of this and actually wasn't scared of dogs as I grew up, but I'm quite proud that my dad was so outraged on my behalf, though knowing him he probably got a bit crosser with the dog owner than was strictly necessary!

RandyRussian Tue 16-Nov-10 09:23:01

Aren't dog owners legally obliged to control their dogs? If so they could be reported.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 16-Nov-10 09:29:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeForRent Tue 16-Nov-10 09:30:37

Doesn't the law say something about calling a dog back to you and if it doesn't come it should be on a lead? (or words to that effect?)

BeerTricksPotter Tue 16-Nov-10 09:39:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 16-Nov-10 09:40:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whatdoiknowanyway Tue 16-Nov-10 09:46:29

There's a difference between being 'dog hating rabble' and being exasperated with the dog owners who refuse to control their animals whilst yelling at parents for daring to 'allow' their child to be scared of dogs.
I was ambivalent towards dogs until my child was so badly treated by some dog owners.

zukiecat Tue 16-Nov-10 11:26:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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