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to want to shout at some dog owners?

(77 Posts)
ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 19:50:43

Disclaimer: I would never shout and I know that most dog owners are responsible, lovely reasonable people, this is not meant to tar them all with the same AIBU brush, honest guv'

My local park is meant to be a 'dogs on a lead only' park, there are meadows directly next to the park where most take their dogs for a run, but everytime we go there are always some dogs off their leads. A few months ago, my 2 year old was knocked over by a dog, it ran over to us and before I could pick her up it had jumped up at her. I think it was only jumping up, it wasn't aggressive or attacking, but she is little and it just bowled her over. She is now terrified of absolutely all dogs.

So, since then whenever we are at the park or on the beach or wherever, if a dog comes in our direction she looks panicked and I try to pick her up before the dog gets too close. I immediately have to start reassuring her that its ok.

Every time (with very few exceptions) the owners look offended, offended I've picked her up away from the dog and offended that I'm reassuring her.
They tend to then say, 'oh, its ok, he's very good with children' in either a defensive or cross tone, though today I got 'you don't need to pick her up and fuss you know, he's very good with kids' followed by lots of tutting.

I just want to scream back 'well she doesn't bloody know that does she?!'
Because if they were all good with kids then she wouldn't have been knocked over in the first place!!
How the hell should I know which dogs are good with kids, especially as they are bounding towards you and you have a screaming toddler at your heels.

LilyCocoplatt Thu 04-Oct-12 20:12:49

YANBU, your poor DD no wonder she is scared of dogs now. They should be on leads while in the park if their owners can't train them to come back when called.

iloveeverton Thu 04-Oct-12 20:18:58

YANBU I have a big dog and anywhere like a park or near children he's on a lead- I'd hate him to knock someone over.

DawnOfTheDee Thu 04-Oct-12 20:22:40

YANBU at all (and well done with the disclaimer re responsible dog owners).

However, I have heard that picking up a child whenever a dog comes near actually reinforces that there is something to be afraid of.

I've not got much any experience of this sort of thing myself but do you know anyone with a nice friendly dog that you could introduce her to in a safe environment?

Sorry to hear she had a bad experience.

getoffthecoffeetable Thu 04-Oct-12 20:23:21

YANBU. I have a dog and always put him on a lead when near kids. I also pick up my DS whenever another dog comes near him as I don't know whether that dog's friendly or not. This is disgraceful behaviour from a dog owner to have your DD knocked over.
I feel sorry for your DD as she will now be (understandably) be frightened of all dogs.

WelshMaenad Thu 04-Oct-12 20:24:36

YANBU to be cross at dogs off leads where they shouldn't be. However YABU to pick her up when a dog approaches asvyoyrevrwinforcibg the idea that there's something to be afraid of. Better to crouch down to her level to reassure her, but remain calm and speak soothingly to her to reassure her.

bumperella Thu 04-Oct-12 20:28:43

I think I agree with WelshMaenad, but am not surpirsed you're cross as random strangers telling you how to look after your kids is annoying (am talking about the dog-owners here, not myself....!)

monkeysbignuts Thu 04-Oct-12 20:38:04

yanbu, my neighbour has a really big dog ( wy marana) & its always charging at my kids who are only 3 & 5!
My daughter is now terrified of all dogs even if they are on leads! She is only 3 & I keep trying to say things like "aww look at the little dog" but she literally runs and hides behind my legs when ever she sees a dog.

Leena49 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:44:07

I'm a dog owner but I am always conscious of our little dog jumping up. But...I think your child's fear is coming from you. Don't turn it into a battle as a fear of dogs will arise.

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 20:49:45

TBH I would prefer not to have to pick her up, but she just gets so, so scared that she is screaming and trembling and going down to her level doesn't seem to calm her at all.

I just don't understand why the dog owners who do the whole 'oh, don't worry, he's fine with kids' thing look so offended and cross, its like they take it as a personal insult that I don't trust their dog. I know they trust their dog, but I don't know their dog so there is no reason why I should trust it, is there?

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 20:53:59

Leena I don't understand, what is the battle?

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 20:55:19

Though, to be fair, I usually pick her up now before we get to the screaming stage, just because its so distressing for all concerned.

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 21:00:43

Though, to be fair, I usually pick her up now before we get to the screaming stage, just because its so distressing for all concerned.

wordfactory Thu 04-Oct-12 21:01:42

OP you really need to work with her to overcome this fear.
She is always going to come across dogs. The majority will be lovely smelly daft creatures who mena her no harm. She needs to know that.

Sure, owners should keep their dogs under control, but you can't control that.

Imagine if your DD were frightened of cars because someone mounted the pavement and scared her. You woudn't pick her up every time a car went past. You'd teach her raod safety no?

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 21:07:11

Word Couldn't agree more. When we see a dog that is a little way away, I'll point it out and say things like 'look, that doggie is playing with a ball, doesn't that look like fun' or if we see a puppy 'look, there is a puppy dog, isn't it cute' etc

I'm hoping in time she'll become easier with them at a bit of a distance and then maybe we can be a bit more relaxed when one heads in our direction in the park.

It isn't like I just hate dogs now and am going to keep her away from all dogs for the rest of her life!

But, what I'm bloody annoyed at, is the reaction we get from some owners. As if I'm being rude to them by not trusting their precious fido, when I don't know what it will/might do.

YouMayLogOut Thu 04-Oct-12 21:18:03

YANBU. They never apologise, do they? It's always "oh he's just being friendly" as if you just can't wait to make friends with their beloved pooch who thinks it's a game to knock children over angry

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 21:21:30

YouMay I know, their responses are totally dismissive of a little girls feelings, when its clear that she is terrified.

Goldenbear Thu 04-Oct-12 21:24:39

YANBU, something similar happened to my DS when he was about 2.5 in a country park. A Labrador came bounding over to him and knocked him over on his back and started licking his face, ever since that day he has been terrified. He is 5 now and we recently went to this country park to feed the ducks. Anyway, we were feeding the ducks in quite a secluded spot behind bushes and a couple of terrier dogs came through the bushes, started jumping up at us, DS got worried, we told him not to be but he simply does not like their teeth, the owner came after them through the bushes shortly after and said to DS that they wouldn't hurt him. I said yes we tell him this but he still gets scared of them bouncing up at him. She was really offended and asked why he was like that. I proceeded to tell her the story but she didn't really want to know she just wanted to make out there was something wrong with him. dS continued to be scared and we were reassuring him and then suddenly the woman slapped her hands together in his face and said, 'stop it, you're being really silly, you need to be a big boy not a baby.'. I was aghast and told her not to speak to my son like that. She then walked off but called out to us that the things (ducks) we were feeding would go us more harm- I mean wtf, they were ducks not geese. As my DP said she was the kind of woman that looked like she was going to go home, throttle a goose and have it for dinner that night! It really annoyed me as we were out as a family, deliberately picked a secluded spot to spend time together and TBF didn't want to interact with this imposing person. Of course we expected dogs of their lead at a country park but she was so intrusive and aggressive. I don't want to know about people's dogs, I like them but I don't want one and certainly don't want one on me as then I have even more washing to do!

glenthebattleostrich Thu 04-Oct-12 21:26:36

If I hear one more time, oh fluffy is just being friendly or you shouldn't raise a child to be scared of dogs I will kick the owner in the fanjo or balls (whichever is appropriate!)

I know your dog is being friendly, I am working with my DD to try to get over her fear of dogs but she is 2 FFS, she is not used to dogs and you know what, she's fine with the ones she does know.

I do wish some dog owners would realise that something bigger than them running towards them making a loud scarey noise is not actually that nice or cute. I don't let my toddler run up to them, dribble on them, knock them flying or piss on their shoe (yes that has actually happened) so why is it ok for your dog to do that to my child in the street.

Rant over, and yes I am a dog owner and the only reason we don't have one is that DH is massively allergic (I am considering trading him in for a cute rotty though!!)

balia Thu 04-Oct-12 21:27:37

Couldn't have more sympathy, OP. My DSS is terrified of dogs after a couple of incidents when he has been chased by them - he is 10 now and this summer was chased by a dog on a stretch of beach we had chosen specifically because they had lots of signs saying dogs had to be on a lead. And as you say, despite him being in tears (and humiliated about it, given his age) the owner insisted on wafting around, talking about how friendly the animal was etc.

It isn't 'friendly', it is out of control. If a dog won't come when it is called it should be on a fucking leash, end of. DSS's fears haven't come from us, they have come from dogs who are not under control. Keep picking your DD up if that is what she needs - who cares if you offend a few weirdos who don't get that you might not like their animal near your child.

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 21:28:12

Golden OMG your poor DS sad

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 21:32:10

Balia Thats awful sad

It must be rotten to be one of the nice dog owners, I know plenty btw, who are responsible with their dogs because as usual a few spoil the reputation of the many.

AnOldieButNotSoGoody Thu 04-Oct-12 21:33:15


It's part of owning a dog, being responsible.

I have a dog that I am certain is trustworthy but other people don't know this and if there are other people around she stays on the lead.

Hope your dd overcomes this fear.

glenthebattleostrich Thu 04-Oct-12 21:34:14

Sorry, should have said dog lover not owner! Unfortunately our pooch is no longer with us sad

ParadiseMoresThePity Thu 04-Oct-12 21:39:16

Glen I do wish some dog owners would realise that something bigger than them running towards them making a loud scarey noise is not actually that nice or cute. I don't let my toddler run up to them, dribble on them, knock them flying or piss on their shoe (yes that has actually happened) so why is it ok for your dog to do that to my child in the street

Yes, that's it exactly, its a total lack of empathy for the toddler.
DH has had a dog cock its leg over him whilst we were sat down on the beach, its owners made this face --> shock and couldn't believe their dog had done it!

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