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Dog Owner Behaviour - was I unreasonable? I honestly don't know if I was.

(89 Posts)
PMDD Fri 21-Feb-14 09:11:10

I am a first time dog owner. I don't know if I was right doing this or not and I would really appreciate your honest feedback.

I took my 3 children and 3 other children to ski club yesterday that ran from 10-4. It was a 2.5 hour drive from where I live (but very close to my mum so I was happy to drive and combine the trip for the children with a day visit with my mum).

As I would be out of the house for at least 12 hours I needed to take my 5 month labrador puppy with me, and then mum could see my dog too and would could have a walk etc.

When I got to the ski place I took my dog out of the car as she had been in the boot for a long drive. However, I couldn't take the dog into the ski centre. I tied her up outside the front door. I do this in the village where I live if I go to a shop. It is normal practice around here.

I was expecting to just be able to drop the children off and it would be 5 mins. However, when I got there I actually needed to help the children get their ski boots on. As there were 6 children, I was in the building 20-25 mins. I did go out to check on my dog after 10 mins, and she was sitting quietly. However, after I checked on her she then started barking.

When I came out to untie her and take her to my mums, a woman really shouted at me for being cruel. She said that as it was raining (not pouring, just light drizzle, and it was mild) I shouldn't have left her outside. She was phoning the RSPCA. I said she was being ridiculous and my dog had a waterproof coat and I was only gone 20 mins.

I walked off, but have been thinking about it more. Was I wrong? Is that too long to leave a dog outside?

Bellini81 Fri 21-Feb-14 09:16:12

I don't think you was BU.

I do hear and see dogs tied up outside shops howling and whining for their owners to come back and generally just go ahhhh poor thing as it sounds so heartbreaking. I certainly wouldn't shout at the owner that they were heartless...

We have a pair of dogs next door who bark ALL DAY when their owners go to work. The noise drives me insane if I am honest but I don't storm round there screaming at the neighbours.

LiberalLibertine Fri 21-Feb-14 09:22:50

She was being nuts phoning the rspca. But I would seriously reconsider leaving your dog tied up anywhere. I left my old dog outside our little village shop in Surrey for 10 minutes, he was thrown in the back of a can by'members of the travelling community' it took me a month and a lot of heat break to get him back.

People steal dogs.

tabulahrasa Fri 21-Feb-14 09:26:33

I don't leave dogs tied up anywhere, for starters children poke and prod them even when I'm there to supervise, if anything went wrong you wouldn't have a leg to stand on in proving that your dog wasn't dangerously out of control in a public place (bearing in mind that in that someone merely reporting that they were frightened by your dog can count as that)...you're also trusting that any passing dogs are under control and given that mine has been attacked 5 times in the last year while he was on lead, I don't trust that at all.

And - dog theft is a very real risk in lots of areas.

PMDD Fri 21-Feb-14 09:27:06

Yes, that was what my mum said. My Labrador is a pedigree and female, not spayed, and my mum said that people would steal her and breed from her. Horrible.

Other than the risk of theft, is it wrong to leave a dog (or a young dog) alone, outside, for 20-25 mins?

I leave her for 2.5-3 hours at home, but no more. She is fine at home. I always ask my neighbours if they hear her barking. They say no.

diddl Fri 21-Feb-14 09:27:11

The woman overreacted, but I'd have let the dog have a wee & a leg stretch & back in the car tbh.

sparechange Fri 21-Feb-14 09:29:17

Of course you weren't being unreasonable.
The only thing that makes me think twice about leaving my dog tied up is that she will get stolen.

Anyone who knows the first thing about labradors will know they have absolutely no issue with being wet, especially if it means being able to jump into a freezing cold stagnant lake.

I'm sure the RSPCA won' have taken any notice of her

Chocotrekkie Fri 21-Feb-14 09:32:37

My dd is terrified of dogs and I hate it when they are tied up outside shops - she won't go passed them so we can't get inside the shop if they are blocking the entrance.

She is getting better with the help of some friends dogs but a strange dog still scares her.

lazyhound444 Fri 21-Feb-14 09:33:05

You're a new dog owner and we all make mistakes, it's a learning curve. I've had my dog for 4 years now and initially left him tied up outside our local shops if I nipped in for bread/milk, just for 5 minutes. One time I did this I was standing in the queue only to hear a lot of high pitched yelping, rushed out to see my dog being attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that had got away from its owner.

Another time (as LiberalLibertine says) someone from the travelling community made a play for him outside our Asda, when I was actually waiting with him (he's a retired greyhound and apparently travellers use them for hare coursing).

Now I don't take him anywhere he'll have to be left on his own.

Don't be too hard on yourself Mrs.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 21-Feb-14 09:35:40

You haven't done anything wrong to the dog.

But no to ever leaving a beautiful, pedigree, unspayed female anywhere - that's about the most desirable dog you can have for evil puppy farming!

Turnipinatutu Fri 21-Feb-14 09:36:12

Of course you weren't BU!
Dogs aren't bothered by a bit of drizzle and the RSPCA wouldn't care either.

However I wouldn't leave my dog tied up alone, because of theft, especially not when a cute appealing puppy. Labradors are a popular breed and commonly stolen for breeding.
But you weren't being cruel to your dog. The woman was mad.

HazleNutt Fri 21-Feb-14 09:38:08

what others said. Drizzle is not a problem, theft is. I leave mine outside a village shop, but they are massive dogs and it's a tiny village, so very low risk. I would not leave them tied up anywhere else, I also know people whose dogs have been stolen.

PMDD Fri 21-Feb-14 09:39:01

All of you have made good points. The woman's comments really made me think. I felt that she was unreasonable regarding the slight rain and length of time. But wasn't sure.

She didn't comment re theft or my dog's barking scaring children. Although, my dog was not right in front of the door she was tied 'out of the way'. Although that was a fluke as it was the only area with somewhere to tie her to.

When I booked it all up, I didn't think about the dog. I wasn't even sure if taking the dog for 2.5 hours in the car was unreasonable!!! (she was fine though).

daimbardiva Fri 21-Feb-14 09:41:07

No you didn't do anything wrong from a welfare point ofview at all. The woman WBU. But do think twice in future for the theft/other dogs/children approaching point of view.

IME labs prefer being out in the rain or any sort of water! ! Enjoy your dog she sounds lovely :-)

mrsjay Fri 21-Feb-14 09:41:41

the woman ranting was a loon however I think you should have left the dog in the car people steal dogs your dog may have jumped up on somebody he may have got over excited and barked at children 20 minutes is quite a long time for a 5 month old puppy , I would have taken her out and let her have a wee and put her back in the car,

JohnnyUtah Fri 21-Feb-14 09:43:24

You werent unkind to your dog I don't think. But you weren't controlling her either and if some idiot child had scared her and got snarled at, you could have been in a difficult position. You should have put her back in the car.

Stinklebell Fri 21-Feb-14 09:44:00

No, you weren't unreasonable, dogs aren't bothered by a bit of drizzle, especially for 20 minutes

I wouldn't leave my dog tied up alone - pedigree Springer Spaniel, although he's been done so no use on that score, but there was a spate of dog thefts in my area and it was suspected they were being used as bait in dog fighting

littlewhitebag Fri 21-Feb-14 09:46:51

We take our lab on all day jaunts with us but i wouldn't leave her outside anywhere tied up for the same reasons as other have said - i am afraid she will be stolen. However my mum ties her up outside the paper shop for a few minutes when she has her (she has her when i work) and the dog is fine.

My lab will plunge into an icy pond so a bit of light drizzle is nothing and certainly not cruel. They don't have that big hairy coat for nothing!

I bet your puppy is very cute.

Zingy123 Fri 21-Feb-14 09:55:11

I would have took the dog for a short walk and then put it back in the car with the window open. I hate to see dogs tied up. Always see dogs tied up outside our supermarkets why not leave them at home.

Sunflower49 Fri 21-Feb-14 09:59:50

You weren't being unkind to the dog and yes to It's better than leaving her all day.
I began a thread about leaving dogs tied up, some time back. They do get stolen, or are targeted by people who hurt them-that's the only issue xx

PMDD Fri 21-Feb-14 10:02:16

Okay - a bit of bragging

My dog is wonderful. I have never owned a dog, never had one as a child, so the whole dog ownership thing was a bit of a shock. Having to watch her every min of the day when she was first with us to ensure she didn't need a wee or wasn't getting into mischief was a bit stressful, but she is really good now and lets me know if she needs to 'go' and has her toys. She only really chews socks and shoes.

I love her to bits. It is a whole new world having another animal (other than my 3 children) who love and need you so much. That unconditional love and excitement at seeing you. I love hearing the thud thud thud of her tail against the floor or wall or whatever, when she is happy.

She is a beautiful brown colour and really really smart. She learns really quickly and adores learning too. Even my dog trainer loves her.

Her temperament is calm and kind and I have been told she would be perfect for a PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog. I have to wait till she is 9 months before I can test her though.

I never thought I would even consider breeding. It all seems like hard work. But I love her so much that I am considering breeding her in the future just so I can have a puppy from her.

Enough said.

I am sure all you other dog owners feel exactly the same!!!!

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 21-Feb-14 10:20:12

People steal dogs for 'bait' in dogfighting, to give the fighters something to practice on.
The home I got our dog from had a dog whose teeth and claws had been removed for this purpose.
I won't leave my girl for a minute.

VulvaBeaker Fri 21-Feb-14 10:42:26

We went on a trip to Sandringham, and a young girl with dark hair came to talk to us, attempted to befriend our daughters and asked if she could walk our dog, to have its lead "for a second" etc. which was odd. As I politely said no, she became extremely insistent and it became odd, so I told her we were having our lunch now and she probably ought to go and find her mummy and daddy.

Turned out looking like an attempt to steal our dog by a group of travellers (of the "pikey" variety, not roma or hippies) who were using their child as some kind of stealth thief.

Nice that the twats saw me with my DDs who were all small and thought "Oh, we'll have their family dog". I guess it is the same instinct that makes childrens bikes seem like a fair target.

Dog is the perfect breed for hare coursing, now someone mentions it.

curiousgeorgie Fri 21-Feb-14 10:57:49

I don't think you were BU as you didn't know you'd be so long, and you had the dogs best interests at heart when you took him..

I wouldn't do this though as I would be so worried about someone taking my dog or being nasty to him. You just can't trust people. A friend had her dog stolen in Windsor a few weeks ago and is devastated, I couldn't bear for that to happen.

VeryStressedMum Fri 21-Feb-14 11:10:18

I have a lab, and just gorgeous when they're puppies smile the woman overreacted and no, you weren't bu to leave her outside as you only thought you'd be gone for a little while and she wouldn't have been bothered at all by getting wet. But I definitely wouldn't leave her again not at that age and unspayed.

I leave my lab outside small shops when I have to but only if it's easy to see her and I don't do it very often, she doesn't like it anyway.
She's spayed but I wonder if someone wants to steal her for breeding won't know that and steal her anyway?

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