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AIBU - Dogs Off Lead

(195 Posts)
PrincessOfChina Fri 31-Jul-15 14:30:29

So, in the park this PM. Small terrier type dog off lead with lady and two children. We're walking past (DS in pram and DD on scooter) and the dog leaves it's owner and circles DD on her scooter. I tell her to stay still and assume the owner will remove the dog so we can continue. She slowly ambles over by which time the dog is jumping up at DD (the dog is her height when upright).

Was I unreasonable to yell "Get your dog away from my daughter right now"? She seemed to think I was being unreasonable as the dog "didn't bite her did it?".

How should I react in future? I didn't move to hastily to grab DD as I didn't want to aggrevate the dog which wasn't showing signs of biting imminently.

GloGirl Fri 31-Jul-15 14:33:29

I am guessing the dog owner thought you didn't have a problem with her dog.

When the dog first came over it would have helped if you said to the owner "Call your dog away please!"

By waiting and not doing anything perhaps she thought you were comfortable with the dog.

LilyMayViolet Fri 31-Jul-15 14:35:01

She was being an absolute idiot. I'd never have my dog off the lead around little children (only in the middle of nowhere!). If she ever jumped up at someone I'd apologise profusely. I never impose my dog I other people like that.

I would just say that some children adore dogs (my dd) and she'd be absolutely delighted with that scenario but I'd never make that assumption.

ExitPursuedByABear Fri 31-Jul-15 14:37:02


After spending years on here, I now make sure my dog never approaches anyone unless he is encouraged to do so.

It's a sad world.

trevortrevorslatterfry Fri 31-Jul-15 14:38:40

^^ What lily said. I would be apologising like crazy and legging it towards your daughter to get my dog away and back on the lead if either of them ran over and did that.

And I am one of those soppy dog owners who thinks they are my little furry children.

Booboostwo Fri 31-Jul-15 14:39:10

She should not allow her dog to approach other people as not everyone likes dogs ans she should definitely have taught her dog not to jump up. Having said all that, chances are the dog was excited not aggressive and while certainly annoying and badly behaved it was probably not dangerous.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 31-Jul-15 14:47:35

Yes I'd have been calling my dog away too if it was running after children. However she's not a mind reader and you could have said something sooner.

happymummyone Fri 31-Jul-15 14:51:39

Some... SOME, dog owners don't seem to understand that you might not like their pet. Obviously they love their dog, it's family, but not everyone feels that way. She should have been watching out and as soon as the dog made to go over to your family she should have called it back. I'm a little nervy around jumping dogs, so I'd have been uncomfortable. YANBU

PrincessOfChina Fri 31-Jul-15 14:51:46

Thanks. I was uncertain if I'd broken some kind of dog etiquette but equally couldn't imagine letting my dog jump at anyone without apologising and calling it off immediately.

Booboostwo Fri 31-Jul-15 15:05:00

I am crazy about dogs but have no trouble understanding that some people don't like them, or have phobias, or allergies. When my dogs are off lead I watch the very closely; if they approach other people I recall them unless the person seems very welcoming of dogs, e.g. smiling at dog, arm out to pet it. If you dog was approaching welcoming children I would still recall and then oversee the introductions.

MadisonMontgomery Fri 31-Jul-15 15:09:30

I only have my dog off the lead when we're in the middle of nowhere, & I always put him back on if we spot someone else - he is v sweet natured but he hasn't had much contact with small children & he would just trot straight up & try to get cuddles.

happymummyone Fri 31-Jul-15 15:13:21

Booboo, you're sensible then, like the majority I expect. Some are just unconcerned. When my DD was two an off the lead dog bounded over to her pushchair and licked her face, which fairly quickly swelled up, and went red, it was nothing serious, but it would have been nice if it hadn't have happened! Totally not the dogs fault, he obviously likes children, but my daughters skin doesn't seem to like dogs!

PlateGirl Fri 31-Jul-15 15:19:11


I think the only dogs that should be off leads in public are the ones that have watchful owners and genuinely respond immediately to a command. Of which, IME, there are virtually none.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 31-Jul-15 15:23:41

It is sensible really to make absolutely sure your recall is bomb proof before letting your dog off in public. Trouble is to get it to that level you have to proof it in different situations. Preferably not around other children though.

Egosumquisum Fri 31-Jul-15 15:54:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

The5DayChicken Fri 31-Jul-15 16:13:42

I actually think your reaction was appropriate and might make her think in future.

I previously had a rescue dog who was aggressive to other dogs. After a lot of training, he could handle dogs going past but not approaching him. He was always on a short lead and muzzled. I'd sat down at a bench while on a walk and got him to lay down under the bench so he was as out of the way as possible. And a couple walked past with their completely untrained terrier off its lead. The terrier started approaching my dog. Tried calling to them but they just weren't paying attention. And my dog made his muzzled and harnessed attempt at an attack. Luckily, I'm not daft enough to own a dog that I'm not strong enough to restrain, but he was quite large and did frighten the terrier. And the couple, of course, decided that the situation was my fault.

I'm a dog lover but also a very firm believer that unless in a specific off-lead area or somewhere very remote, only extremely well trained dogs should be off their lead in public. And by that, I mean that the dog doesn't approach other dogs or people, their recall is fantastic and they're very good natured.

Madbengalmum Fri 31-Jul-15 16:15:48

I am with you OP, i have a dog and it is on lead in any public place.
It really annoys me when an out of control dog runs up to my dog and is aggressive, dogs should be on a lead at all times in public places.

rosesanddaisies Fri 31-Jul-15 16:17:25

As a dog owner of 20+ years, YANBU. I absolutely bloody hate dog owners who let their dogs run up and jump all over people, especially little children who might be scared, then get all huffy and affronted when you don't think it's super cute too.

rosesanddaisies Fri 31-Jul-15 16:19:58

A pack of women once, with all their dogs off the lead, were walking along screetching away at each other when their dogs came hareing over and surrounded my buggy. My little boy luckily just froze but the dogs were barking and biting at the wheels - his legs were right in front of the dogs. I didn't dare scream at the women to get their effing dogs off, but the lead woman actually laughed as they went past and said loudly "HAHAHAHA, TALK ABOUT CHILDHOOD TRAUMA!". If my kid hadn't of been there, I wanted to punch the smugness right off her stupid face.

cranberryx Fri 31-Jul-15 16:45:48


I always call my dogs back if they start to approach a child. You simply don't know if the LO is comfortable with dogs or not, regardless of the fact my two are massive softies.
They don't approach but give a wide berth if they are off the lead and walking in a quiet secluded area, if they were in a park they would be on a lead anyway.

To not even react when you dog approaches a child? That's just irresponsible.

bolleauxnouveau Fri 31-Jul-15 16:47:50

dp is a cross country runner, he often had excitable dogs running after him when he was on public footpaths, one ran past, doubled back and sank teeth into dp's knee from behind. Hospital wouldn't stitch the deep puncture wounds in case of infection apparently but fortunately no ligaments/stringy bits grin were torn.

The owner didn't even check how dp was, and because he was in a field far from home he ended up hoofing himself to the local hospital and getting home at silly o clock. We reported it to the police because we figured knee height on dp was neck height on ds at the time. If you have a dog that gets over excited in public you need to muzzle it or keep it on a short lead even if you're in the 'middle of nowhere.'

Neednewflowers Fri 31-Jul-15 16:57:09

Oh whoopee another dog bashing thread.

bolleauxnouveau Fri 31-Jul-15 17:02:54

Or perhaps another twattish dog owner bashing thread. Yanbu op btw

I like dogs, couldn't eat a whole one though.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 31-Jul-15 17:04:09

As an off lead dog walker, no dog I've had has ever been allowed to approach people or anything else without my permission, so yanbu.
That said your response, while justified, isn't ideal, purely because if the owner isn't considerate enough to realise her dog isn't always wanted by everyone else, she could have continued being rude and left the dog to it to make some bizarre point. Whilst that would not remotely be your fault and be just entirely down to her bad manners, it wouldn't have solved the issue for your dc. (not a criticism just incase you meet an awkward knob in future)

Phoenix0x0 Fri 31-Jul-15 17:05:48

need really!?

No one is bashing dogs.

People are commenting upon poor dog owners.

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