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Was I in the wrong to ask somebody to control their dog?

(101 Posts)
WannaBeAMummy16 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:11:48

I look after a young boy with low-level learning and behavioural problems. He is a very anxious boy and is terrified of dogs. Whenever we are out and we see a dog, he gets very tense and then will run, which of course dogs tend to think he wants to play.

I calmly reassure him that the dog is fine, it's a friendly dog, it won't hurt him etc. A couple of times I've asked if we could talk to the dog as I would hate for him to go through life terrified of something that he will see on an almost daily basis.

Anyway.. if a dog is off the lead I always call out for them to please call their dog back as the boy is terrified and then apologise and thank them. No problems.

Until today.

Two large (collie type) dogs, off lead. They came running up to us, I asked if she could call them back and said he's terrified. The woman grunted and didn't call them back. I couldn't move us out of the way so asked again to please call the dogs back. She said they are friendly. I said yes they might be friendly but he is terrified. The whole time I was trying to stay calm for the boy. I told him to run ahead (not something I would normally do but I had to get him to calm down). I then shouted to the woman that her dogs should be on a lead if they are going to run up to people like they were. She shouted back they are fine, they don't need leads.

So was I being unreasonable to ask her to keep her dogs under control?

TheWitTank Fri 22-Jan-16 18:13:39

No, not unreasonable at all.

goodnightdarthvader1 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:15:35

I'm an animal lover. YWNBU. If someone asked me to call back my dogs because their child was scared, I would without question.

Just out of interest, were you in a park at the time?

totalrecall1 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:16:02

Hmm I don't know. Maybe you should avoid places where dogs are off the lead if he is that scared of them rather than asking owners to put their dogs back on the lead?

wishiwasacollie Fri 22-Jan-16 18:16:19

YNUBU at all in any manner of way. I have a collie and never ever let her run up to anyone. In fact a group of collie owners were having a moan about the number of people who dont control their dogs. Dogs should be off lead only if they have concrete recall where general public walk. Am raging on your behalf. Good on you for saying something. I personally will notvaccept the statement they are friendly. I dont care......thats not the point. Sorry am highjacking for a rant

ImperialBlether Fri 22-Jan-16 18:16:19

No, you weren't. I'm scared of dogs, especially big dogs, and if they're running around without a lead I find it hard to cope, so I can completely understand the little boy's fear.

Some people, though, are very, very selfish and think just because they like dogs, everyone else should.

CultureSucksDownWords Fri 22-Jan-16 18:16:42

YANBU at all, she was rude and unreasonable! People who let their dogs run ahead and don't call them back seem to always say "oh don't worry they're friendly!". Missing the point completely that they've already scared someone, or already jumped up and covered you in mud.

WannaBeAMummy16 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:17:19

We were walking along a very quiet no through road which has a path leading down to a field and a path that goes to some houses (where we were heading) Not a park.

rhetorician Fri 22-Jan-16 18:17:24

Definitely NBU. If anyone asked me to keep the dog away from someone I would without a second thought. Generally speaking I try to keep her clear of people on the grounds that she is 8 months old and bananas spirited and that not all people like dogs

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 22-Jan-16 18:18:52


Dogs should not be off lead unless they have been trained to not approach other people.

BanningTheWordNaice Fri 22-Jan-16 18:19:38

totalrecall1 dogs should absolutely not be off the lead if someone can't or can't be bothered to recall them.

d270r0 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:20:32

No you were not unreasonable, she should have put them back on the lead as soon as you asked.
Yesterday I was driving along the road where I live, and had to do an emergency stop because a dog ran across the road right in front of me. It did have a lead attached, but had somehow got away from its owner to run across to a girl on the other side of the road. I very nearly ran it over... I have nothing against dogs but they need to be kept in check by their owners.

MrsH1989 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:22:12

I think it depends where you were. If you were walking on an open field where people often walk their dogs then yab(a bit)u. If it was a street/childrens park then the dogs should be on a lead.

Damselindestress Fri 22-Jan-16 18:23:58

YWNBU and I say that as a dog lover. Dogs should be under control at all times in a public place. As you say, you have asked people to call their dogs away before and no one else has minded, so the problem was the dog owner, not you. I hope the little boy is ok.

Noofly Fri 22-Jan-16 18:24:01

Good Lord no! My DD used to be petrified of dogs and would also run away if one came up to her in the park. No matter how much I reassured her, it didn't make the slightest bit of difference. Now we have a dog and she's completely dog mad, but I don't let my dog approach anyone. He'd never hurt a child but he would definitely like to jump on them and give them kisses, exactly what would have put DD into a petrified state a couple of years ago!

Allbymyselfagain Fri 22-Jan-16 18:27:35

Definitely NBU from a dog owner. Ignore totalrecall you have every right to walk in any public place without having other people's animals come up to you. People like that give dog owners a bad name

WannaBeAMummy16 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:28:51

Thank you for reassuring me that I was not in the wrong.

Scaredycat3000 Fri 22-Jan-16 18:44:21

Totalrecall. I literally couldn't leave my house if I avoided places where dogs are off the lead. I'm on an unofficial dog walking route, this also goes past the primary school, it is common for people to walk their dog off lead even past the school at pick up and drop off time.
I have found it is common to take your dog in children's playgrounds, with big no dog signs on the gate, even with specific dog exercising beside the playground and on every occasion I have spoken to the owner they really don't understand what the problem is.


Noofly Fri 22-Jan-16 18:47:27

I don't think it matters where you are. I've been in the middle of a field and put my dog on lead because a small dog was approaching (he's very very bouncy and tends to scare the living daylights out of small nervous dogs!). It takes all of five seconds to stick a dog on a lead and then you can let them off once the distraction (to the dog) is gone.

YouthHostellingWithChrisEubank Fri 22-Jan-16 18:58:14

So arrogant to assume that because your dogs are friendly everyone will be happy to interact with them - basically putting your dogs' needs above everyone else's.


Woodenmouse Fri 22-Jan-16 19:06:04

My parents have a dog who is absolutely bonkers and very bouncy. She would never hurt anyone butnloves to jump up and give kisses. She has no recall when she's locked on to something (a characteristico f her breed) so if there are people any where near even in the distance she is put straight back on the lead. They are not willing to risk her terrifying someone who doesn't like big bouncy dogs!

I don't thing yabu at all, dog owners should control their dogs especially as you said the boy was scared!!

MeadowHay Fri 22-Jan-16 19:14:35

YANBU. Dogs should only be off lead when other people are around if their recall is 100% and owner should absolutely have called the dogs back after you asked/put them on a lead if their recall was dodgy. Sorry to hear the little boy had a fright, glad you are doing what you can to help him to interact with more appropriate dogs though so hopefully he will not have this fear for ever.

LieselMeminger Fri 22-Jan-16 19:32:25

YANBU but I'd prepare yourself for some posters to tell you that you are. Or that you shouldn't have told him to run, that it's unreasonable to be frightened of them etc.

Friendly or not, I don't want someone's dog running up to me/licking me/ jumping at me etc. I once had a big rottie jump up at me so it's laws were on my shoulders, "He's being friendly" was the last words I heard as it attacked and took half a face off. So whenever someone tells me "he's friendly" I get like flashbacks. I've been told before that strange dogs jumping at me will sense the fear and therefor more likely to attack me, and as it would be my fault, I should have counselling to get rid of fear. No, the dog shouldn't be off lead if it's jumping up at strangers.

Should add, I'm ok with most dogs, but unknown big ones jumping at me do make me nervous because of my experience. And also, most dog owners are lovely and responsible.

SmallGreenBouncyBall Fri 22-Jan-16 19:38:08

yanbu at all. what an idiot.
just don't have pets if you won't be a responsible owner.

crispytruffle Fri 22-Jan-16 19:39:40

YANBU. My daughter is terrified of dogs, lots of dogs are the same eye level as her and it can be really daunting. There are always so many dogs tied up to our school gates and recently we got caught in the middle of two of the dogs fighting. I think there should also be a section in parks for dogs not on leads.

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