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AIBU to expect bouncy dogs to be on a lead in a busy park

(41 Posts)
Littleorangecat Sun 15-May-16 21:39:17

Just that really. Been out over 2 weekends in local parks with my dd (6) who is recovering from an accident and is low in confidence physically due to the accident, and still has a stitched wound which she is very aware of and worried about knocking even though it's been a couple of weeks.
On both occasions dogs have been off the lead running towards us and jumping around us. Today a rotweiller wouldn't go back to its owner when called, and before this was being allowed to bound around a very packed area in the park. My dd was sat down on a bench with an ice cream, the owner couldn't get the dog back, when it was running around us my dd very scared just wanting it to go away. Last week we were in a grassed area, not a busy park this time a staffie type dog was off the lead running with a stick, not a problem until the owners started to talk to another dog walker the dogs kept snapping at each other, they didn't put their dog back on the lead and their own kids ran towards us (we were sat on the grass) with the dog and the stick shouting "wind him up" tormenting the dog with the stick.
My dd can't move very fast at the moment and we both felt very vulnerable with the dog running towards us at full pelt whilst being wound up. I shouted "keep your dog away from us" on this occasion. What should happen in these circumstances, are dogs allowed off leads (genuinely asking as I don't know)
AIBU to expect to not have to do this?

BeckyWithTheMediocreHair Sun 15-May-16 21:43:46

The owner should be able to control their dog. However, IME there are areas in every park where dogs must be kept on a lead. Could you stick to these areas while your DD is recovering?

Gide Sun 15-May-16 21:48:41

I don't think YABU to want the dogs kept away, but YABU to take your DD somewhere like a crowded park where she risks bouncy dogs coming at her. When I was dealing with post serious injury, I wouldn't go to the park precisely because of this concern. Why put her in that situation, knowing that she is concerned about knocking the injury? Could you not put yourself between her and oncoming dogs?

SirChenjin Sun 15-May-16 21:48:59

No, YANBU to expect this - and IME, there are very few parks which have 'dogs on leads' areas. There are no laws in this country to say that dogs must be kept on a lead in public areas, just that they should be under control at all times, which is open to interpretation of course. It's an utter PITA - my lovely neighbour, for example, has a year old dog with absolutely zero recall. Literally none. He's let off the lead, runs off ahead and jumps up at other dogs and their owners while she alternates between trying to call him back (he ignores her) or laughing at her "cheeky dog". Apparently people who complain are being "precious" hmm. I hate going out with her if she has him with her.

BombadierFritz Sun 15-May-16 21:57:03

2 different places. Parks - some areas are usually more 'off lead' than others. I dont take my dog to parks at all in the summer as i wouldnt let him off lead as he would be a pita with kids and ice creams! Leads on is fairer imo. But a grassed area - depends. Thats more the kind of place i would let him off lead and he might well have a rougg growly play fight with another dog.

Littleorangecat Sun 15-May-16 22:14:41

Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately the only place in the 2 parks where it specifically states 'no dogs' is the playground, which she can't go in at the moment. It would be better if there were separate areas.

BubsAndMoo Sun 15-May-16 22:25:27

I think it depends on the park. My own dog is excellent off lead <smug> but earlier we were walking in a park that is very doggy - mostly woodland, areas of long grass, no play eqpt etc- and someone was lying on a blanket right in the middle of an avenue of trees and complaining about dogs just walking near them - that seemed ridiculous to me, they were lying in the dogs space in my view! On the other hand, there's a very popular park with row boats, ice creams, benches etc where I'd put even my very obedient dog on a lead, despite there being no signs demanding it, because that is very definitely a child-priority area rather than a doggy one.

A bit of common sense from both parties is needed I think.

amarmai Sun 15-May-16 22:38:34

dogs on leads signs is the norm where i live -but many dog walkers ignore the signs .

VioletSunshine Sun 15-May-16 22:42:02

YANBU. My dog wouldn't be off the lead in a busy park (people park or doggy park), unless we go off the beaten track away from them all, and he's soft as a brush albeit excitable. Don't know anyone who would let theirs run free when in a place full of people and children playing, whether their dog is sociable and friendly or not...

Rosebud05 Sun 15-May-16 22:53:22

Of course YANBU to want owners to be able to control their dogs, not have them running and jumping up at you, and not be in the vicinity of children 'winding up' their dog.

This is irrespective of having a recuperating child.

I'd like to say that I'm surprised that the first two posts mention the elusive 'dog free' area and suggest that you keep your child out of the park because of course there will be bouncy dogs coming at her, but unfortunately I'm not.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 15-May-16 22:56:36

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WiddlinDiddlin Sun 15-May-16 23:06:08

Am a dog trainer, own lots of dogs..

YANBU - I teach all my clients that until their dog can ignore distractions and recall reliably, their dog should not BE off lead in a public place.

For anyone wondering how you achieve a reliable recall whilst not letting the dog off lead the answer is harness + 30ft long line - dog still has some freedom, owner still remains in control.

BeckyWithTheMediocreHair Sun 15-May-16 23:12:09

To reiterate - firstly, I'm wholly in agreement that OP is not BU to expect owners to control their dogs and explicitly said as much in my post upthread.

I only know of a couple of parks with dog-free areas (the gardens at Peckham Rye, for instance) but I am surprised that parks with areas where dogs must be kept on a lead are apparently so rare. Every local park in my area has this arrangement somewhere.

I like dogs, but do not own one. This is one of those situations where there is a gap between OP's perfectly reasonable expectation of others'
behaviour, and the reality. I thought it might be helpful to make a suggestion for the short to medium term while OP's DD recovers. Clearly not.

APlaceOnTheCouch Sun 15-May-16 23:12:50

YANBU but sadly reasonableness doesn't come in to it. We live beside a park and it is always full of dogs running about off-lead, often at such distances that it would be impossible for their owners to reach them in time if something did go wrong.

GreenMarkerPen Sun 15-May-16 23:15:32

yanbu
if the dogs bounce up on people they are not under close control and should be on the lead.

LetsDoTheYogiBear Sun 15-May-16 23:20:45

YANBU. I am a dog lover but I hate strange dogs approaching me/jumping at me while owners shout "dont worry, hes friendly!"

So am I. But if your dog lays its paws on me without invitation one more time I fucking well wont be.

Your a dog owner. Not a park owner.

LyndaNotLinda Sun 15-May-16 23:21:34

Well the first occasion, I think that's crap - the dog should have been on a lead if the owner had such rubbish recall. The second one, as far as I can tell, the dogs were running and you happened to be in the general direction they were running in. I'm not sure you can entirely blame the owners. My DS runs about with a stick and gets our dog to chase him. He's not doing anything wrong but I can understand how that might look alarming

If your DD is so anxious (and I totally understand that level of physical anxiety after having an accident) I wonder if she'd be better off going somewhere where you know there are no dogs. So if you're going to sit down, sit in a cafe or in the playground (even if she's not able to use the equipment)

snowgirl29 Sun 15-May-16 23:22:31

YDNBU.
We've worked hard on our DS who had an irrational fear of dogs he wouldn't go within yards of one. Thanks to a lovely family members dog. He overcame that fear. That was until a few weeks ago when he asked an owner if the dog was friendly and if he could stroke it.
Owner said yes to both. The dog went for DS instantly, bare teeth and all and in that instant undid almost a years worth of work with DS and getting him used to something he wont he able to avoid. Thankfully the dog was on the lead so no serious harm done.

Same dog last week. Off their lead. Then went for me. I didn't approach the dog. It came bounding up to me and just snapped. Again.
A recuperating child should be able to go to the park for a bit without encountering the following in the OPs post.

Where are these parks with the dog free areas exactly? The route we walk is always being used by people and families walking / cycling to work or school.

frami Sun 15-May-16 23:48:17

YANBU however as a dog owner I find myself getting annoyed with people who dislike dogs yet persist in having a picnic, playing etc in the area where dogs are allowed and as someone who never had a dog when my kids were growing up I think it is behoven on parents to teach their children how to behave if approached by a dog and to conquer their own fears. (I used to be cat phobic but made a great effort to overcome this so not to pass it onto my kids as my mother had done to me.) I get very cross with people who start running and screeching when dogs appear and do not stop their children doing so. I have people do this when the dog is on the lead and nowhere near them. I have a nervous dog and this is not the way to act, luckily she sticks close to me all the time and is small enough to pick up and tuck under my arm. If I can I do try to explain to people who react to her how not to act but it is usually pointless. Yesterday a I witnessed a man try to kick a dog that strolled up to him and his family. They were actually having a picnic in the middle of the football pitches! As well as remonstrating with him to stop (the dog, not mine, is a puppy and totally harmless). I tried to explain why it was not good place to eat and how to behave with dogs. Also tried to point out the dog free zone. Unfortunately the family did not speak English, as is often the case, as we have a lot of refugee families living round here who come from places where dogs as pets are unknown.

honkinghaddock Mon 16-May-16 06:17:27

Dogs shouldn't be running up to people and jumping around them anywhere. We spend a lot of time in woodland as ds with severe asd likes quiet places. I would say 90% of the dogs we meet are under control but the other 10% who are allowed to run up to anyone, jump up at anyone, bark continuously at someone a few feet away (ds got very distressed by this yesterday) and have play fights with other dogs, are a nuisance.

AllThingsNautical Mon 16-May-16 06:36:12

The only bit of our park which is dog free is the playground. So we sat on a bench to have a picnic in there. A dog jumped the fence and ran at us barking, trying to get the sandwich out of my son's hand. Owner ambled over eventually and didn't care, no apology at all. There are a lot of bad owners out there who allow their dogs to spoil a lot of people's enjoyment of public spaces. I wish there was a way to prevent these people from having dogs in the first place. I'd have no problem with dogs if all owners were decent and responsibile.

CakeInMyFace Mon 16-May-16 06:40:18

I used to love dogs. I come from a country where dogs must be kept on leads in all public places. I really can't stand them now because of this very reason. Dogs should not bound up to people regardless of where they are. Maybe next time I'll send my toddler to a dog owner and get her to lick said dog owners face and see if they like that :-). In my experience children get scared of dogs because to them, an animal bigger then them bounding up to them and uncontrollably running around IS scary. I'm sick of it personally. My DD also got covered in dog poo the other day on the way to school so don't get me started on that.

dentydown Mon 16-May-16 06:51:52

YANBU. I have a dog-phobic son. He is better now, but he used to scream and climb up me.
So we're in the park, dog comes running up to DS, he starts screaming and climbing up me. Dog owner calls the dog away. That's fine. I can teach him that the dog owner is in control and the dog won't hurt him.
Dog comes up, won't go away. I ask them to call do away, they say it's friendly. DS is climbing on my shoulders crying. Dog owner says "e only being friendly". Won't call dog away. Then tells me DS should get used to dogs, should make the attempt to pet dogs to over come his fear. I shouldn't take ds to the park because it distresses him.
All I can teach him in that situation was the dog owner was a knob.

Veterinari Mon 16-May-16 07:01:34

I live in a major uk city and never encounter these issues. In fact we have a reasonable North American population who always comment on how well behaved off lead dogs generally are in our parks, as it makes a nice change to their restrictive leash laws and dog parks, both of which have a detrimental effect on dog behaviour.
Our parks also have large fenced 'no dog' areas in addition to playgrounds. No one uses them except sahm doing their PT sessions.

There are irresponsible dog owners and irresponsible parents, like anything, it works both ways.

Rosebud05 Mon 16-May-16 07:16:32

This is anothe thing that happens on dog threads - various posters saying 'this has never happened to me'.

I don't notice this on threads about other OP - 'My baby only sleeps. In two hour stretches'.... Reply - 'mind didn't'.

Probably because it's kind of irrelevant to the OP's experience.

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