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to expect dog owners to help in this situation

(153 Posts)
cansu Tue 30-Aug-16 16:00:46

I have a dc with severe autism. He is non verbal and has significant learning disabilities. He walks in a slightly odd way, hand flaps and makes odd noises so he is quite visibly different. He is also scared of certain noises and is frightened of dogs despite my own parents having two lovely little dogs who have never harmed him. Whenever we go out for a walk, he gets v upset by dogs running towards him. I try and put myself in front of them. I make it clear he is scared but dog owners invariably chuckle and tell me oh he is just giddy, no harm in him etc etc, making no effort at all to either call dog over or put hand on dogs collar whilst we pass by. Meanwhile ds is flapping, shouting, running into bushes etc. He is an older teen so not possible to scoop him up if I see a dog coming over. I don't expect dog to be on lead, but would it be unreasonable for a dog owner, once they have twigged situation to call over dog whilst we pass by??

RestlessTraveller Tue 30-Aug-16 16:10:41

I often wonder who is hated more on here MILS dogs!

That said a dog should always be under control. Mine is always on the lead because he was abused and has no recall. Are the dogs actually running towards him or just running along a path which he happens to be on?

RestlessTraveller Tue 30-Aug-16 16:11:07

MILS or dogs that should say.

Trifleorbust Tue 30-Aug-16 16:11:49

Definitely not unreasonable. "Please could you recall your dog - my son is very frightened of dogs. Thanks."

RiverTam Tue 30-Aug-16 16:13:06

I agree, I wish the dog owners who see a child (or any one, for that matter) showing signs of distress when their dog runs towards them, would recall them immediately. But they hardly ever do, it's all 'it's fine, he's friendly'. Err, no, it's not fine and if you used your brain you could work that one out for yourself!

VioletBam Tue 30-Aug-16 16:13:49

YANBU of course. I have a big dog...he's only a puppy still but he's enormous. I had him off the lead on a deserted golf course when suddenly, a man came out of his gate ajoining the course with his smaller dog on a lead.

My massive dog thought YAY!!! And ran like a bloody wolf at this poor man and his dog. I almost gave myself a heart attack chasing him across the course but I was NEVER going to let him reach the man and his dog!

A child or person or a dog on a lead should always be protected from dogs off the lead.

JellyBelli Tue 30-Aug-16 16:14:15

YANBU. If your son is ok with an open umbrella, carry one to put in between him and any approaching dogs. Most dogs are baffled by them and wont approach any further.

MrsEvadneCake Tue 30-Aug-16 16:15:09

Dogs should be under control in public places. So on a lead or staying close to/being recalled by their owners. Not bounding up to people.

I like dogs, have owned one, but get really frustrated by the behaviour of some owners.

You aren't being unreasonable at all.

RestlessTraveller Tue 30-Aug-16 16:16:04

jellybeli Genius!

Saucery Tue 30-Aug-16 16:17:53

YANBU. My dog does not like movements and noises as you describe your DS making, so she would be on the lead and off the path before you'd probably even noticed she was there.
I saw a little boy on a very narrow path with a steep drop to one side absolutely terrified of our dog last week. I made it very obvious I was winding her lead right in, putting her on the opposite side of me to him and moving quickly past. He was incredibly panicky and I dread to think where he might have run to if an off lead dog had approached him.

FrancisCrawford Tue 30-Aug-16 16:18:54

The dog owner should keep their dog away from other pedestrians, of course.

However, it does sound as if your son is distressed by the nearness of any dog. Would he be upset at a dog walking past him if it was on a lead?

I ask this as I was about ten feet away from my house with my small dog on a lead when a child screamed and ran into the road. her granny tore me off a strip for daring to walk my dog as her granddaughter was scared of dogs.

BombadierFritz Tue 30-Aug-16 16:20:15

do the dogs actually go up to him any closer than they would if on a lead? I might leave mine off lead unless specifically asked.

UnGoogleable Tue 30-Aug-16 16:20:45

No you're not unreasonable at all.

I have dogs. They are friendly, but I fully appreciate that they can look intimidating and not everyone loves them.

My dogs are off the lead most of the time, and if I see them going to approach someone I watch that person / other dog carefully and suss out the situation. In your situation, I would see that your Son was uncomfortable and would immediately get my dog under control.

Sorry that some ignorant dog owners are causing you and your son distress.

honkinghaddock Tue 30-Aug-16 16:24:17

Yanbu - I have a son with asd and severe learning difficulties and I get concerned when people let their dogs run up to him. I think some people don't understand the difficulties and you may have to tell them exactly what you want them to do. If they don't cooperate, they are being an inconsiderate arse.

summerainbow Tue 30-Aug-16 16:26:15

Why are you taking you son near dogs

toolonglurking Tue 30-Aug-16 16:28:37

I always call my dog straight back if I see children, or other people without a dog.
If I see people with a dog, I watch carefully and follow their lead - if they put their dog on its lead I'll follow suit.
I met a man in the park the other day, he said clearly and loudly from a distance 'please call your dog back, I don't like them' so I immediately did, no drama.
I'm not saying this to be smug, I simply don't understand dog owners who don't do this sort of stuff?

Pineappletastic Tue 30-Aug-16 16:30:27

We'd recall our dog the moment we realised your DC was afraid, she might not come first call if he looks particularly interesting, we have to be aware of things that distract our dog (lambs, ducks, and cats), and tell her to stay close because they do distract from her recall, we wouldn't automatically do this with you DC, so it might be a bit delayed, if you'd signalled from a distance that he's afraid of dogs we'd put her on the lead.

I think a lot of people with dogs forget that other people can be afraid of them. I'm only so aware of it because I have a friend who (as a fully grown NT adult) couldn't get trains at one point (she got therapy and is fine now) in case there was a dog on the train.

Also, depending on where you are, their dog might not have 100% awesome recall, a lot of people take their dogs to places like parks off lead because they know the dog will be safe even if it doesn't always come back first time. It's one of those things - you can't know what your dog will do in any given situation until it happens, and an exciting/interesting looking teenager making fun sounding (to the dog) noises might be something they haven't come across before.

2kids2dogsnosense Tue 30-Aug-16 16:30:48


I follow the same policies as you

missbishi Tue 30-Aug-16 16:30:59

Why are you taking you son near dogs
Oh FFs, there's always one...

cansu Tue 30-Aug-16 16:31:17

i take my ds for walks in parks and forests etc mainly because he needs to get outside some of the time like most people. He cant access shopping centres and busy places due to nature of his difficulties. If I cant go to a blooming park, we are well and truly stuffed. Thanks everyone for replies. I dont really expect them to put them on the lead, just calling them to heel would help. He can cope as long as they dont approach him, run towards him. If they are on other side of owner I put myself in between and hustle him past quickly.

honkinghaddock Tue 30-Aug-16 16:35:22

Summerainbow - When you go for walks you sometimes meet dogs. Or are our children not supposed to do for walks.

TrionicLettuce Tue 30-Aug-16 16:35:33

YANBU at all. Dogs shouldn't be in the habit of running up to anyone.

If there's people about then mine go back on lead until they're out of sight.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 30-Aug-16 16:38:22

YANBU. Dogs should not be approaching people on or off lead.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 30-Aug-16 16:38:43

Of course you're not being unreasonable. A decent owner will always call their dog to heel.

I don't like mine going more than 6 foot ahead of me, so I trained her not to. I appreciate some dogs are easier to train than other wilful bastards dogs but if in doubt they should always be on a lead when passing other people.

summerainbow Tue 30-Aug-16 16:39:48

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

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