School have threatened to call the RSPCA.(283 Posts)
I've name changed for this as it's potentially quite identifying.
DC started school this term. The first few days we realised that lots of people walk their dogs to school and leave them outside the gate. I thought this was a great idea so we've been taking our dog for the past couple of weeks.
I soon realised she yaps the entire time she's left so have kept the time to a minimum, I literally wait until the door opens and then run in with DC and come back. Maybe three or four minutes at the very most. We only take her in the mornings.
Last week was lovely, I was so pleased at the great routine we were all in, DC loves walking with the dog so it makes the school run a pleasure, the dog gets a walk at the same time every day so is calm and relaxed at home the rest of the day.
Today was a disaster. I came back to find a lady with her dogs pursing her lips at me and saying 'that poor dog is so distressed'. I said, oh I know she's yappy but she's not distressed, but I am working on training her to be quieter'. She then gave me a bit of a lecture on separation anxiety and lots of (well meant I'm sure) advice on how to train her, much of which I'm already doing.
I decided then not to bring her for a while until I could train her to sit quietly. I was quite sad about it, but resigned.
Got home and a while later I had a phone call from the school. Apparently several parents have complained and if I bring her again school will call the RSPCA.
I explained that I had already decided it wasn't working to bring her and she kept speaking over me and saying it's not fair on the children or the other dogs (fair enough) and that it's cruel to let her bark and they will report me if I carry on.
I am MORTIFIED.
I spent the whole afternoon crying. Barely managed the school run this afternoon but did it by keeping my head down and not making eye contact with anyone.
I have MH difficulties so may be taking this more personally than it is. But I feel awful that people think I'm some awful abusive dog owner and I really don't want to ever go back there. Obviously I have to. It's a small village school and I think I've blotted my copybook with them forever.
Sorry for the length of this, if you've managed to get through it all I applaud you.
My AIBU is, was I unreasonable to take her in the first place? Would you consider a yappy little dog to be distressed enough to call the RSPCA?
I don't know about dogs but it sounds ridiculous to me, and the woman and teacher sound very rude.
It's fair enough just to let you know that your dogs been a bit noisy but if you've explained you're training it I think you should let it slide. They obviously have nothing better to moan about and it doesn't sound like you've done anything to cause worry.
Hold your head high and speak to nicer people, it may only be that this one busybody has complained and the other parents are more pleasant to talk to
I don't really understand why they've complained? Surely leaving her at home would be worse for her separation anxiety than 4 minutes. I would have thought she'd get used to it once she got used to you always coming back.
I don't think taking a dog on the school run is a great idea until children are old enough to go in by themselves.
Even a well behaved, non yappy dog shouldn't be left, just in case. For example, a child might go to stroke the dog and it jumps up in excitement and knocks them over.
But I wouldn't call the RSPCA unless I had other reasons to think the dog is being neglected. I think the head is being a bit OTT there. If I were the head, I would have issued a letter asking all parents not to leave dogs at the gates unattended.
I don't think the RSPCA will be one bit interested in a dog that is left to bark for a few minutes!
Don't overthink this and make yourself poorly worrying about other people.
Leave your dog at home where it is happy and maybe some training classes to relieve the barking issues would be worth thinking about?
I don't know much about dogs, but I am pretty sure the RSPCA wouldn't be rushing out to inspect a dog that barks for a few minutes at the school gates! As long as he is fed, healthy and has access to shelter they won't have any concerns.
All sounds ridiculously blown out of proportion.
Sorry but coming for the other side
I hate seeing barking dogs tied ouside schools, it's distressing for the dog and it scares the kids that have to go past it.
I've complained to the school about a dog before, poor thing would cry, tremblev and jump, kids were terrified to walk past it.
I would probably find a yappy dog annoying but not think that it was distressed. So the level of intervention seems extreme.
I do think that the way the school spoke to you was out of order and would probably send them an email telling so along the lines of: 'I was agreeing with you and we have already taken steps to ensure the happiness of the dog and my D.C. to ensure and successful and happy transition from home to school in the mornibgs. I do feel however, that you weren't listening to me, you wouldn't let me speak and talked down to me which was not appropriate. I am saddened that this is our first interaction at the beginning of a long relationship between the school and our family and hope that we can put this behind us now.'
I would just put it behind now OP and work on building a happy, engaged relationship with the school.
The rspca will not give a toss about your well looked after dog having a brief yap on the school run. The problem is that it upsets other dogs and other people and the school can't be bothered with the aggro. They are completely wrong to threaten you. Tbh I'm surprised they don't have a blanket ban on dogs at school, it's pretty much standard where I am. Don't stress, you've not done anything wrong.
Leaving a barking dog outside a school, even for a couple of minutes, isn't ideal. But you realised that. I doubt very much the RSPCA would give the tiniest of shites about this.
Not just one person has complained, it's several people. Obviously your dog is getting herself into quite a state and you don't know about it. It's not a good idea to leave a dog unsupervised around children if it's in a highly agitated state. Id leave the dog at home in future and walk it separately.
The RSPCA would not be remotely interested but that aside it is never a good idea to leave a dog tied up outside anywhere , nothing to do with barking but purely because it's not safe - dog could get stolen , loose or even nip someone who tries to tamper with it . i agree with the pp that the HT should send a letter home saying no dogs to be left unattended .
It will be old news in a few weeks (if that!). Try not to stress about it. The RSPCA won't be interested, you are no longer walking the dog to school, no problem.
Initially I thought that the lady that lectured you was a bit pompous, and you should just ignore it, however if several other people and the school have changed complained then there must be more to it than a bit of yapping. Do you have to leave the dog? Can you not stay with it? I'd worry leaving my dogs unattended full stop.
Could you join a dog training group and work on your dog problems? And I don't think the RSPCA would be remotely bothered about a dog tied at the school gates for five minutes!
I would be worried that the dog might not be safe around children if it looked poorly trained ie barking & trying to break free. I wouldn't think it was cruel though as it was tied up in a place where it was obvious you'd only be a few minutes.
They are insane and the RSPCA would not investigate for this I wouldn't have thought.
I would feel upset too, the school could have handled it much more sensitively. But, they'll have forgotten all about it in days, hold your head up high and try to forget about it.
Is your dog a JRT by any chance?
If several others have complained it sounds like it was becoming an issue so not taking the dog is probably best all round.
Having to walk past a barking dog each morning would be a nightmare for dog phobic ds and would make getting him into school a pain so I would mention it to school based on that!
Oh bless you, I'm sorry you're so upset. I think they are way over the top. That said, it doesn't sound like walking the dog on the school run is really suiting your pup. It's probably best to give it a swerve.
Yes, you were U to leave the dog unattended but you've already decided not to do it again.
Be brave and call the RSPCA yourself; they will tell you they really do have bigger problems than a dog that yaps when left!
As others have said, some children wont feel comfortable being around a dog that yaps. But you are not abusing or neglecting your dog.
I wish people would not tie their bloody dogs up outside school. My dd is scared of dogs and having to walk past a crowd of yappy dogs isn't great for those less confident with dogs. Leave the dog at home, take it for a proper walk later. If its yapping and batprking away that is irritating for others, tying dog up at school gates is thoughtless.
That said, rspca would not be interested in this.
That is awful, poor you, some dogs are yappy, that's what they do. I would just carry on doing what you are doing, ignore the busybodies, you know your dog is well cared for and looked after. Bring it on I say, you have nothing to hide.
I think dogs should be banned on school runs so Yabu in bringing your dog. When I was at primary another little girl bent down to stroke a dog by the school gates she was mauled in her face, there's plenty of other times to walk the dog. If many reports have come in that it's clear that the dog has been a cause of concern.
Please don't leave your dog tied up alone anywhere, especially not at a school. She could be stolen, attacked by another dog and unable to run away from it, react fearfully towards a child looming at her or an over-enthusiastic toddler barrelling into her - there are so many ways it could go wrong without you there to look out for her. I don't think it's an RSPCA issue but it's still not fair on any dog to be left in such a vulnerable position. Many years ago, a friend of mine lost a puppy when she tied her outside her local corner shop and nipped in - she was literally half a minute getting one thing and the pup was gone when she came out. She never found out what had happened to her.
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