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To have my dog and child 'unrestrained' on this walk?

(139 Posts)
PatterPitter Fri 24-Nov-17 21:59:28

For about five years now, I've walked my dog and small children down a path to get to the local park from our house and never before have had a problem. However, a man has taken offence and I'd like to ask if I'm being unreasonable - I'm prepared to be told if I am.

The path is for shared usage between pedestrians and cyclists, though the majority of the time it's just pedestrians. I usually have my child(ren) in a pushchair but sometimes they walk. The path is straight so I can see cyclists coming and get my child to move before they are close. My dog is often off her lead and has excellent recall.

Last week, my dog was on her lead but my 2 year old was walking and a cyclist screeched to a halt behind us and started having a go at me, telling me I was breaking the highway code by walking on a cycle path and that my child should be restrained in a pushchair so she doesn't endanger cyclists who may swerve to avoid her!

I said that if he'd said excuse me, or had a bell, we'd have moved in plenty of time and that the path is for shared usage so both parties have to respect one another. He was getting more and more irate so I walked away. Tonight I was walking there again and my DD was in her pushchair but my dog was off her lead. The same man screeched up behind me and began having a go at me again, telling me I'm breaking the law by having my dog off her lead and that she's endangering cyclists.

Again, I say that the path is for shared usage and that cyclists don't have priority and so he should have and use a bell, or manners, and that I would then call my dog to heel to make way for him. He starts shouting at me that I'm breaking the law and to put her lead on immediately, making both my 2 year old and 3 month old cry. My dog is sat by my side without me having had to ask her.

I tell him that I'm not prepared to stand there and be shouted at and tell my dog to walk on. He tries to take her lead from my hand and my dog begins to bark at him and he starts ranting 'see! It's not only out of control, but aggressive too!' and saying he'll be reporting me to the authorities.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 24-Nov-17 22:01:22

You may be in the right but he's pretty aggressive. So be careful.

UterusUterusGhali Fri 24-Nov-17 22:02:03

Jeez. No, YANBU.

He sounds like that Dom Jolly character.
I'd be videoing him if he comes near you again tbh. Of course he should have a bell.

Crumbs1 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:04:18

If he’s tried to grab the lead he might be guilty of assault. I’d be tempted to tell him so. Sounds like you’ve done a good job standing your ground. Nasty man. Some cyclists do seem to think they own the planet.

Mustang27 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:06:25

Yeah I'd be wary this man has taken offence to you and is getting rather aggressive. Can you get a rape alarm and pepper spray maybe incase he tries something. He is bloody lucky the dog didn't bite him she was obviously feeling pretty threatened.

MrMeSeeks Fri 24-Nov-17 22:10:51

Id recordhim incase he did try to report you.

bellasuewow Fri 24-Nov-17 22:13:39

He sounds like a total nutter to have lost it like that over nothing with you,a dog and really small children. I would consider reporting this as harassment to the police. I would have been terrified if that was me.

PatterPitter Fri 24-Nov-17 22:14:44

He has a helmet cam that he's going to use 'as evidence' apparently hmm

I just can't believe someone can get so irate over a path. Surely there are more important things going on in the world?

He was aggressive tonight and if he had touched me in any way, I certainly would have reported him.

purpleme12 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:19:48

Bike riders definitely need to have a bell. I've had it before where I've had no idea one was behind me. It's not safe if they don't have a bell

PatterPitter Fri 24-Nov-17 22:28:32

But does anyone know if it's against the law for her to be off her lead? As far as I was aware, it's only illegal if she's out of control - which she isn't.

SimultaneousEquation Fri 24-Nov-17 22:32:54

Some areas have bylaws about dogs being kept on leads on footpaths. I’m cautious about where I have a dog off the lead as assistance dogs can get distracted by other dogs, and if they’re not under control it’s a real nuisance for the owner of the assistance dog.

Dolwar Fri 24-Nov-17 22:33:29

No it's not illegal for her to be off her lead just make sure she has a collar and tag with a phone number and address on as that is a legal requirement

Lazyginger Fri 24-Nov-17 22:34:35

Pepper spray is illegal in the UK. As for dogs on leads, I suppose it depends on the local bylaws. Cyclist sounds like an arse. Be ready to film him!

Judashascomeintosomemoney Fri 24-Nov-17 22:36:52

Have you got a couple of mates with pushchairs and dogs on leads? You could all walk together, across the full width of the path, with both children and dogs ‘restrained ‘ - that’ll make his head explode. Any cyclist that ‘screeches ‘ to a halt behind anyone anywhere is dangerous and shouldn’t be on a bike .

Whereisthegin1978 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:37:54

Let him report you - You're not doing anything wrong. It's clearly him with the issue but I'd be careful arguing the point with him - he sounds aggressive.

Mishappening Fri 24-Nov-17 22:40:14

Are there notices requesting that dogs be kept on a lead? Is it safe to have the dog off the lead on a public path? Is it wise?

Battleax Fri 24-Nov-17 22:40:28

Only in a "PSPO";

www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/public-spaces-protection-orders

ifnotnowtenwhen Fri 24-Nov-17 22:40:46

Report you to who? The naughty police? confused

Ffs. I'm a cyclist, dog walker and a mum. There's room for everyone! I can't bear arseholes like the one you're describing.

PeterGriffinsPenisBeaker Fri 24-Nov-17 22:42:01

What a tool. Maybe his lycra was restricting the blood flow to his brain cell. You've done no wrong, as you were!

SheepyFun Fri 24-Nov-17 22:42:09

As a cyclist who regularly uses mixed paths, I'm fully aware that pedestrians have priority. I have a bell (and use it!) but am always ready to stop around dogs and children - I saw one cyclist hit a small dog pretty hard (to be fair to the cyclist, it wasn't on the path as he approached, then ran across it at the last minute), and I don't want to be that cyclist....

user1497997754 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:42:28

Cyclists really piss me off when they just ride up behind you when you are not aware I find it really scary have had many a heated discussion and told them to get a bloody bell and use it....the MAMILS are the worst....

Wolfiefan Fri 24-Nov-17 22:44:46

Highway code suggests dog should be on short lead on shared route. (Gov website rule 56)
If you cross or walk along a designated road your dog must be on lead.
cyclist was rude and aggressive.

hoppityhophop Fri 24-Nov-17 22:51:15

We have a pathway exactly the same as you op! Mostly used by dog walkers or just walkers with children etc but sometimes used as a bike path. Have seen some people have full on arguments there before about who's right of way it is!
I take my dog and my baby down there frequently off the lead and 9 times out of 10 a bike rider rings the bell and I make sure ddog is out of the way but sometimes there are just plain twats in the world unfortunately.
That man sounds like an absolute bellend making your children cry! I'd be fucking furious! If you see him again try and record him?

StatelessPrincess Fri 24-Nov-17 22:53:40

I think you should report him OP, trying to take the lead out of your hand is going way to far

Mookatron Fri 24-Nov-17 22:54:59

In a different situation I have found telling someone they are being aggressive and intimidating and scaring my children makes people calm down a bit.

I don't know what the law is about the dog but I suggest you carry your phone in your hand and say you will call the police if he doesn't leave you alone.

No excuse for that behaviour - twice - whatever you were doing.

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