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Dogs at the park AIBU

(115 Posts)
Shadow1986 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:31:16

I’m not a dog owner so genuinely don’t know about this. But this weekend at the park, we were in the playing field playing football and at the pond looking at ducks when two husky type dogs came bounding over (off the lead) - I lifted up my 18 month old just in case, and my other older children were a bit freaked. They didn’t do anything just sniffed around etc.

I watched the owner follow them around the park for another half hour/45 mins and then he had to basically pounce on them to get them back on the lead. Which makes me question if he had the dogs under control or not!

What are the rules about dogs off leads at the park?

I saw lots of lovely dogs off the lead playing catch etc...but these big dogs were just roaming. If this occurs again would it be ok to ask the owner politely to put them on the lead around the kids, or would it be down to me to stay in the playpark only?

monkeywithacowface Tue 16-Jan-18 13:35:42

If they're just roaming around then I don't think you ask people to put them on lead in a public park every time there are children around.

I would never let my dog approach children (or adults) when off lead and keep a close eye at all times. A lady did call out to me from a far to say her son was scared of dogs. My pup wasn't approaching them but I was happy to call him back to me and hold on to him until they passed.

Chrys2017 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:37:03

They didn’t do anything just sniffed around etc.

Did they approach you directly? Or did they just "sniff around" the pond and completely ignore you?

Dogs minding their own business shouldn't bother you. If they came up to you asking for attention then you might have a point.

Wolfiefan Tue 16-Jan-18 13:38:45

Unless the park says on lead only or no dogs then they can be off lead.
The dogs shouldn't bound up to you but they don't sound like they were any threat at all. In future I would not pick up your child. An overexcited dog could jump up at you both and maybe even knock you over. Stand still.
Not sure why your children were "freaked".

Shadow1986 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:42:00

They more sniffed around the pond but at one point my son run and it chased him so we had to shout ‘stop running he thinks your playing!’ - the owner didn’t call them back, he just came over - it was the way he pounced on them at the end makes me wonder if he’d been in control or not that makes me wonder how safe the situation was.

Shadow1986 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:43:18

Not sure why my children were freaked? They are 5, and had two large husky’s bounding over to them! It was a bit of a surprise!

Sleepyblueocean Tue 16-Jan-18 13:43:53

My local park doesn't allow them off lead apart from in one section but this rule frequently gets ignored. I don't mind them being off lead as long as the dog is under control and the owner is watching what it is doing. I would expect a dog to be called back if it is bounding over towards people. My son with asd gets very upset if dogs invade his space or look unfriendly but is ok with waggy tails milling about nearby.

Wolfiefan Tue 16-Jan-18 13:44:54

If you run a dog will chase.
It's a park where dogs are allowed and they were freaked to see dogs?
Maybe they're picking up on your anxiety.

fleshmarketclose Tue 16-Jan-18 13:48:38

I think if the dogs were just being dogs and sniffing round then it's perfectly reasonable that they were off lead in a park. I walk my own dog off lead as well and whilst he might not always be within touching distance I'm confident that he wouldn't approach children or other adults and would return to my call. If somebody looks particularly anxious then I call him and put him on a lead anyway and always would if asked by someone nervous.
Ddog is only small and cute and fluffy so is generally viewed as safe in fact I sometimes have to put him on a lead because parents allow their children to approach him for a fuss without checking with me first.

Shadow1986 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:48:43

Yes wolfiefan they were freaked to have big dogs come up to them and then chase them. They didn’t do anything as in bite or be aggressive but they were definitely a bit too close for my liking.

The park isn’t just for dogs it’s for children too. Something about it didn’t sit right with me. Like I said there were plenty of other dogs there but they were fine as the owners seemed to have them in control.

KimmySchmidt1 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:49:32

People who keep huskies are utter twats u lesss they live in the wilds of the mountains and can give them the miles and miles of exercise and cold weather they need to live normal husky lives and behave naturally and normally.

I think with dogs it depends a bit on how well trained and safe they are - I wouldn’t trust huskies because they have a much shorter history of domestication than other breeds and because they are usually stunted from their natural behaviour by their idiot owners.

wineusuallyhelps Tue 16-Jan-18 13:49:53

My dog is quite big and would never hurt anyone, only love them - but other people don't know that as he bounds towards them!

Therefore I never have him off the lead where he might run up to children (or adults for that matter) and risk frightening them. I think that's the reasonable thing to do, but I don't know what the law/official rules say.

MissionItsPossible Tue 16-Jan-18 13:50:04

I don't think you're BU at all (not a dog owner here either).

You have two large dogs that you don't know (or the owner) bounding over to your small child. Anything could have happened. You don't know how friendly they are or how aggressive they are.

Not sure why your children were "freaked".


ButFirstTea Tue 16-Jan-18 13:50:19

It sounds a bit like you're projecting some anxieties onto the situation because of the breed - ie you mention "lots of lovely dogs off lead playing catch" but these two were intimidating because they were just sniffing around and because they were huskies.

Maybe you should have a conversation with your children about not running away near dogs as they will chase, not to approach dogs they don't know, not all dogs are friendly etc. But smaller or 'lovely' appearing dogs can also turn and snap at a child so I think you're being a bit unfair to place so much importance on the breed.

Chrys2017 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:52:09

From what you've described I think the dogs were more interested in the pond and the ducks and were no threat to you or your children whatsoever. Perhaps the child who ran away should be on a lead though! :-)

Wolfiefan Tue 16-Jan-18 13:53:21

They didn't jump up at you growl or bark. Your whole objection seems to be that they were huskies and came near your children.

ZoopDragon Tue 16-Jan-18 13:53:55

Sadly I don't think it's illegal to let your dogs bound up to people. But it is very rude and annoying. I always shout to the owner to call them back. I'm very nervous of unfamiliar dogs and a husky sniffing round me would make me want to jump into the lake!

Considerate people keep their dogs on leads in public parks, unless the dogs are trained to give people a wide berth. Even then, I think large powerful dogs should always be on leads- why get one unless you have private land to exercise it?

Chrys2017 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:54:09

People who keep huskies are utter twats

My friend rescued one from the dogs home. It had been living in a small pen with an occasional walk if a volunteer could spare the time. He doesn't live on a farm but takes the dog for daily exercise twice in the park. I guess that makes him a twat by your definition?

Wolfiefan Tue 16-Jan-18 13:56:20

All big dogs should be on leads? Wow. No. All dogs should be kept under control in public.

NoSquirrels Tue 16-Jan-18 13:56:34

Lots of husky-type dogs don't go off-lead at all, as they often very hard to control as they get selective hearing. So I would be wary too, given what you said about them not paying attention to the owner, and chasing your DC.

Some huskies and malamutes have great recall, but an awful lot cannot be trusted off-load and you will most often see them walking on-lead.

Shadow1986 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:57:18

**Perhaps the child who ran away should be on a lead though! :-)

?? Not sure if that’s a joke. It was just instinct because he was uncomfortable with a big dog that close.

ButFirstTea - No I think huskies are lovely dogs so you’ve taken what I said out of context there. I said lots of lovely dogs to show I’m not a dog hater. It was just the size of them in comparison to my small children, and the fact I don’t know how friendly they were and the owner didn’t call them back or appear to have them under control.

user1485342611 Tue 16-Jan-18 13:57:33

In most parks I go to there are signs saying dogs must be kept on a lead. But you will always see a couple of inconsiderate owners completely ignoring this. Regardless of whether you know your dog is fine/only playing or whatever, a stranger in the park doesn't know this, might be nervous around dogs, and is entitled to enjoy the park without selfish dog owners ruining it for them.

Shadow1986 Tue 16-Jan-18 14:00:39

**They didn't jump up at you growl or bark. Your whole objection seems to be that they were huskies and came near your children.

Nothing to do with them being huskies (was just relevant as they are big dogs), but yes I didn’t like them coming up to my small children without being called back.

monkeywithacowface Tue 16-Jan-18 14:01:47

We regularly see an off lead Wolfhound on our walks and DS2 is gutted that it WON'T come anywhere near him! He's huge and magnificent to watch but a total scaredy cat! (the dog not ds!)

bonbonours Tue 16-Jan-18 14:03:50

I can see ops point here. Some kids (and adults) are scared of dogs. As wine said the fact that a particular dog us unlikely to hurt them is neither here nor there. Dog owners need to acknowledge not everyone loves dogs and not allow them to run up to random people especially with kids.

My daughter wasn't scared of dogs until about age 3 when a huge Alsation ran up to her barking. It was taller than her noisy and had its mouth open. I think it was reasonable for her to be freaked. The owner made no attempt to call the dog away just said 'she won't hurt you.' Funnily enough thus was no comfort to my screaming 3 year old.

I am not scared of dogs myself but I do get irritated when people allow theirs to come and sniff at me or worse jump up. It's disrespectful of other people's personal space.

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