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A question about dog friendly beaches

(151 Posts)
SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:21:15

If you had a child that was obviously terrified of dogs would you take them to a dog friendly beach ?

Just asking because I had an experience that made me feel embarrassed and stressed . My dog is a lovely dog and having training but does get a bit over excited . We were on a dog friendly beach with him on a lead and lots of other doggy people with all their dogs running about said to let him off . So I did and he was fine coming back every time I called him. He played in the water and with other dogs . Then I saw him running to my right towards a family on the beach . I immediately called him and he came back to me and I put him back on the lead. But in those few seconds the girl was picked up by the father and was literally screaming and the mother was waving and shouting at my dog . Trust me I was mortified and almost in tears even though my dog had probably not got within 40 feet of them . But the child screaming obviously meant she was petrified of dogs and trust me there were a lot of dogs on the beach . And before you say yes I am taking my dog for more refresher training and I do feel bad .

Chocolateisfab Mon 08-Apr-19 20:23:02

Imo there needs to be dc free beaches....
We live at the beach and have this all the time.
Prefer out of season when the little snowflakes are indoors.
*I have dc +ddogs.

bengalcat Mon 08-Apr-19 20:23:50

I don’t think it was just the child who was scared of dogs

yearinyearout Mon 08-Apr-19 20:25:46

No, I wouldn't take children to a dog friendly beach if they didn't like dogs and I had no intention of trying to overcome their phobia. Idiots!

Wearywithteens Mon 08-Apr-19 20:26:28

So chocolate - small children who are frightened of dogs are ‘snowflakes’? And children shouldn’t be allowed on beaches because animals are more important? hmm

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Mon 08-Apr-19 20:27:42

You'd need to be a complete fucking moron to take your dog phobic child to a dog friendly beach.

DizzyPhillips Mon 08-Apr-19 20:28:41

I’ll be honest I don’t like dogs (and I loathe their entitled owners) and wish they’d stay the fuck away from me.

But I don’t think you’re being unreasonable here. Not at all. I don’t like dogs so I don’t take my kids to dog friendly beaches or cafes etc. It’s not hard.

Chocolateisfab Mon 08-Apr-19 20:30:10

There are ddog free beaches so should be ddog lover ones too.

Hiddenaspie1973 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:31:43

Would love dog free beaches.

Cherrysherbet Mon 08-Apr-19 20:32:20

How ridiculous. The parents must be teaching the child to be scared of dogs. It’s sad. I see it all the time.

If your children are irrationally scared of dogs, take them to a beach where there are no dogs allowed. Simple.

Wearywithteens Mon 08-Apr-19 20:35:56

But does a ‘dog friendly’ beach mean dogs are entitled to go sniffing, licking or jumping up every child, adult or picnic? Padding wet paws or drooling over every blanket or towel? Surely dog owners should still respect other people’s personal space and property?

Chocolateisfab Mon 08-Apr-19 20:36:04

Our beach has the summer season ddog free in the middle section
Ddogs allowed on the dunes all year round.

Lockheart Mon 08-Apr-19 20:37:13

@Hiddenaspie1973 there are tonnes of beaches where dogs aren't allowed. Between May and October it's difficult to find a beach you can take a dog to.

RE the OP, if you have a dog-phobic child, don't go to a dog-friendly beach. Stick to the dog-free beaches. The two don't mix!

DizzyPhillips Mon 08-Apr-19 20:37:21

I just couldn’t bear the poo. If people have the actual neck to leave a steaming pile of shite in the middle of a pavement (and so many of them do round here) I can’t imagine that they’d be any better at picking up after their dogs on a beach.

BMW6 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:37:25

Most beaches ARE dog free!
Some are dog friendly all year, most are totally dog free all summer.

There are always signs at beach advising where and when dogs are allowed to be. If a person is afraid of dogs I'd expect them to take note and not go to that beach if dogs are allowed!

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:37:46

There are more beaches that don’t allow dogs than do . Especially from May to Sept . It’s quite hard to find beaches where you can take your dogs , hence why there are usually a lot of dogs there . Like I said I accept responsibility because he was running towards them although the screaming and waving probably was an invitation to go in that direction , but the child was terrified not just nervous . By the way my dog is not a Rottweiler or anything . I immediately put him on a lead and walked away .

cardibach Mon 08-Apr-19 20:39:54

The OP’s dog didn’t do any of those things, Weary.

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:40:57

I always pick up after my dogs and most responsible dog owners do even on a beach . But even I am extremely annoyed when some dog owners hang the bags of poo up in trees which I saw in Cornwall which was disgusting. This beach was clean of poo though 🙂 and that was not the question.

adaline Mon 08-Apr-19 20:41:10


If their child is so scared of dogs, they should go to one of the millions of beaches that ban dogs!

Lockheart Mon 08-Apr-19 20:41:36

@Wearywithteens none of that happened in the OP though, so why bring it up?

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Mon 08-Apr-19 20:42:33

"But does a ‘dog friendly’ beach mean dogs are entitled to go sniffing, licking or jumping up every child, adult or picnic? Padding wet paws or drooling over every blanket or towel? Surely dog owners should still respect other people’s personal space and property?"

Didn't take long for the usual MN shite about dogs to appear...

BMW6 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:43:30

I've never seen dog poo left on dog friendly beach.

And to the person complaining dogs get too close to picnic etc - go to (much bigger and usually nicer) the area where dogs aren't allowed?
(Unless you are having a beach picnic between October and May, which would be odd but not impossible)

FudgeBrownie2019 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:44:15

So chocolate - small children who are frightened of dogs are ‘snowflakes’?

Children whose parents react in such an overdramatic and outrageous way are absolutely going to grow into snowflakes because they'll never be taught to remain calm and work through their fears. And parents who take a dog phobic child to a dog friendly beach are crevices. Massive ones.

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:44:40

I had lots of dogs running up to me and my dogs , all very friendly that’s why I guess I was a bit shocked. I would have apologised to the family but obviously did not want to approach them with my dog to make things worse.

The one saving grace is that he is whistle trained and could hear the whistle abouve the sound of the sea and wind . It was the only thing I was feeling good about.

BMW6 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:45:51

You see it's not so much why are others letting their dogs be a problem to you, as why are you in the wrong area?

Wearywithteens Mon 08-Apr-19 20:48:04

I realise OP’s dog didn’t do that but lots of posters seem to think by even going on a ‘dog friendly’ beach, other people, who may not like dogs, suddenly have no right to personal space on that same beach.

DizzyPhillips Mon 08-Apr-19 20:48:06

No I’m aware it wasn’t the question OP (I answered your question) but it makes me so fucking angry.

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:48:20

To be clear the screaming was hysterical and happened within about 10 seconds so I would say there was a real fear or phobia. I have grandchildren and would never want to see them that upset. I would not call the child a snowflake but would worry if they reacted that way close to a dog even in a lead. And I say that as someone who ended up in hospital after a dog attack ( not my own) . I used to walk on the other side of the street if I saw a certain breed of dog .

stucknoue Mon 08-Apr-19 20:48:23

Ddog ignores both humans (except us) and dogs, his main love is spherical and green. I would love a child free beach because I'm fed up with people allowing their kids to pester him - now he will play ball with them for a bit but they won't stop and he gets overheated easily.

JK2012 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:48:49

I live in Cornwall (not sure where you are) but there are beaches where dogs are allowed all year and some which have a seasonal dog ban. I think there are a very small amount which don’t allow dogs at all.

Anyway, as a parent I would expect dogs it be at a dog friendly beach, we are dog owners and love them but sometimes we may choose to go a beach with a seasonal dog ban. Mainly because DS has additional needs and is a little nervous of dogs approaching him but DD doesn’t bat an eye lid.

If they knew their child was afraid of dogs then they should of visited a beach with a ban in my opinion.

I do think care should be taken with dogs and kept on leads when a beach is heaving in the peak summer months (I’m talking if it’s a jam packed boiling hot kinda day) but otherwise I think families should expect there to be dogs on a dog friendly beach 😊

Most dog owners are pretty responsible and know their dog well enough to determine whether they should be on or off lead.

It doesn’t sound like your dog did anything wrong imo. 😊

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Mon 08-Apr-19 20:50:20

"I realise OP’s dog didn’t do that but lots of posters seem to think by even going on a ‘dog friendly’ beach, other people, who may not like dogs, suddenly have no right to personal space on that same beach"

No but if you insist on going to a dog friendly beach then just maybe you need to accept the possibility that you might just, I don't know, encounter a dog...?

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:50:42

I do realise that people have a right to personal space hence why I called him back as fast as I could . Unfortunately he can run very fast and very quickly . I said it was my fault for letting him get to far from me and that I will go to refresher training .

BertrandRussell Mon 08-Apr-19 20:50:43

“But does a ‘dog friendly’ beach mean dogs are entitled to go sniffing, licking or jumping up every child, adult or picnic? Padding wet paws or drooling over every blanket or towel? Surely dog owners should still respect other people’s personal space and property?"

Didn't take long for the usual MN shite about dogs to appear...

It’s not shite. Even on a dog friendly beach you should stop your dog hassling people. It’s dog friendly-not dog exclusive. But no, it’s daft to take a child who’s scared of dogs to a dog friendly beach. Maybe they didn’t realise? Several of our beaches stop being dog friendly on the 31st March.

PengAly Mon 08-Apr-19 20:52:20

@Wearywithteens why dont you actually read the OP? Her dog didnt even get near that family.
Op, you or your dog did nothing wrong. Actually your dog seems very well trained. He came back when called. That family was over reacting and being very silly. Please dont worry about this.

Fyi MN is full of dog haters so done your hard hat...

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:52:38

Yes I agree perhaps they did not realise because this beach bans dogs from May to Sept . But it was obvious as soon as you got there because there were a lot of dogs .

optimisticpessimist01 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:54:09

It was a dog friendly beach. Their parents are clearly over-protective about dogs, so they shouldn't have taken their precious child there. Sounds like a massive over reaction on their behalf. If they're going to react like that whenever a dog goes within half a mile radius of them, they shouldn't go somewhere where there's guaranteed to be dozens of dogs! Complete lack of common sense


Tootyfilou Mon 08-Apr-19 20:57:15

You did nothing wrong... and neither did your dog. There are plenty of beaches that do not allow dogs... surely you would take your dog phobic child there.

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 20:57:22

I have learnt my lesson and trust me I did feel bad . Mainly because I don’t like getting responsible dog owners a bad name . My dog loves all people and all dogs but I totally appreciate that people are NOT aware of that . The recall training obviously worked . Walking to heel obviously went out of the window in the excitement of the environment.

PengAly Mon 08-Apr-19 20:59:12

I have learnt my lesson and trust me I did feel bad

Op, in the nicest way...are you even reading the posts on here? Lots of pp have said you and your dog did nothing wrong so stop beating yourself up about it.

BertrandRussell Mon 08-Apr-19 20:59:24

One of our beaches has become no dogs after April 1st for the first time this year. No living thing has ever looked as tragic as my little beast when I had to call her back into the car on Sunday.....

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:00:28

Actually on a good point while we were on holiday we had a lot of children ask if they could come and say hello to our dogs , and I congratulated every one for asking rather than just approaching. Totally the right thing to do .

Wearywithteens Mon 08-Apr-19 21:02:01

Sorry OP - just to say I wasn’t having a go at you - you called your dog back and put it on a lead. I would have appreciated that. Our kids were nervous around dogs (but not hysterical) but still would expect to be left alone to enjoy the beach even if it was ‘dog friendly’. Sometimes when our children were very little it would never have occurred to us to look at the signs to see if a beach was dog friendly because (not being dog owners) it never occurred to us that there would be a problem. Years of experience of entitled dog owners, dogs ruining our food and ‘he’s only being friendly’ types made my children very skittish if a dog even came their way.

VioletCharlotte Mon 08-Apr-19 21:02:30

I've had the same thing happen to me. Dog friendly beach, loads of dogs off lead. My dog approaches two children who immediately start screaming hysterically. Dad yells at my dog and tells me to "put your f-in dog on a lead."

There are hundreds of dog-free beaches nearly, why not go to one of them?

Slicedpineapple Mon 08-Apr-19 21:02:36

No if my child was that scared I wouldn't take them to a dog friendly beach.

If we see families on the beach I will put ddog on a lead just in case he wants to say hello. No one has ever said anything when I'm recalling him to put him on, but if they do I will point them to the many many no dogs beaches. There is only one beach dogs are now allowed on near us any time except winter.

We went to Wales for a long weekend a while ago and took a short ferry trip. Ddog is fine with boats and very chill on a lead. He settled in between my legs and sat with me as asked. A child got on and immediately started screaming at the sight of him. The mum got very angry and started shouting asking why dogs were allowed there - he couldn't have been more calm or restrained. The boat person (skipper?) appeared with his off lead collie, but put him on a lead, and suggested if she and her family had an issue with calm controlled dogs then they should wait and get a different ferry. It is annoying when your dog isn't doing anything wrong to feel like you have a lion on a lead rather than a bloody dog.

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:02:44

Thank you for your comments . The dog in question is a rescue and has been hard work .

starzig Mon 08-Apr-19 21:05:44

I was on a supposedly dog free beach in the summer and still people kept taking their dogs on. All beaches and parks should be dog free

whitesoxx Mon 08-Apr-19 21:06:50

I don't like dogs. One trotted across my picnic blanket today off its lead in a park where they have to be on leads.

Those owners were in the wrong, irresponsible and entitled. I told them as much.

However, you did nothing wrong so don't sweat it. If it's allowed and it's a dog friendly beach then it's to be expected.

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Mon 08-Apr-19 21:07:49

"It’s not shite. Even on a dog friendly beach you should stop your dog hassling people. It’s dog friendly-not dog exclusive."

Except OPs dog did none of the things mentioned, so it's not just the usual MN shite, it's irrelevant shite.

OutInTheCountry Mon 08-Apr-19 21:08:27

I live near the beach and have a daughter who was very nervous around dogs when she was a bit younger, this was after she saw a dog bite her sister so it's not something that she was taught.

To be honest it would never have occurred to me to check whether a beach was dog friendly or not before we went on, I would expect that most owners would have reasonable control of their dogs but I certainly wouldn't have freaked out if one came right up for a sniff, I would just have dealt with it. I suppose it depends on how severe the phobia is. I don't think you've done anything wrong to be honest.

WiltedDaffs Mon 08-Apr-19 21:13:12

My son would want to be picked up and would look afraid of a dog.

He's not a "snowflake", he's not even afraid of the dog. However he is afraid of his face swelling up again (he's very allergic to them).

For that reason, I usually only take him on a beach with a dog ban (though have seen this being ignored in some places). The one exception was when we walked up to the Burnham-on-Sea lighthouse as it's on the dog friendly section of the beach.

I can't never take him places where dogs might be. That would be very limiting to never go to a country park, or even to get to the play area in our local park. So yes, I do have to pick him up and dog owners often tell him/me that their dog is friendly...I'm sure the dog is lovely, but that won't stop his allergies.

Silversky70 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:17:47

Fucking hate dogs and love beaches. They're all dog friendly where we go, ruins most things. We like to go for a run sometimes and are always chased and one time even bitten. Usually we see the dogs but no owner in sight. Not you, op, but these are our experiences. Even dog friendly cafes now. Had to squeeze into a tiny cafe with a huge dog at my feet. Obviously we won't go again now it's changed. Such a shame but I know that it's dog walkers that bring the money in during the low season.

Barbie222 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:21:46

If you've never had a dog and never thought about it, you might not be aware that there are doggy and dogless beaches. It wouldn't occur to my mother in law, for example, and she can't bear dogs. So I could see her going to a beach and freaking out at a dog off it's leash. Maybe that's what's happened here? Not to say that you were in the wrong OP, you had every right to bring your dog and let it play.

1633tonow Mon 08-Apr-19 21:28:23

Was it Broadstairs? I’ve seen incidents like that there. It’s a doggy beach though!

RandomMess Mon 08-Apr-19 21:39:26

Having had a child that was terrified of dogs, no I never took her to dog friendly/welcome places until she got over it (took several years).

Go to a dog friendly beach, dogs are going to get relatively close to you 🤷🏽‍♀️

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:44:53

I don’t think it’s a wrong area unless you are terrified of dogs ? That’s what I was asking ?

Of course there are families on dog friendly beaches it happens all the time ?

I don’t quite get your point .

fantasticdog Mon 08-Apr-19 21:48:07

It’s so difficult. I have 3 dogs with various recall success at various times. My oldest dog aged 8 is by far the worst. He sees someone a mile along the beach and would shoot towards that person in an instant. He’s so friendly and boisterous. He’s loved and loathed!!! That’s why I always keep him on a lead and it’s such a shame that he can’t enjoy off lead time at the beach unless there is no one in sight. There’s always the winter months. Kids generally visit the beach in the summer whereas in the winter there’s less chance of coming across them. Some dog owners have got no insight into how their dogs behaviour may affect others. I totally understand why op let dog off lead. I always feel sorry for my old boy whilst my other dogs and the rest on the beach are running about having a whale of a time. My other dogs will ignore other people it if they show an interest they will listen as soon as I say leave. My oldest dog has been like this since he was a pup and training has had limited success because I’ve never trusted him enough to let him off where there are people. If I was to try it in a controlled environment I might be successful but because I don’t know I just don’t risk it. Your dog listened to you and recall so seems like they over reacted. They probably had a number of dogs bothering them and your dog approaching was the last straw

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:48:09


Yes I guess that could be true . Because there are a lot of beaches that don’t allow dogs or have a separate section we have to do our research before visiting whereas non dog owners may not even think about that . Good point . We are always very careful to plan before we go .

FenellaMaxwell Mon 08-Apr-19 21:48:43

A woman started shrieking about my “vicious” dog on the train once. Said dog is about the size of a rabbit, looks like a teddy bear, was in a secure dog carrier at the time and we were sat right at the other end of the carriage. The only way she knew there was a dog on the train at all was people stopping on their way past us to comment on how cute the dog was - she hadn’t even seen the dog for herself. She actually tried to order us off the train. hmm

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 22:08:01


That’s just ridiculous 😀

FenellaMaxwell Mon 08-Apr-19 22:10:54

See? Vicious.....

1633tonow Mon 08-Apr-19 22:14:36


Arghh keep him away from me!


FenellaMaxwell Mon 08-Apr-19 22:15:12

I think of her as being much like the rabbit in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.....

OrangeSamphire Mon 08-Apr-19 22:16:19

Well it depends.

If my children were dog phobic, I wouldn’t make a journey to take them to a dog friendly beach, no.

However, we live on the beach. It happens to be dog friendly all year round. I would be pretty pissed off if I couldn’t take my children there because of dogs.

Luckily my children aren’t dog phobic.

I do lament a lot of other dog owners I see daily on the beach though who won’t or can’t control their dogs. Particularly when I have mine on the lead if the beach is busy and they won’t recall their off lead dog.

MarieG10 Mon 08-Apr-19 22:18:22

I'm interested in how you determine it is a dog friendly beach....assume there is a notice? All I have seen is notices of 'No Dogs'

It may be a dog friendly beach but the law still says you have to have a dog under control.

I was out walking last year along a public footpath and a dog was out walking with their owner. Not on a lead and it then proceeded to jump on me and then try to mate with my leg. The owner was fuming that I kicked it off me and said it was just being friendly....I rest my case. I'm obviously not dog friendly

OrangeSamphire Mon 08-Apr-19 22:20:10

I agree Marie. It doesn’t mean it’s a US style dog park where they can romp around doing whatever they like. But that seems to be what a lot of owners think.

1633tonow Mon 08-Apr-19 22:23:43


Councils produce lists of beaches where dogs are allowed. Like this:

“Dogs & their owners are WELCOME on the following beaches/proms:
GRENHAM BAY, Birchington.
EPPLE BAY, Birchington.
SACKETTS GAP, Cliftonville.
PALM BAY, Cliftonville.
FORENESS POINT, Cliftonville.
KINGSGATE BAY, Broadstairs.

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 22:25:37

Yes again appreciate your comment . Some beaches clearly say when dogs are allowed and when they are not . . Others it is not so clear. And I did say in my previous post I appreciate the family may not have realised until they got there .

For dog owners the internet is great because it lists dog friendly beaches. But be assured I won’t be letting one of mine off the lead on a beach again until I am sure he will play with dogs only , stay close and have 100% recall . Which he did actually he just went in the wrong direction 😡

SusieOwl4 Mon 08-Apr-19 22:30:09


That applies to dogs as well . We had lots of dogs coming up to our dogs , luckily they were all friendly but you don’t know that when they approach you . dog etiquette and training is a complicated subject . Personally I advocate dog licences and responsibility , but that’s a completely different subject 😀

chemenger Mon 08-Apr-19 22:33:02

Nothing makes me want a dog more than seeing them running around on the beach, we regularly go to a beach in Scotland where the dogs outnumber the children, and it is brilliant to watch them have fun.
I love a US dog park too, dogs just being dogs. There is a dog park right in the middle of the public park here in Boston, not fenced off particularly and it doesn't seem to cause problems, the dogs are so fixated on playing together and with balls etc that they ignore everything else. It's clear to me that the UK is not a nation of dog lovers like the US is. People here love it when I talk to their dogs, everyone at home in the UK seems to be trying to render their dogs invisible in case someone complains about something.

RSAcre Mon 08-Apr-19 22:35:34

in those few seconds the girl was picked up by the father and was literally screaming and the mother was waving and shouting at my dog

YANBU. The parents' action are reinforcing the child's fear. Maybe they even STARTED the child's fear.

It is their responsibility to train teach their daughter that screaming is an inappropriate response. Unfortunately, they are doing the exact opposite.

It may not have been possible in this instance, but people who are nervous around dogs (& I DO understand that many people are, & it can't feel pleasant) NEED to benefit from an exercise that can be learned in 30 seconds. I have taught this to random kids while out & about, & 90% of them have loved it, made it into a game:

Stand up as tall as you can.
Cross your arms across your chest.
You are Queen/King of the whole world! Put that expression on your face! Really mean it! Overact it, make it fun! But no smiling! Stic you chin up!
Look away from the dog, very obviously Remember - chin up!
Stand absolutely still. The dog might come close to you for a sniff, but will not touch you if you are Queening/Kinging it like this. Remember not to look at them & within a few seconds the dog will go away.
Really - this will make the dog go away.

Most people are v happy for their kids/themselves to learn this.

bobstersmum Mon 08-Apr-19 22:38:35

I love dogs we have a dog. I love kids I have three of those. I hate people's dogs bombing up to the kids (especially little dd who isn't even two) and jumping up with muddy feet knocking them over, and then the owners say oh come here ddog he loves kids you know! Not sorry I can't control my dog and sorry that he's just made your child look like they've just crawled out of a swamp and also knocked them over. Dogs can be allowed anywhere for me, on leads or fully under control!!!

MarieG10 Mon 08-Apr-19 22:40:02

RSAcre. I'm sorry but the onus is in the dog owner to control the dog. That is what the law says, not just some mouthy mum on Mumsnet. It isn't the responsibility of a parent to ensure that there child isn't scared of dogs. Some are and some are I know from my kids and their friends.

chemenger Mon 08-Apr-19 22:47:17

I think we can all agree that life is easier without fear of everyday things. I know I am more at ease now that I'm not scared of spiders to the point that I couldn't breathe when I saw one (no magic solution, one day I just realised I wasn't worried about them any more). So helping children get over fear of dogs is a positive thing. Yes, owners should be in control of their dogs, but that doesn't mean that living with a dog phobia is a good idea. Giving them tools to help them, like RSAcre's routine is a good idea to give them a feeling of control.

RSAcre Mon 08-Apr-19 22:50:39

All beaches and parks should be dog free

They should also be entitled, unreasonable eejit free, but there's no legislating for that.

1633tonow Mon 08-Apr-19 22:51:12


cadburyegg Mon 08-Apr-19 22:52:11

Not all children who are dog phobic are scared because their parents trained them to be that way. After 4 years of off lead dogs jumping up at my DS1, he IS a little dog phobic. Yes it’s my job to try and teach him how to react appropriately but 4 year olds are impulsive and it’s going to take time to reverse some learned behaviours that have developed due to some irresponsible dog owners. Young children are influenced by all kinds of things, not just their parents, especially when they start nursery/school and their experiences aren’t just about what us parents expose them to.

I have taken DS on dog friendly beaches in the past, partly because some dog friendly beaches are also child friendly with rock pools, calm tide etc. but also because I don’t think it helps him to be kept away from dogs entirely. He’s actually got much better with dogs since being exposed to some well behaved ones.

Even on a dog friendly beach I would expect a dog off lead to have good recall and not run up to children. Similarly how I wouldn’t allow my children to run up to or stroke strange dogs.

Lifeover Mon 08-Apr-19 23:03:57

They are idiots for going on a dog friendly beach. Why do that when so many ban dogs. It’s quite clear your dog was no where near them but they think the world revolves around their phobias.

The trouble with making so few beaches dog friendly is that the ones which are get overrun with dogs packed into small spaces. It’s strange that in the winter months when dog walkers are quite often the only people on there the beaches are a lot cleaner than in the summer months when dogs are banned. I have never seen dog poo on a beach yet.

RSAcre Mon 08-Apr-19 23:04:31

RSAcre. I'm sorry but the onus is in the dog owner to control the dog. That is what the law says,


Please don't misunderstand - it's possible to have your dog under control AND teach this little training game. One does not exclude the other.
Usually it has been to help/reassure/covertly train parents who are giving off (understandable - my last dog was huge) nervous vibes. Teaching the kid, who usually wanted to pet Big Handsome Dog, a game which gave them ACTUAL POWER over a dog (my dog would demonstrate the result for them) helped the confidence of both kid & parent.

whitesoxx Mon 08-Apr-19 23:41:38

@FenellaMaxwell if the dog was in a box on the train fair enough. That story is ridiculous. However, I would hate that dog coming near me. Absolutely hate it.

Why are you assuming it's about size? confusedangry

FenellaMaxwell Tue 09-Apr-19 00:32:06

@whitesoxx I mention the size to illustrate that from the other end of the carriage, with the dog in a carrier, she wouldn’t be able to see it. The dog isn’t going to be able to “come near you” if it’s peacefully say in a corner of the train, inside a carrier, being held by its owner who is also peacefully sitting there.

afteralongday Tue 09-Apr-19 08:54:39

As far as I know dogs are not allowed off lead unless they are under the owner's control. That's the law, I believe.

whitesoxx Tue 09-Apr-19 09:02:02

As I said, fair enough if it's in a box but this thread is about dogs off the lead. And you are referring to your dog like he's small and harmless.

He's not to some people.

echt Tue 09-Apr-19 09:05:47

As far as I know dogs are not allowed off lead unless they are under the owner's control. That's the law, I believe

Dogs are expected to be under the control of their owners at all times, on or off lead. This is not the same as what you said.

echt Tue 09-Apr-19 09:08:24

And you are referring to your dog like he's small and harmless.He's not to some people

FFS please read the circumstances of Fenella's post about the circumstances of a person's "encounter" with her dog in a box out sight.

whitesoxx Tue 09-Apr-19 09:19:52

I've said it's fine in the box 🤷🏽‍♀️

whitesoxx Tue 09-Apr-19 09:20:36

Just don't want her thinking it's ok to run over to me in different circumstances just because he's small and furry

FenellaMaxwell Tue 09-Apr-19 09:52:00

Where did I even vaguely imply I intended to let my dog run over to you? confused

JMoore Tue 09-Apr-19 10:12:54

I have a dog of the small, white and fluffy variety (a Coton de Tulear, to be specific). She is an absolute child magnet, but still there are some who are afraid of her. I am always glad when I see a parent who is trying to manage their child's fear. My DD was nervous around dogs when she was small, and we practiced the whole 'stand still, don't look at the dog' thing. It worked really well because it put her in control and she became very confident around dogs. She was the first one in the family to ask (pester us) for a dog!

We live in Germany now, which is very dog-friendly. So, anyone who doesn't like to see dogs on trains, in shops or in restaurants might find it difficult here. In general though, people here are very good about controlling their dogs and also about picking up after them. Last year we went to the North Sea, to an area that had a dog beach - a designated area, where dogs were allowed. There was one part for on-leash dogs and another for off-leash, both clearly separated from the main beach (no dogs allowed there) with fences and signs. Everyone on that stretch of beach had at least one dog. It was absolutely brilliant!

BloodyDisgrace Tue 09-Apr-19 10:17:16

I wonder how is one to know if a certain beach is dog friendly? Are there notices to this effect?

BertrandRussell Tue 09-Apr-19 10:20:14

“I wonder how is one to know if a certain beach is dog friendly? Are there notices to this effect?”

There are always signs. And dog owners should look for them. <hard stare at some fellow dog ow era I can think of>

BloodyDisgrace Tue 09-Apr-19 10:28:19

RSAcre good advice to show a random dog who's the boss. I do wonder though that, say, a jogger or someone on a bicycle won't be able to perform this trick. But should be ok for a walker. Plus an owner doing their bit of course.
[I am no longer fearful of dogs thanks to some nice ones who were very kind and affectionate towards me; I am only activated by anti-cat people, and especially those of them who are dog owners and allow their dogs to chase cats - these have to be washed off the surface of the earth with a powerful jet of cat piss but everyone else is fine]

BloodyDisgrace Tue 09-Apr-19 10:29:08

Bertrand, I see. Thank you.

WatchingTheWheels85 Tue 09-Apr-19 10:31:44

I don't like dogs at all, we live in pembrokeshire so spend every nice evening and day at the beach. We only go to beaches with a dog ban.

BlueSlipperSocks Tue 09-Apr-19 10:33:46

You and your dog did nothing wrong. Your dog became a bit excited but recalled before reaching the dog hating family.

We will soon be at that time of year when people will congregate in droves to the beach, for a few days, when the sun comes out. They will leave all their rubbish for dog walkers, who walk the beaches every day of the year, to clear up.

Beaches are much nicer places when there's no sun to coax the rabble out!

AnemoneAnenome Tue 09-Apr-19 10:39:16

OP it sounds to me like you had your dog under excellent control and have nothing to feel bad about.

I'm terrible with dogs as is one of my children. We still go to parks - it would be ridiculous not to - so I can't berate these parents for going to a dog friendly beach with very similar rules.

I'm sure I would cuddle my child if they screamed and jumped up on me in fear. But what I'd be saying in her ear is "wow what a clever dog, she went straight back when she was called, she must have worked really hard on her training" etc.

InACheeseAndPickle Tue 09-Apr-19 13:05:50

Phobia of dogs is a real thing my dniece has it and she's not a snowflake. However we wouldn't take her to a dog friendly beach. It annoys me a bit when people take their dogs to beaches where they're explicitly banned as it ruins dniece's day but I'd never complain in a park/beach/wherever where a dog is allowed to play.

CalmDownPacino Tue 09-Apr-19 13:07:32

Exactly BlueSlipperSocks. Well bloody said!

The absolute filth left by PEOPLE on beaches is astounding.

havingtochangeusernameagain Tue 09-Apr-19 13:23:01

I would not take my child to a dog-friendly beach if they were scared of dogs.

However, I still expect dogs on all beaches to be under control, and I also expect them not to be on beaches that are not dog-friendly.

A dog-friendly beach means you can take your dog there. It does not mean that it can inconvenience others on the beach. Not that I like beaches anyway.

BarbarianMum Tue 09-Apr-19 13:23:18

Is it that easy to find a dog-free beach in April? I thought most are only dog free May-Sept.

HBStowe Tue 09-Apr-19 13:34:04

YANBU. Any parent who takes a kid who is that afraid of dogs to a dog-friendly beach is failing their child tbh. Dog-free beaches exist, and children who are afraid should be helped to overcome their fear in a way that doesn’t involve plunging them into a situation they’re terrified of.

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