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to think if you see another dog on a lead you should put yours on the lead too?

(63 Posts)
girlsyearapart Thu 24-Sep-09 08:01:16

Always thought it was unwritten rule of dog walking that if you see another dog on the lead you should put yours on too?
Other dog could be on lead as is aggressive/on heat/scared of other dogs whatever.
Anyway my dog isn't any of the above but can be a bit of a pita and hang around other dogs for ages so when I'm out running with him and I see other dogs I put him on lead so I can keep running.
Seems like other people don't apply same rules though and I have their dogs coming up and tripping me over trying to get to my dog.
Getting irritated as if my dog was aggressive and snapped at other dog when he was on the lead I feel like it wouldn't really be my fault.
DH says I am BU. Am I?

thighsmadeofcheddar Thu 24-Sep-09 08:05:30

YANBU and I agree with you. My dog is a bit unreliable with other dogs (aggressive with some, sometimes not) and I always have him on the lead with other dogs around. Totally drives me barmy that other people let their dog run right up to us and bark etc.

Tombliboobs Thu 24-Sep-09 08:06:26


I am a dog owner too and I get annoyed with people who don't put a lead on their dog, let them come bounding up to you and give your dog a fright and they don't acknowledge that the dog is out of control because it hasn't stayed with them, won't go when told to and has to be dragged back to then be put on the lead.

AllThreeWays Thu 24-Sep-09 08:06:33

I guess it depends on the situation. I think you ABU if you are in an area that is for off lead exercise, no one (i assume) would take their aggressive dogs into such an area.

But elsewhere I think it is fair to expect not to be bothered by off lead dogs

ceres Thu 24-Sep-09 08:54:29

allthreeways - my dog is not aggressive. he is however a staffordshire bull terrier so lots of people think he is a 'devil dog'. he is happy to 'say hello' to other dogs but does get a bit worried with overly bouncy dogs or ones who keep sniffing at him while he desperately tries to get away from them.

i put him on a lead when there are other people with dogs, or people with children, around (incidentally he is brilliant with children).

it really, really annoys me when people let their dog come bounding up to mine while they amble on obliviously - often miles away. as my dog is on lead then if anything happened (remember even the most non-aggressive dog can snap out of fear) then legally it would not be my fault - my dog is under control, theirs is not.

however as i mentioned earlier my dog is a staffie - a much misunderstood breed. although legally not my fault i am pretty sure he would be blamed just because he is a staffie.

so i think the op is def NOT BU, owners should have control of their dogs and not let a dog run up to anyone, human or canine, unless they are absolutely sure that it is welcome.

gagamama Thu 24-Sep-09 09:10:04

I have to say, I don't often do this, but my dog is very easily bribed with anything remotely edible and is a bit nervous of approaching other dogs anyway. It wouldn't really occur to me to put him on the lead in an open space just because another dog was on the lead. TBH, I'd expect any dangerous dog to be leashed and/or muzzled. It's fair and well to say that other dog walkers should leash their dogs if yours might turn nasty, but what if it was a child wandering up to the dog? Surely it's the responsibility of the dog owner to make sure that the dog doesn't injure anything coming near it, not the responsibility of whatever is passing by to avoid the dog?

ScaredOfCows Thu 24-Sep-09 09:15:57

Well, I think it depends on the other dog really. Our dog is trained not to approach other dogs/children/etc unless told he can, so I would not put him on a lead just because I see another dog on one. But I do know what you mean about dogs that bother.

bentneckwine1 Thu 24-Sep-09 09:21:07


This is my pet hate too. I walk my dog
round the village park and always keep her on the lead. The park is not huge and there are usualy kids playing, football matches going on and lots of other dog walkers. There is not IMHO enough 'clearance room' for dogs to be roaming about off the lead without impacting on something else that is happening in the park.

HOWEVER - the amount of people who are happy to let their dogs charge about round the park whilst the owners stand in one corner and chat amongst themselves really annoys me. We have to dodge at least one 'friendly' dog each walk and it upsets my dog who feels threatened and vulnerable on the lead when faced with another dog running around it. So my dog gives a warning growl in as much to say 'get me out of here'! The other owners have usually arrived by this point and all they hear is my dog growling and think she is on the lead because she is snappy...when in fact she is on the lead as a matter of fact because it is a public space and that is the responsible thing to do.

The only place I let my dog off the lead is on long deserted beaches or remote country walks where I can scan the area and easily identify other dogs long before we encounter them giving me plenty time to put my dog on a lead. We were once overtaken by a family who walked past from behind...I hadn't noticed them coming. Their dog and mine met each other off the lead and took off to play chasing for a good five I know that my dog is not aggressive and capable of meeting other dogs off lead without incident. However being on the lead freaks them out if the other dog is charging about freely.

The only other thing I hate more is the people who walk their dogs around the village streets -including crossing roads- without the dog on a lead. That I think should be illegal regardless of breed of dog...all it takes is for two dogs on opposite sides of the road to spot each other and run off into the road to reach it other...major accident waiting to happen.

confuddledDOTcom Thu 24-Sep-09 09:23:25

The only dog I ever walked off lead on the road I could trust to walk with me or she would have been on the lead. If you have a dog that can't be trusted then it should be on the lead whether around other dogs or not.

YANBU, this drives me crazy.

ceres I could have written your post! I ahve an identical stafford, who behaves just like that.

MrsJohnDeere Thu 24-Sep-09 09:34:50

YANBU. I always put mine on a lead if I see another dog or people approaching. The only exception would be if I knew the person/dog and knew that they liked my dog (and vice versa).

My pet hate (no pun intended) is people who let their 'friendly' dogs come bounding over to mine who absolutely hates being sniffed and having dogs right up in his face.

hatwoman Thu 24-Sep-09 09:43:58

ime dogs on leads feel threatened by dogs off leads. and ime runners (I'm one) don;t want to stop for a chat while the dogs play for 5 minutes. however I do wonder if this is more of an issue in sub/urban areas - where you're more likely to encounter dogs you don;t know and to walk the dogs in parks where there are lots of people and activities like football. Where I live it's all open country and it's quite unusal to see a dog on a lead. in fact very unusual.
I was quite struck by bentneckwine's comment that she once met a another dog and they played together. This happens every time we walk the dog. also we know most of the dogs we see, and know the owners - the vast majority are well trained and behaved so we chat for 5 minutes, and/or walk together, while the dogs play. and the dogs come away when told. There are some dogs (generally grumpy and/or old ones, poor things just want peace and quiet) who don't want to play and I know that before I get to them, and, either make sure our dog doesn;'t approach them or, put him on a lead. and if it's a strange dog on a lead I mutter "you in't from round these parts" and keep mine away. but it very rarely happens.

bentneckwine1 Thu 24-Sep-09 09:50:46

mrsjohndeere...does your dog then give a warning bark/growl when these friendly dogs appear in his face? My dog does and I have witnessed other leashed dogs snarling at the dog running up to them...and it is always the growling dog that gets the blame.

I had my dog at the vet a couple of weeks ago and there was a lady there in the waiting room with a big, barking dog that she insisted on letting wander around the romm...lead trailing on the ground whilst she fiddled with her phone. The dog approached another large dog that was straining at it's lead and there was about to be a nasty fight. The vet came out and separated the, took one and shut it up in a room. The woman with the wandering dog was asked to take it outside to wait but she said no because it was raining!! The vet forced the lead in the owners hand and made her stand in the oppostite corner of the waiting area...all the while her dog snarled and growled...not just at dogs also at the nurses etc walking past.

I have never been so relieved to be taken for my appointment - the vet was opening a side door and letting people leave without passing that big dog. I would like to think that the vet gave the woman a proper talking to - she had no control over that dog and was completely unaware that some dogs are extra anxious in the vet and that she should have taken all that into account instead of ignoring her dog and allowing it to bother everyone. I love dogs but was petrified sitting there with that dog in the same room - my back was leaning against emergency exit and I was preparing to open it and run if the fight got out of hand!!

countrybump Thu 24-Sep-09 09:50:48

It depends on the situation really, and I think maybe you are being unreasonable. If your dog is on a lead because they are agressive then they should also be muzzled.

There have to be areas where dogs can run free, and it is really good for dogs to be well socialised with other dogs, so that they can read their signals. My dog is often off the lead, and generally stays away from any dogs that are on a lead as they can't play (and dogs are always more aggressive when on a lead as the option of running away has been taken away from them).

Dogs greeting each other appropriately should be encouraged, and if all dogs were well socialised it would be much easier for everyone! My dog does want to greet other dogs, but he also reads signals from other dogs well (because he has been allowed to meet other dogs from a very early age). He will quickly back away from an aggressive dog, although I have to say if a dog is on heat then there is absolutely no way I would be able to get him away, and he would have bounded over to the other dog a long time before I had even seen it.

But, in areas where there are lots of people then it is more appropriate to keep a dog on a lead

ReneRusso Thu 24-Sep-09 09:53:57

"Always thought it was unwritten rule of dog walking that if you see another dog on the lead you should put yours on too?"

I'm very puzzled by this. I have never heard of this rule and it would never cross my mind to put my dog on a lead just because somebody else's dog is on a lead. My dog will probably have a quick sniff of the other dogs bottom and then move along. What's the problem?

Stayingsunnygirl Thu 24-Sep-09 09:55:55

I let my puppy off the lead in secluded spaces, and if I see another dog, I do my best to get her back to me or to catch hold of her, and I talk to the other dog owner about whether they are happy for the dogs to play together. If the other owner doesn't want her playing with/bothering their dog, or if she misbehaves, I apologise and put her on the lead at once.

I wouldn't dream of letting her off the lead somewhere where there are other things like football or children playing going on, because I know she's too young not to get excited and want to join in - so I don't put her in temptation's way.

I will remember this thread if I see another dog on a lead when my puppy is off the lead - it's another of the new things I need to learn as a dog owner - because I do want to be a responsible dog owner with a pleasant and wellbehaved dog - and I am doing my best, honest!

bentneckwine1 Thu 24-Sep-09 09:57:11

hatwoman...when I said that we once met a dog and they played off lead I meant because where I tend to walk the dog I could be there for two hours and not see another soul the whole time. The situation was unusual in that someone passed whilst we were there...and more so that I hadn't noticed them.

I often walk my dog with family/friends and their dogs which all play off the lead with no issue.

Sorry if I implied that my dog had only ever behaved once!! She would be kept on the lead if that was the case... wink

loler Thu 24-Sep-09 09:59:08

Hatwoman - sounds like we live in the same sort of area. I know most of the other dogs around here and so does my dog - if she sees an old grumpy one she slouches past ignoring it. She can also spot a playful one a mile off.

If we go for a walk away from a local area I try to keep an eye out for dogs on leads but it isn't always possible to grab my dog before we reach them. If she did get snapped at then I would think it was my own fault but part of the fun of having a dog is letting it do what it's designed to, not keeping it constantly on a rope. I'm thinking about walks in woods/fields here not parks.

so in summary after all that waffle - no YANBU

hatwoman Thu 24-Sep-09 10:00:18

I agree with your point about dogs being used to greeting each other - and i think that's why dogs off lead seems to work well round here. Also - a bit like yours - my dog (despite being quite big - he's a lab) is a total wuss and runs away from anything with the slightest whiff of aggression about it.

hatwoman Thu 24-Sep-09 10:04:08

sorry bentneckwine...I thought your dog had only ever played with another one once blush smile

bethoo Thu 24-Sep-09 10:04:17

i think presuming it is ok for your dog to wander up to a dog to have his arse sniffed uninvited is a problem.
i have a 9 year old boxer who is always on a lead as his boisterousness is often mistaken for aggression by other dogs so the last think i want is some curious dog who will not listen to his owner come over and excite my dog. i dread seeing dogs off the lead as heaven knows what would happen should an aggressive dog come over and i have seen dogs that are ''harmless, wont hurt a fly'' attack other dogs unprovoked!
so i think it is common curtesy to put your dog on a lead if another dog is on one too.

bentneckwine1 Thu 24-Sep-09 10:09:49

no problem hatwoman grin - I should have previewed and made sure the post made sense!!

pjmama Thu 24-Sep-09 10:12:30

Dogs are alot better and understanding other dogs body language than we are and they pick up an awful lot from us too. If you tense up and put your dog on a lead the second you see another dog coming, then the dog interprets that as time to be on their guard. It can actually make the situation worse.

I agree that if you know your dog is agressive to others, then muzzle it and keep it on a lead of course. Otherwise, let them get on with learning how to interact with other dogs and learn to understand what a warning growl or bark means. Each owner should know their own dog well enough to assess whether it needs to be on the lead or not.

ReneRusso Thu 24-Sep-09 10:13:35

Dogs sniffing each others arses is just normal dog behaviour isn't it? I have never experienced this being a problem, and I walk my dog every day, off lead, in a public park. I am so surprised I have missed this bit of etiquette for the last 3 years.

iggypiggy Thu 24-Sep-09 10:18:41

I don't nescessarily put mine on a lead if I see a dog on a lead - I just don't let him approach that dog - he is only allowed to approach dogs off lead with my permission too...

Is not about leads - is about control really.

Although I don't really 'get' running with the dog... For me, walking my dog in the park is about my dog haveing a nice walk, perhaps meeting other dogs to play with - having a sniff - sometimes running for a ball. It's his time, not mine.. How can the dog enjoy the walk when is being made to run next to someone? But that is an aside...

Another point - I never get annoyed if dogs snap or growl at mine. Dogs are dogs - they just do what they feel they need to. Having said that, I saw a very large rottweiler in the park the other day - but we meet lots of nice rottweilers, so I wasn't too bothered. Plus it was off lead and the owner didn't seem to bothered about me and my dog coming towards them on the path. We had to walk past each other. It then launched at my dog growling etc. as we walked by. My dog scarpered (he is a wuss, luckily) and the owner said to me 'he's trying to kill your dog - he hates other dogs' - um... ok - so why is he off lead in the park and wandering up to other dogs without you saying anything to me or your dog hmm

Dog owners are just people - some are great some are wankers - that's just how it is...

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