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Was I BU to have shouted at these boys about their dog?

(34 Posts)
MegBusset Sat 17-Oct-09 22:08:50

I am ready to be told IWBU, I can take it!

Lately our park has become a bit of a hangout for lads of a Certain Type (gold chains and hoodies) to gather and admire their dogs (mostly Staffies). This afternoon one of the Staffies, when let off its leash, ran straight for me and the buggy (containing 2yo and baby), jumped up at me and was jumping all over the buggy, barking.

I shouted in my sternest voice that these lads (all around 16-17) had better get their dog away from my kids and on a leash, as it obviously wasn't properly trained. They called it away but it came straight back and jumped up again, at this point I may have said that I would call the police blush if they didn't get their dog under control. They were all like "Calm down love, it's only a dog..."

Came away feeling like maybe I overreacted, but the dog was off a leash, unmuzzled and not being controlled by a responsible adult. So was I BU? <dons hard hat>

LaurieScaryCake Sat 17-Oct-09 22:10:53

er no you weren't being unreasonable and I think you should have called the police

<responsible dog owner emoticon>

luciemule Sat 17-Oct-09 22:12:52

I don't think you were BU but being extremely brave/silly (I'm not being mean saying silly) to confront a group of blokes that age with dogs and goodness knows what else. I would tell the police that they're hanging around that play park but perhaps not go to that park again if there's another one you could go to. Or go with a mate so you're not on your own. I hate it when any dogs (not just staffies) are off leads in public full stop, especially when there are children in buggies at the same height as the dog. I would always pick them up out of the buggy and hold their airms in.

ChunkyMonkeysMum Sat 17-Oct-09 22:13:26

No you were definitely NOT over-reacting !! Luckily, the dog didn't harm you or one of your DC's, but it could have.......<<shudders>>

luciemule Sat 17-Oct-09 22:13:32

I meant arms, not airms!!!

anjlix Sat 17-Oct-09 22:16:55

YANBU, I know kids who have been mauled by pet dogs (too gory to describe). I think all dogs should be on leash in public places esp. parks. I am surprised why there isn't a law against unleased dogs in parks.

MegBusset Sat 17-Oct-09 22:17:37

Thanks. To be fair these lads weren't abusive as such, I don't think they meant any harm (and I'm sure the dog was being friendly) but you just don't know what a strange dog will do.

We live right next door to the park so go there most days, it's kind of hard to avoid! These lads seem mostly to congregate at the weekend though.

One of the other boys had a dog called Hustler... I did think of saying "Just 'cause your dog's called Hustler, you're still a pastyfaced white boy from Middlesex" but thought I'd better not!

MegBusset Sat 17-Oct-09 22:20:31

X-posts... hard to get both DC out of the buggy at once (it's a P&T) so my instinct was just to yell crossly!

I just have zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour, most of the kids who hang out at the park are decent enough (though seem incapable of not leaving litter everywhere) but I hate the posturing with 'hard' dogs.

Paolosgirl Sat 17-Oct-09 22:21:33

Have you called the Police about them congregating at a children's playpark? You were NBU at all - very brave to confront them, and thankfully they did call it off, but a playpark is not where they should be at all. Def. speak to the Police and your local MP/Councillor.

saltyseadog Sat 17-Oct-09 22:21:37

YWNBU - and I'm saying that as the owner of 3 dogs. I'd have been scared - more of the yoofs than the dog though.

anjlix - where would people in towns exercise their dogs properly if they had to be kept on a leash hmm? I think that there are far fairer ways of tackling potentially dangerous dogs than penalising all dog owners.

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 22:22:00

No, you are not unreasonable. I own 2 large dogs and am a fervent animal welfare campaigner but I know that its idiots like this that get dogs a bad name, put decent families off of them (especially of Staffies, which are in the main very affectionate) and who cause innocent but badly trained dogs to be put to sleep under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Theres nothing wrong with having dogs off lead in a public area (not the street obviously) imo as long as they are well trained. In fact theres probably more likelihood of something awful happening if a dog isn't allowed to be exercised properly, but it should be carried out responsibly.

In Ireland there are certain dog breeds which are not allowed out in the care of under 16s by law. Personally I'd like to see that law here in the UK, extended to all dogs, for the wellbeing and safety of both dogs and the public.

I recently rang our local police about problems with youngsters hanging out in two areas of my town and intimidating/insulting people and have had a very positive response from the police and a promise that they will step up patrols there. It may be worth you making a similar call.

luciemule Sat 17-Oct-09 22:28:12

In Germany, as well as not allowing certain breeds of dangerous dog in the country, you're not allowed to take dogs in public unleashed.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 17-Oct-09 22:34:04

YWNBU. It really annoys me that some (not all) people who own Staffies seem to want it both ways. They have clearly chosen a breed of dog that looks tough and (rightly or wrongly) has a reputation for being a problem, but then they can't understand why people are then very nervous of these dogs.

I have also complained politely to a group of lads about their dog before, and, to their credit, they did apologise (it ran up to my then toddler, causing him to fall over). But like lots of dog owners I have encountered, they just say - "don't be scared, he won't hurt you". How do we know that ?

I don't think that everyone, including young lads, who owns these dogs is a problem, but they do need to have them well-trained.

MegBusset Sat 17-Oct-09 22:36:01

Yes, I think I might call the police station and see if I can have a chat with someone... the antisocial behaviour in that park (mainly littering but also drinking etc) has gone up since they did away with dedicated park rangers a few years ago. Now there's just one police patrol which has to cover all the parks in the borough so they just drive through once or twice a day.

Re: dogs off leads. It's a shame for the vast majority of well-trained dogs to suffer for the fault of the irresponsible few owners. But I would like to see at least certain breeds of dog muzzled in public.

MegBusset Sat 17-Oct-09 22:38:05

That's the thing, Jamie. These lads were saying "He's fine, he's fine", but a) as you say, they wouldn't be walking a chihuahua, and b) imo ANY breed of dog should be trained not to jump up at people, to me it's the sign of an ill-trained and thus unpredictable dog.

anjlix Sat 17-Oct-09 22:38:35

saltyseadog, when I lived in various US cities, unleased dogs were only allowed in designated dog parks and certain sections of public beaches. Yes it can be seen as OTT by anyone used to having unleased dogs pretty much anywhere, but I think it is a lot safer. In the country-side and suburbs exercising dogs was not a big problem since people live in houses with decent sized yards.

I am not suggesting this as a solution but I feel the dog laws are just too lax. It is very common for me to see unruly dogs in London. It is certainly not just freak incidents that I can attribute to a bunch of careless teenagers.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 17-Oct-09 22:42:27

BTW Me and the DCs have happened upon The Dog Whisperer on Sky 12 (or something). I'm not a huge dog fan, but it has made me see that actually, I just have a problem with badly trained dogs. Anyone else seen this ?

(Little Californian guy called Cesar who trains dogs by understanding pack structure - I have a slight embarrassing crush on him grin)

Paolosgirl Sat 17-Oct-09 22:42:30

It's a difficult one - I know dogs that are brilliantly trained, walk to heel and don't ever jump up at people and I'd hate to see them having to be on a lead all the time. On the other hand, we live beside a woodland trail which is used by many dog owners, and I've lost count at the number of times I've had dogs jumping up at my children (the youngest is 2) and I, and the owner just say "don't worry, it won't hurt you". Firstly, they don't know that for sure, and secondly, if a dog is not well enough trained so that it doesn't leap up on children it shouldn't be off the lead imo.

saltyseadog Sat 17-Oct-09 22:50:18

anjlix I totally agree that the dog laws are too lax - and that its far too easy for anyone to have a dog. I'm just not sure that making all dogs stay on the lead is the answer. I'd prefer to see certain breeds muzzled, stronger penalties for owners of aggressive dogs and the re-introduction of the dog licence (but instead of it costing something ridiculous like 2p it being a sizeable amount).

No problems with designated dog parks/ sections of beaches - I think that this is already the case in many regions.

Paolosgirl Sat 17-Oct-09 22:54:11

Salty - does anyone actually pay any attention to these designated areas though? My MIL lives by the coast and the main beach is closed to dogs between May and September, although they can go on to smaller beach nearby. This rule is always being flouted - as with parks that I've been in that are supposedly dog-free. Very annoying.

gingerbunny Sat 17-Oct-09 23:10:40

I would have kicked the little fucker.
It doesn't matter what the owner says, that dog has no right to be jumping up at your child and barking.
I hate people like this. There's a man who always has his dogs off the lead near our local shops, they run all over, jumping up at people and kids. He thinks it's ok because he says they're friendly, but I don't want his scabby manky dogs jumping up at me or my dc.
If they come close I always shout at him to call them away or I'll use force to get them away.
People call the police all the time, but it has not effect.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 17-Oct-09 23:17:00

Well..... the Dog Whisperer does this sort of loud "chhhh" noise, looks the dog in the eyes and holds his hands out to establish dominance and a space around himself (or something grin), so kicking may not be necessary ginger

gingerbunny Sat 17-Oct-09 23:23:26

i was talking about the owner not the dog!!! grin

Vallhala Sat 17-Oct-09 23:26:06

I'll go for kicking the owner too (but not the dog!).

saltyseadog Sun 18-Oct-09 12:28:27

Paolosgirl - we stick to the rules regarding beaches and parks. Maybe we're alone on that one?

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