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My dog sniffed a woman and so she is threatening to call the police

(9 Posts)
Zanywany Tue 09-Aug-11 12:30:33

I live next door to a park and yesterday when I got home from the shops as I came in the door my dog sneaked past me and ran out to the park. She had just been on an hours walk so hadn't been cooped up for ages. I immediately followed her and she was lying on the grass sniffing another dog. Then this woman came round the corner and started screaming 'Get your dog away or I'll call the police'.
My dog who is a young, bouncy labrador went up to the woman to sniff her as she wondered what all the excitement was. By then I had reached her and put her on her lead. The woman had 2 children with her and one of them was scared of dogs and so I appreciate this was scary for her but my dog didn't actually do anything.
She then followed me home to get my address so she could call the police whilst screaming at me about 'you people with dogs on beach's' and saying that because of people like me her daughter has been scared for years.
Was shaking when I got home. I feel for her daughter being scared as I have DC's the same age but my dog didn't actually do anything and it was unusual that she sneaked past me out the house. Worried now that my dog will be taken away and keep watching dog whisperer to get tips sad

ClaireDeLoon Tue 09-Aug-11 12:35:21

If she does call the police they won't be able to do anything as it didn't bite. It sounds upsetting for both you and the scared child (bouncy labs are lovely but I guess if you're little and scared of dogs they are awful).

All you can do is try your hardest to make sure she doesn't get out again.

If the police do come around stress how threatening you found her behaviour, because she does sound very over the top.

If you're in London I suspect the police will be rather busy with other things anyway.

ZZZenAgain Tue 09-Aug-11 12:45:32

just try to plan a bit for another time, if you come back home laden with shopping, how can you manage things, getting inside etc , without the dog running off. If the police do contact you, I would simply tell the truth that you are very sorry to have caused her distress and very glad that no one was hurt, that you would have liked to speak to her and apologise but it was very difficult as she was obviously enormously upset and screaming at you and you thought it best to say nothing , so it could not escalate. Ask the police if they have any advice on how to handle it better? A lot of people are really genuinely (and with reason) afraid of dogs so this kind of thing can happen and as a dog-owners, we have to try to a) prevent it and b) deal with it as best we can if we cannot prevent it.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 09-Aug-11 12:57:38

Of course your dog won't be taken away. You dealt with the situation, you'll doubtless take zzens good advice and avoid it recurring. The woman's reaction - while there was reason for it - was OTT. Its not your fault if her kids have been scared by dogs of people who don't attempt proper control or who don't obey beach dog bans.

DirtyMartini Tue 09-Aug-11 13:01:03

She was scapegoating you for someone else's bad behaviour in the past, hence OTT reaction. I doubt she will call the police as she probably knows she is BU.

You are obviously taking care to try and make sure it doesn't happen again. That is all you can do - be a responsible dog owner - so don't fret.

Zanywany Tue 09-Aug-11 13:02:34

Thank you. Although I know my dog would never bite or attack someone I realise that if you are scared of dogs then you are scared full stop. I will try and get her under control a bit more and 99% of the time she comes back when I call her but not yesterday and doesn't sneak out when the door is open a crack. Been watching dog whisperer where he was training a dog dog not to 'greet' people at the door but to hang back so think I will try that.

The woman was very agressive shouting and I kept apologising and trying to explain what happened and that she wasn't aggressive but she kepy shouting about all the other dogs she had encountered. This went on for about 5 mins with her following me whilst she left her young DD on her own out of sight scared!

ellangirl Tue 09-Aug-11 13:07:04

I wouldn't give it another thought, she can't actually do anything to you or your dog. She obviously has huge issues with dogs, and you and yours just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The problem is that if she reacts like this every time a dog comes near her children, they are going to carry on being scared of dogs. We have a neighbour whose little girl was knocked over by a young, bouncy lab, and who became scared of dogs as a result. But we have spent time with her, making our young, bouncy lab sit quietly and behave, so the girl can stroke her, and see that she is under control, and now she will ask to take her for little walks round our cul de sac on her lead, and loves doing so - even though she is still a bit nervous of dogs.

It doesn't sound like you are a bad dog owner, Zany - you had an accident that can happen to anyone (our lab has slipped out of the front door too - it happens), and you dealt with the situation absolutely right - caught the dog asap, and apologised profusely for upsetting the woman and her children. I don't think the police would do any more than advise you to make sure your dog can't run out of the house - which is what you are going to do anyway.

DogsBestFriend Tue 09-Aug-11 15:14:28

What Claire said. Nothing to worry about and the woman's a nutter.

Two things though - invest in a stairgate so that pooch can't sneak past you as next time she might end up under a car and PLEASE stop watching the Dog Whisperer. The man uses a theory which was rejected and disproved years ago and pain and intimidation to get results and the fucker should be shot.

I can't find it offhand but have linked to it in the past on here - there's some footage on YouTube which shows Milan using an electric shock collar on a very clearly intimidated and distressed dog. Milan hid the collar in his hand carefully and proclaimed the "results" (scared submissive dog) to be down to his own skills.

If you do a search for the debate we had on here when MN were going to invite the man to do a Q&A session you'll find the link on there.

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