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Feeling a bit emotionally bruised after a run in with another dog owner last night...

(18 Posts)
Ginshizz Mon 15-Oct-12 12:51:55

Had a bit of an "incident" yesterday evening and I would really appreciate the views of fellow dog owners...

I will try to keep this as short as possible:

DH and I were out with our dog (4 yr old male lab) last night in our local dog park. There are two other parks nearby with cafes, play areas etc; this park is mainly used for dog walking.

Our dog was off the lead (most dogs in the park are usually off the lead). A couple was walking towards us with a dog each, we knew the woman and her dog and our dogs had played together before. Her dog was off the lead, the man's dog was on the lead.

Our dog went up to the dog he knew and they exchanged sniffs quite happily. The man's dog, a retriever, started barking at our dog so DH called our dog back, he came immediately. Our dog did not bark, growl or raise his hackles.

Once our dog was on his way back to us (we were about ten meters away from the couple), the man let off some sort of attack alarm and started yelling. Once the alarm had stopped, DH went to ask if everything was ok and to apologise if he had been spooked by our dog.

The man then started shouting at DH to put our dog on a lead "NOW" even though our dog was busily sniffing around the grass near me and wasn't even looking at the man or his dog.

The man then threatened to "do us" under the dangerous dog act because our dog was, apparently dangerously out of control. He was really loud, aggressive and just a bit odd. It left both DH and I quite shaken.

I know we were partly at fault for letting our dog go up to them, we just thought that as we knew the woman's dog, it would be fine. But we called our dog as soon as the other dog became uncomfortable, and our dog came back straight away. There was no physical interaction, and after our dog headed back, everything seemed fine.

I have checked the dangerous dog legislation and I can't see anything that could suggest we were, legally, in the wrong. Am I missing something?

I guess this guy has had bad experiences in the past with his dog being attacked (hence the alarm) but I though he was wildly overreacting and quite aggressive himself.

I am now terrified of meeting him again in case he threatens to arrest me for sneezing or something like that ...

Should we have done anything different? I am at a loss to know why he reacted so strongly ...

Thanks for any thoughts you might have!


Frontpaw Mon 15-Oct-12 12:55:16

He sounds a bit of a loon. How well do you know the woman with him - did she say anything or can you speak to her. I donth think you were in the wrong.

Bossybritches22 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:55:36

How bizarre?? Was his dog straining to get at your dog AFTER you'd called him away, & it upset him that his dog was spooked?

<grasping at straws here>

OhDeerHauntingFENTON Mon 15-Oct-12 13:01:23

I don't see how you've done anything wrong.

He was with someone who's dog was off lead - so he can't criticise you for that.

His dog barked at yours.

Your dog didn't retaliate and came back to you immediately.

He completely overreacted, - yes perhaps because of a bad experience, but not your doing at all. Perhaps you could speak to the woman he was with next time you see her, - how did she react at the time?

Ginshizz Mon 15-Oct-12 13:02:58

I think the woman was in shock too... She just stood there looking a bit confused

The bit I don't get was that all the dogs were fine. He wasn't using the alarm to control his dog or anything like that.

Maybe his dog had just been attacked or he was trying to impress the woman? He just came across as wierd ...

I honestly can't work out what was going on in his head ... He was even quoting things like the section of the dangerous dog act under which he was going to "do" us. I know the law has changed recently to cover dog on dog aggression but I just don't think any of the dogs were aggressive ...

MrsZoidberg Mon 15-Oct-12 13:39:22

If I set off an alarm everytime another dog was near mine, I think I would be left with a highly neurotic dog, who was petrified of other dogs. sad

He sounds like a nutter, his poor dog sad

Ginshizz Mon 15-Oct-12 14:24:18

MrsZ, that's what we thought! If his poor dog associates any canine interest with a massive air raid siren, how is he ever going to play or socialise?

I'm still shaken by the whole thing, his poor dog must be terrified every time they go out!

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 15-Oct-12 14:26:15

He's a nutter. Some people are.

Ignore him. If he shouts at you again report him to the police for threatening behaviour.

Do you know, I have never met so many odd people as I have since I started walking my dog. I've met loads of lovely people, too, but some have been properly strange. The one who accused me of stealing her dogs because I was trying to get away from them (all 3 off lead) while my spaniel pup was on lead and scared, the man who yelled at me and some other dog walkers to get our dogs on lead because his on lead dog didn't like other dogs (all of our dogs were ignoring his dog, and he was walking it in the busiest dog walking field for miles around), and of course the sweet old gent who still tries to bring his bouncy lab pup over to say hello to my on lead, nervous dog who has already snapped at it. Just avoid the strange people once they have identified themselves, and if this man comes over to you again shouting the odds make sure you have your phone handy and threaten to call the police if he doesn't back off.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 15-Oct-12 14:38:59

Same here Chickens. Some dog owners are weird, we got told off when a man's dog joined ours in their game of catch the flying whippet, our dogs had not even spotted his until it ran over, even then they pretty much ignored him and continued running after the flying whippet.

He told us he was going to have us and our dogs banned off of the public beach if we didn't keep them under control in the future because they'd gotten his dog into a 'state' confused

Some people are just odd.

Woozley Mon 15-Oct-12 14:43:15

Ignore them, move on. If they say anything again threaten to report THEM.

It's horrible, though, when you randomly cross paths with an aggressive person. It does shake you a bit. A bit of time between you and the incident helps enormously, as you stop trying to work out why and just think 'knob'.

Ginshizz Mon 15-Oct-12 14:50:25

Ooh, chickens and D0oin they all do sound like fruit loops. I think you are right - maybe he is just a loony and there is no logic behind his behaviour. That makes me feel a bit better because I was winding myself up about whether we had done anything wrong.

I know how horrid it is to have a random dog come and pick a fight, when our lab was a puppy, he was picked on by a few biggies but that is why we were so diligent about training him to come back as soon as we call. I would hate to think we have caused any upset or stress to other dogs or owners.

Good suggestion about the phone though - I had DD with me in a sling and I was feeling very threatened and upset.

If I see him again maybe I'll start snarling and see what he thinks of that...

Ginshizz Mon 15-Oct-12 14:51:21

Woozley, you are right! I think there must be some law against the inappropriate use of an attack alarm??

MrsZoidberg Mon 15-Oct-12 18:13:56

What did your poor DD think about a bloomin attack alarm, must have made your poor little one jump at the very least.

Your dog and you sound lovely, so I'd just try and avoid him in the future. If you want to set your mind at rest though, maybe you could talk to the woman he was with if you meet her without him?

Ginshizz Mon 15-Oct-12 19:00:05

DD wasn't impressed with the alarm, she was pretty unnerved by it as she'd never heard anything like that before sad

You're right, I think we will give him and his craziness a miss in future and chat to the woman as and when we see her.

We have just been out for another walk and our dog had a great time with lots of other doggy friends, not a bared teeth or raised hackle anywhere. I just don't see how anyone could accuse him of being dangerous or accuse us of having a dog who is dangerously out of control.

DH reckons the chap was obviously too much of a wuss to have a go at the owners of the genuinely dangerous dogs so took it out on us.


(That was me growling, not the dog!)

AussieMam Thu 18-Oct-12 23:24:38

I can see his point that his dog was on a lead so you should have kept yours away as you didn't know why it was on a lead (could've been ill, aggressive, nervous, post op). Similarly he should've shouted to you to recall your dog as his first step. These attack alarms are a total last step thing as they have a negative effect on both the approaching (percieved attacking dog) and th owners dog.
He has nothing to stand on RE dangerous dog legislation. The dog no longer has to have caused injury it only has to be 'percieved to be a risk of causing harm'. If your dog came straight over on recall then it wasn't dangerously out of control. I always tell my puppy clients that if they see a dog on a lead unless they can keep their dog beside them they should put it on a lead. As much for your dogs safety as anything else. If the other dog owner thinks your dog means harm they can legally do anything within their powers to protect their property (their dog). This means using violence against your dog. I don't want some looney kicking my dog so I keep mine with me if theirs is on lead.

sooperdooper Sun 21-Oct-12 12:43:46

Oh poor you, he sounds like a loon, I can't see that you did anything wrong at all, your dog was off the lead but clearly under control as he came straight back to you and it was his dog that was barking

Horrible confrontation but not your fault, hope you feel better today smile

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