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Do you feel vulnerable when you walk your dog?

(34 Posts)
AwsomeMrsFox Tue 23-Oct-12 20:43:11

I often walk my dog alone during the daytime and lately I have noticed a couple of strange people around on lonely paths. I try to stick to routes that are relatively well frequented by other walkers, but I don't feel as comfortable any more. I'm just wondering if this is common or if I'm just getting old :-) I actually really enjoy walking on my own and love the dog being able to run free in the countryside, but I find myself getting 'creeped out' sometimes and wonder what I would do if someone did come for me.

happygardening Tue 23-Oct-12 20:51:28

I walk alone all the time and have done for 9 yrs and Ive lived in very rural areas in two different counties. The only thing that worries me is that I'll slip or trip brake my ankle find myself out in the middle of no where with either no phone/signal and have to crawl God knows how many miles to house for help!!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 23-Oct-12 20:53:08

No can't say I do. I even walked him down some very dark lanes on Sunday night as I discovered he hadn't had a walk when I got in from work at 9.30pm lazy bugger that DH is. The one time a stranger did venture out of some trees towards me my normally placid, scared of a spider, Labrador did a very good impression of Devil Dog so maybe that is why.

rachmultiplemum Tue 23-Oct-12 20:54:32

I do sometimes at night, but i am scared of the dark!!

The rest of the time i am ok though and i know my dogs would try to protect me..

TunaPastaBake Tue 23-Oct-12 21:01:53

No - I walk alone with my dog and don't feel vulnerable.

The other day on our walk we came upon two men who were Environment Agency workers monitoring the river level. She stood and barked at them - and she's a soppy 'beat you to death with waggy tail' Labrador.

happygardening Tue 23-Oct-12 21:03:43

I know my dogs won't protect as neither have a malicious bone in their bodies and as both are quite small I'm probably more likely to trip over them in the dark than be attacked as statistically it's young men who are at risk not women.

kilmuir Tue 23-Oct-12 21:05:27

not really as I have 2 large breed dogs, but i am constantly looking for people as live in a rural area, and would spot a 'stranger;

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 23-Oct-12 21:07:44

I walk alone alot of the time, i purposely use the paths that nobody else does! i love being out for two hours + and not seeing another person. There are times i get paranoid usually around my period but thats when i am being daft! I have 3 dogs and i know they would protect me should they need to. 2 of them are softer than soft normally.

safflower Tue 23-Oct-12 21:09:42

I dont particularly like walking in woods alone even in broad daylight. Up hill and down dale, not a problem though.

This is my tip. If you see an unsavoury character walking towards you, pretend you are speaking on your mobile. To someone who is coming the other way. as if you are about to meet up,. So say something like oh can you see me, where are you then and laugh. That sort of thing, as if you are not alone. Should put anyone off.

Also carry your keys in your pocket with your fingers through them (think scissorhands) they could do alot of damage if needed.

I would not walk at night though.

topknob Tue 23-Oct-12 21:15:06

No I don't as my dog is a GSD and doesn't take any shit ... she is very particular about who she likes and who she doesn't, if we know the person she will be friendly if not and more so if they are wearing a hoody she will bark at them...I feel very safe with her smile

topknob Tue 23-Oct-12 21:15:42

Should point out, she isn't always a touchy cow, just when it is me and her.

IceBergJam Tue 23-Oct-12 21:20:42

It does make me feel nervous if I go off the beaten track, and if im out with my husband and very large dog in the fields at night, I am very on edge. I have a vivid imagination that I wish I didnt have.

I have been approached down a deserted street once and it made me nervous..

topknob Tue 23-Oct-12 21:22:55

OP if people are making you feel uncomfortable, could you change your route??

OldBagWantsNewBag Tue 23-Oct-12 21:29:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 23-Oct-12 21:57:00

WRT your soppy dogs protecting you-

my parents adopted a retired guide-dog years back (they knew the owner and so knew the dog for most of her working life)

When she was still a working dog, someone tried to break into the ladies flat.
This soppy as all get-out lab went ballistic and saw them off (more by noise than anything, she didn't get to them)

So you can rely on your dogs to come up trumps when it needs to be done (but I'm sure there will be some who disprove this) wink

chipstick10 Tue 23-Oct-12 22:06:09

Its funny you should ask but i always feel really on edge. Dont get me wrong i like walking my dog, but i cant relex. Think its because my dog is young (nearly a year) and dont feel he knows what protecting is, think he thinks i have to protect him. Also we havent had him that long, and he doesnt bark. I have always been nervous ever since a man pulled a knife on me 20 years ago.
My last dog was very protective but this one just isnt.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 23-Oct-12 22:06:45

I have had another dog go for mine on a couple of occasions and sometimes I take a stick with me in case it appears and has another go.

I'm sure it would work on people too. Certainly as a deterrent anyway. Probably more than my soppy spaniel anyway, who approaches every person and dog wagging his tail.

midori1999 Wed 24-Oct-12 00:09:52

Never when I lived in the country, but now we live in a city, which is completely alien to me, I won't walk the dogs when it's dark or through the dells. I feel pretty sad about it really and wish I didn't feel like it.

MrsRhettButler Wed 24-Oct-12 00:15:06

No, mine would see off anybody who dared come too close.

I have seen unsavoury characters kind of hanging around though so would possibly feel vulnerable if I had a different dog.

nooka Wed 24-Oct-12 06:45:19

I've only really got a little afraid that I might meet a bear when it's been a bit too near dusk in the autumn. I suspect my dog would be a bit useless in a tricky situation - more likely to hide behind me if there was aggression I think. He might defend me by a good licking perhaps?

We live in rural Canada now, but I don't recall feeling anxious walking our family dogs in London either.

Fairylea Wed 24-Oct-12 07:31:04

This might seem a bit of an odd post ... but just wanted to say I've been followed home and mugged from behind (I'm a woman, it was 6pm and not dark on a busy ish road) and the strangest thing for me was that I didn't hear them behind me AT ALL until they literally grabbed me. I didn't have earphones in or anything either.

In some ways this has made me worry a hit less ironically as I think if something horrid is going to happen you probably wont know about it until it happens !

Also.. always always keep your mobile separately from your bag. They took my bag but luckily I had my phone in my pocket and I was able to ring my dh and the police.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 24-Oct-12 07:35:59

Tbh I don't feel worried. I know BigDog is as soft as butter and wouldn't hurt anyone but he looks like he could take anyone on so I doubt anyone would approach us. And LittleDog barks and howls at anyone who comes within 5 feet of us at night if he doesn't know them!

VivaLeBeaver Wed 24-Oct-12 07:36:13

Nooka, i'm thinking of coming to Canada for a holiday in the wilds. I was reading some bear advice about playing dead unless you're sure the bear is starting to eat you at which point you should try and fight it! shock

vintageviolets Wed 24-Oct-12 07:53:33

I walk mine in a rural area, and do see lots of fishermen, joggers, cyclists ect.

If I feel really worried, I say loudly to my huge but placid dog
" No, be a good boy, No stay, No, be nice" and pretend to hold him back, by his harness.

I find strangers give us a wide berth, although when they are out of sight, my dog gives me the hmm look, for making him look like a killer dog grin

You could always pretend to be on your phone and say " we are just walking down ........,, see you in a min, ect.

I also think I would strangle an attacker with the lead, or hit them with the metal end, but I would probably freeze.

ChicMama25 Wed 24-Oct-12 08:00:24

I want to get a dog.. so I feel less vulnerable out running (among other reasons)

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