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Should you 'mirror' other owners?

(180 Posts)
WinkyWinkola Mon 13-May-13 09:20:13

I walk my dog (black lab) in a field. Occasionally there are other dogs there. He likes to greet the other dogs and run with them. If they aren't interested he leaves them alone.

Today he ran up ti golden retriever on a lead. I got told off by the owner because her dog was on a lead(had been attacked before) and was nervous so my dog should be on a lead.

Is this right? My dog bounced up to hers, hers lunges and growled and my dog runs back to me and goes back again and then leaves her dog alone to come with me.

Apparently dog owners mirror others.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 09:26:03

Your off lead dog should not run up to leashed dogs. Ever. It is very rude. And dangerous. If your dog ends up being injured by an aggressive on-lead dog you'd only have yourself to blame. In the eyes of the law, leashed dogs are under control.

My own two very nearly caught a very rude puppy yesterday. He darted at them with such speed and ill manners even my normally balanced and socialised terrier took against him and started growling at him. He was dashing at us, running away, dashing back, circling us etc. It was very difficult for me to stop my dogs getting hold of him. Had I not managed it and the terrier had grabbed him, he would be one dead puppy now. It would have been his owners fault.

It's good dog walking etiquette to put your dog on a lead/call to heel if you see a passing leashed dog. You have no idea why that dog is leashed, it could be fear aggression, illness, recovering from surgery or any number of things.

KittensoftPuppydog Mon 13-May-13 09:29:19

No, not right. She has the problem, not you. I do try to keep my dog away from dogs that are on a lead for this reason though. I usually ask if the dog is friendly before I let her bounce up to a strange dog.
Mind you, I did this the other day and the woman replied that no, her dog was friendly, and that it was on heat and I should keep my ugly dog away, and that I was ugly too!

Branleuse Mon 13-May-13 09:32:16

if you cant call your dog back then its an accident waiting to happen

CalamityKate Mon 13-May-13 09:32:39

Very rude to allow your dog to approach others without asking first. Especially when the other dog is on lead. If you really can't stop it, you need to improve your dogs training or keep it on lead.

WinkyWinkola Mon 13-May-13 09:32:47

How can a puppy be rude?!? Isn't that like saying a baby is bad or good?

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 09:33:21

Why did the other owner have a problem? Her dog was on a lead and under control. It was OP's dog who was allowed to behave inappropriately. Many dogs, even ones with no issues, feel threatened if they are approached on lead by loose dogs.

WinkyWinkola Mon 13-May-13 09:33:31

But I can call my dog back. That's not the issue.

He came back no problem.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 09:35:51

Winky, dashing at top speed towards leashed dogs whilst barking is very very rude in the dogs opinion. Behaving the way that puppy was, is very rude even if my dogs were also loose.

Puppies should be kept on a long line or called back and leashed as soon as other dogs approach if they can't be trusted to recall away and/or approach other dogs politely, for their own safety.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 09:36:28

He still approached a leashed dog. You should have called him back before he did that.

littlewhitebag Mon 13-May-13 09:40:38

I think this is a tricky one. My young Lab is a bit over friendly with most dogs so i try to walk her off leash early morning in quiet places and i constantly scan for other dogs both on and off leash. However from time to time an on leash dog will evade my radar and my dog will be right up there. She is loads better through obedience classes and training to come to whistle but she doesn't always get it right. I know i have seriously pissed off some owners and i always apologise profusely then remain alert for them in the future.

When i walk on leash in a town i gauge from passing owners if their dog is friendly and would like an interaction or if we need to go past swiftly.

I do think though that if you walk your dog on leash on say, a busy beach, it is likely other dogs will come up to your dog and you need to accept this. We walked our dog on a beach yesterday and she went up to off leash dogs but came away quickly when called. This is such a massive step for us but until we tried it out somewhere we could not gauge her progress.

CalamityKate Mon 13-May-13 09:42:37

Its you who's rude not the dog.

If you are able to call your dog back why is it such a big deal to call him back before he gets to the other dog? It won't make any difference to you but if the other dog has issues with other dogs approaching, one bad experience could undo weeks of training. Why would you want that?

Whoknowswhocares Mon 13-May-13 09:45:08

Why did you allow your dog to approach TWICE? That is very,very rude IMO!
Sometimes our dogs will approach despite our best endeavours to prevent it (although by your question it doesnt appear that you were attempting to prevent him) but you say that he was rebuffed and came back to you
At the very least, you should have put him on leash and stopped him going back for a second attempt.
If you keep on letting him do this, it is only a matter of time before he gets bitten. Yabu.

CalamityKate Mon 13-May-13 09:46:39

littlewhitebag but the difference is, you're at least TRYING.

Of course things don't always go to plan no matter how vigilant you are. My dog isn't perfect but if she did run up to an onlead dog I'd be apologising and trying harder to pre-empt it in the future.

Whereas a lot of people take the attitude that their dog has every right to approach other dogs and that anyone with a problem should probably walk elsewhere!

wordfactory Mon 13-May-13 09:47:29

If I see a leashed dog I figure there's a reason. They're often aggressive (which is why their owners keep them leashed) or sometimes they have no recall (so the last thing their owners need my dog leading them off into the sunset).

I would leash my dog at the approach of a leashed dog, as I can't trust my dog to ignore them. Far too friendly.

tabulahrasa Mon 13-May-13 09:49:41

You have no idea why that dog is on lead - so you err on the side of caution.

It might be on lead for no particular reason, it might be in the middle of a training session, it might be dog aggressive, it might have a medical issue that means it has to have calm quiet walks...

ClaraOswinOswald Mon 13-May-13 09:53:16

If I see a dog on a leash I won't let me dog approach, it just isn't fair. Of course her dog lunged and growled, he was probably feeling threatened/protective. Unfortunately, if anything happened, the off-leash dog's owner would be to blame.

Mirroring is dog walking etiquette in my eyes.

plannedshock Mon 13-May-13 10:19:35

Completely agree leash off=up for playing, leash on=there's a reason. My dog is never on the lead, walks next to me everywhere but i always mirror other dog walkers.

D0oinMeCleanin Mon 13-May-13 10:23:20

I'm actually having to change where we walk today because of so many people doing this. It's sunny here. Lots of dogs will be out, very few of them will be trained to keep away from leashed dogs. Walking our normal route will not be worth the stress to whippy or me. Which is a shame because we both enjoy our normal route, but to get there we have to pass off lead dogs while she is leashed, but after yesterdays incident (which utterly undid the last two weeks training we've done) it just would not be worth it sad

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 10:33:20

Yes, she's right.

When I first got my last dog she was very scared of other dogs and had poor recall so she was leashed on walks.

I lost count of the number of times friendly dogs came bounding up to her and terrified her. She was very vocal and used to shriek and scream like a child very loudly.

tabulahrasa Mon 13-May-13 10:37:16

I have to do a constant balancing act with my monster puppy... I need to walk him and I want him to see dogs and people, but if he overdoes it his bad leg goes and I'll then have a few days of house rest and tramadol.

Because so many people let their off lead dogs run up to him and bounce about at him, and of course then he tries to do it back because he's a puppy, I'm having to walk him his whole ten minute walks in places that aren't as busy and at odd times to minimize it, which means yet again that his socialization suffers for it.

If a nice calm dog whether on a lead or walking next to its owner comes to say hello, that's fantastic because then he can say hello in a controlled way, but bouncy, too playful or aggressive means he gets over-excited.

Even if you think the other dog on a lead isn't scared or dog aggressive - could you at least spare a thought that that could be me with my disabled puppy, lol

WinkyWinkola Mon 13-May-13 10:41:35

Ah, you live and learn. I did actually assume that rural field and dogs = letting them hare about happy as Larry. Thanks all.

To be fair, I was throwing the ball for my dog and it went quite far away and she appeared with her leashed dog where the ball was.

Her friend appeared about five minutes later at my end of the field and had two small unleashed dogs who ran at my dog yapping and growling. It was this friend who told me to leash my dog.

So, I need to train my dog never to run up to other dogs?

onlyoneboot Mon 13-May-13 10:42:00

I have just started to let my dog off lead in a few places, so far when no other dogs have been around but this morning there were a couple of dogs we know who are ball obsessed on the field so I tried her off lead with hot dogs at the ready. She was fine until round the corner came an on lead bull terrier, known to be aggressive, and she sprinted for him, circled him and could have been in real trouble and, yes, it would have been my fault entirely. She came back but it took a couple of calls and went straight back on the lead but big lesson learnt and lots of training to do. I really want to let her run but she is wired to the moon and thinks everyone wants to play.

tabulahrasa Mon 13-May-13 10:45:08

Not so much train him not to run up to other dogs as call him back before he does it to an on lead dog or one that you might want to work out the situation first...though approaching slower is usually better, some dogs that are perfectly friendly still prefer a slow meet and greet.

badtasteyoni Mon 13-May-13 10:49:35

It's rude IMO. I don't have a dog anymore - but when I take the DC to the local park there are a couple of dog owners who regularly let their unleashed dogs run up to other dogs and children, and if the parents don't like it they get told 'it's ok the dog's friendly' confused

That is so not the point...

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