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I wonder if I should have apologised?

(19 Posts)
needastrongone Tue 14-May-13 17:04:49

I walk needastrongpup in a busy public park twice a week. I have to drive there but I feel that is worth it as there are so many distractions for him to contend with and it's a great training and socialisation opportunity.

Today, during our walk, we passed joggers, pushchairs, walkers who didn't want to be bothered etc. Needastrongpup ignored all of them (well, stopped, looked, then carried on sniffing). He didn't jump or try to follow.

He met people who fussed him and he didn't jump up. He played with a variety of new dogs and was always polite and recalled when I asked him to. He also walked past a busy and open/un-fenced play area full of toddlers without glancing up.

We walked passed a woman with a 3ish year old boy who was running up and down a gentle slope. He had a crash helmet on which I thought was slightly odd but each to their own, the kids might have an injury I didn't know of or another reason. Puppy walked over to have a look. I must stress here that at no point did he go within at least 10 metres of the lady and child, and was still with 5 metres of me, he just wandered closer to look what was going on. Then stopped and observed. He didn't jump, bark, growl or run at them, just stopped and looked.

The woman screamed at the top of her voice and flung herself on the child, bringing the both to the ground. Needastrongpup looked back at me with an 'eh?' kind of a look on his face. I walked over, leashed him and walked off. The woman hurled and absolute torrent of abuse at me about out of control dogs. The kid screamed also then.

Thing is, I didn't apologise as I can't see what needastrongpup did wrong? I care deeply that our dog is well behaved and will work very hard to ensure this is the case, but, in this instance, I can't see I was in the wrong?

But was I in the wrong? If I never go to a public place and stay in our rural fields, surely needastrongpup would be a less well trained dog?

Or do you think IABU? I am happy to be corrected if I could have done something different?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 14-May-13 17:11:11

Lady sounds like she totally over reacted and I'm normally the first to say if you can't control your dog put it on a lead. But your dog sounds like it was under control....I guess she just worried he might lunge for the kid.

But she's going to give her kid a massive dog sounds like she already has one.

MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel Tue 14-May-13 17:11:59

What breed is he? If he is one that gets a lot of bad press then its probably down to that, or, as you say, there could be something wrong with her child and she is extra cautious, or maybe her child has a fear of dogs (as my dd used to).

I don't think I would have apologised either in the circumstances you describe.

mrslaughan Tue 14-May-13 17:12:13

I don't think you did anything wrong (presuming you are in a place where it's fine to have your dog unleashed)

I had a similar thing - where child panicked - giant pup was nowhere nearby but turned and looked to see what all the screaming was about, then dad ran screaming towards child. Throwing his arms around screaming don't panic - this is where giant pup took a couple of strides towards them , even though I was calling him..... Which he shouldn't have ...... But I was so stunned by the over reaction I was a little slow.

So no I don't think you had any need to apoligize.

Just as we need to teach our dogs how to behave - people need to teach there children how to behave around dogs in public.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Tue 14-May-13 17:14:55

Erm, the woman sounds a tad...theatrical. So, she basically rugby tackled her child to the ground? Because your dog got within 30 feet of her and her DC? Then screamed abuse at you? Yeah, you're not the one who should be apologising here.

needastrongone Tue 14-May-13 17:19:15

No, he's a Springer and still very puppy looking tbh.

Confirm it's a public park, dogs are welcome off lead, there are signs to stipulate this, as long as you clear up after them, which I did btw.

I would be the first to apologise if he jumped or caused alarm but he was under control I felt. I am the sort of person who will generally apologise even if it's not my fault, which is why I thought I would ask.

I did pass a couple of ladies walking their dog afterwards who even commented on the incident with the view that you guys have expressed that the kid will be terrified of dogs but I didn't post that to 'justify' my lack of apology.

LadyTurmoil Tue 14-May-13 17:35:15

Sounds like a huge over-reaction. I know not all people like dogs but, come on! There's making sure your kids know not to go up to strange dogs and there's making them shit-scared of ALL dogs! I was out walking with my brother and his 3 small dogs. They were off lead but not creating any kind of disturbance and not running up to people or jumping up. Dogs were just ahead of us, not barking, fighting or anything.

Man with his 2 kids caught up with us as we were dawdling along. He asked us to keep dogs away as his son was scared of dogs. His son then piped up "no, I'm not Dad" (which I thought was quite funny). We ushered dogs ahead and kept on going. Kid would have been fine if he had been allowed to introduce himself to the dogs under supervision. Dogs are shih tzu, bichon and shiba inu. Of course, any dog can be dangerous but I think with a bit of common sense, and in that particular situation, it was possible to see that dogs were in no way displaying aggressive behaviour.

LOL at needastrongpup with "eh" look on his face smile

ILikeToClean Tue 14-May-13 17:39:23

Sounds like she was a bit paranoid tbh, crash helmet sounds a bit strange! Of course children need to be slightly wary of dogs but that child will definitely have a problem with them if the mother is transferring her fears onto him! No apology needed from you at all! Or your lovely pup (love his "eh?" look!) grin

tabulahrasa Tue 14-May-13 17:47:57

What would you be apologizing for? I'm pretty sure looking at people is

kotinka Tue 14-May-13 18:02:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scuttlebutter Tue 14-May-13 18:16:17

I'm another one who is normally a stickler for good dog manners, but this woman sounds completely barking (yes, someone had to say it!). Sadly, she will almost certainly end up giving her poor child a massive complex about dogs. sad

FragileTitanium Tue 14-May-13 19:03:58

Well if you have to apologise, I should be (and am) apologising every second.

My tiny puppy thinks everybody exists to cuddle her and will go run up to every single person and hope for a cuddle. We are only just at the stage where she doesn't jump up onto people but flattens herself on the ground at the foot of the person with tail wagging wildly hoping for a cuddle - but it's been a long 6 weeks of training every single day.

I've apologised non stop to various people about her jumping up over the past 6 weeks, including onto young children (nightmare)- and every single person has said, "Oh don't worry about it."....By the sound of your experience (the woman sounds vile) I think I've been very, very lucky.

As an aside - it may well be that the child has some kind of medical condition e.g. fragile skull which may account for the wild over reaction. Perhaps from the mum's point of view, it might be life and death whereas from everyone else's point of view, she's totally over reacted. I can imagine if my child had something like that, I would be a raving looney too.

Floralnomad Tue 14-May-13 19:22:02

fragile if the child has a fragile skull I doubt if rugby tackling it to the ground will have helped ! I think we will have to assume that she's been mauled by a springer spaniel in the past and / or doesn't like dogs that stare at her grin

FragileTitanium Tue 14-May-13 19:32:37're right.....perhaps it's just too many espressos. Just trying to give some sort of explanation for behaviour that seems to me to be quite over the top.

HandMini Tue 14-May-13 19:41:34

If your dog really was 10m away from them, then her reaction was U and YWNBU.

I know a child who wears a helmet when out and about because he has fits/seizures, so can drop to the ground pretty much out of nowhere - this could have been the reason.

needastrongone Tue 14-May-13 20:23:25

Fragile. It does get easier and better I promise! I spent ages apologising for muddy paw prints initially, luckily all of these poor souls were understanding. It got better when everyone I knew consistently turned away from him and ignored. He will now sniff people's treat pocket and provide a range of his best tricks instead. smile

I do promise our dog was a substantial distance from this lady and her DC. I am no judge of distance but it really was far enough for me not to even think about being wary iyswim? I am still at the alert stage of dog ownership, he's only young and I am inexperienced so I generally err on the side of caution. Just recently, needastrongpup has been a paragon of virtue and today, I was proud of his behaviour with so many distractions.

Teenage years are to be navigated yet I suspect! Aaargh....

Thank you for confirming my gut reaction that I shouldn't have apologised. Dogs get such a bad press and there are owners who are less than responsible but we are trying hard not be be in that category. Non dog owners need to be responsible too I guess, or certainly realistic

Laughs at Tab's comment.

pigsDOfly Tue 14-May-13 21:05:21

No you shouldn't have apologised Needs. I get this sort of thing all the time with my small dog: one woman, yelling to her child in a loud voice 'don't touch that dog', dog was on the lead and no where near child.

I've also had people grab their children and pull the child to them as if trying to protect them from the inevitable attack by my clearly vicious out of control dog; oh no, dog was walking quietly on the lead totally ignoring their child.

This sort of nonsense really annoys me. Great way to give your child an anxiety complex.

Callisto Wed 15-May-13 10:40:26

I'm actually laughing at the thought of such PFBness. She put her child in a crash helmet (presumably to protect his head from injury) and then rugby tackled him to the ground to keep him from your slavering woluf? grin

And no, YANBU. wink

Branleuse Wed 15-May-13 10:44:20

I would have told her she was a fucking nutcase and walked off calmly

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