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"He's only being friendly" "he just wants to play"

(20 Posts)
Blinkybell Wed 22-Mar-17 12:09:26

How do you deal with this?

I have a 9 year old springer. He's pretty friendly, happy to meet and greet, have a sniff and say hello, but generally he just wants to be left to enjoy his walk in peace. He never approaches other dogs and only gets shirty if they persist in hassling him.

We usually walk out in the countryside, the woods or the local beach. His recall and heel walking is spot on (touch wood - I'll probably jinx it now grin) so I can let him off for a good run.

Today I'm having one of those day and I haven't got a good clear 2 or 3 hours for a long walk so he's going to have to have several short, local ones. Near me is a park with a fenced off area where you can walk dogs off lead. I normally avoid it like the plague as it's usually full of dogs running riot, but it's pissing down so I thought I'd chance it.

We get to the park and it's empty (hooray!) but within 10 minutes another walker arrives with a big bouncy lab.

Lab clocks my dog and takes off across the park and bounds up to my dog who's trying to have a shit. Dog walker has a whistle which he blows a bit, but just starts walking round the field. The lab is bouncing all over the place, my dog has a sniff, says hello, then pretty much ignores the lab. Lab continues to bounce around, my dog is trying to give it a wide berth, then my dog gets pissed off and growls and barks at the lab. Lab runs off back to the owner - who is just walking round the park with his back to us, blowing the whistle now and then.

A couple more times the lab takes off across the park and approaches my dog, bounding around all over the place, my dog continues to ignore the lab and give it a wide berth. We're on our way back to the gate at this point. The lab retreats a bit but is still hanging around. Owner is on the opposite side of the park, still walking and occasionally blowing his whistle. I shout to him to come and get his dog, but he either doesn't hear or ignores me. Lab finally runs back to his owner.

Then we get to the gate and clip my dogs lead on when the lab comes running up to us again, in my dogs face and then tries to mount him. My dog has the beginnings of a bit of arthritis so is a bit defensive when other dogs do that so he goes for the lab - doesn't bite him or make any contact. I turn to shout at owner again and realise he's caught us up, so I tell him to get his dog away from mine.

Owner then says "but he's friendly, he just wants to play". I say that my dog doesn't want to play and his dog has been hassling mine all round the park. Man then tells me that my dog is dangerous, should have a muzzle and that I shouldn't have a dog if I can't control it. I then point out that this was a bit rich coming from someone whose dog had been the opposite side of the park to him the entire time. He tells me to fuck off.

This happens so often and it drives me nuts.

I'm a member of a local dog walking group on Facebook and it is a hot topic of conversation on there. Most of the it's friendly people won't/can't accept that just because their dog is friendly, they still need to keep it under control

Blinkybell Wed 22-Mar-17 12:09:55

God, sorry, I didn't realise it was so long. Got a bit carried away!

sobeyondthehills Wed 22-Mar-17 12:12:53

I point out that under the dangerous dogs act if someone feels threatened by their dog that is enough to report their dog.

Normally that is enough

babyblackbird Wed 22-Mar-17 12:20:20

I feel your pain. My dog sounds similar to yours, he is friendly but just not that bothered about other dogs. If one approaches politely he will greet and quite often play but more often than not they come bounding over at a million miles an hour and jump in his face. He is incredibly tolerant but obviously uncomfortable with it and if really pushed he will snap. I try to avoid him getting to this point as I don't want him to associate other dogs with this but if I calmly ask other owners to call their dogs they nearly always take offence.

BiteyShark Wed 22-Mar-17 12:20:45

I have come to the conclusion having joined in similar discussions on MN about off lead dogs being allowed to run up to on lead dogs that there are people out there that don't give a shit as long as their dog is ok and no matter what you say it won't change their view on that.

What I do when I am training my dog onlead and another dog comes up is to put a hiking stick (or use my hands if the dog isn't aggressive) and gently push the dog away from mine and ask other owner to call their dog. Unfortunately apart from the owners who are attempting to control their off lead dog and it decided to ignore them who are apologetic they tend to look at you as if your dog on lead is the issue. You have my sympathy as it drives me potty.

SparklingRaspberry Wed 22-Mar-17 13:45:11

I agree with you.

However these fenced off areas are ideal for dogs who don't always come back. They're the perfect place to teach recall.

I personally wouldn't take my dog to somewhere like this if I or my dog didn't like others approaching me.

If I was walking her somewhere more open and a dog came running up to me like this, I'm more likely to feel a little annoyed if the owners aren't able to control the dog to come back etc.

But I wouldn't get annoyed at that happening in an enclosed area as you've just described.

My attitude is, If your dog doesn't know recall well enough then stick to enclosed areas. Which a lot of people do. I wouldn't then take my dog to these places and feel annoyed when they run up to us. To me those places are for dogs to mix (at least they are around my area) so I'm not bothered if another dog approaches mine.

ThursdayLastWeek Wed 22-Mar-17 13:54:12

This makes me cross too OP. Our dog does not have good recall (our fault) but luckily we live in an area where we can do dog free walks often.

But when we are around other dogs I keep him on the goddamn lead. I never understand why other folk don't get that that is the point of a lead!

Floralnomad Wed 22-Mar-17 14:59:39

My dog sounds just like yours OP , never approaches another dog , has a few doggy friends but gets very irate if harrassed . When a dog runs up to mine I either hold his harness or put his lead on and then tell the other owner that he doesn't like being harassed . I generally find that they then take their dog in the opposite direction or put theirs on the lead . We mainly walk on a small Heath however I believe that even in an enclosed area dogs should not be off lead unless the owner can control them ie call them back when needed , if they can't do that then they should be on a longline .

Blinkybell Wed 22-Mar-17 15:13:40


I wouldn't have minded if the owner had even made a half arsed attempt at getting his dog back, but he just carried on walking round the park blowing a whistle now and then. His dog totally ignored it.

I try not to put his lead on in situation like that as it makes him more irate. He just avoided the other dog until he was persistently right in his face.

The park was filthy and I ended up covered in mud where this other dog kept leaping all over the place

I do normally avoid the park as this almost always happens but sometimes needs must.

Mungobungo Wed 22-Mar-17 15:16:21

With you on this one.

Unfortunately there are a vast amount of people in the 'it's ok he's friendly' club who just don't get that the other dog may not be, or that other owners don't want another dog following and causing their dog to act the fool OR even that it's their responsibility to make sure that their dog isn't causing an issue to others. They're possibly in the same class of folk who won't bag and I'm their own dogs' shit.

It boils my piss.

But conversely, one of mine is an intermittent flight risk and if he's off lead and I'm not quick enough with the lead when I see other dogs about, can go to other dogs and it really upsets me when other owners just keep walking, with my dog following - if they stayed still I'd get there and remove my dog (always with an apology) much faster.

Blackfellpony Wed 22-Mar-17 20:53:19

Some people will never change their opinion or call their dogs.

I like my dogs to be focused on me and not running off to play with random dogs or interacting with strangers. I also have an aggressive one who eats friendly dogs given half the chance so I keep him far away from everyone. I still get people letting dogs run up to me when I clearly don't want them there. I've even had people say it's okay if my dog bites there's as it will learn a lesson hmm

Lots of the time the only thing to do is keep walking angry

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 22-Mar-17 21:02:09

I sympathise. I have a big bouncy lab who thinks the world loves him and has yet to be proved wrong. Luckily he has pretty good recall. If we see another dog, which is rare where we live, unless I'm quick and get him back on the lead he will bomb off to say hello. Unfortunately people tend to be lovely and make a big fuss of him which just rewards him for bombing off and reinforces the behaviour. I wish they'd shoo him away! He has a girlfriend at our dog training club. I work him off lead and have to watch him like a hawk but even so he will suddenly leap off after her. It doesn't help that she immediately rolls over and lets him sniff, the hussy. grin

Blinkybell Wed 22-Mar-17 22:14:42

I've even had people say it's okay if my dog bites there's as it will learn a lesson

Yes, I've had that several times. It's not my, or my dog's, responsibility. Plus, what if my dog really hurt their dog? I don't think he would and he hasn't, but I never say never. If provoked enough, who knows.

I keep walking sometimes too. If another dog is right in his face, I'll call him to heel, get him to focus on me, and keep on walking in the hope the other dog will get bored.

Blinkybell Thu 23-Mar-17 12:05:32

FFS, just had it again.

Had some letters to post so took dog on his lead for a mooch down to the post box where he got mobbed by 3 off lead JRTs, jumping in his face and trying to snap at the feathery bits on his ears, with me and my dog trying to get away without treading on them. He then gets fed up and barks at them

Owner - <huffy> they only want to play
Me - well mine doesn't, call them away please
Owner - you should control your dog better
Me - WTAF?? He's on a fecking lead!!!

We were on a busy road FFS.

BiteyShark Thu 23-Mar-17 12:14:39

Personally for the last situation I would have used my foot to push the bloody dogs away and pointed out if his dogs hurt me then I would report him as his dogs were aggressive and out of control off the lead. Some people are stupid and need it spelling out in very simple terms. You have my sympathy as it makes me very cross.

I am so happy when I see other responsible dog walkers who put theirs on a lead if yours is on one or when we have lots of space we all deliberately walk down different paths to keep our distance so they can all run safely off lead.

MaynJune Thu 23-Mar-17 12:18:10

It's ridiculous, isn't it. I was quite close to a woman with a puppy on the lead yesterday. She saw me and my two dogs, also on the lead, and took the lead off hers.
Lovely pup, which naturally ran to mine while she called it back ineffectually. At least she didn't complain when one of mine barked at it, but it meant I had two dogs twisting on their leads to get away from the puppy jumping in their faces.
So many people show so little common sense.

Rumtopf Thu 23-Mar-17 12:33:35

That's what it boils down to isn't it, common sense.

My old dog is happy to potter about, have a little hello sniff and then carry on his way, his recall is excellent. He's not keen on bouncy large dogs in his face or near his hind legs though. Small dog is a recent addition, having not been let off the lead in 18 months as they did no training I'm working really hard with him. He's quick to go and greet, tries to be dominant but is friendly and settles down after a few minutes. His recall is improving immensely. Because he's not reliable yet I'm really choosy about where I let him off lead, our normal walk is fine as he now knows everyone we normally encounter, anywhere new and I keep him on lead.

I just don't understand why people see an on lead dog and don't recall their own. Or hold onto it briefly and call over if it's ok? Sometimes my friend's young ds comes with me and the dogs and while he's fine with mine he's not keen on large, bouncy, unpredictable dogs.

TeachingPostQuery Thu 23-Mar-17 12:38:00

As a non dog person I hope to see an answer to this. Every time I go out for a walk there'll be at least one dog that comes bounding up to us. Even if I ask the owners to call them back they usually don't. I hate it and it stops me going out by myself which is a shame as we live near a beautiful coastal walk. 99% of dogs and dog owners are just fine, but we encounter the 1% Every. Single. Time.

MaynJune Fri 24-Mar-17 09:43:23

I got the 'It's ok, he's friendly' again yesterday.
As it was a couple of young men walking a lovely pup who I thought were probably new to dog ownership, I took the chance to explain to them why they shouldn't let their dog run up to dogs on the lead. They were very nice and seemed to understand so maybe will be aware in future.

Bluebell9 Fri 24-Mar-17 11:16:54

My old dog used to be scared of other dogs due to being attacked both on the lead and off. If we met other dogs that we didn't know, I'd call him back and put him on his lead. If I saw another dog on a lead, I'd put him on his lead or send him away if in an open space (well away from the other dog).
It really annoyed me that people used to let their dog come straight up to mine, when on a lead and then look at me like I was the bad owner when my dog snapped at theirs.

I now have a puppy. He recall is good, as long as there aren't other dogs around. If I see another dog, I put him on the lead until I've spoken to the owner to see if their dog will be ok if my puppy says hello (his way of doing this is jumping on them, then lying on his back underneath them!) Quite a few are fine with him so I let him say hello but others aren't so I keep him away. I'd never let him run up to another dog without checking first, just because he loves other dogs, i appreciate not all dogs do.

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