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AIBU to tell a couple walking their dog to keep it on a lead?

(49 Posts)
Thesearepearls Sat 25-Aug-18 14:06:28

My favourite walk this morning was disrupted by a bit of argy-bargy

I went late - I'm usually around the reservoir around 6 or 7 AM. There's a few early birds but not many and it's a wonderful start to the day

Anyway I was walking along behind a couple walking a young dog. Their dog was off lead and had no recall. The signs instruct people that dogs should be kept on leads. Every dog they met walking in the opposite direction was chased and nipped. The nips were generally playful but more than one dog yelped. During one altercation of theirs I caught up and tried to walk past swiftly.

Unfortunately the young dog saw mine and started chasing him. Mine was at that time off lead. In my defence I always let him off lead at that point so that he can go and have a swim. A lot of dog walkers do that and there's a kind of unspoken agreement that if we're going to break the rules, the dogs have good recall and don't bite.

So my dog was chased and bitten really quite severely - a couple of playful nips then a proper bite which had him yelping. I was cross and I told them plainly that their dog should be on a lead. I did not swear or shout or be abusive.

Well the most massive altercation happened then. I did actually think I was going to get thumped. Screaming abusive woman in fits. I actually think she was a bit mental. I didn't say a word BTW (after having told them to keep it on a lead, which was possibly a mistake).

What would you have done? Would you have just grabbed your dog and scarpered quickly? Should I just have shut up and not said anything?

It's normally such a wonderful and serene walk. Lots of comradely dog people and horses and birdsong and stuff.

OP’s posts: |
HoleyCoMoley Sat 25-Aug-18 14:13:10

Poor dog, it's difficult because their dog was not on a lead and neither was yours, the rules are dogs to be kept on leads, that applies to all of you, there is no defence in saying you have a kindof unspoken agreement, dogs can run off anytime however good their recall and training, you must know that. What you should of done is have your dog on a lead especially as you were aware the other dog was nipping.

Floralnomad Sat 25-Aug-18 14:16:18

I don’t think you can tell someone else to keep their dog on a lead when your dog is off lead , you can of course complain about their dog biting yours . Btw if the signs say dogs on leads then that’s what you should all be doing .

Namechangeforthiscancershit Sat 25-Aug-18 14:17:38

Clearly she massively overreacted, but most people don’t like being told what to do.

I don’t think you can say that their dog should be on a lead if yours wasn’t.

ScreamingValenta Sat 25-Aug-18 14:19:52

I think if yours was off-lead, you weren't really in a position to say anything. It's a case where a rule exists because it's hard to draw the line as to what is an acceptable and unacceptable quality of recall. I don't really go along with unspoken agreements - they can be hard for outsiders to interpret.

Having said that, I'm really sorry your dog got bitten, and the owners of the aggressive dog should certainly know it needs to be on a lead when other dogs are around - whether or not off-lead exercise is permitted. You shouldn't let your dog off in any situation where it can't be trusted to behave safely.

Lucisky Sat 25-Aug-18 14:20:12

I have had a very similar thing happen to me. Having said 'please could you put your dog on a lead?' I got verbally attacked by a woman and her husband. Their dog was massive, adult, and totally out of control. I just ignored them and walked on. What can you do with idiots like this? I think if I had been you I would have walked in the opposite direction when I saw what their dog was up to, which is what I now do when I see an off the lead dog nearby I am not happy about.
Could you report it to the dog warden? If this dog becomes a regular offender, your experience of it may add grist to the mill.

Thesearepearls Sat 25-Aug-18 14:21:34

Yes bit of hypocrisy from Pearls. Sorry about that. If I don't let him off the lead he can't have a swim and he loves a morning swim. He's never bitten and would never bite. Even when being bitten himself he didn't bite back.

What I was actually complaining about was the fact that my dog was bitten. Which if their dog had been on a lead or had any recall wouldn't have happened. Most of the dogs were off lead btw and most of them behave sensibly.

OP’s posts: |
Lucisky Sat 25-Aug-18 14:22:10

To add to my last I was walking my small dog on the lead at the time!

BiteyShark Sat 25-Aug-18 14:22:24

So it's one rule for you and one rule for them confused. You can't dictate that their dog should be on a lead whilst you are flouting the rules.

You can complain about their dog biting but to be honest in that situation I have found it best to give such dogs and owners a wide berth as they usually don't care.

Wolfiefan Sat 25-Aug-18 14:26:41

You broke the rules.
So did they.
If a dog bites then it shouldn't be off lead and menacing others. When you say a proper bite do you mean your dog was bleeding and needed veterinary treatment? If not then it wasn't a bite.

ineedaholidaynow Sat 25-Aug-18 14:29:23

Slightly off tangent dogs aren't allowed to swim in the reservoirs near us.

Spam88 Sat 25-Aug-18 14:32:51

Well their dog should have been on lead if it's that out of control. But your dog should have been too because that's the rules 🤷‍♀️

Thesearepearls Sat 25-Aug-18 14:34:39

Oh yes - there was blood

Not much of it and he's fine now

A lot of the dogs play at chasing one another. But most of them don't bite. This is the first time he's ever been bitten.

The owners were totally OTT. The screaming fit literally did not stop for another mile. I half jogged and half ran the remaining distance. Even at the gate she was still screaming at me telling me I was an awful person

Curiously and part of me registered this, I did expect a whole lot of racist abuse (I am mixed race and I kind of thought that's where she was going to go with this) but ne'er a racist word was uttered. Quite a few vile bitches, more than one slag, several you're a horrible person. But no racism at all

You probably have to be me to find this reassuring.

OP’s posts: |
HoleyCoMoley Sat 25-Aug-18 14:39:50

Why did you expect racist abuse? Your dog was off lead, her dog was off lead, other dogs were running about and chasing each other. Put your dogs on leads and this wouldn't have happened, it a not a private dog walking club where you decide amongst yourselves who does what. You should also check to see if there are signs up to say dogs are not allowed in the river, they're not allowed in ours.

Thesearepearls Sat 25-Aug-18 14:45:24

Most of the dogs are off lead. Mine is on lead until he goes for his swim. If my dog had bitten another dog or person I would be unbelievably contrite and apologetic and worrying that my dog was antisocial and badly trained

There's no signs saying the dogs can't swim and most of them do. A lot of the owners will chuck balls into the water for their dogs to go and retrieve them. Pops just sinks into the water and swims around for a bit and comes out and shakes himself off. There's a sign about no boats though. I think there's actually a sign about no fishing but a lot of people do.

OP’s posts: |
Saidthesharktotheflyingfish Sat 25-Aug-18 14:50:04

Considering the title of your OP - yes you were unreasonable to tell a couple walking their dog to put it on a lead, bearing in mind yours was off its lead.

I genuinely dont understand why you mentioned your race, that's entirely irrelevant. Particularly when you describe someone else as 'a bit mental'...

ADastardlyThing Sat 25-Aug-18 14:50:23

Assuming you called your dog back when it was being chased, did it come back to you?

Sorry your dog got bit, these things can happen when dog are off lead around each other. My dog was bitten very badly once and required vet treatment, was a harmless but boisterous game that went a bit wrong!

Thesearepearls Sat 25-Aug-18 15:06:32

Yes I called him straight away and he was back to me like an arrow

I feel a bit guilty about that almost because it was when he was coming back to me that he got bitten. He had to do a dink which meant he got caught. He's very fast and can normally outrun most dogs (apart from the whippets and greyhounds) so he never gets into any trouble.

The people involved looked a bit dodgy. I got a full on mouthful for an extended period of time. I did expect some racist abuse and I was relieved that I didn't. I did also expect to get thumped and I was equally relieved that I didn't, although it was a close run thing and I'm convinced that another family at the gate was the reason I didn't.

OP’s posts: |
LittlePearl Sat 25-Aug-18 15:11:40

I feel sorry for you and your dog that he was bitten, but as someone who tries hard to avoid off-lead dogs I find this so frustrating. I gravitate towards places where dogs are meant to be kept on lead (very clear signs, etc) but the vast majority of owners ignore this and let their dogs run off lead.

The problem is that I don't know which of those dogs can be trusted, who have good recall, which would give us a wide berth etc. So I spend all my time watching like a hawk and changing my route, turning on my heel, or sometimes just cutting it short altogether to avoid the possibility of a dog approaching mine (it totally freaks him out).

Please - if it's 'dogs on leads' keep yours on a lead - regardless of how beautifully behaved it it. Have consideration for walkers who can't know this.

Floralnomad Sat 25-Aug-18 15:13:15

There’s not a sign to say don’t let your dogs swim because there is already a sign saying dogs should be on leads .

Thesearepearls Sat 25-Aug-18 15:27:27

I think that if there are lessons to be learned (which I think there are) the first lesson is to keep your dog on lead. And the second lesson is to keep away and not challenge other dog owners.

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Namechangeforthiscancershit Sat 25-Aug-18 15:49:47

There’s not a sign to say don’t let your dogs swim because there is already a sign saying dogs should be on leads

I was thinking that. Definitely no dogs allowed in reservoirs around here

ADastardlyThing Sat 25-Aug-18 16:21:57

What's a dink, and is it as cute as it sounds? smile

ADastardlyThing Sat 25-Aug-18 16:23:25

And do be careful letting him swim, there's a pond near me with reeds that's claimed a few dogs in its time sadly.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Sat 25-Aug-18 16:31:42

Do you have a local dog walkers or community site on fb or other social media?

A few dogs were bitten in our local park by the same dog which also had abusive owners. Sharing on social media warned other dog owners and eventually provided evidence which helped persuade the police to have a word with them and they stopped going to that park.

Might help you if you can do this, if they were also nipping other dogs they will bite someone else's, and it means there is some record of what they have done if they approach you again.

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