Off-lead dogs approaching my dog

(67 Posts)
goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 17:00:57

I recently adopted a lovely 6yo Lurcher from the RSPCA. All that's known about his background is that he was used for badger baiting and he was found, badly injured, in someone's front garden before being rescued.

Because of his high prey drive, we were advised never to let him off the lead. This is fine for us, but I'm wondering about the etiquette of off-lead dogs. A few times now a dog has come running up to my dog, sometimes barking and/or getting overly excitable.

So far, this hasn't ended in anything other thers make an effort to call their dogs away until after they've reached my dog and started sniffing him. My dog is really laid-back but I have no idea what his history with other dogs is.an a friendly sniff, but what's bothering me is that none of the own

Is the onus on me to shout over and ask someone to recall their dog if it's running up to mine (although sometimes the owner is so far behind the dog that I can't see them at first!)? Or should people call their dogs away before it gets to that point? For the record, if we're about to pass by off-lead dogs while on a walk, we give them a wide berth, but it happens anyway.

And more generally, what's the deal with on/off-lead interactions? I've read that being on a lead can make some dogs feel "trapped" and therefore fearful/aggressive, so I'm always on the watch for that. So far it's all been pleasant, and it's nice to see him interacting with other dogs, but I don't want anything horrible to happen.

OP’s posts: |
goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 17:02:32

Wow, sorry for the jumbled text. The third para should read:

So far, this hasn't ended in anything other than a friendly sniff, but what's bothering me is that none of the owners make an effort to call their dogs away until after they've reached my dog and started sniffing him. My dog is really laid-back but I have no idea what his history with other dogs is.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Fri 22-Feb-19 17:07:03

The etiquette should be that simply having your dog on a lead should make other owners keep their dog away. Many don’t.
Dogs vary on how happy they are to meet others when on lead. But these meetings tend to be face to face which dogs often don’t like.
Can you find a safe space for some off lead time?

BiteyShark Fri 22-Feb-19 17:09:17

Unfortunately there is no agreed etiquette.

Personally I avoid all off lead dogs when my dog is on lead and I only started walking him in busier places when his recall was good that I knew he wouldn't approach them if called. I also feel that if any on lead dog kicked off at an off lead dog then it's the off lead dog owner that is at fault as they do not have their dog under control and why should dogs have to put up with other dogs running up to them and being in their face.

However, you will get owners who think that dogs should be dogs and let them sort themselves out and their dog has every right to run up to whoever they want.

BiteyShark Fri 22-Feb-19 17:11:10

Arghh my first line was totally back to front.

It should have said 'Personally I avoid all on lead dogs when my dog is off lead.

goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 17:14:47

Can you find a safe space for some off lead time?

There's an enclosed dog park which we could book for him, but it's a half hour bus ride away. We're not sure how he is on the bus yet so I might try him on a shorter journey first (i.e. just one stop to the next!) - I'm hoping he'll be ok as he's completetly laid back in pubs, at the vet, etc etc. smile

OP’s posts: |
Dimsumlosesum Fri 22-Feb-19 17:16:17

They can be complete smug arrogant arseholes about their offlead dogs. E.g., today, one comes boundingover to my friend's toddler who started starting getting scared and the dog owner, who COULDN'T CONTROL HER DOG, got mad at the 2 year old for being scared. It's ridiculous.

Advertisement

goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 17:16:33

However, you will get owners who think that dogs should be dogs and let them sort themselves out and their dog has every right to run up to whoever they want.

This is my worry as well! If they're that cavalier about letting their dogs run at my dog, I'm not sure they'd be too understanding if my dog reacted badly... which he probably wouldn't, but they have no way of knowing that!

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Fri 22-Feb-19 17:18:43

I am not very keen with on lead greetings and would expect most dogs to do better never being forced to greet another dog while on lead. Where they cannot be avoided (crowds etc), 3 seconds and move off. Do not linger. That's my preferred way, anyhow.

Regards off lead/on lead dogs. It's a minefield. I think most of us who have any thought about dog beaviour would prefer off lead dogs kept away from on leads. The on leads are often on lead for a purpose:
- aggression
- anxiety
- training
Besides, having an off lead dog come and get tangled in your lead is a pita.

I also think most of us would happily forgive and empathise with an owner who ran up saying "sorry" and quickly tried to get their dog under control. I know Battendog has done this as a puppy before now, when I have misjudged his reliability. He's then played a game of "catch me to get my collar" which was properly embarassing blush.

I get grumpy at people who just don't try. I am talking to you - owner of the little whippet who came and mugged me for treats, sent them flying everywhere and then got tangled up in the training lead I was using causing me to panic about dogs fighting over food while tried up in a bundle at my feet! Ha! That felt good to get off my chest!

goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 17:20:00

Where they cannot be avoided (crowds etc), 3 seconds and move off. Do not linger. That's my preferred way, anyhow.

Good advice - thank you smile

OP’s posts: |
WFTisgoingoninmyhead Fri 22-Feb-19 17:21:51

My Staffie never goes off lead and she can be very unpredictable with other dogs, I used to try getting owners to call their dog away to no avail, now I let the meeting happen 9/10 she is fine on the odd occasion she has a pop at the other dog, I don’t apologise and next time we meet they put their dog on a lead. She would never really bite another dog but she has been bitten by an off lead dog on one of these occasions but I have no idea what else to do as people shout ahead it’s ok he just wants to play. So annoying and sorry I don’t have any helpful advice for you.

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Feb-19 18:15:04

Dog park? Guessing not in U.K.?
Over here we have enclosed safe spaces you can have exclusive hire of for an hour or so.

Pluginwall Fri 22-Feb-19 18:26:54

I have one dog with no recall who Is always on a lead and another with good recall who I let off lead. If I see another dog (on or off lead)I always call her back until we’ve passed or until I know that the owner is happy for the dogs to play.

I was really annoyed recently when one of my dogs had just had a major operation and was on a lead, but a huge and very bouncy young weinmaraner would not leave her alone. The owner was on the other side of the field talking on his mobile, when I eventually got his attention, it was clear that he had no control and he was unable to get his dog to come back to him

goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 19:02:16

@Wolfiefan yes, sorry, one of those! Apparently I've just picked up the "dog park" Americanism.

OP’s posts: |
Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Fri 22-Feb-19 19:04:53

Mm -Lurcher you say??
Without pics I am suspicious...

goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 19:14:07

@April if I have to... ;)

The pink bit around his mouth is from his previous injury - they had to cut away a sizeable portion of lip/chin.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Fri 22-Feb-19 19:16:49

Brilliant. I just wondered if you meant an enclosed park with lots of dogs.
That face!!!!
Badger baiting? Poor baby. So glad he’s ended up with you.

missbattenburg Fri 22-Feb-19 19:21:47

Nope. That is not a cute dog at all.

I definately do not want to smoosh his face with fussing...

FrangipaniBlue Fri 22-Feb-19 19:23:57

Oh god don't get me started!!!

We have a 5.5 month old pup who is already 3 stone, can pull me off my feet and is a notoriously "boisterous" breed - so we keep him on the lead if other dogs are around until he's better behaved more trained.

But everyone seems to think it's ok to let their off lead dogs run up to him, because "he's only a puppy" and "mine is fine with other dogs!"

No, fuck off, your stupid little handbag breed designer dog is getting him more and more riled up and excited and making my job of controlling and training him even sodding harder!! angry

BiscuitDrama Fri 22-Feb-19 19:24:36

It seems to be acceptable to grab the other dog to hold it away if you think your dog is getting upset or might get upset. (I have a rescue greyhound who’s always on the lead.)
I tend to say ‘she’s feels a bit vulnerable on the lead’ with a smile.

MattMagnolia Fri 22-Feb-19 20:25:34

My young dog has just started bounding over to other dogs and people after many months of very good recall. It would help if people wouldn’t reward him with enthusiastic greetings or by throwing his ball. Please remember that puppies take time to behave well, he will be better after months more of training.
I don’t mind other dogs growling to teach him dog manners. I am not keeping him on a lead for a year then expecting him to recall perfectly when it’s removed.

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Fri 22-Feb-19 20:40:36

My girls say hello handsome!

WFTisgoingoninmyhead Fri 22-Feb-19 20:46:33

*My young dog has just started bounding over to other dogs and people after many months of very good recall. It would help if people wouldn’t reward him with enthusiastic greetings or by throwing his ball. Please remember that puppies take time to behave well, he will be better after months more of training.
I don’t mind other dogs growling to teach him dog manners. I am not keeping him on a lead for a year then expecting him to recall perfectly when it’s removed.*

As the owner of a dog that could fight your puppy not just growl and maybe give your poor dog issues for the rest of his life, please use a long line to teach recall and believe me your dog will not learn a lesson by being attacked by another dog angry

goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 20:53:52

@April your girls are gorgeous! And thanks to everyone else for the compliments; he's a gorgeous cuddly stinky lump and we're so lucky to have him grin

OP’s posts: |
goodwinter Fri 22-Feb-19 20:56:47

I don’t mind other dogs growling to teach him dog manners. I am not keeping him on a lead for a year then expecting him to recall perfectly when it’s removed.

But why should someone else's dog be made to feel uncomfortable (while they're on their lead and can't escape from the situation) because your dog isn't fully trained yet?

As I said, my dog has been fine thus far (thankfully!! we had no idea of his temperament with other dogs so it could have been a lot worse), and I really don't mind if the owner is apologetic and trying their best, but I don't think you should see other dogs growling as a nice learning opportunity for your dog when it comes at the expense of another dog's comfort.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in