Should I find a new walk?

(31 Posts)
JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 19:57:50

Just had a rather nasty run in with a man and wife on our regular 3 mile dog walk. We've seen them before and even joked about our dogs being opposite colours only a couple of days ago, so the dogs have played and know each other.

Today we were on the last leg just as they were starting their walk. Recognising them I walked on with dd letting ddog loiter to play (she usually has a chase about and catches us up) and got about 3/4meters ahead when I hear the husband shouting at me "can't you f*&^ing control your bloody dog? Why hasn't it got a lead on for God's sake!" I was confused because their dog was also off lead, our dogs usually play and this man wasn't usually angry about it at all. So I try to call ddog over - no joy as they are rolling about and she is being chased by their dog through long grass, etc. So I have to go closer, realising I have no treats and can't get too close to the other dog's owner due to 2 meter rule. He's still shouting at me to "get it under control" and waffling on outraged about something whilst actively trying to stand between me and where the dog is! So I said "Look there's no point us standing here talking about this if you actually want me to catch my dog!" and try again to catch her collar and miss. I pretend I have a treat and ddog comes over to me and I get the lead on (took all of about 4minutes from his first angry bray at us) and I drag ddog away to my open mouthed dd who is in tears because "why did that nasty man shout swear words at you mummy?".

I'm pretty cross, not least because his wife just stood there and said nothing - at one point he said that my dog had jumped up at her, which I didn't see, and so I even apologised to her and him again as I was taking ddog away.

Now I'm thinking back on it i'm quite angry and shocked at their behaviour. What am I supposed to do; I can't have ddog on a lead at all times just in case we bump into them, especially now we only get 1 walk a day and she needs to run. Why is their dog allowed to be off lead and not ours? And yes they were definitely playing - both taking it in turns to chase, wagging, jumping in the grass - no growling, etc - they know each other.

Genuinely happy to be told if I did something wrong here. I know I should probably have had treats in hindsight but ddog is good with recall (unless she meets a friend, as she did today) so I sometimes forget.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Sat 25-Apr-20 20:03:36

You shouldn’t have walked on without your dog. By law you have to have your dog under control. If you have your back to your dog and don’t know if it was jumping up at someone or not then it’s not under control.
He shouldn’t be shouting and swearing at you though.

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:08:47

It was probably about 4 paces to be honest, but OK. I obviously would have paid more attention if we hadn't recognised them/known the dogs get on.

I just don't know what to do now though. They obviously do the same walk as us and the dogs want to play.

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pigsDOfly Sat 25-Apr-20 20:16:24

If you're on a 3 mile walk they're not going to be on the whole of your walk so just make sure you put your dog on the lead when you see them or their dog in the distance.

When I leave the house to walk my dog there are certain things I always have with me: poo bags, ball and treats. I take these things because they are part and parcel of my dog's walk. Even if a dog has 100% perfect recall, and by your own admission yours doesn't, you never know when a situation might arise in which you need the help of treats.

Tbh walking away from your dog whilst it's playing and expecting it to catch you up really isn't a good idea. In this instance, the man claims your dog jumped on his wife, but because you'd already walked on you have no idea what your dog was doing.

What, for instance, if he'd claimed your dog, during play, attacked his dog and then bit his wife when she tried to separate them? His wife is standing there with bite on her hand? Could have been their dog that bit her or it could have been yours, but you wouldn't know because you'd already walked on and left your dog.

Wolfiefan Sat 25-Apr-20 20:18:39

Sorry you said four metres and seemed to say you had your back to them.
If my dog is playing then I stop walking and stand and watch. Some dogs LOVE to play but their owners can worry it’s too rough etc and want you to stop it.
You also need to be able to recall your dog even if they are having a game.

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:22:13

Yes, that is a good point. I realised I was foolish not having treats but you are right, you don't know what people will say. It's more of a recall issue when she knows the owners/dog as she thinks they are friendly and will be as pleased to see her as she is them. If I call her back for other dogs we don't know she will come.

Can I ask then, do you always call your dog back to go on a lead whenever other people are in sight? I'm just confused as usually if our dogs have met and played owners seem to be fine for them to do so again.

OP’s posts: |
JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:24:22

It was about 3/4 meters distance - I took about 4 steps past them because dd and I moved to the pathway to keep 2 meters and my dog stayed where we had been and so for those few steps I did have my back to our dog. I agree this was an error.

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JesusInTheCabbageVan Sat 25-Apr-20 20:28:49

He was being a twat. Don't let him bully you into changing your route - he can go somewhere else if he's so bloody precious!

LonelyInLockdown Sat 25-Apr-20 20:29:13

He sounds really horrible.
Sadly this lockdown is bringing out the worst in some people.

gatsbylove Sat 25-Apr-20 20:29:58

Can I ask then, do you always call your dog back to go on a lead whenever other people are in sight?

I do, because he's bouncy and playful. Putting him on a lead avoids problems like the one you had here but also, no good at all comes from allowing him to learn how much fun it would be to ignore me when we meet another dog.

Enough4me Sat 25-Apr-20 20:34:44

I don't have a dog, but if I saw this I would wonder why he didn't call his dog to him.

Why didn't you say "stop shouting particularly in front of a child and catch your dog so I can focus on mine". I would also have stopped there and then and comforted my DC as a priority over giving them too much attention.

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:35:58

I did immediately think how glad I was not to be stuck in a house with that one wink

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Wolfiefan Sat 25-Apr-20 20:37:24

I tend to stand and watch. But then mine is a giant hound and I want to be ready to intervene if necessary!
My dog will ask permission to go and play. grin

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:37:43

@Enough4me to be honest it caught me completely by surprise, as I've said usually the dogs play for a few minutes and we both walk on. I did go over as soon as I heard the shouting and tell him there was no point in him going on. I didn't want to escalate it and so I was as polite as I could be.

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RandomMess Sat 25-Apr-20 20:38:10

He was being a twat if there was a dog my dog had played with a few days earlier etc I would assume they were fine to play together for a short while.

My dog is anxious/fear reactive so spend walks calling her close to avoid potential barking bu she does have dog "friends" where the owners are happy for them to sort out pecking order etc. so barking and snapping accepted.

LochJessMonster Sat 25-Apr-20 20:39:39

He sounds like an idiot. If both dogs were playing equally then I don’t see the problem.

I would just have given him a funny look and walked off tbh

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:42:28

Yes @Wolfiefan we do watch and laugh at them, I was a bit lax today as we had to move out of their path, were nearly at the end of our walk and usually they are fine with their dog playing.

Out of all of this lockdown the dog walk is usually the fun part of the day! This one was a complete downer (first time I've cried since it started when I got home - how silly!).

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Wolfiefan Sat 25-Apr-20 20:44:48

Oh bless you. My dog walk is my happy time at the moment so I get it. Shame to have it ruined by someone being so OTT.
I’m not letting my dog play with others at the moment in case (tiny risk I’m sure) they can transfer the virus between them. (Metal on collar etc) Or I have to wade in to retrieve her.
Could that have been his issue?

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:49:19

I suppose, but then why let them play together two or three days earlier in the week?

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ladybee28 Sat 25-Apr-20 20:49:38

Don't change your route.

Keep your dog on-lead the next time you see him, and then ask him directly what happened.

If your dogs normally play and his dog also wasn't on lead, there's no reason for you to have expected anything different than usual.

And swearing at someone, especially in front of their child, is not acceptable.

This must have felt like a real shock - sorry, OP.

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:54:35

Anyway, lesson learned. I'll have to be more careful to get her on the lead if we see people coming.

I think we will go for a quick drive to the local woods tomorrow instead. I saw the police advice now is that you can use your car if you are exercising longer than you drive (woods is 10mins drive). I'd rather feel I could relax a bit at the moment with less people around and let her have a good run. The fields are busier than usual as they are closer to the town, so more chance of this kind of thing happening I suppose.

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PlanetoftheWood Sat 25-Apr-20 20:55:31

I don't think you did anything wrong OP. Your dogs had played nicely together before so why would you expect it to be an issue today. Like you, if my dog sees one of his known friends I keep walking and he catches up 20 seconds later. I think you have to put this down to this man being a bit odd. Like PP said, if it was that much of an issue why didn't he recall his own dog and put it on a lead.

JeSuisPoulet Sat 25-Apr-20 20:57:33

@ladybee28 thank you. I don't think I want to talk to him at all to be honest! If we see them i'll be making a point of getting ddog on her lead, pulling her away and keeping distance between us.

I'd rather not run the risk for a few days and we could do with a change of scenery.

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Wolfiefan Sat 25-Apr-20 21:02:10

Hadn’t realised you meant they’d played that recently. I honestly can’t see why he was so OTT.
A change of scenery sounds great.
Maybe he was having a shitty day for some reason and took it out on you.
Hope you have a lovely quiet walk tomorrow.

pigsDOfly Sat 25-Apr-20 21:05:15

The only reason I suggested you put your dog on the lead when you see them is because of the incident today. It's probably best not to let your dog play with theirs if they are going to swear and shout at you if things go awry.

My dog doesn't play with other dogs normally, she's happy with her ball or just doing her own thing, and tends to ignore other dogs. On the rare occasions that she does, I make sure I'm there watching at all times.

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