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To be shocked at the stupidity of this woman, or am I just anti-dogs?

27 replies

angelcake99 · 02/10/2007 15:27

I took my son out to the local park today, not a very big park, couple of swings and slide small area of grass. Woman came into park with three children about 6 years old and two dogs, both large, one a greyhound, not sure what the other one was. I was okay about htis as they were on leads,but staying close to my son incase there were any problems. My son went on slide, and the woman let both dogs off their leads and they immediately went for me and my son, I picked him up quickly and legged it out of the park. I can't beleive this woman could be so stupid to think it is reasonable to let dogs off their leads in a children's play area. I feel terrible as i think because I quickly exited from the park I made my son panic. Did I overreact? Can I report her if i see her again? I am 26 weeks pregnant and hormonal so not sure if i am being unreasonable, but I'm livid and what might have happened.

OP posts:

angelcake99 · 02/10/2007 15:28

sorry about those typos

OP posts:

maisemor · 02/10/2007 15:31

You are teaching your son to be scared of dogs, and I do think you should have said something to the woman.

I can however understand your reaction. It is horrible what she did. Did she try to call them back or stop them in any way?
Were they barking at you as if they were going to bite, or where they "just" wanting to say hello.


SpawnChorus · 02/10/2007 15:32

YANBU. I don;t think you can report her though....unless there's a 'No Dogs' sign (but even then I'm guessing you'd be p*ssing up a rope if you complained about it to the council).


Magicmayhem · 02/10/2007 15:34

what do you mean by went for.. in my eyes that means growling and snarling... or do you mean they came over to you? if thats the case your over reacting...


paolosgirl · 02/10/2007 15:37

YANBU - just because she likes dogs doesn't mean that everyone else wants them jumping on them. She shouldn't have them off the lead in a children's play area, unless they are trained to stay at heel - which they obviously weren't.


VoodooLULUmama · 02/10/2007 15:38

need more info

went for , as magicmayhem says , suggest dogs running at you , and barking and being aggresive

most parks do have a 'no dogs in the play area' rule

however picking your son up and running if the dogs had just come over for a sniff and a wag of the tail is teaching him to be terrified


angelcake99 · 02/10/2007 15:42

The dog ran over to us barking.

I think she was wrong to let them off the leads but also my reaction was not great, I am a bit jumpy around large dogs, I admit.

My ds is only 2.5 so i don't want to raise him to be scared, but after all of terrible stories you hear of children being attacked I just don't feel very relaxed with dogs being off their leads where children play.
Thanks for your comments.

OP posts:

DumbledoresGirl · 02/10/2007 15:44

YANBU. Dogs should not be allowed in play areas. Wasn't it fenced off? In recent times I have never known a park that allowed dogs to run free where children are playing.


suenorth · 02/10/2007 15:49

Some playgrounds near us are not fenced off, but most people have the sense to keep their dogs on leads / to heel in the kids' area. We often go to our local beach and have problems with big dogs running up to the kids. Most of these dogs are probably fine with kids but how are you supposed to make that decision when a huge dog is running at YOUR dc!! You obviously err on the side of caution. It's arguable that on a beach dogwalkers have equal rights to kidwalkers (iyswim) but not in a playground!

And that's not even mentioning the hygeine side of things.

I think a lot of dog owners just don't get how terrifying their (probably perfectly lovely and gentle) dogs look to children not used to dogs.


angelcake99 · 02/10/2007 15:50

The park itself has railings and a gate to be locked to protect children from going on the road but once inside the park the play area and small grass area are all in one, so no fenced off bit.

OP posts:

leo1978 · 02/10/2007 15:52

You are definately not being unreasonable to be scared of a barking dog coming right at you and your son. You wanted to move quickly out of harms way - it's a protective primal (and totally understandable) reaction.
Barking dogs in parks do my head in. I had a similar situation recently with two men and a big dog. I moved away as i was worried it might come near my baby. I'm not scared of dogs generally, but you have to listen to your instincts.


EmsMum · 02/10/2007 15:55


You probably overreacted - greyhounds are usually gentle beasts. But it was a reaction to an unnecessary situation.

If it was a fenced off area with a No Dogs sign the dogs shouldn't have been inside.

If it wasn't, then really they should have been kept on a lead whilst near the swings and slide.

I have a dog, he stays on the lead in the park.

Simple enough.


tigerschick · 02/10/2007 16:03

I completely understand your concern about unknown dogs. I own 2 dogs and am always careful when there are other people about (but I never take them to the park, we live on a farm.) I am also wary of dogs, especially ones that are not on a lead.

I would, however, suggest that, if you don't want your ds to grow up scared of dogs, you might want to try and find someone you know who has a dog that you can visit occasionally. I know children who are scared (one who is terrified) of dogs. This is, in one case, due to his dad being scared and actively avoiding dogs. But the others just aren't used to having dogs around so are unsure of what to expect.


michymama · 02/10/2007 16:08

YANBU a children play are is for children not for dogs.


edam · 02/10/2007 16:09

Woman was being daft allowing dogs off the lead around a play area. Esp. a greyhound as they can be excitable and that might frighten a nervous child.


angelcake99 · 02/10/2007 16:09

yes Tigerschick, I have been reading all of the comments given, and htink your suggestion is one that I will follow up, I do have a friend who is a dog lover and maybe that is a good place to start getting more comfortable with Ds being around dogs.
Its like I want him to be comfortable around them, to respect them but to also realise that they could hurt him, its really difficult... how do you teach a child to be aware but not scared?
thanks everyone for help putting it into perspective.

OP posts:

bookwormtailmum · 02/10/2007 16:26

I'm scared of dogs, esp loud barky ones - which is probably inherited from my Mum - so a 'doggy friend' is a good idea. I think that the woman should have her dog under control in a children's play area though.


mimi03 · 02/10/2007 16:32

im a dog lover but am very aware that ppl get nervous esp. if they have kids. my dog is quite big, a Irish setter, and bouncy, wouldnt hurt a fly, but would probably scare the shit out of someone only 2 feet tall. i would never let him off they lead in a kids play park-its just consideration isnt it?


EricL · 02/10/2007 16:40

I dont think you over-reacted that much. If a large dog comes bounding over barking when i am with my DD i will pick her up until i see how the dog is. It is a natural act to defend your children first and then think about whether you over-reacted second.

I got mauled by a dog when i was 11 and it has scarred my attitude to dogs forever. I just cannot trust them until i see how they act when they have bounded over. If a dog is yapping or snapping at my heels i kick it. Its only happened twice so far and i dont really care that it upsets the owner - my safety is way more important than a dogs now.

Its a shame cos i bet most times it is the owner that is to blame for the bad attitude of the dog.


ShaunOfTheThread · 02/10/2007 16:45

What a lovely balanced thread this is: rightly scathing of someone who would let her dogs run free in a play area, but not anti-dog.

To the OP, YANBU. The woman was way in the wrong. But I agree it would be good to give the children opportunities to met dogs you can trust, in a relaxed way.


Ripeberry · 02/10/2007 16:49

Problem is that running is not the best plan when dogs are involved as it will get them even more exited.
If dogs come near me and my DDs i usually get myself between my DDs and the dogs and get ready to kick the dogs in the head if i have to.
Or better still, carry a big unbrella or walking stick to whack the dogs with.
I would have had words with that stupid woman, she might think her dogs were "just playing" but how are you supposed to know?


Ripeberry · 02/10/2007 16:52

Round here, lots of people have staffies that are not controlled and some roam by themselves during the day, so you have to have some protection.


snig · 02/10/2007 17:04

i don't think your unreasonable at all. I have a dog but i am trying to teach my son to never go up to a dog he doesn't know and stroke it as some dogs aren't friendly.
i have a mouth on me i'm afraid and would have shouted at the dogs to fuck off as most (not all dogs) seem to understand that command!
She should keep them on leads in a childrens park if she can't control them.


ruty · 02/10/2007 17:06

the woman was stupid. YANBU. People think they know their dogs, the truth is dogs are animals and are always unpredictable. you can never know how they will react, especially around people they don't know. No way should she have taken them into a play area. Call your local council and insist on a 'No dogs' sign on the gate.


Boredveryverybored · 02/10/2007 17:15

Agree running away is not the best course of action faced with a dog, it will instinctively run after you. Most will think you're playing a game with them.
But I can 100% understand the reaction expecially if you're wary of dogs. I grew up with dogs and am very comfortable with them but even I'd have been nervous if one I didn't know came running at me barking.
Any decent dog owner will understand that no dog can be trusted completely in any situation so to let one off the lead that you evidently can't control is madness, to do it in a childrens play area with other people around is beyond stupid.

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