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PSA: Dog owners - it is not ok


Pegasus
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for your loose dog to approach my leashed dog, even if you insist that it is ok because your dog is friendly or "just wants to play." If your dog won't obey your commands, then it should never be loose, ever.

 

I'm currently nursing several abrasions, a badly bruised hip, and a bite wound because of someone's loose dog "wanting to play" with my dog.

 

Edited by Pegasus
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Oh no, I'm so sorry. I know it must be maddening to have to bear the brunt of someone else's foolishness. I hope you are able to recover soon. :grouphug:

 

We see so many people blatantly ignore clearly posted signs that say "dogs must be on leash at all times". At public areas where small children run about. My own dog was attacked by a man who was clearly under the influence AND had his two huge dogs unleashed. We used to walk with a stick just to be prepared for such incidents. I never ever want to have to hurt a dog but some people really don't get the message and I'm not sure what else to do short of not walking my guys at all.

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Ugh....I had that happen to me in a pet store.  I was walking my newly blind dog out of the training area, and some dog just runs up on her.  Owner just didn't get it and kept insisting it was 'all right, his dog wouldn't bite".  I was like, you obviously don't get it....MINE WILL!  And then my dog would suffer you being an idiot.  And to prove my point, we were waiting outside for my ride and two girls walked by talking at a distance.  My dog spun around and started growling at them.  She was a very alpha type personality and was losing her place as top dog.  She didn't take it very well and was very reactionary outside the house.

 

Stefanie

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I'm so sorry! That's not okay at all, especially if you tell them flat out you don't want your dog approached. People do this to my children - let their dogs run near them and don't listen when I tell them not to. Several of them are terrified of dogs and an unleashed dog running up to them and getting in their personal space while they scream their heads off isn't a way to fix that.

 

Our city has rules about this but they're hard to enforce and too many owners just don't care. Full voice command of under control of a leash. That's it. If your dog won't freeze or turn around when called to return then it's a leash for them when in a public space. Seems simple to me!

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Thanks, everyone.  I'm pretty fortunate that most of my neighbors are responsible dog owners.  There are a couple that frequently have their dogs out unleashed but have only to say a word to their dog and the dog freezes and returns to them.  Most others have fences and/or walk their dogs leashed.  It only takes one unmanaged loose dog, of course, to turn a pleasant walk into a painful incident.  DH is currently insisting on walking with me when I take the dog out.  I'm not sure about the stick idea if I was alone. Is there something like mace for dogs that would deter them without causing permanent damage?

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Instead of mace I'd recommend an Air horn (like you use on a boat) or a pop up umbrella. 

My favourite technique though is to chuck a huge handful of treats at the approaching dog & do a 180 with my dog & walk away. 

I clicker train & I always have a bait bag of treats. I actually worked on this bhvr & my guys know that if I chuck treats on the ground that means we're walking briskly away - of course they get major rewards for doing this. It's a heavily reinforced bhvr. 

My malamute used to be very reactive to dogs she didn't know but with lots of positive reinforcement training she learned to first ignore dogs and to greet them appropriately. Now she's mostly blind & deaf so she really doesn't notice them -  the only good side effect of aging ;)

Edited by hornblower
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We are in campus family housing, which doesn't allow pets other than service dogs. However, therapy animals/emotional companions are allowed. Most here are very good about keeping them on a leash. There is one family, however, that has a small dog that is not the least bit friendly. It will bark and growl and I caught it sneaking up behind me once, which is never a good sign. They are always letting the young kids out with this thing and it's never leashed. 

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I don't mind unleashed dogs who are well trained.  The city / state clearly tolerates it in parks that are known for dog walking, and I think that's nice, both for owners and dogs. But the absolute #1 rule is, if you do not have voice command over your dog (the dog obeys very consistently), it needs to be leashed.

 

In  a neighborhood setting, I never think an unleashed dog is appropriate.  Children and old folks should not have to be anxious and uncertain when they walk on the sidewalk.   I was in a wheelchair for a few months after an accident and it made me very sensitive to how scary running kids and random dogs are when you don't have mobility and might get crashed into  (even by a small moving object).

 

In my town that would be a call to the dog warden.   We've had neighbors take photo evidence and turn it in which has resulted in fines. Plus some fairly epic letters to the editor about privacy.

 

 

Edited by poppy
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I don't mind unleashed dogs who are well trained. The city / state clearly tolerates it in parks that are known for dog walking, and I think that's nice, both for owners and dogs. But the absolute #1 rule is, if you do not have voice command over your dog (the dog obeys very consistently), it needs to be leashed.

But, most irresponsible dog owners would say their Fido is perfectly controlled. Leash!!

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were you able to get enough information to report them to animal control?

 

I detest those types of owners.

 

when dudeling was younger, he was petrified of dogs.  people would take their dogs off leash on pedestrian paths.  (which is illegal in seattle.  they don't care.)  I don't care how friendly your dog is - if it approaches my kid and terrifies him just becasue it want's to play. 

and I'm  talking butt-wagging the tail hyper lick your face puppy.

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I don't mind unleashed dogs who are well trained.

 

you'd have to define well-trained.

 

most people think their dog is trained because they took them to an obedience class.  oh - and if it's a small dog, they dont' need to take it to an obedience class and train it. (I secretly wish for a coyote to make a meal of the mutt across the street from us. I hate that dog.)

 

well trained dogs don't jump on strangers. EVER.   (one akita never jumped on me again.  he thought about it - until he realized who I was and immediately backed-off when he was on his hind legs.)

well trained dogs dont' play dominance games by stepping on other people's feet. (almost ALWAYS small dogs doing that.)

well trained dogs don't 'crash into/run up to at speed' strangers just becasue it wants to play.

 

well trained dogs dont' sniff at people's food. they don't grab people shoes to play tag, etc. 

 

ALL of those are things I've had to deal with from what their owner/owner's friends have described as a "well trained dog".

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Ugh! I'm with you. I'm sorry it happened. We have someone near us who can't control their dog on a lead so they simply don't use one. It attacked us 2x & I lost it on the second one & screamed at the lady hiding in the bushes instead of gaining control of her dog that if I saw her dog on the track again I was calling the police. I now have a child terrified to walk in that area. *sigh*

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Thanks, everyone.  I'm pretty fortunate that most of my neighbors are responsible dog owners.  There are a couple that frequently have their dogs out unleashed but have only to say a word to their dog and the dog freezes and returns to them.  Most others have fences and/or walk their dogs leashed.  It only takes one unmanaged loose dog, of course, to turn a pleasant walk into a painful incident.  DH is currently insisting on walking with me when I take the dog out.  I'm not sure about the stick idea if I was alone. Is there something like mace for dogs that would deter them without causing permanent damage?

 

They do, but don't waste your money. I unloaded an entire can of the stuff on a dog that "won't leave its yard". Well, unless I was walking my dog on a leash apparently, because it not only left the yard, but crossed the street and came after us every. single. time. (Its people are always outside with it assuring me it won't leave the yard as it goes over the curb...) Anyway, the can only sprayed a few feet. The dog took it straight in the face and didn't even flinch. I started walking with wasp spray. (It was that or a gun.) Dog didn't even have to be hit with it. He dropped to a down position when it got close to him. (I was spraying from across the street.) He stayed there, not even barking any longer, until we were well past his yard. He got up and went to his owners then. I ended up using it on a small pack of strays. Same results. Used it on another dog that is inside an invisible fence that works great until the dog decides it wants to attack. Same results.

 

Those who want to flame  me, honestly, my choice was this or carry a gun and shoot the dogs. Lesser of the two choices, imnsho. Never had to actually hit the dogs physically with it. Just sprayed in front of them as they charged us. I would have sprayed it in their face if they had continued.

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Thanks, everyone.  I'm pretty fortunate that most of my neighbors are responsible dog owners.  There are a couple that frequently have their dogs out unleashed but have only to say a word to their dog and the dog freezes and returns to them.  Most others have fences and/or walk their dogs leashed.  It only takes one unmanaged loose dog, of course, to turn a pleasant walk into a painful incident.  DH is currently insisting on walking with me when I take the dog out.  I'm not sure about the stick idea if I was alone. Is there something like mace for dogs that would deter them without causing permanent damage?

 

This. It won't hurt your dog or you if it blows back on you, doesn't cause permanent damage, and in tests worked as well as pepper spray. 

 

And I'm so sorry. I'm a huge dog person, but it is totally unacceptable what these people did. Ugh. Drives me crazy. So sorry. 

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I'm sorry to hear that so many people have had similar problems but appreciate the tips on how the situation has been handled.  I may try to carry an air horn or pop up umbrella.  I understand completely about resorting to wasp spray so no flames from me.

 

I feel especially bad for children and adults who are scared of dogs and have to deal with irresponsible dog owners. That's just awful.

 

I'm not perfect, either, which I realize and try to give most people the benefit of the doubt. My youngest is 16 and I still clearly remember one day when she was barely toddling and I had her at a park.  I was distracted for just a couple seconds (honest!) only to look up and see that she had toddled away and was standing directly in front of a HUGE dog with her arms stretched up as high as she could reach, holding on to the dogs face and peering up at him.  ACK!  We are very fortunate that the dog was calm and didn't react. This is the same kid that still sports a scar on her face when she didn't take a relative's cat seriously that it wanted to be left alone.  *sigh*  A little fear would not be a bad thing. 

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you'd have to define well-trained.

 

most people think their dog is trained because they took them to an obedience class.  oh - and if it's a small dog, they dont' need to take it to an obedience class and train it. (I secretly wish for a coyote to make a meal of the mutt across the street from us. I hate that dog.)

 

well trained dogs don't jump on strangers. EVER.   (one akita never jumped on me again.  he thought about it - until he realized who I was and immediately backed-off when he was on his hind legs.)

well trained dogs dont' play dominance games by stepping on other people's feet. (almost ALWAYS small dogs doing that.)

well trained dogs don't 'crash into/run up to at speed' strangers just becasue it wants to play.

 

well trained dogs dont' sniff at people's food. they don't grab people shoes to play tag, etc. 

 

ALL of those are things I've had to deal with from what their owner/owner's friends have described as a "well trained dog".

 

Well, there are idiots who text and drive, too. There are idiots everywhere. 

 

I agree with those criteria.  No well trained dog should make physical contact with a stranger, I think that's a given. 

 

Like I said, I don't have a problem with well trained dogs in dog-friendly parks.  And I see them alllllll the time walking my dog in those parks.

My dog? Is on a leash.  She is six months old, 60 pounds and we've only been to a six week puppy kindergarten.  Not remotely ready,.

But there are a lot of well trained dogs out there.

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I'm so sorry!

 

We have issues with people bringing dogs to kids' ball games and letting them off leash.  There's almost never a problem.  Except when there is!  A few weeks ago, I went over and pet a gorgeous, well-behaved dog.  10 minutes later, she had my husband, who was just walking by, pinned against a tree.  And the owners just stood there, calling her, promising she was friendly.  Um, barking and chasing is not friendly dog OR owner behavior!

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for your loose dog to approach my leashed dog, even if you insist that it is ok because your dog is friendly or "just wants to play." If your dog won't obey your commands, then it should never be loose, ever.

 

I'm currently nursing several abrasions, a badly bruised hip, and a bite wound because of someone's loose dog "wanting to play" with my dog.

Oooh my goodness! That's horrible. :( Did the owner learn anything from this at all ???

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A neighbor lets her dogs run free in the woods behind our house. It drives me nuts. These are big dogs that are not well trained. My kids are terrified of them, because they jump up on them and knock them over. My neighbors think my kids are being brats, because they freak out whenever they see those dogs. Whatever. Leash your dogs!

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 This kind of thing makes me crazy angry. There are leash laws for a reason.

 

We've had numerous experiences with unleashed dogs in our neighborhood.  Our own dog had severe anxiety and would react negatively when approached by another dog, particularly if he was leashed (which he always was) and the other dog was not.    But people still insisted that it's OK because their dog is friendly.   One stupid, stupid man was surprised when he saw me pick up my (42#) dog as his shih tzu approached.  "She's friendly!"  "She's scaring my dog, please call her back."  "Your big dog is afraid of my little baby?"   I didn't say, yes, and my big dog could easily kill your baby if he manages to get out of my grip.  

 

Then there is the woman who walks her dog with the leash over her shoulder.  So she can quickly leash him if a cop comes by?    That dog almost came into my house once; they were walking by just as I was walking out the door with my (leashed) dog.  Her dog took one look at mine and raced up the front lawn to the door.  I had to pull my dog back in and slam the door.  Both dogs were going nuts.

 

Sorry for all the anecdotes.  I would like to have better memories of walking my dog (he died a few months ago) but honestly I hated walking him because of the mixture of his fear and other peoples' dogs (or the stupid people who own the dogs). 

Edited by marbel
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When my dog was a puppy we were walking her leashed through a nature park (with leashed dog signs!). She was attacked by an off the leash dog. My husband literally had to pry the other large dog off our 1 year old dog. The owners strolled up a few minutes later an acted like we'd over reacted. After that day our sweet friendly loves everything puppy became dog aggressive. She adopted a get them first attitude. Burns me up! We'd worked so hard to socialize her as a puppy and one instant changed her. Makes me very angry when I see loose dogs.

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I'm going to say this and I don't care if you think I'm a monster but dog owners need to hear it.

 

Some people just don't like dogs and that is ok. I don't like dogs. I don't care how cute or sweet or friendly you think your dog is. I do not want your dog smelling me to get to know me and that is my right. You standing there grinning like a fool telling me "he'll just lick you to death" isn't amusing. I don't think your puppy running all over my yard, peeing every 30 seconds is adorable. It is summer, my kids are in flip flops! Your dog needs to be contained in your yard or your house. Do not bring your dog to group function unless the function is Dog Party!

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When my dog was a puppy we were walking her leashed through a nature park (with leashed dog signs!). She was attacked by an off the leash dog. My husband literally had to pry the other large dog off our 1 year old dog. The owners strolled up a few minutes later an acted like we'd over reacted. After that day our sweet friendly loves everything puppy became dog aggressive. She adopted a get them first attitude. Burns me up! We'd worked so hard to socialize her as a puppy and one instant changed her. Makes me very angry when I see loose dogs.

 

Yes.  This is what happened to one of our dogs. 

 

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There are leash laws for a reason.   

 

In my experience, these owners who have their dogs off-leash treat their dogs like they are children rather than animals and act offended when I don't share the same feelings that they do about their "wonderful fido" .  I don't care if someone's dog is the friendliest dog on the planet, I don't want that dog running up to me. 

 

 

These owners all think their dogs are well-trained, despite the fact that the dogs ignore their commands.  I have seen times when the owner will repeat the sit command multiple times, and then praise the dog when on the 10th time of saying "sit" the dog "listens."  Yeah, what a great "well trained" dog.

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I'm going to say this and I don't care if you think I'm a monster but dog owners need to hear it.

 

Some people just don't like dogs and that is ok. I don't like dogs. I don't care how cute or sweet or friendly you think your dog is. I do not want your dog smelling me to get to know me and that is my right. You standing there grinning like a fool telling me "he'll just lick you to death" isn't amusing. I don't think your puppy running all over my yard, peeing every 30 seconds is adorable. It is summer, my kids are in flip flops! Your dog needs to be contained in your yard or your house. Do not bring your dog to group function unless the function is Dog Party!

 

Nothing monstrous in what you are saying here.  Just common courtesy (and in some cases, following the law).

 

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Unfortunately, I understand. At this point I would be happy if just the dogs who are known to bite were kept leashed. I can deal with the slobbery annoying ones. OP, did you get medical care for your wounds? If your bite was from the other dog, your medical insurance might go after the dog-owner's home insurance. 

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I'm going to say this and I don't care if you think I'm a monster but dog owners need to hear it.

 

Some people just don't like dogs and that is ok. I don't like dogs. I don't care how cute or sweet or friendly you think your dog is. I do not want your dog smelling me to get to know me and that is my right. You standing there grinning like a fool telling me "he'll just lick you to death" isn't amusing. I don't think your puppy running all over my yard, peeing every 30 seconds is adorable. It is summer, my kids are in flip flops! Your dog needs to be contained in your yard or your house. Do not bring your dog to group function unless the function is Dog Party!

 

I have and have had dogs. I like dogs. You are not a monster.

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I adore dogs. Like really crazy adore dogs.  I like them to jump on me, to lick, to play, to drool. I can deal with mouthy dogs, pushy dogs, playful dogs, leaning dogs, in my space dogs - it really doesn't bug me. 

Two things that do bug me: relentless barking and offleash dogs in onleash areas.

 

Unless they're so good that you don't even notice they were offleash:  Either they're immediately leashed or they're so good that they really don't need that little piece of nylon webbing. 

I was out walking once with my crew, back when I had 3 or 4, when I came across a woman who had been jogging with her bc but had stopped to speak to someone. The dog was just sniffing around, actually across the street (quiet street, no traffic) from her. I didn't even realize the dog was hers - all I saw was an unattended dog & was already trying to figure out where to park my crew so I could go to leash it & get it to a shelter. 

Except a second after she saw me, the woman dropped her dog into a down, while still standing there talking to the other person. That dog just stayed put ignoring us as we walked by and after we had passed she recalled it to her and that was the end of that. 


My perception is that for some dog owners offleash dogs are a status symbol. Unfortunately most have simply not put in the hours work required to have that dog. Offleash reliability takes hours of work. 



 

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wait, just remembered a peeve which is sometimes worse than offleash dogs - the dreaded dog on a flexi.

 

Dog runs up to you, owner has no control & the flexi can amputate your fingers & cut your dogs' legs. That's the one time a loose dog is better.

Googling flexi injuries is truly gory! Edited by Arctic Mama
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I loathe people who laugh and say "my dog is friendly!" as the dog approaches me and starts sniffing and licking and sometimes even jumping on me.  If I wanted to be friends with a dog, I'd own one.  I don't want your animal approaching me or my kids, ever.

 

"Don't worry, he's friendly!" is a code term for "I'm a jerk" in my book.

Edited by momma2three
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for your loose dog to approach my leashed dog, even if you insist that it is ok because your dog is friendly or "just wants to play." If your dog won't obey your commands, then it should never be loose, ever.

 

I'm currently nursing several abrasions, a badly bruised hip, and a bite wound because of someone's loose dog "wanting to play" with my dog.

 

I'm sorry.

 

People who won't keep their dogs on leashes should be arrested. 

 

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If owners are anywhere in sight and I see an unleashed dog start to come towards us, I will call out "You need to leash your dog."  They will do the "oh, but he's friendly" spiel but I will say "Mine isn't.  Please leash your dog.  Now."  I don't really care if they think I'm overreacting or not. 

 

I don't have a dog at this point, but my toddler (years ago) was charged by one, and I got this nonsense. 

 

I always want to say, "Well, *I* am not friendly."  But I haven't yet.   

 

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I'm sorry.

 

People who won't keep their dogs on leashes should be arrested. 

 

 

It's officially a $50-100 fine on the books but mostly people just get warnings - & that's if they get caught. I've spoken to the bylaw enforcement officers and they try to patrol the problem parks here. 

 

One park had huge issues & they had to have several months worth of community meetings to come up with a completely different plan. Certain areas are offleash dawn to dusk, others till 10 am, others are always on leash, & some trails have no dogs allowed at all. It seems to be working better than the previous chaos.... 

 

 

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Their dog BIT you? That's an automatic police report imnsho. And if they lose their dog for it, too bad not even a little sad for them.

 

My general attitude is train, contain or lose the dog.

 

I have very little patience for that nonsense.

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Googling flexi injuries is truly gory!

I couldn't resist and now wish I had.

 

Oh my goodness...heartbreaking. The injuries to dogs and humans are awful.

 

----

I am an advocate for leashed dogs. As an avid hiker/backpacker I am dismayed at the number of people who use unleashed dogs as protection on the trail. There's nothing more uncomfortable than trying to use the restroom in the backcountry and have some strange dog run up to you, especially if the dog is barking or acting aggressively.  Owners tend to justify off leash behavior on trails with a fervor and conviction that rivals all else.

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Just in case people travel: there seems to be an etiquette difference.  In Britain dogs are mostly off leads in parks (not just in specified dog parks).  Jumping up on people is not okay, but sniffing is pretty much normal behaviour.  Children are taught to put a hand out for dogs to sniff.

 

There's a yellow dog scheme for nervous or ill dogs, but I don't know how widely it's recognised:

 

http://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk/

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Yeah, the problem with this is that all dog owners seem to believe that their dog is "voice controlled," based on their own definition.

 

Since you are using the term I've brought into the conversation derisively, let me just say, my dog is leashed at all times.   So, it is not "all dog owners".

 

It is a term I picked up from a trainer.  A dog that responds consistently to vocal commands is not some weird anomaly. It is something any dog (without trauma or health issues) can be taught.  Obviously some owners don't understand the etiquette or choose to disregard it.  That is a selfish-neighbor problem.....  like people who play loud music at the beach or people who smoke in doorways.   It is not "all dog owners".

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I like my dog well enough. I don't generally like other people's dogs and I really dislike dogs that jump up on me. I also dislike people who bring their dogs on the trails in the city between May 15-Sept 15 even though there are plenty of aigns posted saying dogs aren't allowed on trails during that time frame.

 

I also dislike it when I'm out running and come across dog owners. They either don't have their dog leashed or do not have good control over their leashed dog. I usually have to stop running and either cross the street or try to swing wide (often into someone's yard) to put enough space between me and the dog for me to feel comfortable passing.

 

Every dog bites if the conditions are right, I simply have no desire for it to be me who is the one that is bit and finds out what triggers that dog. Sorry to hear that happened to you! Definitely file a police report if you haven't already. You don't need to know who the owner is. Description of the dog and time/location of the dog bite. The officer can follow up/investigate. That's probably the only way that dog owner will learn.

Edited by mamaraby
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  In Britain dogs are mostly off leads in parks (not just in specified dog parks).  

 

And if you're travelling in England & miss your own dogs nobody thinks it's weird if you run up to them and ask to *please* let you play with their dog.

 

Or if they thought it was weird, they were too polite to tell me ... :D 

 

I love the park which often appears in Glasgow Dog Trainer's Videos. Like this one.  People dogs, children, babies in strollers, all enjoying the space. 

 

One thing that really strikes me is that so many of the dogs in the park are quite relaxed & have excellent social skills. Too many dogs here are just a bit too manic & impolite about their greetings. 

 

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ArcticMama, I think we are in the same city, and people's lax control of their dogs (especially on hiking trails) is a constant thorn in my side. It's unsafe for their dogs, the other dogs, the kids, the wildlife. Also, the dog poop! People just leave it on the trails; hate that, and it's becoming an issue with bacteria levels in our waterways. I have two dogs, so I'm not a "dog hater" at all. But people really need to be responsible.

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