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Do you jog behind someone walking a dog?


gingersmom
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I was walking on treadmill at gym watching Peoples Court. The case involved a women who was jogging on the sidewalk, saw women up ahead with dog (pit bull mix) and attempted to jog by the women walking the dog on the leash. The dog bit the women on the arm (it was unclear but the dog walking women may have been leaning down picking up dog poop)

 

The first thing the judge said was why did you jog next to the dog, especially since you saw it in distance?

 

I used to have a German shepherd and I joked it was like the parting of the Red Sea when I walked down the street. No one would come near us, it was hilarious :)

 

I now have a big brown dog that I walk on the walking paths in my subdivision. Twice I've had people come jogging behind us, seriously close. Neither time did I realize they were behind us till they were upon us. Once I jumped and almost accidentally hit the person (they were that close)

 

Both times I yelled at them (as they went by) that it's not safe to come so close behind me and my dog.

 

Am I crazy?

 

When I walk in a local park the bike riders call out ahead that they are passing on the left/right which gives you a heads up.

Edited by gingersmom
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??? I have always walked dogs and fully expect people to come walking up behind us and around us.  My dog should be under such total control that it should not even blink when someone comes jogging walking past.  Having a dog on a leash does not mean I own the side walk.

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I suggest leaving a space the length of a standard leash which is about 6 feet. However with the darned flexi leashes now, the dog might need a bigger radius. 

Generally, I would leave a car's length.  Just like when you cycle past someone, it's courtesy to call out & say for ex "on your left" .... letting the person know so they can move to the right a bit & give you a bit of room. 


I thought these were common sense but people seem to have this weird Lassie cartoon vision of dogs....or veer completely to the other side and think all dogs are murderous hellions intent on killing everything. 



Do not startle dogs. 

 

Let sleeping dogs lie. 

 

Do not interfere with a dog that's eating. 

Do not approach dogs you don't know - wait for them to approach you if you want to be social. 

Don't shove your hand in front of a dog's nose. Don't go 'pat pat pat' on top of a dog's head. 

 

Edited by hornblower
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??? I have always walked dogs and fully expect people to come walking up behind us and around us. My dog should be under such total control that it should not even blink when someone comes jogging walking past. Having a dog on a leash does not mean I own the side walk.

I don't think I own the sidewalk, nor does my dog.

 

But if someone is so close to me that they are nearly touching me and I jump and hit you, seems like common sense would be to go around me or yell to give me a heads up.

 

I don't have supersonic hearing and I don't have eyes in the back of my head.

Edited by gingersmom
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ps, my dogs are well trained. They don't chase bikes or joggers.   But I don't expect that of everyone & I don't expect a dog to not react to something suddenly coming up behind them.  

 

When they're startled, they react very quickly, which I for one appreciate. If an attacker came running up behind me & tried to touch me or tackle me, my Daisy girl would have been at his throat in a blink. 

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I don't, but I also don't think it's reasonable to expect someone to get on the street just to safely pass a dog. So, while I am paranoid, I don't think that it's a viable defense to say she jogged past too closely.

 

ETA: unless the sidewalk was much wider than the sidewalks here, which are only 4 ft wide, so you can't go past two people (or even one - kind of unclear from OP) walking a dog without almost touching them.

Edited by luuknam
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I don't think I own the sidewalk, nor does my dog.

 

But if someone is so close to me that they are nearly touching me and I jump and hit you, seems like common sense would be to go around me or yell to give me a heads up.

 

I don't have supersonic hearing and I don't have eyes in the back of my head.

 

I disagree.  People should not have to step in the street to go around a dog. They should be able to walk/jog right past without even thinking about it.

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I don't think I own the sidewalk, nor does my dog.

 

But if someone is so close to me that they are nearly touching me and I jump and hit you, seems like common sense would be to go around me or yell to give me a heads up.

 

I don't have supersonic hearing and I don't have eyes in the back of my head.

 

DP

Edited by Shellydon
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I think it's courteous to announce yourself if you are coming up behind me at a run, just as bikers do.  If I hear you, I move myself and the dog over to let you through.  I usually keep myself between the dog and the runner/cycler as a precaution, especially with the puppy. Most people in my area do this, as we have really sucky sidewalks, but I've had a few people just "show up" and it startles both me and the dog.

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Fewer and fewer people are familiar with dogs, and I think that it's unreasonable to just assume that people know to avoid them these days. Dog owners are responsible for their pets' behavior, full stop.

I didn't say to avoid dogs.

 

The sidewalks in my subdivision are narrow. If I am walking with someone I always land walking in the street because it's just more comfortable.

 

I have been walking and come across someone pushing a baby in a stroller. I don't try to squeeze by them. I take 10 steps in the street around them and then go back on sidewalk.

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It doesn't bother me at all if a jogger, bicyclist or a faster walker comes by us closely. My dog is well trained and socialized, as all my previous dogs have been. And since the areas we walk are all public property . . . everyone else has just as much right to the space as I do. And while it's nice to meet dog savvy people, I don't think everyone is obligated to know how to behave around dogs. However, I do think it's a good idea to give a heads up ("Coming through!" or "Approaching behind you" or some such) when you're about to over take someone and are moving at a significantly higher rate of speed than they are. And yes, it's a good idea to not startle a dog. Even the best trained and socialized ones can react defensively when startled.

 

All that to say -- I guess like many things it boils down to a Golden Rule thing. :) 

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Blaming the jogger for getting bit is absolutely ridiculous. You shouldn't provoke any animal, of course. But "existing near a dog" doesn't count as provocation.

The judge was not blaming the jogger. She (the judge) apparently had the first thought that I did, why didn't you just go in the street around them.

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I don't run or jog or, well, exercise in public, lol. I take that back. I ran in 2001. A house 5 up from us was on fire. I grabbed the phone, called 911, and ran up the street. 

 

If I did jog or run, I would steer clear or say, "Coming up behind you." as I approached. I know this b/c that is what I do when I walk behind anyone in a parking lot, in the grocery store, etc., or I cough or clear my throat - anything that announces my presence so I don't startle anyone. Heck I even do that in my own house. 

 

But jogging? I'd sing loudly or say something and give space to others, even more so if a dog were involved. 

Edited by Angie in VA
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The judge was not blaming the jogger. She (the judge) apparently had the first thought that I did, why didn't you just go in the street around them.

 

Oh, sorry.  I re-read.

 

No, I do not think it is reasonable to assume everyone will keep a wide berth around a dog or announce herself before being in the presence of a dog.   If a dog is in public, the owner is responsible for controlling it. If the dog cannot be trusted to be around people, it needs to be trained. And until then, kept away from people. 

I have a puppy who is big. For the first few months she tried to lunge at any person or dog who walked by.  This was MY problem.  Not the people who happened to be on the same park / road / sidewalk as me & my dog.

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Oh, sorry.  I re-read.

 

No, I do not think it is reasonable to assume everyone will keep a wide berth around a dog or announce herself before being in the presence of a dog.   If a dog is in public, the owner is responsible for controlling it. If the dog cannot be trusted to be around people, it needs to be trained. And until then, kept away from people. 

I have a puppy who is big. For the first few months she tried to lunge at any person or dog who walked by.  This was MY problem.  Not the people who happened to be on the same park / road / sidewalk as me & my dog.

This.  I'm in a busy urban area with many people on the trails.  When you're on a public path, you can and should assume you will be near other people.  In no way do I think the jogger is responsible for getting bit.  If your dog can't be trusted in close range of strangers, don't bring the dog on a public trail.   Moving over to a road has it's own set of hazards. 

 

And yes, I think it's rude to reprimand someone for using the trail in a way you wouldn't expect unless they're actually touching you or your dog without permission.   Not everyone has dogs or would naturally think they should give them lots of space. 

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I've been running on a nice little sidewalk that goes through town near a river.  It is a busy exercise path with bikes and people walking and running and strollers and dogs.  I really like it when a biker says "on your left" before they pass me.  I try to say something on the rare occasion that I'm going to pass someone. 

 

Yesterday as I was jogging, I passed a dog owner and dog - we were going the same direction, so I came up behind them.  I noticed that the dog owner was very aware and noticed me before I got very close and switched the dog to his right hand, rather than the usual left hand heal.  The dog was then moved from the middle of the path, over onto the grass.  I felt like it was a really polite thing to do.  I hope if I had a dog, I would do the same thing.  It made it really easy to pass them, with no worry of the dog swinging out and getting in my way.

 

But even if he hadn't moved his dog, I would have still passed them.  I would have swung out around them, but I would have stayed on the sidewalk.  I would not have moved onto the grass to pass them.  

 

 

 

 

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If a person thinks their dog might attack joggers and they couldn't possibly control it, the appropriate response is to muzzle the dog when it's going to be around joggers. Not to demand that everyone walk out into traffic to avoid the dog. That's nuts.

 

I wouldn't keep a dog that unpredictable, though. A dog that will attack a jogger who startles it will likely attack a child who startles it, too.

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I run a lot, and find dog walking people generally pretty clueless about people and things around them, to be brutally honest (and I'm a dog walker myself, and try to be more aware and more courteous). They are like little kids, and can change direction at any time, stop on a dime, and otherwise be oblivious to others around them. They don't listen to sounds around them and they don't always have good control of their dogs. I shouldn't have to give a huge radius as someone going by, but I've learned that I have to. It's not generally because of the dog behaviour, as their hearing is good and they usually notice me way before the human does.

 

Those retractable leashes are very dangerous to both runners and dogs themselves when passing a dog walker - and it doesn't matter if you pass by head-on when the dog walker should be smart enough to pre-plan and lock the leash in place, as they more than not don't lock the leash and bad things can happen.

 

And yes, of course there are many polite path-sharing dog walkers, joggers, and cyclists, but there are also a bunch of not-so-polite ones. As a person passing by another person on a pathway, I think there is some common sense needed from both parties. 

Edited by wintermom
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Oh, sorry.  I re-read.

 

No, I do not think it is reasonable to assume everyone will keep a wide berth around a dog or announce herself before being in the presence of a dog.   If a dog is in public, the owner is responsible for controlling it. If the dog cannot be trusted to be around people, it needs to be trained. And until then, kept away from people. 

I have a puppy who is big. For the first few months she tried to lunge at any person or dog who walked by.  This was MY problem.  Not the people who happened to be on the same park / road / sidewalk as me & my dog.

 

:iagree:

 

I would do my best to keep control over my animal. I did when we had a lab who would might have hurt you w/ her tail b/c it was wagging so hard upon meeting you. 

 

I would assume the safest position in both scenarios: the jogger and the dog walker. 

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TV court cases are completely fake.  Both parties are paid to appear, and the "rulings" are a sort of arbitration that are hyped up for maximum drama.

 

It's probably not safe to run right in front of a dangerous dog who is off leash.  But if he is on a leash and managed to get away and attack a non-threatening person, the dog would probably get put down if there wasn't a TV show and a ton of money involved.

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Someone said six feet cushion for the dogs. I live in a dense urban area. Um, no way. I'd have to cross the street every time I saw someone walking a dog.

 

I think it's incumbent on dog owners to control the dog in reasonable situations like that. Having someone run by close enough to touch is totally reasonable. That happens to me pretty much every single time I walk anywhere.

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The judge was not blaming the jogger. She (the judge) apparently had the first thought that I did, why didn't you just go in the street around them.

If someone's dog isn't safe around people, that person with the dog should be the one to walk on the street. 

 

BTW, I hate it when people walk their dogs off leash on city streets. Argh. And when dogs come up to sniff my kids. 

 

Emily

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I've been walking our dog for a few weeks. Have seen one too many obnoxious dogs who try to charge at him. Nope, I never know what to expect... I wouldn't jog behind someone with a dog.

 

Lol about the red sea comment, I also have a German Shepherd and I get that sometimes

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Someone said six feet cushion for the dogs. I live in a dense urban area. Um, no way. I'd have to cross the street every time I saw someone walking a dog.

 

 

 

I live in a dense urban area too. I think what's happening on a city street is different than on a trail. Dogs in busy urban areas are expecting a lot of noise & traffic & honking etc. Even dogs that are ok with that, when you take them  on a park trail or a more empty street, can be startled by people appearing suddenly close by.  Also, it's the coming up behind that is more concerning. 

 

 

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I've been walking our dog for a few weeks. Have seen one too many obnoxious dogs who try to charge at him. Nope, I never know what to expect... I wouldn't jog behind someone with a dog.

 

Lol about the red sea comment, I also have a German Shepherd and I get that sometimes

 

 

This is my (currently sick) girlie Daisy https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/639832128633610240/jUsMdNWX_400x400.jpg

 

For a long time I was walking 3 large dogs together, the smallest is 50 lb and the biggest was a big newf cross plus Miss Daisy. People gave us a wide berth too LOL 

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I can't understand the 6 ft. distance thing. I've never seen a sidewalk that wide. And going into the street has its own dangers. So, should that be necessary due to a dog, IMO it's the dog and dog owner's responsibility to do so.  

FWIW, I am so not a dog person. Nothing annoys me more than having to interact with a random dog. But...I'm not going in the street to avoid them. If they aren't safe walking next to someone on a
sidewalk, they shouldn't be there/should be muzzled. A dog doesn't get the sidewalk to themself.

Edited to typo

Edited by barnwife
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 ***

 

I now have a big brown dog that I walk on the walking paths in my subdivision.  

 

***

Both times I yelled at them (as they went by) that it's not safe to come so close behind me and my dog.

 

***

 

It's a walking path, I really don't see how you are that surprised that other people might come up behind you. 

 

I do think it's helpful when people call out "passing left" or similar when approaching. 

 

I don't think it's helpful to yell at them if they don't do so. 

 

Maybe you could suggest signs for the walking paths that suggest doing this. 

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This is my (currently sick) girlie Daisy https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/639832128633610240/jUsMdNWX_400x400.jpg

 

For a long time I was walking 3 large dogs together, the smallest is 50 lb and the biggest was a big newf cross plus Miss Daisy. People gave us a wide berth too LOL

Lol! I can't imagine walking 3 big dogs! I can barely handle one.

 

She's beautiful!! Hope she gets better soon. Ours gets lots of attention from strangers, he's white. I guess not very common

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It's a walking path, I really don't see how you are that surprised that other people might come up behind you.

 

I do think it's helpful when people call out "passing left" or similar when approaching.

 

I don't think it's helpful to yell at them if they don't do so.

 

Maybe you could suggest signs for the walking paths that suggest doing this.

It's not a busy crowded subdivision. We can walk for days and never see anyone on the paths.

 

I would never think to walk so close behind someone that we are nearly touching.

 

What would be the point? Are they going to plow right through us?

Edited by gingersmom
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I would go around someone with a dog, not come right up behind them.

 

When we walk our dogs (we've had two golden retrievers and a chihuahua) no one has ever come up behind me like that and if we're walking in the subdivision, people almost always cross to the other side of the street.

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I would go around or give space as Hornblower mentioned. We have several yappy dogs being walked by older people that go wild when passing them in any case and of course I'm with 4 very interesting children, so I just try to keep us all away and moving along. I'd never just come up behind even a dogless person and pass them without notice because of the whole "scare the carp out of them" thing.

 

We learned better manners in the horseshow ring. "Passing on the left, taking the green oxer," things like that were common courtesy and also kept everyone in one piece.

Edited by momacacia
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Why should pedestrians have to cross the street ? Seriously, I do not get it. Sidewalks, walking tracks - all made for humans. Bring your animals if they are well controlled and you clean up after them, sure, but why on earth should a human have to cross the darn road ?

 

I will do that for dogs that look poorly controlled, for safety, but I shouldn't have to do it, and it shouldn't be an expectation.

I will say, people in our neighborhood with a dog usually pass on the street and let us stay on the sidewalk. Maybe because we're a walking behemoth of walkers, scooters and strollers. Lol. Idk. But it seems the appropriate thing. They're the ones with the yapping potentially biting creature. :)
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Both times I yelled at them (as they went by) that it's not safe to come so close behind me and my dog.

 

Am I crazy?

 

When I walk in a local park the bike riders call out ahead that they are passing on the left/right which gives you a heads up.

 

Where I live, it's the law that cyclists have a bell and use it when passing. It's not a law for joggers, and I think you are out of line by yelling at people for passing you on foot. There is no danger to you from a jogger as there could be from a cyclist as the speed difference between you and the jogger is minimal. I can walk faster than many joggers. If you're not aware of your surroundings, someone coming up behind you and saying something is also going to make you jump. I've had that happen more than when I just quietly passed by.

Edited by wintermom
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I think it's the dog walker's responsibility to make sure the dog can handle normal encounters on the road, or if the dog can't, to know this and take precautions so nobody gets hurt.

 

When I was a teen / young adult, I used to ride my bike a lot, and certain dogs would go nutso and try to attack me.  That's not my fault.  The dog owner knows the dog will encounter bikes / joggers / etc. and needs to train the dog accordingly.

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The only problem I've ever had on a trail or sidewalk is with unleashed dogs.  I've never ever had trouble with joggers or bicyclists when walking my dogs.  But I am always aware of my surroundings.  I know when people are coming up in front of me and I know when they are coming up behind me. 

 

The worst thing I ever saw was this stupid dog walker with a retractable leash.  The leash must have been out at least ten feet across the trail.  It was so thin that you couldn't really see it.  A bicyclist came up fast and just flipped over in the air when he hit that leash.  He came up screaming at the person with the dog.  I thought that he was completely justified. 

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I run a lot, and find dog walking people generally pretty clueless about people and things around them, to be brutally honest (and I'm a dog walker myself, and try to be more aware and more courteous). They are like little kids, and can change direction at any time, stop on a dime, and otherwise be oblivious to others around them. They don't listen to sounds around them and they don't always have good control of their dogs. I shouldn't have to give a huge radius as someone going by, but I've learned that I have to. It's not generally because of the dog behaviour, as their hearing is good and they usually notice me way before the human does.

 

Those retractable leashes are very dangerous to both runners and dogs themselves when passing a dog walker - and it doesn't matter if you pass by head-on when the dog walker should be smart enough to pre-plan and lock the leash in place, as they more than not don't lock the leash and bad things can happen.

 

And yes, of course there are many polite path-sharing dog walkers, joggers, and cyclists, but there are also a bunch of not-so-polite ones. As a person passing by another person on a pathway, I think there is some common sense needed from both parties. 

 

:iagree: , as a runner and a dog owner. Also, when I am walking my dog and anyone approaches, I always try to be the one who diverges off the sidewalk and yields to the other person.

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Bikers call out "on your left" because they pose a significant safety hazard to the person walking/running/biking slowly, who is at risk of stepping out into the path of the bike unexpectedly. A walker/jogger coming up from behind is not dangerous (generally.) You may feel startled, but the risk of serious injury is low.

 

Dog owners are absolutely responsible for the behavior of their dogs, and should be prepared for circumstances where a person passes from behind. That means being aware of surroundings and being in control of the dog. This is for the safety of others, but also for the safety of the dog.

 

Re: clueless owners, just today I was walking on a fairly busy trail and came upon (from the opposite direction) a woman pushing a stroller, accompanied by three dogs. Two were off leash and wandering all over the trail, one was on a retractable leash that was extended so he walked on the opposite side of the trail from her. All three were wet and muddy. The two off leash dogs came right up on me, rubbing muddy fur on my previous clean pants, and the dog on the leash was allowed to keep walking on the opposite side. My choices were to step over the leash or step into the mud on the side of the trail (very rainy day here.) I stepped off the trail, and she passed without a word for me, but spoke in baby talk to the dogs (in case they were disturbed by my presence? lol)

 

That said, I came home to learn one of my own dogs had dug a hole under the gate and spent most of the day while we were running errands completely unrestrained in the front yard, eventually poking his head into the next door neighbor's kitchen. So, I'm not innocent of annoying dog behavior myself, lol.

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I use a walking trail that is popular with dog walkers (incl. those who do off-leash - which is illegal).

 

if the dog isn't safe for people to pass - the dog shouldn't be on that trail.

 

eta: this trail is NOT a 'dog park trail', it is a pedestrian walk.  dog walkers just use it too. most of the time it's not a problem, but some owners are special snowflakes who think the rules (or courtesy) don't apply to them.

Edited by gardenmom5
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On a traditional, paved walking path that is more than one person wide....One person should  really never have to leave the path to pass another person, bike or pet of any kind  The expectation is that people would stay on the path with or without pets. Any pet on that path should only be there if it is safe in that environment.  I wouldn't think twice of someone who did leave the path (unless it was an environmental reason) but I wouldn't expect someone to. 

 

If I saw someone leave the path due to a dog, I would assume the person was fearful of the dog.  Not just to give them a wide berth out of an unknown rule. 

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Bikers call out "on your left" because they pose a significant safety hazard to the person walking/running/biking slowly, who is at risk of stepping out into the path of the bike unexpectedly. A walker/jogger coming up from behind is not dangerous (generally.) You may feel startled, but the risk of serious injury is low.

 

Dog owners are absolutely responsible for the behavior of their dogs, and should be prepared for circumstances where a person passes from behind. That means being aware of surroundings and being in control of the dog. This is for the safety of others, but also for the safety of the dog.

 

Re: clueless owners, just today I was walking on a fairly busy trail and came upon (from the opposite direction) a woman pushing a stroller, accompanied by three dogs. Two were off leash and wandering all over the trail, one was on a retractable leash that was extended so he walked on the opposite side of the trail from her. All three were wet and muddy. The two off leash dogs came right up on me, rubbing muddy fur on my previous clean pants, and the dog on the leash was allowed to keep walking on the opposite side. My choices were to step over the leash or step into the mud on the side of the trail (very rainy day here.) I stepped off the trail, and she passed without a word for me, but spoke in baby talk to the dogs (in case they were disturbed by my presence? lol)

 

That said, I came home to learn one of my own dogs had dug a hole under the gate and spent most of the day while we were running errands completely unrestrained in the front yard, eventually poking his head into the next door neighbor's kitchen. So, I'm not innocent of annoying dog behavior myself, lol.

 

 

the friendliest dog is a wet one - or muddy.

 

there is a difference between you and the off-leash dog walker.  you left your dog in a fenced yard,  you didn't know dog did a houdini while you were gone.  this woman let two dogs off-leash in a non-off-leash area with other people.  when her dogs inconvenienced you, she ignored you and made no attempt to control or correct them, despite the fact they did it in front of her.

 

I would assume, after you found evidence of your dog's great escape - you did what needed doing to fill tom.  (the name of one of the tunnels in the great escape.)

 

 

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:iagree: , as a runner and a dog owner. Also, when I am walking my dog and anyone approaches, I always try to be the one who diverges off the sidewalk and yields to the other person.

I live just outside of Portland Oregon and this is what I tend to see also.  The dog owner makes sure that the dog is aware of it surroundings.  It also isn't uncommon to see someone heal their dog when a biker, people with young children, or someone larger goes running by.  Some football player sized people can be a bit intimidating when they come running at you LOL   I assume they dogs that are healed, are dogs that are being trained or are a bit on the skiddish side naturally. 

Edited by Tap
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Am I the only one to bring my dog close to my side when passing anyone?  I guess, it is the same as bringing them to a heel like Tap said. 

 

Yes. That's the correct thing to do.

 

FWIW, I always walk my dog in the middle of the street when possible. By choice.  Our former house was in a subdivision (HOA neighborhood) in the city, so we had sidewalks. I still mostly walked in the street. Now we're in a slightly more rural neighborhood with no sidewalks and so we pretty much have to walk in the street. Why, you ask? Because I don't want my dog stepping in/sniffing all those lawns that have had who-knows-what kinds of chemicals applied to them. Sure there's a chance of encountering oil or antifreeze in the street but it's either wet (and I can see and avoid it) or it's long dried up. And at least I can guess what types of fluids come out of vehicles. And here there are plenty of natural, untended areas where I know no lawn chemicals have been sprayed. That's where I let him sniff to his heart's content.

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