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(21 Posts)
olliesgran Thu 29-Dec-11 12:14:42

We were walking through the local park yesterday, GS (19 months)in the pushchair, when a couple with 3 dogs not on the lead appeared. The dogs made a beeline for the pushchair, we couldn't keep them off. They were not showing any aggression, but still, neither of the owners made any attempt to call them back, and when we asked them to do so, they said, don't worry, they only came to say hello! We had to insist, they had to come to put the leads back on, as the dogs took no notice of the owners calling. The lady was a bit cross that I shouldn't welcome 3 large dogs circling the pushchair. And when I said that if she couldn't control her dogs by voice, she should keep them on the lead, she replied: My dogs are not out of control, I've got grand children you know, I wouldn't let them off the lead if I thought they were out of control! What is it with some dog owners? Out of control dogs do not necessarily mean nasty dogs, just dogs who take no notice of their owners' calls! We are not to know they are "nice dogs".

Carol Thu 29-Dec-11 12:21:42

I am a proud dog owner, but would never inflict my dog on other people, especially children, unless they requested it and it was appropriate. Not everyone welcomes dogs charging up to say 'hello' and we can't distinguish between friendly and aggressive dogs when they behave the way you have described. My dog loves to play with the grandchildren and roll around on the floor with them, but she knows not to approach children in pushchairs and would certainly not be off the lead in the park. That woman was being downright awkward olliesgran

harrigran Thu 29-Dec-11 12:23:14

How I hate arrogant people who believe their dogs are loved and welcomed by others. Dogs are not always predictable and could be startled by a sudden movement made by a toddler.
I don't push my GC in dog owner's faces, they do likewise with their dogs please.

dorsetpennt Thu 29-Dec-11 12:31:46

olliesgran I'm sorry this happened and it must have frightened your little one as well. I am a confirmed dog lover and until recently had two beloved Labradors - however I would never inflict my dogs on someone else. They must be kept on a lead if they are going to behave like that when they see a pram. Not everyone loves dogs and if you don't know the dog and how it would behave in any given situation of course you are going to be apprehensive. I had a friend who alsways boasted at how well behaved her two Jack Russells were, that is until one nipped somebody. They are animals not an extension of a human being. So give them the dignity of being treated like a dog and not a small child as so many are - it appears that a spot of proper dog training classes would help the owner to control her dogs.

olliesgran Thu 29-Dec-11 12:43:18

Thanks all. It's nice to see there are some responsible dog owners around. Luckily, GS wasn't upset, we kept our voices down, but children are also unpredictable, and what if he hit one on the nose, or started to cry? Nobody knows how even the best behaved dog would respond to this. GS doen't respond to voice control 100% yet, so we put his reins on when needed, for his own and other people/animals's safety! I would expect no less from dog owners!smile

crimson Thu 29-Dec-11 12:44:30

Awful behaviour. My grandson would have ben terrified. I always feel that children in pushchairs are particularly vulnerable, because their hands are at just the height where a dog could nip them, and how big does a dog look to a child of that size?

glammanana Thu 29-Dec-11 13:01:29

Shameful behaviour on behalf of the owners it just takes one unsure move by your DGC and something nasty could have happened no matter how well behaved the dog's where,I don't even let my own little JR be on his own with my DGCs as the breed is known for being snappy and would never take the chance.
In August this year DH was walking very near our apartment and he was attacked by neighbours dog who escaped from her as she was getting him out of the back of her car,he was bitten on forearms through his shirt and the dog did not respond to calls from the owner who was a mere 20yds away resulted in DH having treatment and injections and Police report given,we are still waiting for the owner to call and see how DH is and to apologise,and we where informed by PC who interviewed them that she was returning from a Dog Obedience class,say no more !!

gracesmum Thu 29-Dec-11 13:16:23

carol and dorsetpennt express my feeling exactly. I love my dog and first got a dog (a black lab) as youngest D was wary of them and I thought the safest thing was to be brought up with a dog. But when the DGC come, poor current dog has to go into kennels as she is big (this one is a greyhound) and very (over) friendly also quite easily spooked as she has little experience of small children. I would never allow my dog near our tinies unles I knew from experience that she was bomb-proof and certainly not other people's children. It is too late if anything happens and even once is once too often

yogagran Thu 29-Dec-11 14:23:11

I firmly agree with all that has been said, we dog owners have to be able to have full control of our dogs and they should never be allowed to approach anyone, child or adult, without acceptance. My big problem at the moment is that I've recently taken on a lab/collide cross which I estimate to be around one year old. He has never had any formal training and really likes to greet everyone. Although I'm beginning to see results with him it is a bit of a struggle for both him and me and there have been instances when I admit that I haven't been in full control. More work is needed to get him to ignore people

Mishap Thu 29-Dec-11 15:04:57

I am not a doggy person at all, and all my friends who are respect that and make sure that their dogs do not make a nuisance of themselves when I am there.

I am very unhappy about dogs around small children, as, even a friendly act by a dog, could cause the child to be afraid or to be knocked over. That child may then acquire a lifelong fear of dogs.

No dog owner can predict exactly how their dog is going to behave - it may generally be good natured, but humans and dogs have off-days when they do not behave as expected; and children can sometimes be unwittingly annoying to dogs and precipitate an aggressive reaction.

I was chased round a playground by a large alsatian when I was about 4 - I have not forgotten this even now. I am not at all sporty, but you should have seen me shin up the maypole to get out of its way!

absentgrana Thu 29-Dec-11 15:25:33

Dog owners should never forget that their dogs are animals and should be under control in public spaces. They should "think dog". I have not forgotten a professional dog handler telling me that one of the causes of apparent aggression towards children was that people gave their dogs squeaky toys to play with. Dogs sometimes either mistook the high voices of young children for their own toys or little children actually had similar squeaky toys in the buggies. The dogs just thought they were playing.

Gally Thu 29-Dec-11 15:27:36

We had a dog until very recently. Although she loved being with the children and they with her, I never ever left her alone with them - you just don't know how a dog may react. When out walking I always had her on a lead until we were well into the woods or on the beach in the early morning or at night and I never took her to parks or to the beach when I knew it would be busy. The reaction from the dog owner which Olliesgran experienced yesterday, was completely out of order. For a child of 19 months to see a dog at his level is akin to an adult coming up against a large horse - dog owners should bear that in mind anyway. angry

olliesgran Thu 29-Dec-11 15:29:04

yogagran a work in progress is understandable, and I am sure if you had been there, you would have made every effort to call your dog back, or fetch him if he didn't respond. These people just didn't do anything, and looked at us as if we were overprotecting hysterical grand parents when we ask them politly, so as to not upset GS, to call their dogs back. I was wondering if I had been a bit overprotective, but the responses here from dog lovers reassured me that I wasn't!

goldengirl Thu 29-Dec-11 16:01:20

It is sometimes the other way around as well! When I was walking my dog on a lead [who has now gone to the kennel in the sky] I often had children come up wanting to stroke him because he looked cuddly - he was big, black, floppy eared and very hairy. I often had a dickens of a job getting parents to restrain their children. He wasn't an aggressive dog and was fine with my children and those he knew but didn't like to be approached by all and sundry by people he wasn't used to. So there should be respect on both sides

Carol Thu 29-Dec-11 16:44:04

Yes, I have that problem goldengirl. My Hush Puppy-type basset hound is very appealing to children, who come running up to her and want to cuddle her. She sits down, wags her tail so it's going round like helicopter blades and we generally have no difficulty at all. However, I keep saying to the parents that they shouldn't assume other friendly-looking dogs are the same as her - she's had extensive training (although the stealing from the washing basket still persists) and has been socialised so she is well-behaved with boisterous children. By rushing up to my dog, they are being led to believe they'll get the same reception from other dogs, which isn't necessarily the case.

olliesgran Thu 29-Dec-11 17:20:53

again, I agree with you all, regarding children and animals. Mutual respect of each other's space is required, and no assumptions should ever be made! GS looks so angelic, but I caught him practicing his "sorry"word the other day, by kicking the cat first, then saying "sorry Misty", again and again. The cat isn't the friendly sort, don't try to fuss her, but she is very patient with GS. He didn't hurt her, and it was hard to keep a straight face, but strong words were said!

riclorian Thu 29-Dec-11 19:07:37

I have been a dog owner since I was a small child and feel I 'know ' them as well as anyone and I would like to repeat what a policeman once said to me 'any dog off lead is out of control ' . Dogs should be taught to respect humans and more importantly humans should be taught to respect dogs . I am frequently to be found preventing children from running up and fussing over my little dog ( who absolutely adores chidren and often stands and watches them in the play park !). Children should be taught not to approach any dog without first asking owners permission and then only gently from the front holding out an empty hand so the dog knows he will not be hurt . I would never leave a young child alone with a dog , no matter how placid it is . How do we know if he/she has a headache and does not want to be fussed over?As for owners who let their dogs bother other people then as far as I am concerned they should be sent to owners training classes - are there such things ? If not there should be !!!!!!!
PS sorry to rant but this subject really gets me going !!

Greatnan Thu 29-Dec-11 19:23:15

I have a great objection to dogs licking my face, when I know what else they lick! I am tired of being told 'He is only playing' when some dog jumps up and puts its muddy paws on me. However, beware of falling foul of the dog lobby - I was bullied off a forum because I said dogs had no place in restaurants or food shops (where they can still be found in France). Several of the women told me their dog was as precious to them as my gc were to me and if one died it would be equally tragic. What can you say to nonsense like that - if you keep a pet (unless it is a turtle or a parrot) you must expect it to predecease you. I was accused of being an animal-hater, which is far from the truth - I have worked as a pet-sitter and really enjoyed it.
My daughter has two 5-month old rescue dogs and she is working hard to train them, but when we are out walking she keeps close control of them and they do return to her call now. In the past, she has always had an older dog to help to train a new puppy, but the rescue home was desperate for someone to take the two puppies. Training a dog is hard work and needs total commitment but the rewards are great.

olliesgran Thu 29-Dec-11 20:10:00

greatnan, I know what you mean. My mother and one of my sisters are the worst kind of dog lover you would wish to meet. They treat their animals as if they were human beings, with desastrous results, to the point where several of their dogs over the years had to be put down, due to being dangerous. I am seen as hard hearted by them, re animals, but as I keep reminding them, i may not be an "animal lover" the way they are, but no dog lost their life because of my actions!

Carol Thu 29-Dec-11 20:11:40

Yes, you're right rictorian - our dogs are trained but only because it is we owners who have undergone the training. I know a family with a new puppy who were asked to start training without the dog, and introduce the pup on the third week.

yogagran Thu 29-Dec-11 21:54:25

The training classes that I have started attending with my rescue dog states that they "train the owner to train the dog"