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AIBU

Dogs to be kept on lead.

(137 Posts)
Santana Tue 10-Aug-21 13:58:32

AIBU to expect dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead, as per signage, in my local park. There are open spaces available next to it where dogs can run free.
The park has enclosed and unenclosed children's play areas, plus sport's pitches. I have checked the government website and parks like this are covered by Public Spaces Protection Orders and a fixed penalty fine can be issued.
I asked 3 dog owners yesterday, in a non challenging way, if they were aware of the signage. One said I was a dog hater, another looked at me blankly and continued to search for her dog's poo which she was unaware of until I told her.
Another lady was lovely and instantly put her elderly lab on the lead.
I think a visit from local PCSO might be helpful.

fiorentina51 Wed 11-Aug-21 10:36:11

I used to enjoy long walks in nearby woodland. Not any more I'm afraid. It's become a dog walkers paradise but sheer hell for people who enjoy quiet solitude and observing nature.

Can't blame the dogs but some of the owners are just plain stupid. Let the dog loose in the woods, dog picks up scent of deer, dog chases deer and either attacks deer or gets lost or both.
Result? Plea on social media for safe return of "fur baby."
All this could be avoided by simply keeping dogs on leads and only releasing them in designated lead free areas where they can be controlled more easily.
By designated lead free area I don't mean open countryside or fields. That land belongs to somebody and if its not yours then have the courtesy to get permission or keep off it.

Janeea Wed 11-Aug-21 10:56:13

My granddaughter was terrified of dogs, a gentle retriever a family friend bought as a puppy mitigated this but she is still nervous and a dog jumped up and was barking in her face, the reaction from the owner ‘what a lot of fuss, he’s only playing’!!!! I was lost for words but fortunately my husband and son weren’t

Purpledreamer Wed 11-Aug-21 10:57:06

There is absolutely no reason for those owners to have their dogs off the lead in an area where it is expressly forbidden, especially as there are areas nearby where dogs are allowed to run free. No, you are certainly not being unfair.

TopCat12 Wed 11-Aug-21 10:59:46

someone l know had her brothers' girlfriend looking after their dog, it was getting dark outside, the dog sitter thought she would take the dog for a walk without a lead the dog ran into the road and was killed, l rest my case.

rosieod1 Wed 11-Aug-21 10:59:47

Same thing on beaches. We were in Cornwall recently and the sign says no dogs on this particular beach,yet it was overrun with them. People just ignore the notices. Plus on a recent family get together two of my sister in laws brought their dogs along. They know I'm not fond of them and the one with the puppy did her utmost to make sure it kept away from me but the other one totally disregarded the fact that I'm afraid of/don't like dogs. She let it lay on the sofa even though the rules of the house were no dogs on the furniture. When I pointed this out to her she casually said, he's on his blanket so it's ok. He was allowed in the kitchen and nearly caused me to fall over him when carrying a hot tray from the oven and my pet hate ( pardon the pun) allowed to sit under the table where we were eating .Needless to say, that's the last family get together I'm going on. Told hub he can go by himself in future

SillyNanny321 Wed 11-Aug-21 11:01:07

Several years ago a GSD ‘escaped’ from its lead, chased me knocking my stick from my hand then turned on my dog. My boy was a big elderly dog & his lead was torn from my hand & he was badly bitten. Some men saw what was happening & came over separating the dogs. The GSD’s owner finally strolled up grabbed his dog & left. He came back a few minutes later saying he had taken the dog home & gave it a good kicking! The men helping all told him if he did not leave he would get a good kicking! My poor boy just lay on the field crying with the men trying to help calm him & me. We later found that the GSD was an ex police dog trained to attack. He did not belong to the supposed owner but to his girlfriends Ex! The dog had been taken when she left out of spite & the real owner did not know where they had run off to! My poor elderly boy had a heart attack a few weeks later & we had to let him go. I will never have another dog as I would be worried this could happen again!

grandtanteJE65 Wed 11-Aug-21 11:03:07

None of you are unreasonable in considering that dog owners should keep their dogs on leads in places where signs or bye-laws tell them to.

However, you are wasting your time trying to educate these inconsiderate animal owners.

Start a public campaign instead. Persuade your local politicians to have the law changed making it illegal for dog owners to let their dogs run loose, unless in a fenced area specifically designed as a dog-run.

Here in Denmark these rules are in place and dog owners are fined if they do not obey them. They are also liable for any damage their dogs cause, whether while on a lead or loose and must have an insurance policy that covers this.

Germany has even better laws - there you must attend dog-training classes run by the police with your dog in order to get a dog license and dogs are not allowed to run loose.

The minute you cross the Danish-German border which I do daily as I live practically on the border, you notice the difference.
German dogs walk sedately beside their owner, sit down when approached by other people, never jump up at you, and only bark on command - they even stop barking immediately upon being told "Sehr gut, sehr gut" - roughtly translatable as "all right now"

Try to get these rules made law in the UK - it make life much easier for everyone who is nervous around dogs, for the dogs' owners, and, as far as I can judge, for the dogs themselves.

Another thing, here you are not allowed to take a dog into any place where food is served, consumed or sold, basically no dogs in supermarkets, food shops, pharmacies, restaurants or cafés except guide dogs for the blind and helper dogs for those with mobility issues. Usually neither dogs nor any other pet will be allowed into a hotel. If you travel with your pets, you either make the journey in the course of a day, or if that is not feasible leave the animal overnight in the car.

sazz1 Wed 11-Aug-21 11:03:33

I've 2 dogs that I watch carefully when out and off lead. They are both trained to reverse and return to me if I shout "Off". Works brilliantly to keep them out of streams, away from toddlers, away from crops etc. Trained them when they were very young and they have never let me down.

Grandmabeach Wed 11-Aug-21 11:04:05

The beach where I live has signs advising that dogs are not allowed on certain parts of the beach between 1 April - 30 September. Still owners allow their dogs to run along the beach without leads - some are large enough to be quite terrifying to a small child. Any polite request to take them to a dog friendly beach is usually met with he/she is not doing any harm or they did not know where the dog friendly beaches are!

cc Wed 11-Aug-21 11:06:28

My small GS was knocked down by a friendly dog recently and now just freezes when he sees any dog, it simply spoils our walks. Fortunately we are able to buy a season ticket for a local privately owned park where dogs, bikes and scooters are banned. It's £50 per year well spent as far as I am concerned, but it is ridiculous that we have to pay to make ourselves feel safe.
My own sons were terrified when an alsation leapt on their ball and destroyed it when they were young. This was on a playing field where dogs were meant to be kept on a lead and the owner just offered my DH a couple of pounds to buy a new ball, with no apology at all.
I'm perfectly happy to believe that most dog owners are responsible people, but I see far too many look around when their dogs foul the ground in the hope that nobody has noticed and they need not bag it.

olliebeak Wed 11-Aug-21 11:06:44

First of all, I AM a dog lover - especially the larger breeds. I'm not over-keen on the 'ankle-biter breeds' - I've had TWO Jack Russells in the past, and found them to be far nastier than any GSDs that I'd previously owned.

I totally believe that ALL DOGS should be kept on leash, whenever in a public place. That should include when being taken into / out off a vehicle that they're being transported in. Dogs can be such slippery creatures, that they're out of your hands - and out of control - before you even realise it. If they see something that they consider to be 'their nemesis' - then they will head straight for it.

If you own a dog - no matter what the breed - then your garden fence should be high enough to keep your animal secure within the perimeter of your property PLUS secure at the base to stop them from digging under the fence.

Public Parks are exactly that - they're for the general public. Only let your dog off it's leash if there's a designated 'Off-Leash Exercise Area' ....................... and even then, you should exercise common sense and be aware of what other dogs are using that space when you want to be in there. If you want to let your Shitzu off leash, and there's a Rottweiller already in there, then THAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

I would even go so far as to say that if you have a dog that is so powerful that it can drag you on the end of it's leash, then you should consider 'muzzling it' in public. If you fall over, then your dog is no longer 'under your control' even though it's 'technically' still on it's leash

Respect other dog owners and THEIR rights!

Respect your own animal for its own protection and your safety - do you really want to have to separate fighting dogs?

Respect the general public - they deserve to walk in peace and safety.

DON'T APPROACH OTHER DOG OWNERS TO BE CRITICAL OF HOW THEY MANAGE THEIR OWN DOGS - FIND SOMEBODY IN AUTHORITY AND LET THEM DEAL WITH A SITUATION. When you criticise somebody's beloved dog, it's tantamount to criticising their child and people can become extremely protective - you don't want to start any aggression that might escalate out of all proportion blush.

DaisyL Wed 11-Aug-21 11:09:04

Gransnet I very much doubt that your dog was attacked by 'a pack of gun dogs' -I have five that I work and one of the first things about them is that they have to able to get on peacefully with any other dogs. In the shooting field there are always masses of dogs around - mostly off their leads and in almost 30 years I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times there has been even a minor dispute!

Elless Wed 11-Aug-21 11:13:57

I have a golden retriever and she is brilliant, she is really well trained and as soon as we reach an open space I let her off the lead, if another dog is coming towards us or parents with children I can call her and she will sit until they have passed. It's the idiots who don't train their dogs that are the problem, other dog owners have commented and said 'OMG how do you get her to do that' which amazes me. It's the same with barking, our neighbours on both sides let their dogs bark and bark for no reason which infuriates me, our dog will bark at a knock on the door but with one click of the fingers she will stop.

nipsmum Wed 11-Aug-21 11:14:51

We have more problems with runners ,cyclists and unruly children than with out of control dogs in our local parks

highlanddreams Wed 11-Aug-21 11:18:04

I rarely let my dog off lead even in woodlands or open space that's away from main roads as I worry about him going out of sight & getting hurt or stolen. We avoid busy areas anyway as we like keep to ourselves as much as possible. There's so much rubbish left behind by other walkers and also things like old rusty barbed wire, broken glass, disgusting human toilet waste etc.so I'd rather control where he walks for his safety. When I was a wee girl, I was bitten several times by strays & was afraid of dogs until I had one of my own (it took time for me to get over my fear with our first one but we bonded and became so close) I would never let any dog of mine jump up at others because I know how scary it is even if they are "only playing" So no, you're not being unreasonable at all.

Dee1012 Wed 11-Aug-21 11:18:23

olliebeak I'm totally in agreement with you. I have Rottweilers, both well trained.

I've lost count of the number of times, owners of "small dogs" have allowed their pets to run up to mine, some times barking and biting and then thought it was really funny.....imagine the situation reversed?
Now while I totally appreciate the potential of a bite from one of mine being different to the bite of a small dog, it didn't help when mine had the side of his mouth ripped open by a totally out of control small dog.
Response from the owner "aww she thinks she's a Dobermann!!!"angry

grannygranby Wed 11-Aug-21 11:20:42

Good grief I had no idea and am so saddened there are so many dog phobics on here. I take my dogs to parks and woods twice a day where they romp off lead and have so much fun. They charm other people all the time going up to be stroked. Many a lone person has been charmed by their friendly attention. But then I love dogs who have been our companions for at least ten thousand years but never till now expected to be our leashed slaves. I think it’s appalling how they are treated. They deserve far more respect being the lifeline and comfort to millions. I certainly wouldn’t be the happy person I am today without them after many tragic human losses. I think dogs should have the right if at least an hour off lead in the open today. They have no freedom are totally under our control and so easily abused it’s heartbreaking, all I see on here is intolerance.

Kate1949 Wed 11-Aug-21 11:21:54

I'm not phobic. I just don"t like them.

chris8888 Wed 11-Aug-21 11:22:37

I think people and children should be the priority and yea I have a dog which I love dearly. I keep it on a lead in parks and realise not everyone wants a dog running at them or their children. I don`t want my dog stolen or lost either.

Caleo Wed 11-Aug-21 11:26:26

It is regrettable that public spaces are so small and confined that dogs have to be kept away from people.

This is a fact of modern life in most towns and cities. Where there are by- laws to keep dogs on leads they should be obeyed by all dog walkers, as the alternative will be to ban dogs altogether.

aonk Wed 11-Aug-21 11:28:21

I do like dogs but choose not to own one. I’ve noticed recently that everything concerning them seems to be much more relaxed. As others have said they’re all over the place in parks which are meant to be enjoyed by everyone. This is particularly annoying where I live as we have 2 huge country parks nearby which are very suitable for dog walking. It’s also noticeable to me how much things have changed in other places. My local high street is often full of dogs and they are taken into some shops and cafes. I don’t agree with this and don’t think it’s hygienic or appropriate. People should walk their dogs in a suitable area ( much better for the dog) and then leave them at home while they go shopping or out to eat.

Caleo Wed 11-Aug-21 11:28:22

Elless, not all dogs are perfect Goldens! Not all owners are intelligent!

Zoejory Wed 11-Aug-21 11:30:28

I'm not over-keen on the 'ankle-biter breeds' - I've had TWO Jack Russells in the past, and found them to be far nastier than any GSDs that I'd previously owned.

Why would you have 2 Jacks if you find them to be nasty?

GoldenAge Wed 11-Aug-21 11:31:04

Santana you are not being unreasonable if there are signs preventing dogs from walking without a lead. Also you are not being unreasonable in expecting dog owners to exercise due thought even when there are no such signs. As the owner of a very obedient lab many years ago I would never take chances in a park but was fortunate enough to live on the edge of a wood. Now my daughter has two labs from the same litter. One is totally obedient and the other remains skittish and likely to chase anything that moves (both male) and both have had exactly the same training. So, in the park she keeps both on the lead even though one will never move from her heel. That said our local parks do have dog owners who are irresponsible with their dogs and frankly they get the rest of us a bad name. Dog licences and heavy fines might go some way to improving responsibility among dog owners but there will always be some. However, I do believe quite strongly that if a dog owner takes a dog into a field with permission from the field owner then that dog has priority over any family that might decide to take a trek over that property.

inishowen Wed 11-Aug-21 11:33:49

I am scared of dogs since being bitten by a collie when I was a child. Dog owners must understand that their "fur baby" is my fierce killer.