Dealing with dog owners



  • So when one of us says "I'll go and get the car out" and the dogs run to the door, they are reacting to "tone"?  Yes, there are idiots who treat their animals like children. I'm not one of them and I don't address my dogs like they are babies.

    Not wasting any more of my time on this - the rest of you are welcome to argue till kingdom come. Which according to prediction, isn't far off.

  • I was bitten by an alsation when I was standing still, waiting for it to move out of the way so I could cross a stream.  The owner explained that it was my fault because I was holding my hat in my hand.  image

    If a dog isn't able to share a public space with members of the public, it should be muzzled and on a short lead.  That "he's only being friendly" is irrelevant:  many people are afraid of dogs jumping up at them, regardless of their intent.  People ought to be able to use public spaces without being harassed.  I'm not sure where the idea that this is a "free country" comes from - I'm pretty sure there are laws we are expected to abide by, and one of them is that dogs shouldn't be allowed to harass people.  

      To quote from DEFRA's guidance at

    "Any dog is dangerously out of control if:

    • it injures a person, or

    • it behaves in a way that makes a person worried that it might injure them.

     The law applies everywhere the general public is allowed to go and anywhere your dog goes where it is not supposed to be. The maximum penalty for allowing a dog you own or are in charge of to be dangerously out of control is two years’ imprisonment, or a fine, or both."


  • RicF wrote (see)
    Dogs understand tone not words.

    I have to contend with idiots talking to their animals like they were small children, "oh please don't jump up at the man , come back, come back here, here, here, here, come here, oh don't be so naughty" etc, meanwhile the dog ignores them totally.

    Funniest example I saw of that sort of nonsense was in my local park one night. Posh man with immaculately groomed very fancy looking long haired retriever, bombing away from him totally ignoring the anguished wails of "Oh, no, Sebastian, not the muddy puddle...."Two seconds later Sebastian was gleefully wallowing in it. LOL!


  •  it behaves in a way that makes a person worried that it might injure them.

    this is very some it means the dog was looking at them ina certain way............

    i do agree that all dogs should be under control.............but a dog running around having fiun isn't out of control.........

    if i am running down a path and a dog is running in the opposite direction towards me......why is it assumed that the runner has the right of of you has to make a change of direction or speed...............i would assume most of the runners have more intelligence than the dog so its easier for them to change their pace/ direction.............

    the dog has just as much rights to run...

    but it does not have a right to jump up on you or bite you.this is a seperate manner

  • seren nos wrote (see

    but a dog running around having fiun isn't out of control........

    It is in the eyes of the law if it causes someone to worry for their safety, even if that worry is (in your opinion) unfounded. 

  • Seren again you talk as somebody who likes, knows and understands dogs well, a dog running round having fun could easily be mistaken by some people as one likely to cause them a problem.  I am not sure whether you like snakes or spiders, two other animals many people have an irrational fear of, but perhaps if you imagined having to pick one up it might be a similar feeling.  Probably a stupid analogy but this has become a fairly polarised thread now with people unable to understand somebody elses views or fears

  • kaska wrote (see)

    To quote from DEFRA's guidance at

    "Any dog is dangerously out of control if:

    • it injures a person, or

    • it behaves in a way that makes a person worried that it might injure them.

    So if someone with a dog phobia interprets my dog calmly looking at them - from a safe distance while appropriately restrained - as a sign that it's just about to attack them, does that seriously mean that my dog is dangerously out of control. How ridiculous!

    It should say: "behaves in a way that makes a rational person worried..."

  • RWD it's the wording of a legal statute, you can't change it because it doen't suit you. However in a court of law it would be open to a variety of interpretations one of which would likely be that you would not be found guilty in the circumstance you mention.

  • When I was out for a run, coming towards 2 guys, 1 of whom had a dog on one of those extendable leads (or trip wires as I know them as) the dog went for me snarling and barking, that is until I squirted it in the face with the water from my bottle. The dog whimpered back to its owner who started shouting at me, me I kept on going and gave him the reverse 1 fingered salute. Boy how I enjoyed that run.image

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    ah good, a dogs thread...
    I don't like them particularly but as has been alluded to, runners are more than capable of changing direction / slowing down etc.
    However how long is long enough to stand still waiting for the owner to get a control of  their dog ?
    Couple of weeks ago, dog comes after me , I stand still, it sits and yaps, I jog off , dog follows, I stand still, dog yaps, I jog off, dog get the picture.... all the while the owner is saying "this way" "calm down" & "sit" After a good 5 or 6 minutes, during which time the owner has walked to the opposite end of the field, and is now shouting, the dog finally turns and runs to its owner.
    I would have been annoyed if it wasn't so funny.

    What about areas where 'dogs should be kept on a lead', should they?

    I despise poor owners though and I have no time for the "he's only playing" line. But have to say, and most of my summer runs are offroad, 95% of the time there is little trouble. TBH its usually farm dogs as you run on the lanes past their property.
    I did get told once that the reason little Milly jumped at me was because I was wearing yellow....

    btw I have been bitten (4yrs ago), nerve /tissue damage & ~15 stitches, but like to think thats a rarity.

  • Dustin wrote (see)

    btw I have been bitten (4yrs ago), nerve /tissue damage & ~15 stitches, but like to think thats a rarity.

    Probably not that much of a rarity - about 6000 people a year require hospital treatment for dog inflicted injuries in the UK, and that excludes those who aren't admitted as inpatients (e.g those who go to minor injury clinics or A&E, and those like me who were told by NHS Direct that I didn't need to worry because dog bites were sterile image  ). 

    This apparently costs the health service about £3.3 million. 

    (figures from DEFRA website).



  • JF50.....i think the law is not there to cope with phobias......

    phobias are horrible..........but someone having a phobia cannot restrict the rest of the populations lives..........

    just a dog being there is enough for someone with a phobia to feel scared and worried........i don't think that the law means that no one can have a dog in a public place  if someone with a phobia is there..............unfortunately its up to the person with the phobia to deal with it or to refrain fromgoing anywhere where they might have dogs............unfortunate but the rest of the world is not to blame for that phobia.......


    andyes you can expect in life to be nitten at some should't but the odds are that it will happen..just like at some time some idiot driver will bump your car.............

    and at sometime you will meet someone who is obnoxious and drunk..but yiou have so many more hours a week when running that nothing nasty why focus on the odd bad owner or the odd rude cyclist or the odd runner who think they rule the world..................these thankfully are in the minority

  • The bottom line from a criminal law perspective is that if you are the owner of a dog who bites someone you will - if the person bitten makes a formal complaint and you are prosecuted - either be required to keep your dog on a lead and muzzled at all times whilst the dog is in a public place or your dog will be made the subject of a destruction order or contingent destruction order ( the canine equivalent of a suspended death sentence). As has already been stated if the dog causes injury to a person it will be deemed to be dangerously out of control. Dog owners should take heed of this because  the amount of dog owners now being taken to court for these offences is increasing rapidly. 

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    I often encounter dogs when running.  I've never felt threatened by one - sometimes the try to run with me, I just keep going and they lose intrest, usually pretty quickly.

    The only time a dog actually snarled and jumped at me it WAS on a short lead, and I ran close past it on the street.  I ended up with with scratches on my leg.  Difficult to know how much more under control it could have been.  I didn't feel the need to complain and try to have it put down, just because I startled it.

    I'm not particularly a dog-lover, I have never had or wanted one, but the ones I encounter really are not being agressive, they just seem to want to join in with my run.


  • Seren I'm not sure what distinguishes a phobia from an irrational fear and I don't think anybody has said dogs shouldn't be there and certainly the law is not saying that. It would distinguish I am sure between somebody having a panic attack because they have seen a dog and one caused by feeling threatened.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    Seren, perhaps, but if I'm walking in the country footpaths with two children under the age of 5, would it be irrational of them to be slightly alarmed if a dog taller than them bounds up towards us? (which has happened on many occasions).
    Or should I have refrained "from going anywhere where they might have dogs" ?
    I'd argue that public footpaths are their primarily for people first, dogs second. 

    Kaska, in fairness they said that human bites are more dangerous (in terms of infection) than dog bites. I'd like to think they don't get many of those...

  • Having read this whole thread as a runner and a dog owner I find I can understand both sides of the argument . What gets me are what I call FIDOS - feckless irresponsible dog owners , who seem to think there dog is human and should be treated as such! Dogs are pack animals and hunters by instinct, they will chase anything that moves. So the advice to stop is good advice, but owners must take responsibility for their dogs and that includes clearing up after them!
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Bionic Ironwolf wrote (see)

    So when one of us says "I'll go and get the car out" and the dogs run to the door, they are reacting to "tone"?  Yes, there are idiots who treat their animals like children. I'm not one of them and I don't address my dogs like they are babies.

    Not wasting any more of my time on this - the rest of you are welcome to argue till kingdom come. Which according to prediction, isn't far off.

    Don't be so sensitive about your pseudo fellow beings. Next time you let them kiss you on the lips remember dogs lick their gear and eat shitimage

  • Dustin wrote (see)

    Kaska, in fairness they said that human bites are more dangerous (in terms of infection) than dog bites. I'd like to think they don't get many of those...

    I phoned them at the time (was trying to decide whether it warranted a visit to A&E or not) and the person I spoke to definitely said they were sterile.  I was amazed that they should suggest this, and asked them to confirm it in case there was some  misunderstanding.  Which, to their discredit, they did. 

  • Bionic Ironwolf wrote (see)

    Not wasting any more of my time on this - the rest of you are welcome to argue till kingdom come. Which according to prediction, isn't far off.


    Bionic Ironwolf wrote (see)

    Caveat - I do engage my dogs in staring but that's because I'm their Alpha and they know it.


    Bionic Ironwolf wrote (see)

    my OH and I are Alpha male and female,


    Bionic Ironwolf wrote (see)

    Can't be bothered with you.

    You're an intriguing character aren't you! Kind of flit between self importance, and overly sensitive!

    I want to read more from you!

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Possibly barking

  • This is all very interesting. I've never had trouble with dogs while out running. In fact, because I like dogs I spend half my time saying 'hello boy/girl' to them trying to attract their attention and failing. What am I doing wrong. I'm not a dog owner by the way. I'm a bit different when out with my kids - dogs, playful or not, can be extremely frightening to them, so we are very circumspect. It's all a question of balance and, as someone said, it's mainly exceptions that give dog owners a bad name.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    A running mate of mine was really scared of dogs and the dogs knew it. They could smell the fear. Didn't matter if he was leading or following, the dogs just went after him, never me. Dave I said. Just pretend they don't exist and you'll be fine. 

    So the next occasion we met a dog he tried. I mean he really did. The Welsh springer spaniel didn't even notice we were there anyway. But following, I could see my mate visibly relax once he was sure he was clear of danger.

    On an impulse I rushed up behind him barking like a rabid Rottweiler. I tell you, he damn near shat himself.

    Fun and games.

  • Sideburn, thanks for the tip, I’ll look up the Dog Whisperer. I’m never going to be a dog lover, but hope to get to the point where I can relax enough that otherwise well-behaved dogs such as yours don’t really notice me. I’ve been told that they can tell when you are scared, and may act badly, but it’s so hard to stop the involuntary fear responses.

    I do tend to walk past dogs, but have had a few growl when I’ve slowed down near them. Maybe the tip about not looking at them in the eye will help. I also sometimes stand still, but usually frozen to the floor in panic, rather than choosing to stop.

     Runs with dogs, I can totally see your point here:

    “It's a real shame that these people have had bad experiences with a dog, but IMHO just because they are scared of dogs that does not give them the right to expect or require every dog & dog owner they come into contact with to act in the way that they want them to.”

     All I expect is for the owner to prevent the dog jumping up at me, or injuring me in any way (although I do appreciate it when an owner does more than this, such as telling the dog to sit, and always thank them). The dog owners/lovers on this thread clearly sound responsible and considerate.

     I also fully accept that my involuntary twitches, squeaks etc may be part of the problem (although they only generally happen if a dog off the lead runs towards me, I’m generally not bothered by a calm dog on a lead). I know that dogs need the freedom to run, and I feel very sorry for some city dogs that are obviously cooped up in a small space all day.

     My problem is I can’t control these reactions. I’d love to learn how to, but don’t really know where to start.  I’ve tried to search for dog classes, but only get ones on how to train your dog. I considered hypnotherapy, but think it would be better to get used to read dogs in a space which felt safe to me.

  • I have I would say a healthy respect for dogs when out running. I've been bitten twice once by an Alsatian while running for a bus, the second time it was a Jack Russell in a park. I now slow to a walk if I see a loose dog running vaguely unsupervised in my direction.

    I don't think it's unreasonable that dog owners should make sure that they only let their dog off the lead if they are paying attention to where the dog is at all times and the dog is well trained enough that it will return immediately when called. If not then keep the dog on a lead. It is never acceptable to get bitten by someone's dog, the owner may get playful bites from the dog themselves and not see what the big deal is but to a stranger that could be a deeply traumatic experience.


  • Gina, you're dead right. I know some folk who play wrestle with their dogs and don't mind being left covered in nips and scratches. I just think that's totally irresponsible as the dog is being taught that's okay behaviour and may do it to someone else...

    My dog is maybe not perfectly trained in the 'sit, stay, come' sense, but he has very good manners if that's not a silly way to describe a dog. He knows not to jump up, not to bark at people and absolutely never EVER to help himself to food that's sitting around. I thought the food thing was hugely important cause he's the perfect snatching height where sandwich waving toddlers are concerned.

    Jane, do you not have any friends with dogs that you could 'practice' with? You might get on better with befriending one particular (small, quiet) dog to start with rather than trying to feel better about all dogs all at once. I mean, I love dogs and I'm rarely intimidated by them but I'm still wary of big 'packs' and one or two breeds whose nasty side I've seen before - I'm not particularly keen on Alsatians or Rottweilers for example.

    If you were anywhere near me I'd love to let you get to know my little mutt. He's very non-threatening. I'm in Glasgow by the way, just in case... image
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    There are dog owners who always rank their dogs status above anything and everybody else. For them, their dog can do no wrong. Even if it runs over to you, jumps up and bites you on the face. Its still your fault, never the dogs, never theirs the dogs owner.

    Some of the places I run are very remote. And should something of this nature occur to me while minding my own business.

    And if I think I can get away with it......image


  • I'm in Manchester, but thanks for the offer image

    I don't have any friends close by who have dogs. A problem with living in the city centre I guess. A friend of a friend helped a lot on a camping trip this summer - the dog was massive and I was terrified at first, but they held him whilst I stroked him, and it wasn't too bad (the beer before hand helped me give it a go!). By the end of the day I could even throw a frisbee for him.

    If I could find a course which covered this kind of sensitisation and something about doggy behaviour that would be ideal. I'll keep searching.

    My 3 year old nephew had a sandwich pinched once. It happened so quickly we barely knew what had happened.



  • Yesterday morning just finishing my run and going the last 100 yards to my house, out of a door come 3 whippets snapping and snarling (no eye contact needed to make them think I might be aggressive!), I turned and faced them and to be honest not particularly bothered because if I wanted to could have quite easily kicked the sh1t out of them, but what if it had been a young child.  Dog owner came out and said oh I am so sorry, I thanked her for her kindnessimage

  • I tend to pick routes that stay away from dog walkers. I give them a wide berth because some owners don't have control over their dogs so I don't want to get tangled up in the lead and trip over. I'm fortunate that most of the dog walkers I encounter are pretty considerate. Ocassionally certain breeds will snap but having had dogs as pets my whole life I know that they usually just feel threatened so I'll just get pissed off for a moment, swear, then get over it.

    I think shouting "FUCK!" is a good way to vent as it is more of an annoyance at the situation and not a direct attack at the dog or it's owner. I don't want to waste time discussing their incompetence, I'm trying to get a good run in. image

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