Commonly Asked Questions
Dealing with off-leash dogs and their owners
I'm sure there is another thread on this topic, but I didn't find it this morning. I'm curious, how do you all deal with off-leash dogs and their owner? Yoshi is the type of dog that must be on a leash at all times unless he's in a fenced area. He also has some unpredictable aggression/fear issues that we are working on. H's still a puppy and we're hoping ths gets corrected with training and time. But it seems as though the residents in our condo complez are against us. So many owners let their dogs roam free with no leash. Not only is this against the law in our county, but I'm pretty sure there is also a HOA policy on this as well. How do I tell owners to put their dog on a leash nicely?
[mod edit: changed category]
Post edited by sunyata at 2013-05-28 10:50:29
I don't normally do it nicely at all. My dogs like other dogs, and even still, I typically end up saying something like
"Leash your goddamn dog! Unless you can give me a good reason why you get to be above the law!!!"
Because of Jazz's reactive issues, when we see an off-leash dog, Jazz gets picked up and in the sling she goes. I usually get the standard, "Mine's friendly" to which I reply "Mine isn't and she would like to kill yours". I have actually then got the reply "Well, you shouldn't walk your dog in public if it isn't friendly" - my reply "It's only the dogs & owners who break the law by not leashing that cause my dog's issue". Nobody wins, but Jazz doesn't get reactive to the other dog because she's in the sling, so it makes for a happier outing.
LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
There's no nice way to tell people to obey the law.
"Please leash your dog!"
- Oh but mine is friendly
"Would you let a child walk up to random strangers to say hi? I'll ask again, leash your dog!"
- Well maybe it's your dog that has a problem
"Which is exactly why mine is on a leash, and thus why the law exists. Whatever happens from here on out is your fault. Consider it my last warning."
- This is usually the point where the other owner proceeds to try and recall the dog....repeatedly....failing...
Smarta$$ remark would be here:
"Looks like you have problems of your own"
frank the tank
Yikes. I haven't had to deal with unleashed dogs yet and I hope I never do.
I like knowing that I'm not the only one who wants to yell some expletives at these people. Now that I think of it, it's the smaller dogs with older owners that are not on leash or at least the majority of them are. You know, the ankle-bitter size. Yoshi just wants to eat them for lunch. David had a conversation with the owner of Yoshi's nemesis (a crazy dachshund). They acknowledge that they don't leash him up but yet they still let him roam the complex. I've almost hit him with my car because he will charge it and won't stand down.
I can never take Sage anywhere very public because he is extremely uncomfortable, vulnerable and dog reactive in public areas. An encounter with an off leash dog will set us back to square one and we have worked too hard to risk that. Where i live is rather rural, converting to suburban, and many Townies hold over the same open-door dog management that has been in place since much less developed times here. There are loose dogs everywhere, and chained ones that lob canine epithets at him as we go by. At public places he must go, like the vets, (our dear vet happens to be in a Banfield in a PetsMart, so the tone is very dog-social and visit-y to get to him. The only place I take him where I can fend dogs off, and the receptionists and techs do everything to minimize our lobby time.) I am no longer wishy washy about describing why someone should keep their dog away (no more, "Umm, actually.."). The shortest thing you can say that gets the action you want to happen. I have to react before Sage does- no small task. At even a glance, "We're not Friendly!" usually does the trick, and typically then Sage puts on a very convincing display of not being friendly, followed by the spacey owner with the damn retractable leash responding "WHAT! IS THAT?!" and mumbles into their cell that they just met a crazy red haired woman with a freakin hyena in a PetsMart.
The way most people employ their flexi leads the dogs might as well be off leash.
Post edited by Wryly Brindle at 2010-01-14 23:13:48
We used to live in an apartment complex. There was a lady with two dachshunds always on the cell and both the dogs always off-leash. My dog reacts too, especially if a dog invades his space without permission! So, with those small dogs, I just hold my foot out to kick them before they even have a chance to attack me or my dog. That owner was simply too stupid to even say something more than once...
With the bigger dogs roaming around, I always had my mace. One time I didn't and that day Mochi got attacked by two Boxers that came running down their driveway going straight for Mochi's neck! I have learned my lesson to not forget my mace again when out walking the dog. We now live more out in the country and there are lots of dogs roaming around freely. No HOA either but most dogs are actually friendly and Mochi even plays with them. I know where the Boxers live plus the 80 someting yr old mother was watching the dogs that day... yeah yelling "I'm so sorry, i'm so sorry" down the driveway didn't exactly help that day. MOch iwas lucky though but I have learned to be much more cautious...
If I do encounter stupid people that won't listen and think it's ok cause THEIR dog is friendly. I say "Yeah, but MINE ISN'T FRIENDLY." They then usually leave all disappointed talking to their dog: "come on, Poopsie (or whatever their name is) they don't wanna play with you..."
and I'm thinking to myself: "I just saved your dog's life, b****"
Post edited by obuk at 2010-01-15 12:22:12
Hmmm...I've been known to say " Violet that other dog doesn't want to say hello" when someone pulls their dog away, as a more neutral way to gauge whether the dog isn't friendly, or if the other owner is afraid of my dog. I don't think that anyone who says it is automatically judging you. I say it because I don't want to make any assumptions and say "my dog is friendly" because there are a range of reasons why someone may pull their dog away-- from their dog being reactive, to their being afraid that your dog isn't friendly because their dog has been attacked recently. On the other hand I also always ask if Violet can say hello (asking if your dog is friendly also seems to frame things a bit too judgmentally and doesn't take into account that a dog may be friendly most of the time but is stressed out at the moment or having a bad day). What I really don't understand are the people who have unfriendly dogs that let them go off-leash. When Violet was still very young, we had an off-leash lab bound up pretty close to her one day. I asked if it was ok if Violet said hello and she responded that her dog was unfriendly and reactive and I had to wonder why on earth this woman would have her dog off-leash, in a densely populated part of a very dog friendly town.
Admittedly though I've experience a lot fewer problems with dogs off-leash and I'm guessing it's because our time is spent primarily in Princeton, NY, or Baltimore. I suspect that the latter two are too urban or populated for people to really try to get away with having dogs off-leash, and Princeton has a large police force with seemingly little to do other than patrol the streets, so one would be unlikely to get away with having their dog off-leash without being fined. I guess my personal pet peeve is more when people bring reactive dogs to the dog park knowing that they are reactive (once I saw a woman who had adopted a rescue and was trying to socialize her reactive dog. The dog had to wear a muzzle for the majority of the time and kept chasing and snapping once the muzzle came off). I understand socializing a reactive dog, but plunging them straight into the dog park seems like a recipe for disaster.
I just wish that people would be taught general manners when it comes to interacting with other dogs. This whole thread sadly reminded me of that time I asked if Violet could say hello and some poor put upon woman actually thanked me for asking her first. It's something that I wish were automatic. I also wonder if those with their dogs off-leash in public places think about the fact that some people don't like dogs, or may be scared of them. We've encountered people (usually children but some adults) who are terrified of Violet, and as it is we keep her no more than 2 feet away from us on a walk, and don't let her sniff strangers unless they indicate that it is ok. Even then I can recall of at least one instance where someone was really upset with us because she wanted to know why we would walk such a "vicious" looking dog. I can't imagine the fits that off-leash dogs give her.
HAHAHA I love it when we start a new off-leash threads.
I actually just yelled at a woman this morning. Her sheltie is NEVER on a leash. I've asked her several times (luckily when Mylo was not with me) to leash her dog, and she usually just goes "Lucy, COME." and ignores me. Did I mention that she leaves her dog off leash in our parking garage, with several blind corners, and people who drive like morons? Well, I was walking Mylo this morning, and she was outside with "Lucy" and lo and behold, Lucy approached us. I nudged at lucy's chest with my foot and pulled Mylo behind me and said, "PUT A DAMN LEASH ON YOUR DOG! I've asked you SEVERAL times! You're so irresponsible! Follow the building rules and THE LAW!". Through all of this she just ignored me and said "Lucy, COME." GUH. Moron. Little does she know, I know her parking spot number, and I'll be writing a formal report about her to the Superintendent.
On a general note, if I see someone walking towards Mylo and I, I usually cross the street. If they're using a flexi I say "Pleas don't let your dog approach!" if they don't get the body language hint that I put Mylo on a very tight leash, on the other side of my body away from them and say "Mylo, leave it". If off leash I just yell "GRAB YOUR DOG PLEASE". By that time they usually call the dog's name, and once I learn the name I give it my own command. "FIFI, SIT! STAY!" Sometimes it works, other times the dog is dumb, so I put my foot to it's chest as best I can, and block Mylo with my body/other leg. Sometimes it ends in a fight and I just say "Put a leash on your dog and follow the law!"
frank the tank
this is a little off topic but Mylo's post just reminded me of some idiot drivers. It blows my mind how many people do a rolling stop when its a red light. At first I didn't realize it was a such a big issue until I was walking my pup and he walked ahead of me and almost got ran over by some moron that decided to keep going thru the red light. Ugh I hate stupid drivers and starting to get Severus to walk by my side now.
Lol, don't even get me started about the stop sign near my place. I'm just waiting for the day someone runs it and I have a bag of "Mylo's Delight" in my hand. I will launch it as hard as I can at the car.
Rolling stops and flexileads---2 things on the I Really Hate List.
LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
Janie aka violet_in_seville, I didn't mean normal people like you who show they understand that a dog "doesn't wanna play". What I meant were the ignorant type of people who act (yes, they show it!) like I'm the worst person on earth for not letting my dog "play" with their dog...
Ki is very excitable around other dogs. I tend not to let him say 'hi' to new dogs without explaining his play-style (he likes to jump and shove so that the other dog with chase him) and getting an okay. Even then, I'm careful if there is a big size difference. For the most part, we haven't had any problems with dog-sized dogs. Luckily the only ones we've bumped into off-leash were well-behaved.
Ki has had a number of run-ins, however, with micro-dogs. Being the Californian apartment-dwellers that we were, most of the dogs we'd see were tiny tiny omg tiny things. Chihuahuas, mini poodles, those tiny things that look like papillons or poms with husky colors... Anywho, what these dogs tended to have in common was a lack of exercise, a lack of training, and Napoleon complexes.
So on a number of occassions we've had these little dogs charge Ki and try to kill him. Their size meant that their attempts were rather unsuccessful but it was their owners lack of concern that always bothered me. Their responses ranged from, "Oh yeah eventually another dog will get him...but then he'll learn" to "My dog can't hurt anyone so keep your dog under control."
My favorite (read: totally made me so mad) was when a woman's three-legged mini-chihuahua (he had gotten away before and been injured) broke through her screen window to attack Ki...she ran out and scooped him up from where Ki was sitting (thankfully! usually he gets into a game of whack-a-mole where his squishes them under his paws like a cat) with her dog trying desperately to reach his throat and glared at me whilst cuddling him as if Ki had broken into her house to try and eat him.
I totally appreciate (and am jealous of) people who have awesome control when their dog is off-leash, but in an area with other dogs, even when you have that training, it's just safer and nicer to the other dogs who might get a bit cranky about other dogs being off-leash to keep your dog on until you get to somewhere that's more appropriate. The people who inappropriately have their dogs off-leash don't seem to be the type you can reason with. Everything that could possibly happen is totally not their fault...it's like they want something to go wrong.
It seems all you can do is mention it politely, avoid them, and report them when necessary.
This thread seems great for venting. This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. I live in Fairfield County CT, and everyone here thinks their dog is entitled to free reign of the universe.
I hate having to ask repeatedly if they can leash their dog. I also hate having to keep an ear out constantly for the sound of jingling dog tags, and being constantly on edge waiting for a confrontation. Its a full time job! I'm not alone here, right?
Just a foxy little dog living in a crazy world. My boyfriend and I share our home with a spunky little shiba, two Bengal cats, a chocolate point Siamese, a tortoiseshell DSH, three fancy rats, a Columbian Rainbow Boa and a slew of fishtanks. You could say we like animals just a little bit...
Keiko is still trying to figure out if she likes other dogs. She's 8 and was a puppy mill breeder, so it's a big deal that she shares a sniff with any dog at all. Currently she seems to be less bothered by the smaller dogs, but it's the big, goofy, playful dogs that freak her out. She has no idea what to think of this big dog trying to get up in her face to play. I also get the "mine's friendly" and have to remind them mine is NOT. I live in an apartment building, and two of these crazy dogs are on my floor, so I run into them a LOT. One, Cash, is always on a leash and well-behaved with "dad", but "mom" lets him go off-leash and thinks it's just hysterical that Cash wants to play. This morning I was leaving for work and Cash, who is a BIG collie, came charging down the hall at me. Luckily, I know he's friendly, and Keiko was safely in the apartment, but still. What if I was afraid of dogs? I mean, this woman has NO CLUE. Stella, the big collie on the other side of me, at least has a mom who knows her dog is a big goof and keeps her away from Keiko. Still, TRAIN YOUR DOG TO BEHAVE, LADY! Ignorant/lazy dog owners annoy me as much as ignorant/lazy parents. If you're not going to train it, DON'T HAVE IT.
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