I had an altercation at the park this morning that has really upset me and I just wanted some feedback on how I handled it.
I have been going to this same park since August of 1996 when we got Samson. Unless we are on vacation, we go there every single day to walk the dogs.
With Samson, I always walked him off leash because I knew he wouldn't leave my sight, however, when I saw someone else in the park, I put a leash on him. Now with Hooch and Shadow, I have them on leash at all times because they may run after something, and, the rangers are a lot more strict then they used to be. Both of my boys are not good with strange dogs. Shadow is okay if he is off leash but Hooch really can't be bothered.
This morning, a man came toward us with a black lab and a black cocker. I yelled to him that my dogs aren't friendly with strange dogs and to please put his dogs on leash. He didn't. Both of his dogs came charging at us and only stopped because I yelled at them to stop. The guy didn't even call them, he just ran after them. Meanwhile, the whole time, I am fight with my two to keep them back and turn the other way. (Hooch is 93lbs and Shadow is 68lbs) Finally, he turned into the woods and I was able to go forward.
On the way back to my car, I heard him and his dogs coming toward us again and yelled for him to put the dogs on leash. Again, he didn't and his dogs came charging at us. My boys got very upset and I had to use all my strength to keep them back and yell at the other two dogs to stop and stay. At this point I was really angry that this man was allowing this to go on and told him that he should have his dogs on leash if he can't control them off leash. He replied that I shouldn't have "vicious dogs" in the park. I said that my dogs aren't vicious but they don't like be charged at by other dogs and most dogs don't. I also stated that the next time this happens I'm going to report him to the rangers. He challenged me to call them immediately. Given the situation, I just want to leave and calm my dogs down so I did.
I went to the park office and asked what to do about this and they gave me phone numbers to call when it happens again. They also said that I could get the guys license plate number and give it to the rangers so they can find out who he is and call him to discuss the problem.
I feel like I'm being such a B----H about this but its really such an upsetting thing when it happens. This is now the 4th time I've seen this man in the park and every time, he refuses to leash his dogs. I even went over to his car one time and explained the situation with my boys and met his two girls, who are absolutely beautiful and sweeter than sugar. I thought that would make him understand but now he's just mean.
What makes me even crazier is that his dogs are half the size of mine and they both only 1 year old, so if there is a fight, his dogs are going to get hurt and so am I. And I know if his dogs get hurt, he's going to say that mine are vicious and they're not.
Anyway, sorry for the long story but I would really appreciate your feedback on this.
I'm sorry this happened to you. I don't think your being a B---h, but concerned for everyones welfare. I think the only thing you can do is report the guy the next time it happens. It's not like your going to become friends.
There are some really inconsiderate people in this world. I've been taking my dogs to a school playing field for over 30 years now. There is a group that used to go every day and we've become friends over the years. Recently a whole new group of very aggressive people and their aggressive dogs have shown up. Now our wonderful group has stopped going and we have few other options for our dogs to play together. >
I really feel for you as we've recently had several incidence of off-leash dogs running up and growling at Sami. :P What I find so strange is that he would even WANT his dogs near yours. If someone told me that their dogs weren't friendly, I'd keep Sami a mile away.
I think you have no recourse but to get his license plate and report him. Also, I have to ask -- do you have another place you can walk?
I do have other parks to walk in nearby. I'm just having a hard time letting go of this place. I go to a part of the park that they are just starting to develop. They put an ASPHAULT NATURE TRAIL through it a few months ago and now a lot more people are coming to the park than have ever come before. I used to be able to walk with Samson for hours without ever coming across another person. Also, the other parks aren't as big and they don't have the lake for Hooch to swim in.
The thing is, I shouldn't have to go somewhere else just because this guy doesn't have any sense. There are so many other people that walk their dogs there now and sometimes, off leash. Most of the ones I've encountered appreciate me telling them that my boys get upset around strange dogs when they're on leash. And a lot of people say their dogs are the same way.
Also, it doesn't matter how friendly a dog is, when you see other people (with or without dogs) you should leash your dog. We all know labs are friendly but they are also big and if someone is afraid of dogs they could get really upset seeing a lab running toward them at full "happy" speed. My Samson was 110 lbs and Hooch is 93 lbs. That's a lot of dog coming at you with nothing to stop it.
I'm sorry for ranting. I'm just so upset that I have to take such steps to get someone to be responsible for their dog's safety and for my own. I just don't understand how people can be so RUDE and selfish.
I think you handled it better than I would have done. You know your dogs and you gave this man ample warning. He should have immediately leashed his dogs until you were well clear of each other. I've had a similar experience except that my dog was on leash and a known-to-be-dog-aggressive dog was off leash wandering the street. Fortunately nothing happened. But who knows about next time? I agree completely that off-leash dogs who are not under their owner's control shouldn't be allowed to be on the trails. Next time you encounter them (and I hope you don't, actually), I'd definitely take his license number and report him to the rangers. I'm sure glad no one was hurt.
I think you handled it correctly and you should get his license # and report him.
Puff and I walk every morning in a nature preserve with many grass trails, about a mile wide by half-mile high. It's used by bird watchers, an occasional jogger, walker, or a rare mountain biker, as well as many "doggers" like Puff and me.
So far -- the last 4½ years -- the other doggers have been considerate. Those with dogs that aren't that friendly keep them on leash. Puff runs off-leash (with an e-collar) and as soon as I see we'll meet another dogger, I put her on leash unless I know it's a friendly dog that she likes to play with.
The only other thing I might suggest is to note what time he goes there and try to go at a different time.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bob Pr. said it before I did, can you go at a different time? Also does the guy go around the same way, the same pattern? If you walk in the same direction he does maybe the chances of encountering him will lessen.
I think you did the right thing. I would have reported him then...I have no tolerance for folks like that. he has no reason to be upset with you or your dogs...you warned him they did not like unfamiliar dogs....I think you showed very good self-control and tried to explain things to him...unfortunately some folks just will not listen.