This is my first post, long time lurker! Today I was walking my 15 month male Lab at a city lake/park. There is no dog park in our area without traveling 60 miles. We had passed several walkers, fishermen and dogs on leash with no problem. As we rounded a blind curve, we encountered a large dog chasing a ball from a chuck-it type device. The woman with the dog was young, carrying an infant in a front body carrier with a stroller containing another small child at her side. I stopped, placed my dog in a sit-stay. We could wait for them to pass or return to our car. As she came closer, she did leash the dog but left him with the ball. As she passed me my dog broke his stay and was eagerly seeking a buddy with a tennis ball. Her dog was growling and in a protective posture near the woman. I was afraid my dog would possibly knock over the stroller or jump due to his excitement. She began berating me for the use of a gentle leader telling me he was going to break his neck. I explained I knew of the dangers, I was trying to prevent him for causing a problem with her dog and the loose ball. I was using a 4 foot lead. She persisted telling me what a poor owner I was as I bit my tongue! I finally asked, "what are you, a dog trainer?". She replied that she was prior to her children. I asked her "what do you think I should do" and she said go let him run. Well, I told her that was exactly what I was trying to do but we had to get past her! I did not say a word about the unleashed dog in an area posted for leashes, the fact that the dog still was running with a ball or her carrying a remote training shock collar. My dog could pass his CGC tomorrow but he barks a bit during the separation. We will continue training after the holidays. This was the first time I have ever had a stranger speak to me about any of my dogs or horses. What should I have said or done?
A Gentle Leader, properly used, is a good training tool. And speaking of tools, sounds like you encountered one in your walk today. I would have just kept walking and ignored the bitch. You are under no obligation to be nice to people who have no manners.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
And - congrats on finally posting! Welcome aboard!
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Telling other people how to deal with their dogs is like telling another parent how to raise their kids. It is never a good idea unless they ask you for advice and even then it can be a mine field. I personally would of kept walking. People who spout off like that aren't worth the time of day.
Now as to gentle leaders and other training tools I have a definite opinion, but that isn't what you asked.
As to meeting someone on the street. My rule is to assume that the person you are approaching hates dogs and to treat them like you would want to be treated (if you hated dogs).
Someday I will learn to turn the other cheek and keep walking. I will keep your suggestion in mind. My long term goal is to train for a reading therapy dog and I think I was offended that some stranger would imply I was an uneducated, poor owner. I have put hours and hours into training, driving 50 miles each way to work with certified dog trainers. Thanks for listening.