Am I unreasonable about this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, we went to the beach today. My 4 and 2 yo were running over the dunes ahead of me, and a BIG black dog comes running and barking towards them. Unleashed. Granted, I could tell he was probably going to be friendly, and my kids are used to dogs so they didn't flip out. But, I was also carrying the baby, a bag full of stuff, and the sand buckets. I couldn't exactly drop it all and go running.

This was the "no dogs" beach, and the "leash law" here in the neighborhood is common and enforced. There is a dog beach about mile down the road.

I am an owner of an always leashed large dog. I am not afraid of dogs, but, also having owned a mostly German Shepherd, I respect the power of a large dog, and the control and responsibility they require.

And I was really mad. And probably a little less civil than I could have been.

They said hi. I said hi with an annoyed tone. The dog was circling my kids, and as high as my 4yo chest. I said, "I'm not okay with your dog following my kids around. Dogs aren't supposed to be here. I left mine home for that exact reason." She said, "I thought they were okay." (Yeah, whatever...it's posted ALL OVER that they are NOT. And a big dog running unleashed at my children and barking is NEVER okay. And you didn't call it back. But I didn't say any of that.) I said, "I don't care as long as he stays down here." And I turned and led my kids a ways down the beach. She didn't leash it, but it didn't bother us.

But I was really irked.

It was apparently a nice dog.

Was I a jerk?

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#2 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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You sound nicer than I would have been.
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#3 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Aww, no you were just letting her know that you are aware of that dog's power and that your concern is your kids. I had a large dog that used to freak people out b'c of her size, we would tie bright colored bandanas around her neck to make her more friendly looking! As a dog owner, I understand how it is to want to give your dog a fun, free running time & honestly there are not so many dog friendly parks, etc. Its a delicate balance of keeping the dog leashed at all times or being off-lead while being on the lookout for kids, older people, other dogs or animals etc etc. When my dog has been too quick off leash & run up to someone, I feel out the situation & apologize if the other person is offended at all. I have been approached by unfriendly, off-lead dogs and some owners (i think) get a kick out of seeing their dog frighten others! I have had this happen a few times & the owner is actually smiling while I'm standing very still saying "get your dog please". Long winded reply, but no, I think you're fine to say what you said.

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#4 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I don't know. I am the owner of a very large, but very well behaved dog. He went through obedience training and wouldn't hurt a fly. I think I might forget that people don't know that about my dog. That they should trust me because I know my dog. However, if someone pointed out their discomfort with my dog being on the beach and unleashed....it would definitely remind me that I need to leash my dog and take him elsewhere. I wouldn't so casually disregard someone else's discomfort.

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#5 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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I don't like big dogs. And I loathe big dog owners that let dogs be in the wrong places and do the wrong things.

Here in Portland, we have wonderful street fountains on the sidewalk.. so you can get a drink of water anytime you like.... I can't drink at them now or let my kids drink at them because many a time.. I've seen a big dog up on two legs lapping the fountain at his owner's request. Gross!
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#6 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Grace and Granola View Post
I don't know. I am the owner of a very large, but very well behaved dog. He went through obedience training and wouldn't hurt a fly. I think I might forget that people don't know that about my dog. That they should trust me because I know my dog. However, if someone pointed out their discomfort with my dog being on the beach and unleashed....it would definitely remind me that I need to leash my dog and take him elsewhere. I wouldn't so casually disregard someone else's discomfort.
Would your dog have run up to my kids barking and circling them?

Would you have deliberately taken your dog to "no dogs" beach?

Would have unleashed your dog at the bottom of a hill where it would be impossible to know ahead of time what might come over it?

Would you not even be watching your unleashed dog in a public area, and distracted with your child?

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#7 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Oh ok! I thought you wanted other perspectives. Its ok if you just wanted to gripe about dog owners who let their dogs off leash. I'm sure it will be said a billion times that there are leash laws yada yada

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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#8 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I am still annoyed. Sorry to bite back on the internet.

My response was honest. Would you have done those things and thought it was okay? Why? Because you trusted your dog? Had you been the dog owner in the situation in the OP, would you have thought I was a jerk?

I did want other perspectives. I wanted to know if I was out of line to be so mad.

I would have rolled my eyes had there been a dog there, but wouldn't have said anything or even been bothered by it if it had been in control (leashed or not) and not run up to us while it's owner didn't even do anything. I was bothered that it was up on the kids, friendly or not. And I couldn't know right away if it was, in fact, friendly.

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#9 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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No, I don't blame you at all. You can never trust an animal you don't know. Another reason there are dog beaches and no dog beaches - dogs poop on the sand and nobody likes to step in it or put their towel down in it. I'm so sick of coming home from a walk with crap on my shoes!

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#10 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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I get it. You have every right to be upset if something threatening or uncertain is running toward your kids & your hands are full & your body is under the weight of beach gear & a child. Yes, the dog's owner should have been the one running after her dog when she saw children. Maybe she got the feeling that all seemed ok & that she knew that her dog is kid friendly? Not excusing her, obviously it frightened you which is not cool, but, maybe that was what was in her mind.

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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#11 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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You were absolutely right.

I have a large dog. He is ALWAYS leashed and whenever I see people, I always put him on a heel. I know that he will be fine greeting strangers BUT the strangers don't know that. Especially children. Even children who are used to dogs can be intimidated by a large dog running at them and barking. My biggest pet peeve is when a dog (large or small) comes running up to me and the owners are WAAAYYYY behind yelling "Its ok, he's friendly." Really? How do you know I am a dog person? How do you know I am not absolutely terrified of dogs?

If a dog owner wants to walk their dog off leash in a regularly leashed area I don't mind. As long as they keep a close eye on their dog and keep it close to them and not let it 'run amok'.
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#12 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:17 PM
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I'm not a dog lover. I'd have been panicked if I'd have been alone with my arms full and seen a big dog heading towards my kids, unleashed and circling them. Friendly or not people should be more responsible, the dog beach was further up and the signs said no dogs, I would not have been so nice, probably after I screamed from where I was as it got to my kids.
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#13 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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Would your dog have run up to my kids barking and circling them?

Would you have deliberately taken your dog to "no dogs" beach?

Would have unleashed your dog at the bottom of a hill where it would be impossible to know ahead of time what might come over it?

Would you not even be watching your unleashed dog in a public area, and distracted with your child?
My dog would have run up to your kids to sniff the heck out of them! I would have immediately called him back or grabbed his collar so as not to be a pest to you and your kids.

I wouldn't deliberately take my dog to a no dogs beach, but had I been a vacationer and not seen the signs, I might be there with my dog.

The hill thing...I have no idea.

If the beach was really busy, I would definitely have the dog on a leash. But if there were hardly any people there, I might get distracted with my kid for a minute. But the minute I saw my dog running at or sniffing someone, I would have noticed and taken action.

I'm sorry you're so upset with this. I think the dog owner's reaction to your discomfort is probably the worst offense. I would assume the best in a person, but I do see how you're irritated by their lack of response.

I am not defending the dog owner....I'm just saying I can see where they MIGHT be coming from, although they might just be self-involved people who don't care about anyone else's feelings!

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#14 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:19 PM
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You were absolutely right.

I have a large dog. He is ALWAYS leashed and whenever I see people, I always put him on a heel. I know that he will be fine greeting strangers BUT the strangers don't know that. Especially children. Even children who are used to dogs can be intimidated by a large dog running at them and barking. My biggest pet peeve is when a dog (large or small) comes running up to me and the owners are WAAAYYYY behind yelling "Its ok, he's friendly." Really? How do you know I am a dog person? How do you know I am not absolutely terrified of dogs?

If a dog owner wants to walk their dog off leash in a regularly leashed area I don't mind. As long as they keep a close eye on their dog and keep it close to them and not let it 'run amok'.
Thank you for being a good dog owner and realizing some of us are big wussies when it comes to dogs in general. He's friendly doesn't help me in the least, I don't like or want the dog near me.
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#15 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dog would have run up to your kids to sniff the heck out of them! I would have immediately called him back or grabbed his collar so as not to be a pest to you and your kids.

I wouldn't deliberately take my dog to a no dogs beach, but had I been a vacationer and not seen the signs, I might be there with my dog.

The hill thing...I have no idea.

If the beach was really busy, I would definitely have the dog on a leash. But if there were hardly any people there, I might get distracted with my kid for a minute. But the minute I saw my dog running at or sniffing someone, I would have noticed and taken action.

I'm sorry you're so upset with this. I think the dog owner's reaction to your discomfort is probably the worst offense. I would assume the best in a person, but I do see how you're irritated by their lack of response.

I am not defending the dog owner....I'm just saying I can see where they MIGHT be coming from, although they might just be self-involved people who don't care about anyone else's feelings!
Thank you. So, from her perspective, it really wasn't a big deal.

And, you're right. If the lady would have called her dog, and then apoligized for it running up to them, I would have been cool. Thanks for getting it down to why it bugged me so much.

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#16 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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I like dogs, this is the first time where I haven't had one but I would of been annoyed as well. I do not trust strange dogs around my children and as much as I like dogs, there is a time and a place for them, a dog free beach is not one of them.

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#17 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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I don't have a dog right now, but we always had biggish dogs in our family, and I would NEVER ASSUME someone else would be comfortable with my dog just running free. Especially in an area with NO DOGS except on a leash liberally posted. I mean, it's one thing to know your dog is safe, and something entirely different to assume someone ELSE should know that. I think that dog owner was way too blase about it.

You have every right to be mad. I hope the dog owner takes a lesson from this, and it sounds like you were relatively civil under the circumstances.
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#18 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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I hate it when people don't follow the leash rules. We have stopped going to one of our local parks because every time we go a dog chases my dd or tries to jump on her while she is trying to cross the monkey bars and she was becoming scared of dogs. Just because their nice doesn't mean it isn't scary to a kid (or adult) to have one circling them and jumping on them.
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#19 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 03:20 PM
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I'm not scared of dogs, I grew up with German shepherds, but I don't like them. At all. Excepting especially cute puppies. They smell, drool, bark, poop everywhere, and are just generally yucky to me.
I am always irritated when people let their dog, leashed or not, walk up and sniff/lick me or my kids. My kids like dogs, but the owner doesn't know that. My children have been taught to ask, "May I pet your dog?" before going near a strange dog and the dogs ought to have similar rules, IMO. It's an invasion of personal space to let your animal come up and touch me in any way.
Also, dog poop in the sand is just gross. There is a dog beach nearby especially for them! I would have pointed out that dogs are not allowed on that beach and directed them to the dog beach.
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#20 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Once when my oldest was about two or three we were having breakfast in the park, he was seated at a stone picnic table eating and this huge but very friendly dog ran up and ATE HIS FOOD! The dog ran off wagging it's tail while my son wailed and the dog owner apologized profusely. I waved it off as I had more food with us, but that wasn't really the point. The guy should have controlled his dog, but he normally walked the dog, leash free, early in the morning because the park was generally empty. I do understand that. However, had it been an aggressive dog, things could have gone much worse, It was really, really annoying and it scared the crap out of me to see a big dog rush my tiny child. So I understand. I'm dog lover/owner myself. Still keep them on leashes in public places though. Just common courtesy.

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#21 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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You were not unreasonable. Responsible dog owners do not let their dogs run up to others, especially children.

It drives me crazy that people do not take responsibility for their animals. I have pets. I know their temperaments. I still err on the side of protecting people since animals can be unpredictable. I would hate for someone to get hurt because I didn't do my job.

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#22 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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I'm of the opinion that all dogs should be leashed in public places unless it is an off leash area specifically. So no, I don't think you were unreasonable.

I'm not afraid of dogs, but I personally don't care how friendly a dog is, unless I go up to you and ask if I may pet your dog, then I likely don't want your dog around me. I don't want to be licked. I don't want to get dog hair on my clothes, I don't want dogs to jump on me, or sniff my crotch. Nor do I want dogs to do these things to my child. It seems a lot (not all) dog owners feel that because they love their dog and their dog doesn't bite that everyone should be fine having their dog just come running up to them. This isn't the case. A lot of people don't care, some people find it annoying, and others are terrified or allergic. There is a reason off leash areas exist.
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#23 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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Were you a jerk? No way! You were polite but firm and rightfully angry. That's entirely fair.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#24 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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I am a huge animal lover, and we have a large dog ourselves. With that being said, I would have been pissed off to no end! You do NOT let your large animal who has the ability to completely maul a small child run free and bound towards my offspring! While most dogs are generally stable and their temperments well known to their owners, there is always the possibility, no matter how remote, that something may spook them or hit them wrong and they will act in an unpredictable way. That's something that I know FAR better than I know your (stranger, general your) dog - as I know absolutely nothing about your dog! Except, of course, that it's coming straight for my children and I'm helpless to do anything about it. Considering that there was a dog friendly beach only a mile up the road, this isn't a matter of there not being anywhere else for them to take their dog - and heck, what dog owner doesn't love to take their dog to the beach? We always enjoyed that when we lived in Florida! I think many people forget just how powerful and what kind of damage a large dog can do to a small child, and only think that "my dog is friendly so it's not a problem".
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#25 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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I think you were fine, OP.

I think that more dog owners need to be respectful of people with fears or allergies. I am in the latter catagory.

If a dog comes up to me and sniffs me or touches any part of my body, I will break out in a rash and begin to gasp for air. I have to go home, strip, shower, wash my hair, neti pot, take even more allergy medicine than I already take on a regular basis. I even had to wash my purse after I went to meet with a lawyer for my upcoming divorce and was greeted by a german shepherd who licked me and rubbed up against me. And she wondered why I turned and ran back out the door! It is one thing to go in to an office and see a dog- like, naturally there are service dogs, but another to be licked and rubbed on by one. I think that is so wrong

I can no longer attend family functions that are not at my Mom and Dad's house because everyone in the family thinks it is okay to let their dogs jump on me and then they say "Oh we didn't know J was allergic to dog." Um, okay so you have known me for 31 years and I had and allergic reaction to your dog last Christmas/Easter, etc, and you STILL DON'T KNOW that I am allergic to dogs? How insensitive

Sorry, this is one of my buttons

ETA: I wanted to say that I am not a dog hater I like dogs. I admire them playing from a distance and will say polite things to my neighbor's dog from a distance I just don't want it to touch me.

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#26 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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I think many people forget just how powerful and what kind of damage a large dog can do to a small child, and only think that "my dog is friendly so it's not a problem".
I absolutely agree. And in fact in my days long before children my dh and I (he was my boyfriend then) had a medium-sized dog who was very well trained and well behaved and we always walked her off-leash. I just didn't *get it* at that stage in my life that other people might be afraid, or just unappreciative of my dog coming up to them or their kids. I figured she was a sweetheart so what's the big deal. Now that I'm older and a mom myself I have the opposite opinion. When I bring my dog in public (well, that is if we still had a dog) my first responsibility is to keep other people and their property safe - and safe-feeling (if that makes sense).

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#27 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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I'm not afraid of dogs, but I personally don't care how friendly a dog is, unless I go up to you and ask if I may pet your dog, then I likely don't want your dog around me. I don't want to be licked. I don't want to get dog hair on my clothes, I don't want dogs to jump on me, or sniff my crotch. Nor do I want dogs to do these things to my child. It seems a lot (not all) dog owners feel that because they love their dog and their dog doesn't bite that everyone should be fine having their dog just come running up to them. This isn't the case. A lot of people don't care, some people find it annoying, and others are terrified or allergic. There is a reason off leash areas exist.


I love my dog, but I realize that everyone else may not be as entertained by her as I am. I HATE it when people ignore leash laws. I hate being approached by an off-leash dog when I have mine on a leash. It makes me nervous and my dog gets defensive, and, yes, dog fights have happened.

I think you were perfectly civil to the irresponsible dog owner. I don't think I would have been so nice.
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#28 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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I love my dog, but I realize that everyone else may not be as entertained by her as I am. I HATE it when people ignore leash laws. I hate being approached by an off-leash dog when I have mine on a leash. It makes me nervous and my dog gets defensive, and, yes, dog fights have happened.
I feel the same way. My dog is well controlled, well trained and on leash. I live in a densely populated city and I am regularly approached by off leash dogs. I don't give a hoot if your dog is friendly (and most of the time the dog is NOT friendly-people are generally clueless about dog to dog interactions). I am not impressed with your "well" trained dog. If he is so well trained how come he is ignoring your repeated pleadings to "come?"

Leash laws exist for a reason and I obey them.

Obviously this is a huge pet peeve of mine and I LOVE dogs.

But, I am also well aware that the 3-5% of horrid or irresponsible dog owners have such a huge impact on the rest of us that sometimes it seems that all I do to ensure me and my dog are part of a civil society is all for naught.
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#29 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 06:30 PM
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I'd be like, "no harm, no foul" with a dog.

But eeww, keep your cat away from me!!!!!!!!!!!

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#30 of 82 Old 03-20-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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I am wary of strange dogs in general and would have spelled out my concerns to the dog's owners.

Mama to Raina (9/06) and Peter (8/09)!
ErinBird is offline  
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