Dog walking etiquette

Gingersmum

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Just moved to a new house which has a fabulous dog walking country park right on my doorstep. I have 2 dogs 1 large young dog and 1 small older dog, both are castrated and friendly. When I walk over these fields I let my dogs run loose, their recall is good and they don't cause trouble with other dogs or people. Younger dog will run up to other dogs and will play if they are up for a game, otherwise moves on and continues his walk.
My problem is when I come across other people who have their dogs on lead. Most people have their dogs running loose but do I really need to recall and put my dogs on lead just because they have their dogs on lead ?
Had an incident this morning where a young mum had 1 dog loose, 1 dog on a lead and a young baby in a front sling. Our walking paths met and my small dog obviously decided to sniff the bottom of her dog on lead. Her dog attached mine and held onto his skin making him scream, baby started screaming and she kind of leant forward into this mellay which kind of put the baby near to the dog scrap. Her dog let my dog go and he ran off, I kind of kept my dogs back and asked if she was ok (baby was screaming). Nether of us 'apologised' but I kind of felt that she thought it was my fault for letting my dog casually sniff hers ?
Do people really expect to continually recall and put (non problematic) dogs back rather than just be able to walk and enjoy ?
 

wren123

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Sorry but you are deluded if you don't think you are at fault. If a dog is on the lead them yours shouldn't go near it.
 

Pinkvboots

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I always put my dog on a lead if I see other dogs, so I would expect other dog owners to do the same, my dog has been chased quite badly by other dogs in the past and through panic she just runs and has almost ended up in the road, not all dogs are friendly and not all dogs like other dogs in there space if your dog had been on a lead the incident would not have happened.
 

AmyMay

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I walk my dog off lead all the time. However if I meet someone with their dog on a lead then I call mine and put her back on the lead. My dog is incredibly friendly, but of course not all those that you may meet are - and if they're on a lead that's often why.

Sounds like a nasty incident. In your shoes I'd have apologised profusely.
 

Roxylola

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I think it depends where you are and what the "done" thing is. I walk in the woods most days and most dogs we meet are off lead and friendly. If I go to the country park more dogs are on leads, may not be friendly, there are children around etc then I keep mine on leads or under very close control. One of mine won't approach any other dogs at all, one will approach but stays at a distance from lead on dogs until she gets a cue to approach. Under these circumstances, with her having a dog and a sling and baby etc I would have called my dogs away personally. Of course she is going to try and separate the squabbling dogs it's natural to do that especially if the other owner is a distance away.

Personally, I just don't go to the country park!
 

PucciNPoni

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Personally I walk my dogs on lead unless I am where I can see that I'm alone, but I never let my off lead dogs approach ANY other dog and I get really annoyed if my on lead dogs are approached by dogs off lead. Dogs on lead will naturally feel vulnerable to those off. However I would feel really sorry for any solo dog getting ganged up by my trio, hence mine stay on lead.
 

CorvusCorax

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Yes, you should recall if you see dogs on lead. If they have good recall, as you say, it shouldn't be a huge issue for you.
Dog sounds like it was protecting it's pack.
You can teach your dog a lesson, another owner can, or another dog can. I know which I prefer for my own dog.
 

RunToEarth

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The lady in question sounds incredibly reserved - if someone had allowed their off lead dog to wonder up to mine and then left me to separate the two after they were not willing to recall their dog, and as such forced me to put a baby in a vulnerable position, I would have snapped their flipping head off. You were completely at fault.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Sorry OP but if you were in my area and let your dogs come bouncing up to mine off-lead and stick their noses in my two's faces, you'd get more than a mouthful from me I'm afraid.

If I have MY dogs on a lead, and under close control, then I see that as a message to other dog walkers to PLEASE KEEP THEIR DOGS BACK and refrain from coming near. That surely is easy enough for anyone to understand?

My old rescue dog, bless her, used to get terribly stressed when people let their dogs do this to her; she'd got significant hearing loss, and sight loss, was old and frail and therefore felt vulnerable, and it used to really stress her out terribly when other, younger, dogs were allowed to come anywhere near her and come into her space.

My little terrier is very territorial and protective, and always has been and I suspect (he's six now) always will be; if people are around, and their dogs are off the lead, I warn them what will happen if they let theirs near him, he will snap at them. I have to keep him on a lead for this reason - and unbelievably, in spite of me asking specifically, and nicely, "please don't let your dogs come near", people still do, and THEN complain if their precious Fido gets snapped at. FFS!

I've got one of the "Yellow Dog" tabards which says clearly in huge black letters on yellow, "My Dog Needs Space" and even this doesn't mean that people will keep their dogs back!! You wouldn't believe it, but people still let their dogs near and blatently ignore it!

Thank god you are not in my area OP, sorry if this offends but I would count you in as one of those inconsiderate dog walkers I'm ranting about (a sheer nightmare to come across TBH) and you'd get the rough edge of my tongue for sure!
 
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MurphysMinder

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I am sorry, but yes it was totally your fault. Your dog is not "non-problematic", it approaches and sniffs other dogs, whose owners are responsibly keeping them on lead, so therefore it is causing a problem.
 

Gingersmum

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Thanks for replies - might add that her off lead dog came over to my off lead dogs way before before my dog sniffed her on lead dog. Wouldn't have been time to put mine on lead as she came round corner and was right next to me before I could see her.
 

Possum

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When I see other dogs on lead, I choose to put my dogs on for their protection unless I know the dog in question is only on lead because the owner has no recall (and we see a few of these!). I have 2 friendly, well-socialised and well behaved dogs, and I want to keep them that way - allowing your dog to approach an on-lead dog with no knowledge of why the dog is not loose is foolhardy IMO, even leaving out the 'etiquette' part of it. If I'm walking in an area where people can suddenly pop out of joining footpaths etc, I only let the dog with a reliable 'stop' offlead.

I can totally understand why the other dog owner was upset, I'm all for people letting their dogs loose to have a play and I encourage it with my two, but if someone, especially someone vulnerable with a small child, has got their dog on lead then it's my responsibility to make sure that my dogs don't disturb them.
 

Fools Motto

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Off lead verses off lead - not a problem.
Off lead verses on lead - problem, resolved by control to heal or putting it on lead.

A lot of dogs are lead aggressive, so that it one thing, others are on lead due to poor recall, or restricted exercise - you can ask owners if they would like their dogs to meet, I have done that before.
And of course there are those dogs who are not socialised, and are on lead for everyone's protection.
 
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fankino04

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Sorry but I have to agree with everyone else, your dog should be recalled back to you as soon as you see an onlead dog for all the reasons stated, in a popular dog walking area they should stay close to you if approaching areas where dogs "appear from no where". I'm very surprised that the owner was as reserved as she was, I've had grief for my 2 approaching off lead dogs to say hi!
 

joulsey

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Its one of my biggest bug bears! I have an almost 11 month old GSD who is fine with other dogs. He has brilliant re-call. As soon as I see another dog regardless, I put him on the lead as I just do not know if their dog is ok with other dogs, plus he is a very bouncy big dog and often other walkers are TBH scared of him. Often as they approach I will say he is ok with other dogs and if they agree that their is ok too, they will have a sniff and then I'll let him back off the lead and everything is good. Last week I put him straight on the lead as I saw a woman with 3 JRT dogs on a path we was about to join. All off the lead. Woman yells over and says one dog isn't good with other dogs yet proceeded carry on walking and not put the dog on lead?

My old bitch was not good with other bitches. So she would also go straight on the lead and it was so frustrating when other dog walkers would just leave their dog off the lead saying "oh she's fine with other dogs"....so I would have to yell " yea but mine isn't! Its just irresponsible IMO.
 

Cinnamontoast

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Do not let your loose dog approach an on lead dog. You don't know if it's on lead because it's extremely aggressive (like mine) or recovering from injury and has to be kept very quiet. Really unfortunate to allow it to approach the on lead dog, but very common round here, always accompanied with a 'It's ok, he's friendly/just wants to play'. Shame it totally stresses my dog and puts him back months.

Lesson learnt, I'm amazed the other owner didn't go ballistic at you.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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The lady in question sounds incredibly reserved - if someone had allowed their off lead dog to wonder up to mine and then left me to separate the two after they were not willing to recall their dog, and as such forced me to put a baby in a vulnerable position, I would have snapped their flipping head off. You were completely at fault.

Me too!
My current mutt has to be on a lead as recall is a (slow) work in progress, if we are anywhere away from the yard.
I get pretty annoyed when i walk her in my lunch hour and we get loose dogs sniffing her or even bouncing to play, owners grinning and saying they only want to play ..... Today one got my boot as it just wouldn't leave her alone :mad3:
 

CrazyMare

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My dog has to stay on lead, she has absolutely no recall despite lots of training!!! She loves greeting everyone and playing as well as possible on her lead. I have no problem with anyone coming up to her.

Luckily we walk in the same park every day and everyone knows each other, who is ok to approach and who isn't. She sees her friends most mornings for a sniff and bounce around
 

MargotC

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Please never, ever let your loose dog approach a dog walking on a leash, or indeed any dog you might meet, without explicit consent from the owner and a timely warning beforehand.

My lovely, darling Golden retriever boy was brutally attacked twice by a loose dog (same one both times, it has now rightly been destroyed even though the owner inexplicably escaped punishment) whilst we had him on a leash. The owner came walking along a few minutes after with absolutely no control or regard for what had happened. It was only sheer luck we did not lose him to a severed artery after the last attack, he sustained several serious bites to the throat and neck, and my mother had to kick the other dog out of the way.

It took a good couple of years for him to trust other large dogs and to be able to relax out on walks again; every time a similar dog to the attacker approached he would cower, and I would be livid if anyone broke the trust we have managed to reestablish by carelessly letting their unknown and potentially aggressive dog interact with him without consent. Your dog might not be aggressive, but anyone you let it approach has no way of knowing this.

I am not precious about keeping him away from other dogs now, but I do everything to make sure it happens in controlled forms and with dogs we know. To this day I feel my heart in my throat if a loose large unknown dog comes towards us as I know mine will not fight back or stand up for himself in the event of an attack, and as a slim woman I can only do so much to separate a fight.

Mine is a worst case scenario, but the point is that these situations are entirely avoidable if all owners keep their dogs under control and separated unless otherwise agreed upon.
 

SusieT

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if its on a lead call your dogs to close control until you're past them.
As in this situation the dog on the lead is on a lead for a reason and it is rude to allow un invited contact- your young dog is ;just having a sniff' but the other dog has issues and it is not up to you to decide that the on lead dog has to interact with yhours.
 

Crazylittlemaisey

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Yes, absolutely. Having a reactive dog myself and putting my all into training her (also having a baby in carrier!) it is so frustrating when people let their dogs run up to her. How do you feel she should have acted differently? (Thought provoking rather than mean question! 😄) she was more polite than I am because every time this happens it's a set back to any training.
 

Luci07

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Another with the whole "on lead for a reason" lot. Mine are all off lead. However as I have 2 or 3 (depending on if my dog wants to come too) I always put them on a lead when I see someone else approaching. Its just a precaution but as I have Staffords I am doubly careful. "My" breed will always get blamed first. They are all heavily socialised (we have upto 12 dogs at our yard) but I am cautious. Dogs all know they have to walk behind me on footpaths as well to give me time to put them on a lead if meet other dogs. We did have one funny walk when meeting a large golden retriever who liked mine rather a lot. Owner put him on a lead, we walked off in opposite directions. Dog took off after mine. After the 3rd time when she had to retrace her footsteps and retrieve him, we gave up and spent a little time making sure all were happy.. and then carried on together!
 

Shantara

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My current puppy is fine with other dogs running up to her on-lead, as she's so dog friendly! I only have her on-lead because she is so friendly and I don't know if she'd come back from another dog yet.

My old dog, however, would have reacted in the exact same way as the dog you met. She was extremely people friendly, but chose her dogs and could get snappy. If she was off-lead, she had amazing re-call and would come back if she saw another dog approaching, she would never go to attack another dog, it was simply defensive.

People often got cross at me when their dog ran up to her and she snapped! Even in her later years after I explained that she was partially sighted and deaf!
 

Annette4

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Echo everyone else, I have on off lead and one on lead atm (on lead because he is recovering from a really nasty eye ulcer which has taken months and a small fortune to heal), he is understandably grumpy about his eye and even grumped at his best mate who sniffed at it this week. I call my off lead dog back if I spot someone if I'm walking them alone as I want anyone approaching to keep their dogs out of the way (off lead dog is muzzled which helps keep people away ;) ) but if I've got someone with me and I know the dog my mum will move away with the on lead dog so they can play. Just good manners IMO.
 

risky business

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Sorry op but this kind of thing really gets on my goat.

I have a dog that doesn't like other dogs, her recall is fantastic but unless we are alone she is strictly on the lead!

It really ticks me off time and again when on a walk some random strangers dog comes stroming over into my dog's space.. que shocked faces when she gets snappy.

One person insists on doing it every single time despite me repeatedly asking them not to! 'My dog's friendly' I don't give a rats bottom mine isn't, so respect my dog!

If it's on a lead it's on for a reason so unless you can keep your dog close by put it on a lead.
 

joulsey

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So after reading this thread, and the general thought being if the other person has their dog off the lead you are ok to leave your off lead too, I was walking at the weekend and saw a man walking with two collies, both off lead and he didn't recall of anything. One dog came bounding up, barking etc. Man did nothing still. My dog also goes up tail wagging as he is a pup and very playful. But this other dog was just barking and barking and then snapped at my dog making him yelp and run back to me. So then Im struggling to get my dog back on the lead while this bloody dog is coming over still barking and snapping at us. Owner still does sweet FA, is still walking along at his own speed and not recalling his dog. When he did catch up to us, his response was just "Oh ignore her she doesn't like any other dogs and snaps at everything, but its ok because shes a bitch"....I was lost for words, and whenever I see another dog now, on or off the lead I will be putting mine on until I know the dog IS actually ok.
 

PucciNPoni

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So after reading this thread, and the general thought being if the other person has their dog off the lead you are ok to leave your off lead too, I was walking at the weekend and saw a man walking with two collies, both off lead and he didn't recall of anything. One dog came bounding up, barking etc. Man did nothing still. My dog also goes up tail wagging as he is a pup and very playful. But this other dog was just barking and barking and then snapped at my dog making him yelp and run back to me. So then Im struggling to get my dog back on the lead while this bloody dog is coming over still barking and snapping at us. Owner still does sweet FA, is still walking along at his own speed and not recalling his dog. When he did catch up to us, his response was just "Oh ignore her she doesn't like any other dogs and snaps at everything, but its ok because shes a bitch"....I was lost for words, and whenever I see another dog now, on or off the lead I will be putting mine on until I know the dog IS actually ok.

Sad you should have to do that, but that's more or less where I am with most dogs.
 

BSL

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Mine stay on the lead because they are small and vulnerable, and we have had a lot of nasty near misses. I would like other people who choose to have their dogs off the lead to keep them away. Unfortunately we have a lot of numpties around our way who have no control over their animals and can't do this, so I choose carefully where and when I go. Such an eye opener the last few years, the number of dog owners who have no control over there animals. Sorry OP not aimed at you, just cheesed off with idiots where I live. Never realized the problems that can occur with owning tiny dogs. My ignorance, my fault. :(
 

abb123

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I'll go slightly against the grain and say that if I had a dog that was likely to bite another dog (on lead or not) it would be muzzled out in public. You have to take responsibility for your own dogs actions and with all the best will in the world there will always be situations in which dogs may end up close to each other without either owner being at fault.

If I see a dog on a lead I will always call mine to heel until we are past.
 
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