Observations of dog walkers

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 13 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #1277

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    As we head into the summer months, we are faced with those infamous enemies of running society: dog walkers who don’t care about leash laws. As I was out running in Minooka Park, a park that is infamous in the Waukesha area for blatant violations of leash laws, I noticed some interesting things.

    During the summer months, you can’t go into Minooka Park without encountering at least one unleashed dog chasing you. It was bad enough during the summer of 2002 that my mother, the ultimate dog lover, bought me a bottle of pepper spray to carry on my runs when I go to that park. I noticed that, most of the time, over half of the dogs in the park were off leash. People who walk their dogs in that park truly act like the park is their back yard and they have every right to let their dogs do whatever the hell they want, whether they are endangering or scaring the hell out of other park users or not.

    This past Saturday, I did my Minooka Park 12 miler and came across three dogs (one dog twice for a total of four encounters). Two of the dogs were on leash and, as soon as the owners saw me, they tightened the lead and got out of my path so I could pass without incident. The third dog (two encounters) was off leash but the owner whistled and made a short call as soon as she saw me and the dog went right to her and acted like I wasn’t even there. Two encounters with that dog and nothing that even resembled an incident.

    So what is the observation I’m making here? Something I’ve made in other areas but is so clear in the haven for dog owners who don’t give a damn. The people who use the parks regardless of conditions respect other users and make sure their dogs aren’t scaring or endangering others. It’s the fair weather users who don’t care about anyone else and act like the park is their own back yard.

  • #13713

    Anonymous

    various experiences… first I am a dog lover, I own a dog, I keep my dog on a leash when out walking or running with him… he he friendly and that is half his problem he is VERY friendly, he wants to sit in you lap even when you are standing and he weighs 75 pounds…

    there are two kids of dogs, nice & not nice… even nice dogs can jump on you and paw at you leaving cuts or bruises, I’ve had both… not nice dogs, well, I’ve been lucky to only have some torn clothing…

    the real problem is the people who are amazed that their dog did anything that resembles damage…hey, it’s an animal with claws and TEETH…

    and I have horror stories of walking with my kid when he was little and this guy’s dog running towads him… I got between the dog and my kid and screamed at the dog… what was bizarre was that the owner was insulted… I tried to explain that my kid (toddler) didn’t have enough teeth to do any damage to his dog and as far as I knew the leash laws applied only to dogs… he went on about how ‘his dog was under control” but I said that no, when he had called him he hadn’t even slowed down.. we avoided that park after that…

    it’s a shame that they don’t make people pass a test before they give them a dog license… I’ve seen trained dogs too, but usually their owners also know how to obey the law..

    -r

  • #13714

    Zeke
    Member

    The people who use the parks regardless of conditions respect other users and make sure their dogs aren’t scaring or endangering others. It’s the fair weather users who don’t care about anyone else and act like the park is their own back yard.

    Hmmm, Ryan I think that’s a pretty big generalization.

    I’m the owner of a 75 lb golden retriever. I walk her twice a day everyday and I have noticed a few things. Once the weather gets warmer, there are a hell of a lot more dogs in my neighborhood. I even have neighbors that have big dogs, but they never walk them, they just leave them in their fenced in yard. Last weekend I was going by a house that has 2 big labs. The owner waited until the snow melted to pick up the poop. Let’s see, 2 dogs, twice a day, 90 days = 360 piles.

    I keep my dog on her lease during every walk. I will take her off if we’re in our back yard and the neighbor kids are not out. This winter I have also take her off at the local park while my daughter slides and swings. And I only do that because no one is ever at the park. I do keep an eye on the paths to make sure no one else is walking by. If so, she immediately goes back on the lease since she’s one of those overly friendly dogs that thinks everyone wants to meet her and pet her.

    Oh yeah, just to keep this running related, I do run with her sometimes.

  • #13715

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    r-at-work, you hit on a big thing. The problem seems to be that everyone thinks that “MY” dog is friendly. Well, you know what? I have a bite mark on my left hip that says even friendly dogs can get a little too excited around people who are running. My biggest fear when seeing a dog running toward me is to hear the owner say “Don’t worry, he just wants to play.” As soon as I hear that, I’m preparing for the worst.

    Zeke, I know this is a generalization but it’s just a trend I’m noticing. In fact, your examples seem to support the idea that this trend exists. You are the owner who cares about your dog and takes her out on a regular basis to walk, no matter what the conditions are like. You’re also the one who, if you let her off a leash, is always watching for someone coming and ready to control her if someone goes by. These are the people I see out in the park on less than ideal days like Saturday and these are the people I am very appreciative of. In fact, I’d go as far as saying I wish all dog owners were like you. Your neighbor doesn’t care about the dogs as much and, by not cleaning up the yard, is also showing a lack of concern for how the dogs are affecting the neighbors. This is the same type of person who I would expect to see out in the park only on sunny, 70 degree days letting the dogs run loose with no concern about who the dogs might scare or hurt.

  • #13716

    Anonymous

    the only fella I like to antagonize is that poor guy Linus. When I see him I get running and grab that blanket and start running like there is no tomorrow.

    Chasing anyone else is just a bore. I’d rather find a nice game of bird bath hockey or shoot down the English as I fly my World War I Ace above the English channel!

    Your pal Snoopy.

  • #13717

    Anonymous

    right… in fact the original post was against the OWNERS who unleash their dogs on the rest of us, runners in particular, who look like prey to those perfectly well behaved predators…

    my dog is very nice, but being half border collie he is obsessive about herding.. he used to not let my kids out of our front yard… knock them over and drag them back to the yard… grab the older one’s leg as he biked by… very gentle, very determined… never broke skin or even ripped clothes… but did whatever it took and I’ll bet he would try the same with a runner given the chance, I don’t give him that chance…

    -r

  • #13718

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    r-

    I grew up with collies. My mother raised and showed AKC registered collies. Now, she has a sheltie. I know all too well about herding dogs. They wouldn’t purposely harm anyone but run past a herding dog and it will be on your heels. Last year, I got tripped by a sheltie when it got under my feet (those little guys are fast for their short legs, too).

    You’re right, this is nothing about the dogs themselves. I love dogs. As I mentioned, my mother – the biggest dog lover in the world – was the one who bought me the pepper spray. I have never used it because I have trouble with the idea of spraying an innocent dog. I’d much rather spray the negligent owner who doesn’t keep control of his/her dog in a public place.

    This is also not about all dog owners. In fact, my original post was about patterns I have been noticing with dog owners. Namely, the fact that the owners who show that they care most for their dogs are the same ones who also show the most respect for other users of public areas. The ones who take their dogs out for a walk even when the weather isn’t perfect because they know the dog has to get out and exercise are the same ones who keep very good control over their dogs in public places. It’s the ones who would only bother taking their dogs out for exercise when it’s convenient and ideal for them to go outside who don’t care about the concerns of others. Again, this wouldn’t hold 100% of the time but it’s a definite trend I have noticed and one that I’m not all that surprised to see.

  • #13719

    Run
    Member

    Last summer on a hot day I went out for a run in my neighborhood, not even in a park, and I had a run in with a dog. Let me preface what happened next by saying that I love dogs, but the leash laws are there for a reason. I was runing down the sidewalk and I saw a woman with her golden retreiver on the sidewalk ahead of me coming towards me, no leash. She snaps her fingers for the dog to heal, but the dog disregarded this “command” and started towards me. I kept running and tried to go around but the dog jumped at me and completely floored me. I had no shirt on and went down on the sidewalk. Then the dog wants to play. I imediatley got up and kept running and the owner actually said nothing!! She just looked at me in shock. So I told her that maybe she should keep her F-ing dog on a leash, and still she says nothing. Whats my point? I have no idea, just thought the story fit the post.

    Tim

  • #13720

    danm
    Member

    Like most everyone here who has bagged a lot of miles, I have had a run in with many dogs.

    Once bitten by my next door neighbor’s little rat (Bijon), I am now very careful and usually do not have nice things to say to people if their dog is not leashed and causing me concern.

    I run very early in the morning and one morning I was running down the prairie path trail predawn when i spotted a man walking with an Akita. The dog is not leashed but just running from side to side sniffing and playing. I saw them way up the trail. I kept running and as i drew closer I yelled, “call your dog, please!”

    Well the dog instantly drew attention to me then bolted right for me. I stopped and turned away and the dog jumped up and put his paws on my shoulders and started snipping (albeit playfully) at my face. I twisted around and it jumped down and ran around me until it faced me and did the same thing. Of course, I am shaking in my boots and yelling at this guy to call off his dog.

    He is trying to call the dog off but it wants no part of him. The dog easilt outweighed me by 20 or more lbs and was as tall as me (6 feet). Finally he got him down and I screamed bloody murder at the guy. He claimed he was a cop and that it was a police dog trained in some special way. Yeah right.

    About two weeks go by and I have not run down the trail but only during daylight when I finally decided to venture down again, predawn. Sure enough the same guy is there with his dog. Same thing happens only this time I know what the dog is going to do. Once the dog is off of me I tell him I am calling the cops. I ran the fastest mile or so to my house praying I would see a cop car (but didn’t) and called the police. I described the man and the dog.

    To this day I don’t know what happened but I have never seen the man or dog since. I never assume a dog is going to be nice. I always tell the owner of an unleashed dog that makes a move towards me the next time you see your dog will be in the pound.

    Dan

  • #13721

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    Run wrote:
    Last summer on a hot day I went out for a run in my neighborhood, not even in a park, and I had a run in with a dog. Let me preface what happened next by saying that I love dogs, but the leash laws are there for a reason. I was runing down the sidewalk and I saw a woman with her golden retreiver on the sidewalk ahead of me coming towards me, no leash. She snaps her fingers for the dog to heal, but the dog disregarded this “command” and started towards me. I kept running and tried to go around but the dog jumped at me and completely floored me. I had no shirt on and went down on the sidewalk. Then the dog wants to play. I imediatley got up and kept running and the owner actually said nothing!! She just looked at me in shock. So I told her that maybe she should keep her F-ing dog on a leash, and still she says nothing. Whats my point? I have no idea, just thought the story fit the post.

    Tim

    I had a similar incident in late summer/early fall of 2002. A beautiful day out, I’m out for a run in the park either shortly before or right at the beginning of my taper (can’t remember for sure) and an unleashed dog tripped me. It was then standing over me, I didn’t know if it wanted to play or tear me apart so I froze until the owners got it off of me. I started running again and the dog came after me again. The owner grabbed the dog again, I started running again, and the dog came after me a third time. I swear, after your dog knocks someone down and scares him to death, wouldn’t anyone with common sense hold the dog until the person was well out of sight? This would be the second most inconsiderate owner I ever came across. The most inconsiderate involves an unleashed dog in a no dogs allowed area tripping me and the owner threatening to sue me for vet bills if the dog was hurt. I threatened to sue him for hospital bills, noting the two laws that he was clearly breaking.

    I don’t know why I have so many dog incidents. Maybe because I don’t let irresponsible owners scare me away from otherwise great places to run. One of these days, I’m going to get seriously hurt if I don’t learn my lesson.

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