Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Off lead etiquette

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Sophiex, Jun 4, 2010.


  1. Sophiex

    Sophiex PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    22
    Oscar is well behaved off lead. His recall is good and he won't approach without permission. I do admit that with other dogs, he is extremely playful, although when I call him away, he will come instantly.

    I never know what to do when I see another dog, especially if they are on a lead, coming in our direction. Do I attach Oscar's lead or not? I call him to heel, until the other owner gives me the nod. I did go through a stage of putting him on the lead but wouldn't want to offend another dog owner by suggesting I am afraid of their dog. Oscar is a toy poodle and has a penchant for the much bigger dogs. :p What do you do?
     
  2. slbrown2108

    slbrown2108 PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    770
    Likes Received:
    4
    hey


    Glad to hear oscar is so well behaved off lead. I never usually put Maisie on her lead as she is so well behaved also. I never get a chance really to put her on the lead if another dog coems as she usuaklly spots it before me lol. If i do spot it first i will either put her on the lead until we get past or just approach her in time and tell her to lie down until the dog passes but this doesnt normally work so generally she just approaches offlead. She is not aggressive to other dogs just extremely freindly.
     
  3. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    I would call your dog back right away and ask the other owner if they are comfortable, and I'll tell you why: you could be meeting my dog! :eek:

    My dog has issues with other dogs. (We've done years of training and behavior consultations and she is just never going to be reliable with other dogs.) She is very well-trained to avoid them while on lead. I only walk her on lead in places in which I expect other dogs to also be on lead (due to leash-laws, park rules, etc.) for the safety of other dogs.

    So if your adorable little guy was somehow able to run up to my dog before you could call him back, your dog could get hurt. I have sort of developed eyes in the back of my head after all these years and cross street, go up people's driveways or straight up onto their lawns, etc. to be absolutely sure that we are avoiding other dogs long before their owners have even noticed us in most cases. But it is harder for me to protect you when your dog is off-lead in a space in which all should have been able to assume every dog would be on lead.

    The question of where and when to have your own dog off-lead is unfortunately not only about your dog's training. It's also about people like me who have a dog-aggressive dog, helping you to stay away from us and keep your dog safe. :cool:

    And I am never offended when someone leashes their dogs or takes my advice to stay clear. I'm grateful! You are simply showing a sign of respect to other owners and that you clearly intend to control your dog when you leash him voluntarily. I can't tell you how many people I've had to persuade that my dog is really not a dog their dog should meet. There's usually no time for that if the other dog is off-lead!
     
    #3 JessiesGirl, Jun 4, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  4. Mr Kipling

    Mr Kipling PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    3
    I agree with jessiesgirl, my dog is a rescue and was never socialised, we've done dog classes which have helped but she still has issues. never more so than when on the beach where other dogs are off lead. my dog is on an extending lead to allow her some freedom but if approached by a dog off lead ( this happens every day, sometimes several times a day ) she will bark and if the dog is close enough attack. Before this happens I will shout and wave at the approaching dog to warn it and the owner that it is not welcome but owners NEVER call their dogs back or come get them. I've gotten very good at preventing contact but if there is more than one dog approaching it's difficult.

    I would say that dogs are on a lead in open spaces for a reason and permssion should always be sought before allowing approach, if you can't call your dog back it simply should NOT be off lead - full stop. People look at me like my dog is insane yet it is their dog which has approached without invitation and in the face of obvious dissuasion.

    It's really good that you have asked about etiquette as obviously it is something I feel strongly about. I'd love to let my girl roam free but dare not for fear of her attacking another dog. I am a responsible owner, she's on a lead at all times and will not ever approach another dog ( I won't allow it ) but I am not responsible for the actions of other owners.

    Bottom line always ask permission and expect people to say no if their dog is on a lead.
     
    #4 Mr Kipling, Jun 4, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  5. flufffluff39

    flufffluff39 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    31
    If I am up the field I leave them off the lead but in the park I keep them on.
     
  6. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    22,790
    Likes Received:
    10,514
    I think the OPs dog sounds perfectly well behaved to be off lead. If it always comes back when asked and they dont go up to strange on lead dogs what is the problem??:confused:
    My lot also dont go up to strange dogs without permission and frankly if I leashed them all and they panicked then I could stand on one and break a leg or cause internal damage so its not a whole lot safer!!:)
     
  7. flufffluff39

    flufffluff39 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    31
    My dogs don't approach other dogs either. It always seems to be the other persons dog that comes to them. I love that when your playing with your dog and some dog owners walking along day dreaming and letting his dog run up to yours :) How does he know my dogs are alright with other dogs when he shouts," its ok he/shes alright". :lol:
     
  8. Sophiex

    Sophiex PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    22
    To clarify, my dog wouldn't approach your dog or any dog. I just wondered if it was nessecary to put him on lead. I suppose I should, as dogs are unpredictable and as trained as he is, Oscar may very well approach the dog, even though he hasn't before.

    When I have put the lead on him as we approached, the owners have been quite snooty; "my dog is harmless, he won't hurt your dog!" but how am I meant to know? I end up looking like a neurotic small dog owner!
     
  9. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    I dogwalk as a job. My absolute priority is protecting the dogs I walk. When I see someone's dog off-lead in a space in which they legally are required to be on-lead, now I have to pay attention to you and your potentially out-of-control dog instead of focusing on the dog I am being paid to handle.

    The fact that OP appears to have a bullet-proof recall on her dog is not really the point here. How do I know that when I see her dog? :confused1: I have absolutely no way to know, so now you are a problem for me, regardless of whose dog I am walking. ( I am not implying that OP is allowing her dog off-lead where he legally should be leashed, just making a point here.)

    And if I had a nickel for every off-lead dog who did something unexpected while their owner said "Wow, he's never done that before!" I could retire today. ;)

    If you are allowing your dog off-lead in a legally allowed location, Godspeed. Everyone knows to anticipate off-lead dogs in that area and they should only have their own off-lead if he's also got a bullet-proof recall and great social skills with dogs, people and children.

    But when your dog is off-lead in an illegal location, you're being rude and disrespectful to every other dog owner.
     
    nicola1980 likes this.
  10. flufffluff39

    flufffluff39 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    31
    Don't think I am having a go at you!! I'm not. Just moaning about the people who walk their dogs where I do :D They're muppets.
     
  11. JessiesGirl

    JessiesGirl PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    17
    You are doing the right thing. If the other dog owner is being rude to you or seems offended, then he's just had incredible luck so far. Once he meets the wrong dog (and he will, given enough time) he will only respect you for taking control of your own dog. :)

    And I wouldn't much worry about the opinions of people who have such poor people skills, anyway. You are protecting them as much as your own dog. :)
     
    #11 JessiesGirl, Jun 4, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  12. EmCHammer

    EmCHammer PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    477
    I have a dog that can be funny with other dogs - I know him well enough to know what types of dogs he will be OK with now - hates bouncy young dogs, likes VERY big steady dogs, loves little dogs and can tolerate them being bouncy, likes oldies. He is alot worse on lead if a dog runs up to him but will ignore them on lead as long as they ignore him, but at least I can control him then.

    However if I am not sure about a dog I put him on to be on the safe side and it is much appreciated when other owners control their dogs. It doesn't bother me how people control their dogs be it on lead or just with excellent training but to me ettiquette says if another dog is on the lead yours shouldn't go up to it.

    Sometimes I see people with dogs on leads and they say "oh its OK its cos he has bad recall" and I explain that mine can be grumpy on lead so I always give people the curtesy of a wide birth when see them on a lead based on what my dog can be like.

    On the other hand my boy LOVES small cutie dogs like yorkies and westies (he got seen off by two chihuahua's the other day ha ha) and I always feel disappointed when owners of smaller dogs see him and put them on as its great socialisation for him... but can understand it and often smile hello and maybe they will get to know us and we can let them interact in the future.

    If someone says anything to you I would explain that its good manners for them to be on if another dog is until you know in case of health or social issues but then can always ask if its ok to let them off to say hello.
     
  13. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    19,820
    Likes Received:
    388
    I always put my dogs on lead if I see another dog, wether its on or off its lead. My dogs do have great recall and fantastic focus on a toy they have been playing with, but I wont chance it here.
    Before we moved I could have just put Dixie on her lead and taken Dave's stick and get him interested in it, then throw it as we were passing the person and dog approaching us, I did several times and it worked, but that was up a quiet country road.
    Here there are no enclosed spaces and I have not met any other dog owners (I knew every dog in the village before we moved) so I dont know what they are like.

    I have seen a dog get attacked by a gsd because it ran off to play with it and the gsd got a fright. I have seen a dog get hit by a car because it ran off to see a dog, got shooed away and ran into the road. I have also lost a dog because he slipped his collar to say hello to another dog it took me 4 days to find him!
     
  14. karen09

    karen09 PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    3
    hi everyone my dogs recall is getting better apart from when he spots another dog wether its on the lead or not. if i know it i let him say hello but have trouble with his recall when the other dogs is on the lead and i know its not friendly.

    whats the best way of avoiding this problem and whats best way of getting him to leave other dogs alone if i say so?

    cheers
     
  15. Sophiex

    Sophiex PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    22
    That's why I think I should put him on the lead when we see other dogs. I do trust him but dogs can be unpredictable.

    From your post, I'm guessing you're from America....? It's not illegal for us to have dogs off lead in the park. I tend to let mine off in the fields because I've heard stories of a few small dogs excaping through the rails and getting onto the train track. (The park backs on to the railway line.)
     
  16. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,583
    Likes Received:
    579
    I call mine back and put on the lead. As much as I trust my dogs not to approach they are not 100% bomb proof and I don't want anything kicking off.

    Today I was walking Sky down a busy street and a man was in his garden with an offlead collie (the gates were open). The dog must have smelled Sky coming and came down the path friendly to greet us. Sky didn't see him though (there was a highish wall she couldn't see over) and got the fright of her life when he came round the corner.

    I'm glad Sky is very friendly as it could have ended much worse.
     
  17. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    22,790
    Likes Received:
    10,514
    I guess Im wondering if those people whose dogs are always leashed when another dog comes along get to socialize their dogs or how they enjoy a proper walk??:confused:
    (Im not being rude, genuinely interested!)
    Mine are only off lead in fields or parks where it is legal and everybody walks their dogs. Im wondering how it works. Do you pt a lead on as soon as you see another dog?, how far away does it have to be before the lead can come off?, what if the park is full of dog walkers? do you then keep your dog on the lead all the time??
    Maybe its coz I live in a built up area with a high percentage of dog walkers but I think Id get back ache from all that bending for on/off/on/off lead!!:lol:
     
  18. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,583
    Likes Received:
    579
    They do get to play, I just don't like them rushing is as you don't how any of the dogs will react ;)

    I don't walk my dogs in parks or anything like that (no dog parks here). I'm usually up in the mountains.
     
  19. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    22,790
    Likes Received:
    10,514
    Ah, you probably dont meet too many other dog walkers??:)
    Any park Im in will have at least 2 other dog walkers within sight and I will walk passed about 3 others just going round the smallest park near me. It can get like Picadilly Circus with a parade of dogs in the more popular parks!!:D
    I wonder what people with dog parks do??:confused:Do you let your dog off coz its an off lead area and so the dogs should be ok or do you not go coz you cant trust other peoples dogs without knowing them??
     
  20. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    21,583
    Likes Received:
    579
    On an average day (that's both walks) I will come across maybe 6 dog walkers. More in the summer as we have a lot of fair weather walkers but I usually see the same ones.

    When I lived by the beach there would be loads but I don't take my girls to the beach often now as it's too far to walk, especially with Luna. If I do go we get the bus.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice