Inability to control dogs

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  • Inability to control dogs
  • Jakester

    Apologies in advance for rant. Probably correct use of capitals/punctuation and not enough random exclamation marks for a proper one though.

    We’ve just come back from a weekend in Devon, camping, which was lovely, but marred by two occasions on the same day where dogs, entirely unprovoked, went after my seven-year-old son.

    The first was at South Milton Sands. We’d gone to meet up with some family friends* who happened to be in the area. A good time was had by all, and we ended up playing a group game of beach cricket, until one of the dads (not me!) sent the ball up over the dune/cliffs. My son had been keeping wicket, in a very seven-year-old way of being easily distracted and fascinated by turns at rocks, shells, seaweed and whatever caught his eye. When the ball got hoicked over the cliff, we turned to see where it was for a moment, and he carried on his inspection of the surrounding area. He was never more than 6 feet away from us. However, he suddenly screamed and we turned around and there was a black terrier dog chasing him. He was screaming and crying and the xxxx thing was nipping at him, and even bit him on his backside as I ran over to him. The owners were a good 50ft away and clearly had no idea what their dog was up to, only being alerted to my shouts to scare the dog away. There was no attempt to apologise – indeed, they didn’t even stand up to see what the fuss was about. My son was distraught, as you’d expect a seven-year-old who’d just been bitten by a dog to be. Thankfully it was only a nip, so no physical damage done.

    We went back to the campsite, calmed him down, and got on with the rest of the day. A few hours later we went to North Sands in Salcombe, just before we were due to go to the restaurant there for supper. As we were a bit early, we went for a walk on the beach. And guess what?

    Again, another f**king dog went for him completely unprovoked. This time a black and white terrier thing – owners again 50+ feet away, goes straight for him, nipping at his heels. I ran over again to try and shoo it away, but it was having none of it. Owner shouting it’s name completely ineffectually but not bothering to try and come over and stop it. In the end I resorted to swatting it away with the shoes I was carrying, which prompted a threat from its owner. By this time my son was completely hysterical and had wet himself with fear – utterly inconsolable and shaking. When I (angrily, I admit) remonstrated with the owner, I was told apparently it was my son’s fault for not knowing “how to deal with dogs”, or our fault, for having come to “a dog beach” (rather than, as I understood it, a public beach).

    I am now lying awake, still furious at the sheer [gittishness] of these entitled ****tards who think their dog’s interests are paramount. I am sick to death of constantly having to fend off dogs when we’re out for walk while their owners croon “it’s fine, they’re only friendly” or when some muddy hound jumps up as I’m walking to work in a suit “they’re only saying hello”. I’m sick of the barking of the new neighbours’ two dogs at the front who spend their waking hours in a garden no bigger than my front room, and go mental if I have the temerity to walk out my own front door and down my garden path. I’m sick to the eye teeth of the chunts at the back who have two dogs which go spare if I have the temerity to walk to my garage to get my bike out.

    In short, I am sick of this culture where dog owners’ interests outweigh the rest of us. I have no issue with well-trained dogs, but sadly they seem to be in the very small minority these days.

    Sorry for this (probably sub-standard) rant.

    *To put into context, said friends had a dog with them, which was well behaved, came when called and was kept in sight at all times.

    Premier Icon v8ninety

    That’s a properly shit day you’ve had there. I can only sympathise and agree.


    I was told apparently it was my son’s fault for not knowing “how to deal with dogs”, or our fault, for having come to “a dog beach” (rather than, as I understood it, a public beach).

    Either of those two dogs would have been sent packing with a toe in the bollocks if that had been my kid!
    And as for the dickhead owners with a sense of entitlement carrying its own postcode, I’m not sure I’d have been able to maintain your level of restraint; I admire your self-control, I really do.
    Perhaps it might be an idea to buy one of those Jif Lemon juice things that you squirt onto pancakes, and in future squirt the animal with it; it’ll certainly distract it a fair bit, and maybe use it on the owners as well if they kick off…

    Premier Icon seosamh77

    you should have executed the dogs there and then.


    I agree, its unacceptable behaviour by the dog owners.

    However, I’d gently suggest that perhaps you could help avoid this traumatic experience turning into a long term fear by finding a friend, or a local STWr with a well trained dog and introducing your son.

    If he has the confidence to not run away (because let’s face it, it’s impossible to outrun a dog at that age) and perhaps shout or shoo the dog away if it’s not wanted, that would help in the future. If he runs, the dog is much less likely to obey it’s owners calls because it’s having great fun chasing something (whether playfully or aggressively)


    I am the owner of and love dogs in general, however both those dogs would have received a volley to the head regardless of the owner. My dog is a bastid with other dogs and would fight to the death with some but not others and for that reason he is under control all the time. Makes me laugh when idiot owners let their dogs run up to him after repeated warnings about how not to let their dogs do so. Some people are just downright self entitled and it’s probably the same **** who pull out in front of you when driving.
    As above sorry to hear about your son bit contact with some good dogios sooner rather than later would be a good thing.


    The owners are clearly at fault here. Our dog is pretty soft and loves kids, but we went to the 2nd beach you mentioned (isn’t that where there’s a nice beach cafe with a BBQ?) and I was paranoid about keeping her close to me and leaving kids alone.

    Molly wouldn’t ever bite children – but if they run away she thinks they want to play and chases them. A great game unless you don’t want to be chased by a dog! Even if you call her you can’t guarantee she’ll stop chasing – but then I wouldn’t be 50 yards away doing nothing about it. You’d be within your rights to swat her away with shoes in my mind.

    I second the thought of getting your little boy to spend some time with friendly dogs. My mates boys (6 and 3)Were really nervous of dogs so they’ve been coming round to see Molly and spend some time playing with her. Made sure they know how to tell the dog to get down if she jumps up etc.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Section 2, I think, of the Dangerous Dogs Act. A dog must be under control (not necessarily on a lead) at all times in a public place.

    It’s pretty **** simple.

    Premier Icon siwhite

    Both those incidents as described fall under the Dangerous Dogs Act – prosecution for the owners and possible destruction of the dog.


    There seems to be a thing about dogs and beaches a bit like small children and supermarkets

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1

    You have my sympathies, awful for your son and for your family. I’m fairly sure i would have kicked the first dog into the sea and probably done the same to the second.

    I have a very strong memory of being chased by a dog when I was young (and a goose actually, not at the same time !) and I remember my frustration/terror at the owner doing exactly as you describe. Gits!

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    Molly wouldn’t ever bite children

    Sounds familiar. 🙄

    Too many dogs around that are treated like babies, and left to roam as they please.

    Agree with dispatching the big boot into it’s baws.

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    An experience yesterday while out on a ride. Descending down a hill shortly to go up and I see and entire family strung across a country road with a dog weaving back and forth.

    Half way down and they haven’t moved. May heads now saying “surely they’ve seen me, right? (My kit is bright red/white). No movement, dog still scampering about.

    50m away with m,y hands on the brake the two kids saunterer over to the verge and I’m already thinking – someone will control the dog, right?

    But now. I come to halt in the middle of the road with 2 adults taking up the right lane and the dog “eagerly” yapping around my cleats as it headed straight for the bike. A conversation ensure where I point out that they are on a main road with a vehicle approaching and they’ve not only endangered themselves but have a dog out of control in front of the vehicle. But no, apparently the dog has “…every right to run around freely in the countryside…”


    Premier Icon tomd

    Sounds rubbish OP, luckily I’ve only had one such run in with our toddler on the beach. Dog was way out of control running around my child then tried to grab the spade off her which resulted in me stamping on spade to stop dog running off it. The owners went mental because from a distance they thought I’d booted their dog. Frank exchange was had on the verge of violence, luckily the old boy was fat and slow.

    We’ve got a lot of beaches round our way and it is a big issue. Saw a belter last week – out of control dog pished in someones little kiddie shelter thing. The owners weren’t too fussed – little tiddles only wanted to play after all! Asshats.

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless

    I hate walking our dogs on beaches, it seems most dog owners think dog ownership rules don’t apply on beaches and can let their dog roam and be a pain in the @rse for sensible/responsible dog owners and the general public at large.

    Feel sorry that the OP’s boy has had to experience this, it makes all dogs/owners look bad when we’re not. Hope your boy and you have a positive doggy experience soon.


    As said dangerous dogs act but it MUST be reported as until it is reported the owners will not have had a black mark against the dog so know the dog is relatively safe if the dog had already been reported they would have taken it a lot more seriously(probably would have been on a lead) Sorry to sound harsh but you not reporting it makes you part of the problem as the dog will continue to chase small children and owners maintain their self entitlement. My dog was attacked this year by a staffie and I was swithering about reporting it then spoke to a colleague who told me his dog had been attacked by another dog he did not report it as the dog ‘had never done this before’ only to find out from others a few weeks later the dog had on more than one occasion, staffie got reported so at least its on councils radar (and the owners will know this).


    Sounds like you have had a s**t day of it.

    It would seem you are not a dog person, body language could be causing them to react to you in a way you don’t want. Swatting at a dog with a shoe will most likely excite the animal possibly may scare, nether will calm the situation at best it will think it’s some sort of game of chase and make it even harder for the owner to regain control.

    Try talking to your neighbours about get to know their dogs and help the dogs to learn that not reacting to you will be a good thing, read about Positive reinforcement training. It might make your and the neighbours life a little more pleasant.

    Premier Icon lowey

    If your lad has been bitten, I;d be reporting it to the police. Dangerous dog.


    As others have said above, that’s properly crap for your son.

    I had a similar experience (in a field) with one dog when I was 6 and it made me wary of dogs for a very long time. I’m still nervous round unfamiliar dog now and have had two run-ins with uncontrolled dogs in the last year which is bringing old fears back. However many owners say “It’s ok, hes just being friendly!” it doesn’t make my instincts any better. Definitely report the incident as the authorities need to know what is happening so that they can do something about it. It’s usually down to useless owners that the dogs themselves.

    Watch your boy to make sure he doesn’t get anxious round dogs you know in the next few weeks, if he does then look at ways of changing this.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    body language could be causing them to react to you in a way you don’t want

    Christ, we get the doggy mind readers, who know that their wee bundle of fun won’t bite, now we have the doggy psychologits as well! 😆


    It would seem you are not a dog person

    bit of blaming the victim in your post there. Why should people have to be a dog person or get to know how to handle/react with dogs. It is not their responsibility to do that.

    I am a dog person and have dogs but they are very small dogs (1.5kg) and they get the same hassle from dogs with irresponsible owners who can’t recall their dogs, don’t care what their dogs are doing etc,.
    The owners simply do not care and I will never trust how their dog is going to behave.


    There’s 2 sides to this.

    1. The dog owners are well out of order failing to control their dogs. I’m the owner of a Working Cocker and there is no way he will be off-lead on a crowded beach area. Down in the surf away from families, yes, but not in the “balls & picnics” zone. That’s far too much remptation.

    However, you can’t change the world, so:

    2. Your lad definitely needs some positive dog experiences, and also how to look after himself with a jumpy dog. Whilst of course it wasn’t his fault, dogs normally see the “raised hands child defence” as an invitation to jump up.


    Not victim blaming, most people on the thread have already commented about the poor behaviour of the dog owners.
    I was referring to the dogs locally to his home. If there is an issue with something locally then isn’t it beneficial to all to help resolve it.

    Premier Icon Shandy

    If the dog is actually attacking your kid you are well within your rights to kick it as hard as you like.


    Section 2, I think, of the Dangerous Dogs Act. A dog must be under control (not necessarily on a lead) at all times in a public place.

    It’s pretty **** simple

    If the dog is actually attacking your kid you are well within your rights to kick it as hard as you like.

    I’ve kicked one dog who went for my daughter, and wouldn’t think twice about doing it again.
    AS far as I’m concerned dogs in public places should be either on a lead, or properly trained/under control.

    Premier Icon joat

    If your kid had been a sheep in a field, you would have been in your rights to shoot the dog. I’d have no qualms about booting the dog. I have neither kids or dogs BTW.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp

    Sorry to hear this OP, hope your son is okay. Too many uncontrolled dogs around. I see so many people being dragged down the street by their dogs because they have no control. Christ knows what the same dogs are like when off the lead.

    Premier Icon sargey2003

    I have complete sympathy with you – it is incredible how some dog owners are utterly clueless.


    We have 2 dogs and frequently encounter other dog owners who think it’s perfectly acceptable to let their dog annoy others. One of ours is a bit reactive to unknown dogs and is kept on a lead 99.9% of the time – the number of times we’ve asked people to call their dogs away and they simply ignore a reasonable request – yappy terriers in particular. Like in all walks of life, there are d!ckheads and sadly some own dogs too…

    But as others have commented, creating a positive dog experience for your son will also benefit – dogs find it hard to differentiate between a child running for fun or from fear. Knowing how to react is a good life skill regardless.

    Obviously, kicking a dog is likely to result in a reaction from the owner – so worth considering your options carefully

    Premier Icon aracer

    sargey2003 wrote:

    I have complete sympathy with you – it is incredible how some dog owners are utterly clueless. feel totally entitled

    It’s not that they don’t have a clue (well they probably don’t, but it’s not the principle issue), but that they don’t think they have any responsibility.

    Premier Icon aracer

    dovebiker wrote:

    Obviously, kicking a dog is likely to result in a reaction from the owner – so worth considering your options carefully

    That certainly wouldn’t stop me – having considered my options I’d be ready to call the police depending on how the owner reacted.


    I had an experience where a dog was jumping up at my two year old who clearly didn’t like it, the owner was only 10ft away, apparently asking someone to “please can you control your dog” was considered rude. Apparently if I don’t let a dog jump at my boy he will become a “pansy and will be weak for the rest of his life” said by some old dear. Some choice words were exchanged, ending with me telling her to **** off or her dog was going in the sea with her following. She ruined my day no end.


    Nobeer – our dog has a lot of contact with children as we’ve got a 6 month old baby and most of our friends have children of ages from baby to 11 years old. Whilst we never leave the dog alone with babies / very small children we happily see her in the garden playing with our friends children (although they’re always in sight of an adult). So whilst I can never guarantee the dog won’t bite them it’s fairly unlikely.

    Also, our dog is a pathetic small fur ball – she’s not going to rip someone’s arm off.

    And to add when she’s off the lead she’s always fairly close to me – I don’t let her wander off / go where she likes. I’ve taken her on a number of dog training courses and reinforced the learnings in day to day life making sure she stays as disciplined as possible. But she is still only 1.5 years old so quite excitable – as are people’s children when young!

    When on the above beach I headed for the far right hand ride Down near the water where there were just a couple of other dogs playing and no kids.

    I may have just been trolled / whooshed – but I don’t consider myself a selfish dog person!

    Premier Icon andybrad

    It would seem you are not a dog person, body language could be causing them to react to you in a way you don’t want

    this sort of comment makes my piss boil.

    I like dogs, its the owners i hate for the reasons in the OP’s post. I really feel sorry for you and hope that you can cheer your boy up!

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    Joe, I wish all dog owners were as responsible as you sound.

    Premier Icon bails

    If the dog is actually attacking your kid you are well within your rights to kick it as hard as you like

    +1 again, I don’t have kids and I love dogs, but I’d have given it a proper kick to protect my/any kid.

    Premier Icon simmy

    My dog is a rescue and is loads more sociable than he was when I got him. He is brilliant at recall when at training classes and at home but he is easily distracted so I don’t let him off the lead in public places as he would see something and just run, not even thinking about people traffic etc.

    He comes off lead in a local paddock and has a good run and I jog with him in the fields.

    With him being a rescue, I don’t know what has happened to him previously.


    Really sorry to read this, OP.

    It’s a thing that really annoys me. I grew up with dogs, I’m quite used to them but equally many people get quite rightly freaked when a strange dog is behaving aggressively, or overly playfully around them. Dogs need a functioning social hierarchy, some breeds are better than others in this respect, but there are too many owners who treat their dog as a mini-human and don’t understand that their dogs will be aggressive and uncontrollable if they see themselves as challenging for the pack leader role.

    Only the other week, I was out on my bike on a bridleway when I was approached by an excitable dog. The owner called out to me to watch out for it, as it “wasn’t good with bikes” apparently. People are incredulous when you suggest that such a dog ought to be on a lead when on a bridleway or byway. A few years back, I was almost knocked into a canal by a dog chasing a ball thrown by the owner. I remonstrated with them to use some common sense, to be told that I “wasn’t on a bike path”, despite being stood next to a sign that stated the exact opposite. Again, the owner was at the obnoxious end of the stupidity spectrum.

    But it’s a whole different matter if an uncontrollable dog harasses a small child. I do agree that the incidents that the OP has described should be reported to the relevant authorities.


    I would have kicked/hit the dog as hard as I needed if it was going after a small child. Absolutely abysmal behaviour from the owners and I am not sure I could have been as calm as the OP.

    Anyone defending the people who owned the dogs which went after the OP’s son needs to take a long hard look at themselves and stop being selfish idiots.

    Having grown up with a dog (which I loved) in our house I have gone completely the opposite side now and I simply cannot stand them or their owners. I HATE the way owners think they and their dogs are something special, that they can be treated differently and that a weapon like a dog can do what it likes and everyone else has to cope. Sick of poo on tracks and paths, sick of yappity pieces of crap nipping at me and my friends/kids.

    Should go the same way as firearms, licence needed for ownership and anything remotely dangerous needing regular checks and a good reason why you need one.


    +1 for the kicking. Really feel for your son, OP, not a nice thing to happen at all. I still don’t trust dogs after a (very) minor incident when I was 7-8ish.

    You doggy people out there, with your “he’s very friendly, really” comments need to bear in mind that your animal’s mouth and teeth are a sh1t load closer to little people’s head/faces than ours, and even a small dog “being friendly” on its back legs will end up with its snout right in a 4-8 year old’s face.

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