Doggy difficulties!!

Doggy difficulties!!

I often run in places popular with dog walkers (photo shows where I ran yesterday)! This is brilliant because it makes me feel safer knowing there are plenty of people around. I love dogs but still feel uncertain when a strange dog approaches me or I have to run past them. So far, I have only had one incident when I was barked at by a collie off lead. I didn't know what to do so just stood still and looked away from it. If a dog barks, I don't think that is friendly.

I usually see how the dog behaves, if it ignores me, I run slowly past. If it looks at me and walks towards me, I stop or walk slowly past. Anyone got any tips? Yesterday a black retriever waddled towards me with a big smile, waggy tail and demanded a fuss (twice)! That was lovely 😍 Julie

20 Replies

  • (Speaking here from a perspective of a dog owner and a runner !)

    My dog (a beagle) will bark at anything she finds slightly out of the ordinary - and a person suddenly crashing along a footpath, without a doggy companion often wearing bright clothing, is just that to her !! She means no harm, would not attack, but is just a bit startled. Some dogs bark just because they are excited and want to join in the fun, some because they are saying hello etc - so I wouldn't worry too much at all by dogs barking.

    A dog that is dangerous (and I would hope wouldn't be off the lead in the first place) normally snarls and bares teeth.

    I've read a lot about runners who complain about dogs being in their way - but I would like to take the view of live and let live. Most owners I know and meet on runs would attempt to keep their dog out the way, but occasionally a runner will suddenly appear out of nowhere and we don't have time. In the same view, it's nice if runners don't arrogantly keep running at you on a trail and expect you to jump into a bush on their approach to get out their way !

    There are always exceptions to good runners / dog owners - but I like to think the majority are pleasant people who can share countryside space without confrontation :-)

  • Thank you! I am a dog owner and lover too and love to meet a new doggie pal on a run. I always slow to a walk as I pass, say hello to the owners too and if I am running behind walkers, let them know I am there. Totally agree that sharing beautiful countryside is important and I feel safer for having walkers with dogs around. Just don't want to be bitten and a large dog off lead running up to me can be frightening even if they are friendly, I don't know them!

  • As a big dog owner joolie, I don't worry about large sizes. I am comfortable with them. It is the little terrier cross which will cowardly attack from behind that annoy me.

    My beautiful well behaved/trained German Shepard at times has lost a few hair of his tail from those little darling yappy dogs and often the owners think it is funny for a small dog to attack a big one because they are little. .... So I suppose they don't think twice if their dogs go for joggers.....

    Big dogs are ok, it is ignorant owners who are not.

  • Ignorant owners yes, but not necessarily wee terriers. I have one who is bark trained as much as possible and she is positively indifferent to other people and dogs (especially small yapping ones) except my mum's collie and other bigger dogs that she's more used to the size of.

    Apart from that she loves to run around in circles around me when she's excited, much like a haggis come to think of it!

    I do hate it though when people think that because I'm running with my dog that it's okay to stop us both by letting their off-lead dogs come right in front of us, causing us both quite a lot of annoyance- it seems my dog and I both get in the running zone ;-)I run in the city though (boo!), so maybe it's different than the countryside.

  • Oops returning2run..... I put my foot in it again....

    My dog Ben is getting too old now to run with me but last year we used to go very early in the morning in the dark and before the ranger was out. Ben used to love running loose. He is very aloof and ignores people unless there is something to worry about and then he stays on alert. I just could not cope with a dog I couldn't trust. However because of his breed and size, I would say runners may be worried when they approach or pass him.

    I should not "pigeon hole" dogs but it is easy to do if you have bad experiences. It is the owners phobia which create a dog behaviour.

    A dog who feels safe and secure and who knows the dad is the leader of the pack, will be happy and well behaved. A well trained dog is a bliss to have.

  • That's a shame you're not able to run together anymore. German Shepherds are so loyal and beautiful. I've always wanted one, but don't think I could cope with the puppy phase!

    I just wanted to stand up for the terriers, I know they can be yappy and awful but they can be loving and soft despite being hard work because they always want to be in charge and mine seems to need constant reinforcement of the rules, though in our house she mostly accepts mum (that's me) is boss ;-)

    I do get what you mean about one bad experience with a certain breed can taint what you expect when you meet another one. A boxer who wasn't trained was off lead and tried to bite my dog. Luckily she was off lead too and ran away or I doubt she would be here today. Needless to say I had words with the owner who said the dog wasn't hers, but when I told the groundskeeper he said he'd had several reports about her.

  • A bit like you I take a bit of a judgment call. If it looks friendly I speak to it but don't stop (I literally mean I actually say hello whilst keeping going).

    I've only had one so far that growled & snarled whilst I passed & the owner busied themselves by looking the other way!!! Thankfully that time I had enough space to give it a fairly wide bearth but it still scared me.

    Generally I try not to make eye contact & try to give them space.

    I love dogs & would love to have my own again one day(a labrador please!) but much prefer when they are at least in sight of the owners........ ☺

  • Lovely photo Julie. I usually slow down a little and avoid eye contact to avoid appearing a threat. I have to admit I often give a little hello in that high pitched voice we all have for pets! Apart from hurdling one dog who suddenly shot across my path, I have so far been lucky. Where I live most owners are pretty responsible and hold on to their dog for a minute if they are chasers! Happy running☺

  • True, I have met dogs who are mostly more interested in sniffing the undergrowth and don't even notice me! I have found some good running places and they are great for dogs too, so happy to share. I think it is good to avoid eye contact but always good to meet a friendly pooch. Julie

  • I stopped to say hello to a dog the other day, the owner apologised profusely and told me he is trying to train her as there is one runner along that towpath that swears at him - surely roads and paths are for everyone? That said a stupid woman nearly had me over the other day, her dog meandered in front of me on one of those extending leads and she pulled the lead taut...

  • Those extending leads are a nightmare !

    We were walking along the seafront the other day with our dog on one of those leads. A huge wave crashed over the seawall, threatening to soak me and my daughter. As we ducked out the way, the dog charged off in fright, and of course because the lead extended she practically ran into the oncoming cars on the road, and the managed the wrap herself around my husbands legs and trip him over.

    We must have looked like a right family of muppets :-)

  • Would be nice if dog owners picked up poo in the countryside because it is a hop, skip and jump to avoid them on a run

  • Just back from an 8k country run with my dog... I like to think that if the owner lets it off the lead, then the dog is ok! If I see a dog ON a lead, I keep away! Probably on it for a reason.... Had to pick up 2 bags of poo and ran with it in my pocket! (No bins!)

  • I'm not scared of dogs - thank goodness and you can normally tell by their body language what the situation is. Often their bark is worse than their bite (not that I'd like to try that out literally!). There is one though where I run, who likes to get round behind you and bark. The owner doesn't even call him off, which does annoy me. Because he's behind me I can't judge his body language. I just slow down to a walk and ignore him, he's never done anything so I suppose he's OK. I'm thinking of taking some treats with me and making friends with him. It would be good if the owner showed his disapproval of such behavior though - it's not as if I come hurtling out of the blue!

  • I love dogs but had a bad experience with a loose Staffie once when I was out with my friendly dogs. I had to pick them both up and it was barking and trying to bite them. The owner was a long way off and wasn't bothered one bit. I know runners have been bitten before, so I try to be cautious unless I am told it is friendly. I think someone moving faster than a walk may be attracting a chase!! 😀

  • My dog is super friendly (annoyingly so). She will happily say 'hello' to anyone.

    My top tip would be to ignore and don't make eye contact. If anyone looks at her, she takes it as an invitation to run over and be their new BFF (can't guarantee slobbery kisses will not be exchanged.....!).

    She would happily run off to tag along with someone on a run.

  • I am very happy to meet any friendly dog and slobbery kisses welcome xx

  • The dog I take for walks barks like mad at me when I collect him. We only leave the house when he's piped down. I assume he barks cos he's excited to be going for a walk. He does sound quite scary though.

  • I nearly collided with a dog on a lead last week. Two women were out walking their dogs and one of them was playing up, jumping about and generally being a bit mischievous. I ran up behind them and gave them plenty of room (or so I thought) by running on a grass verge between the pavement and the road. The dog jumped out in front of me just as I passed them, almost forcing me onto the road with the dog missing my leg by just a few inches. Lucky escape for all!

  • I usually make a friendly clicking noise, or say " hello puppy" and put my hand out to sniff as I run by.

    Only had one psycho Maltese cross nipping my heal once and the owners just called the dog back and carried on. I haven't see them since. Lucky for them because I think their doggy would have flown all the way to the moon..... If he/she tried that trick again

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