Protection against out of control dogs
by JeanJean » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:21 am
I have been walking in the hills and countryside of Scotland and England for over 40 years and have had little concern about out of control dogs.....until now. This year my husband has been knocked over twice by dogs running up to him and jumping up. On many occasions we have been approached by out of control dogs, running around with no owner in sight. When remonstrating with the owner, when they eventually show up, they are either abusive or just apologise and carry on.
I know it's only a small minority of dog owners and that most dog owners are responsible and keep their dogs under control. However some dog owners don't seem to realise that a dog is considered dangerously out of control if it "injures someone" or "makes someone worried that it might injure them". I don't dislike dogs but it is pretty scary when a large dog comes bounding up, barking, with no owner in sight. And the law isn't much good if you're in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, miles away from the nearest police station. For my own safety I feel it's time to invest in something to deter out of control dogs.
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Jul 10, 2019
by SummitStupid » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:30 pm
I don't know how effective they are - the one I linked to is a training aid - but do some Googling or Amazoning and you might be able to find something for you.
by KatTai » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:29 pm
by Cairngorm creeper » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:48 pm
I would agree with the approach of using your own voice and have often found a sharp no with as much authority as you can muster deters unwanted attention from other peoples dogs. Barring their approach with a treking pole is also a good idea.
by WhitstableDave » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:39 pm
Of course, the overwhelming majority of dogs I meet are perfectly fine and have perfectly good owners, but I meet a great many dogs and so the problem is real and makes me treat them all with suspicion. The reason I encounter a lot of dogs is because I enjoy walking in forests and woods, and people tend to walk their dogs in woodland that's within about half-a-mile of a village or a woodland car park. In this situation, even poorly-behaved dogs are usually off-lead and I can encounter them with little or no warning. I hardly ever come across dogs on farmland or on hills, mountains or moors, although, having said that, one of my most worrying incidents was on a remote track on Harris when two (possibly feral) dogs followed me for about a mile trying to get to food in my rucksack (which I'd eaten, but presumably the smell remained).
But sadly, I have absolutely no answers. For a while I used to take a walking pole with me and hold it when in wooded areas or if dogs ahead looked dodgy, but I prefer to travel light... and in any case, I had a dog (on a lead) go for me as I passed ("Sorry, he's scared of anyone carrying a stick..."). I'm not going to avoid woods, but I do try to avoid areas where I'm likely to encounter dogs and if I see potential problems ahead I'm always ready to take an alternative route.
Just one more thing (if any dog-walkers are reading this, please take note!)... I walk briskly, so if there's a dog-walker ahead going the same way as me I'll inevitably catch them up and overtake. But it's rare for people to bother to look behind them and, as I approach, the dog knows I'm there well before the owner does. More than once, I've had dogs make threatening moves and the owner only belatedly realising they need to get their animal under control.
Phew - thanks for letting me get all that off my chest!
by KatTai » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:13 pm
WhitstableDave wrote:and in any case, I had a dog (on a lead) go for me as I passed ("Sorry, he's scared of anyone carrying a stick...").
I hate this from dog owners, one of my dogs was attacked by an off-lead dog while they were on a lead and their excuse was my dog was attacked because she was on a lead If their dog doesn't like other dogs on a lead/people carrying sticks/people wearing hats (another common one!) etc it is their responsibility to get their dog under control to avoid an incident not to "blame" the other party for having the audacity to have a dog on a lead, use a stick or wear a hat!
by SummitStupid » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:41 pm
As a quick aside - dogs are, through their intimate association with humans over the last ten thousand years, and intensive selective breeding, astonishingly well-attuned to human body language. I know it's easy to say this, but I'd suggest trying to adopt a confident, unbothered manner if a dog approaches you. Ideally, you'd act as if you were supremely unconcerned about it. Not exactly easy when a German shepherd is bearing down on you though...
by JeanJean » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:22 pm
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Jul 10, 2019
by brpro26 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:06 am
The number of times I see a dog off the lead and clearly signs posted to keep them on the lead for livestock etc.
If you can't control your dog or obey signage then don't take it out on the hills simple as.
by bootsandpaddles » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:56 am
I don't know what the answer is. But it is not for us to avoid going to places where there are lots of dogs although I must admit I have started doing this now. It is also not for us to avoid engaging in behaviour that is likely to attract the attention of dogs: eating our lunch, wearing a hat, carrying a trekking pole, running etc. Personally, I believe that it should be a legal requirement for all dogs to be on leads when out in public. Having said that, I was walking recently with someone who was bitten by a dog on a lead.
by Sgurr » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:43 am
Of course, next walk I will probably be mauled.
by nigheandonn » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:44 am
Without denying that a dog can be dangerously out of control, that definition seems rather... wide ranging.
My sister, for example, very often worries that a dog might injure her, even if it's walking peacefully on a lead - she was bitten as a child, and it just makes her very nervous to be around them. (Although she says if she's out with a class - she's a P1 teacher - she's very brave and all 'now children, it's only a dog'. But if she's out with me she jumps behind me!)
On the other hand, I'm more like Sgurr - meeting dogs is one of the things I enjoy when out walking, and our interactions are generally pleasant. (Just don't speak to me about cows.)
So although a dog did take a snap at me last summer (but missed), I didn't feel worried at all at the time (or at least not about injury) - only rather harassed by the fact that it had got into an argument with a dog that was following me about. I didn't really blame it, although I was essentially innocent!
It seems like judging a dog's behaviour based on human reaction would be quite difficult.
by bootsandpaddles » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:11 pm
Possibly a bit extreme but it would solve the problem.
by Ben Nachie » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:33 pm
- "Humans... Tasty. Mwa-ha-ha-haaa..."
- Munro compleatist
- Posts: 354
- Joined: Jun 19, 2017
by brpro26 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:39 pm
Any easy Munros for my cat...???