Unknown dogs (not on a leash) near small babies? your views =)

April 21, 2007 10:23pm CST
The other week my wife and I took our son onto the park because we got a bit bored. Cutting to the point. A group of 3 people with five dogs came walking near us. at first they was a fair bit away but I'm always being wary of dogs. anyways with the dogs being unleashed (which is Illegal and against the parks rules) the dogs came rushing over to us 4 of the dogs chashed each other around our blanket which was spread out while the five actually jumped up and kept bugging our son. What annoyed me though was the fact it really scared my son and I was trying to stop the playful dog from jumping up at him or onto him (while the other dogs was trying to join in) The owners didn't do anything, they didn't call for the dogs even though it was clear that my son was being licked to death. Anyone think this is dangerous? My son could of easily lashed out or the dogs could of knocked him down, bit him etc. In all honestly I wouldn't of minded if they actually bothered to control there dogs. It took my wife and I ages to charm our son down and it ruined the picnic because he was to bothered. Your views?
9 people like this
24 responses
• United States
22 Apr 07
Several years ago I was at the park with my niece and her children. A young man took his dog off the leash and let it run. My niece asked him to control his dog and answered with profanities informing her his dog had the right to run free. As they were holding this discussion under a sign with the park rules that clearly stated dogs must be kept on a leash, my niece took out her cell phone and called the police. The officer who responded pointed out to the young man the flaw in his argument and instructed him to put the leash on the dog or leave the park. That would have been the end of it but the young man became verbally abusive and ended up not only getting a ticket but placed in handcuffs with the threat of arrest until he calmed down. I think the people who ruined your picnic should have been called to task. If the dogs were friendly they could still have injured your child severly and so quickly you might not have been able to stop them. And even if the dogs were friendly to you and their owners, many animals act very differently around children. And licking your baby? How many germs do you think he was exposed to? I hope you had strong words for those people.
1 person likes this
22 Apr 07
That's my flaw, unless I know I'm fully in the right to react I don't do anything. But I did shake my head and when I took one of the dogs back I did have a word. which was something along the lines of "oh thank you, my sons now crying his eyes out because you couldn't control your dogs. here you go idiot take your dog back" which the female owner said something like "oh, your sons crying? I'll keep the leash on now. okay?" Seriously though If rules are rules, I don't get way people can clearly break them. Thanks for sharing your story with me, I've seen the same sort of idiot you've mentioned above luckily this was the only time my son has been bothered. Also I'm glad that nothing happened there, I wished our police would do this but they'd only see it as a waste of time. (if it did get out control) ~Joey
2 people like this
@Polly1 (12648)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I would be bothered too. That was extremly rude of those people. I am leary of loose dogs that I don't know too. It probably wouldn't have scared your son so much if they were being walked on leashes. It would scare me to, to have dogs come running up on me. Poor little guy.
1 person likes this
22 Apr 07
I thought so too. They actually acted like it wasn't a great deal and that I was over acting by trying to pull the dogs away from him. Oh well, I guess these days it's hard to know who's what. I haven't seen him that bothered, except when he thought he broke grandma's remote control. Cheers polly1 I have been told I take things out of perspective. ~Joey
1 person likes this
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
22 Apr 07
yep. those people are rude to the maximum level of rudeness. they should atleast tried to stop the dogs from doing so. atleast make sure that the kid is okey and safe. they did not do anything and that's what made the situation worst.
1 person likes this
@icequeen (2842)
• Canada
23 Apr 07
I totally agree with you. You never know what a strange dog will do. I wouldn't want strange dogs around my baby either. I think that those people should have leashed thier dogs and controlled them from running wild...and annoying you while you were having your picnic. I think you and your husband should have said something to them...and asked them to please leash thier dogs.
1 person likes this
23 Apr 07
Hehe I'm the husband, don't worry it not the first time and you wasn't to know that Joey wasn't short for Josephine =) Thanks for your response icequeen =) ~Joey
@lingli_78 (12844)
• Australia
23 Apr 07
of course it is totally wrong and it is very inconsiderate of the owners... the park is a public place and also have a leash law... so if anything happen to you or your son because of the dog, the owner can be sue to court... i'm glad that nothing happen to your son and i'm sorry to hear that your picnic is ruined because of that... have a nice day...
1 person likes this
@mnflower (1301)
• United States
22 Apr 07
Dogs are Lovable - dogs are lovable but should not be left to run wild
yes there is a big problem with that especially it being illegal for them to run lose and with all the incidents that you hear of dogs biting children that is way wrong, I would of told the owners to call there dogs now and then turned around and called the police for they could of got a big fine, whether your child got hurt that time or not isn't the question the question is it is illegal and you should be able to enjoy yourselves in a park with a bunch of dogs harrassing you...I love dogs don't get me wrong, but this was just wrong, the next time I would just call the cops and tell them you have dogs running lose off there leashes and they will come and take care ofit right away
1 person likes this
@mssnow (9493)
• United States
22 Apr 07
That was just plain rude of the owners. What to them, seemed like harmless fun to you was hurting your son. I probably would have picked my son up and held him while telling the dogs to stay down in a stern voice. Loud enough for the owners to hear. If they didn't do something about it. I probably would of said "OK lets go. We cant enjoy the park when people can't control their dogs". I would have looked straight at them as I said it. I dont care what people think of me. They need to control their animals. That was just plain wrong.
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Apr 07
i've been to a park as well that i dog came and kept jumping on me and the owner did nothing. there was a sing stating all dogs needed to be on a leash and i'm really scared of dogs and the owner didn't say sorry all people seem to say is oh my dog won't hurt you. but really you never know that. animals are so unpredictable. now when my daughter goes to play outside there is a neighbour with a rottwhiler who sits outside and never has on a leash. my daughter is 3 and i'm so scared something will happen. i'm not sure what to say to them.
1 person likes this
@academic2 (7010)
• Uganda
22 Apr 07
I thought that was a matter for the police! How could these guys unleash their dogs onto such a young child? Do they understand the mental anguish their actions had the capacity to cause to the little boy? I wonder whether this matter is too late to be brought up with the authorities, even if only for future safeguards because, this carelessness on the part of these men adversely affected your recreation plans and it undoubtedly traumatized your son!
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
22 Apr 07
It is the owners responsibility to keep the dogs in a leash on a public place even if the dogs are gentle. I know many of us have pets and dogs do need to exercise of-leash. The problem is that there aren't may places where that can be done. In my opinion parks, specially if they are of a fair size, should have an area where people could take their dogs and let them play of-leash without worry. That way, they could be on the leash and controllable in areas where other people and children are, and then be free in their special = fenced if possible - area. many accidents and scares could be avoided this way. Many children and adults are afraid of animals and they shouldn't have to be in fear in a park.
• India
22 Apr 07
I think that was very irresponsible on the part of the owners to not control their dogs unless they felt the dogs were mild mannered and friendly but they are animals nonetheless and unpredictable,Had ur son lashed out at them for self defence they could have hurt him..so i'll side by u...although i absolutely adore dogs
1 person likes this
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
22 Apr 07
that's too annoying. how come such people are so insensitive? they just neglected the fact that their dogs put your son into tears. i am not a parent yet. but if something like that happens to my child, i will probably fume into anger. what the dog owners did is pure bad. i hope they one day learn how to really take care of their dogs and handle them well so as not to cause trouble to others anymore. happy myLotting.
1 person likes this
@rusty2rusty (6767)
• Defiance, Ohio
22 Apr 07
I think the owner of the dogs were wrong to let the dogs run unleashed. I also think they were wrong for not trying to control their dogs. Espically when they could see they scared and upset your son. That was plain rude of them. They have no business in the park with manners like that. lack of respect. I know I would of spoke up and yelled at the dogs to get away and said something to the owners of the dog. I could never of been as patient as you are.
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Apr 07
Hi Joey... hopefully I'll be online a little more now.. I've been busy the past month. Back to your discussion. As much as I love dogs, I too am a little nervous when dogs I don't know do that, and it must be even worse when you have a young child there too. Even if the dogs were being just playful, your son didn't know that. He could have lashed out, scared the dogs and got a nasty bite, or worse. It happens to people and their pet dogs, so I would have been nervous too.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
22 Apr 07
I think you should have to told them that it was illegal and the dogs though as friendly as they were were scaring your child. Pet owners have to be responsible owners as well.
1 person likes this
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
22 Apr 07
My dog - I take him to the beach, unleashed, but only because he is 5 years old and I know he is 100% reliable on recall and not in the least aggressive. He isn't even interested in others.
What a nightmare! I have to admit, even though it is against the rules, I take my dog to the beach, unleashed, but only because he is 5 years old and I know he is 100% reliable on recall and not in the least aggressive. He isn't even interested in others. Neither people nor other dogs. He just hangs with us and plays fetch. The siutation you describe is very different and sounds ridiculous. How could those people have their dogs unleashed and not even call them back? I can't believe they didn't come over, get their dogs and apologize, especially since you had a small child. As I said, don't leash my dog except to get him to the beach, and as soon as we arrive he is released to chase his ball. Before you think I am a bad citizen, even though there are leash laws, it really is the done thing here unless you have dogs like the ones you describe. That would be highly frowned upon.
22 Apr 07
I agree, I don't like dogs being on a leash all the time, when I was kid there was always loose dogs on the park and none was ever unfriendly. Although when dog owners can't show control or somewhat human decency I think they should. (also the dogs I didn't see as the problem, yet the owners I did) Because how could they allow them to come across while a family are enjoying a picnic? When I was kid, owners wouldn't allow there dogs anywhere near and stick to keeping them away from people like in my discussion. Thanks for your response, ~Joey P.s I don't think your bad citizen at all because dogs should be allowed freedom. (i'm also sure you're not like those above) =)
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
22 Apr 07
I love dogs. But i do think that what had happened could be dangerous, specially when the dogs come in groups. They are still animals and you can not know if the dog is trained or sick, and when he is going to bite the baby, because he thought it is a game or just was hungry. Lol. I did not understand if all of those dogs belonged to the owners, that just did not leash them. But i know i would be very careful if i was an owner. Now, if you do know that the dog belong to the owner, and he lets him be free at the park and sees him playing with the baby, it usually means that the dog is not sick, and can not harm anyone, because he is used to be with people. In your case i do not really think there is anything to worry about. But to teach the baby that dos are enjoyable animals, and that this dog just wanted to play.
22 Apr 07
2 of the people owned 3 of them and the women I spoke when I took one back to her owned the other two. (she did put them on leash after passing us, while the other two didn't leash theirs) Indeed, If the dogs wasn't so jumpy and scaring him I'm sure he would of liked them but the whole getting in his face and general loud baker didn't help. The thing is it doesn't take much for any dog to react, some don't but anything could of sparked a moment. (even the dogs teeth was close to my sons hands and arms when it jumped towards him)
@GardenGerty (101611)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Responsible pet owners would control their dogs around children, whether there was a leash law or not. Those dogs should have been on leashes, and held on short tether while you decided if you wanted your son to get acquainted with them. Even an apparently friendly dog can suddenly bite. I have my sister's dogs living with me, and have had a great deal of trouble with one of them, and she was smart enough to open her pen, as well. I never know who she will approve of, and who she will attack. You had better believe, I keep a hold of her tightly when we walk.!!
• United States
23 Apr 07
I think the owners were probably complacent because they knew the dogs weren't trying to hurt your son, but that doesn't excuse them. I just remember when I used to be around dogs a lot and it sometimes doesn't occur to the owner that not everyone likes dogs or wants their dogs to interact with them. I think you should have politely told them that they made your son very upset and it will take a long time to calm him down. I know if someone said that to me, I would think twice about letting any dogs out among people I don't know. I know I've had people tell me that they were scared of dogs when I was with one and knew to keep the dog more in control.
@delenep (212)
• United States
22 Apr 07
i HATE when ppl dun keep their pets under control. Its their choice to have them, not urs and if they take them out in public, then they need to have them ona leash and control them. Saying, "oh he loves kids and is just being friendly" is just an excuse for their incompetent handling of their animal. Animals should not be valued more than human children and that is where I draw the line. I really feel for u. My son can't even go play in our yard cos our neighbours dog barks at him so ferociously and jumps up on the fence on their side. My son freaks out completely and is TERRIFIED of dogs now. How r we supposed to get him a pet later one? When I speak to my neighbour, her response is, oh she's thinks she's his size and wants to play. Guess what, a rotweiler who is baring her teeth, growling a barking feriously is NOT wantign to play with my 1 year old!!!!
@munhozmib (3853)
• Sao Paulo, Brazil
22 Apr 07
That was a big mistake from the owners. You should always be aware of dogs. But remember that Dogs aren't killing machines. No dogs attack without reasons. Anyway, when things like this happens, you should talk to the owners. Take your child into your arms to prevent any attacks from the Dogs. This is my view, things like this must not be allowed.