Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: CrochetFanatic on December 04, 2012, 05:04:50 PM

Title: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CrochetFanatic on December 04, 2012, 05:04:50 PM
It's been cold lately, but today was pretty mild and I didn't even need a jacket.  Our Boxer, Daisy, is getting a bit antsy from being inside so much (she doesn't tolerate cold or heat well), so I thought it would be a good day to take her to the track for a walk.  Basically, it's a walking trail that goes in a lopsided loop, and it's by the library and the middle school.  Dogs are allowed, but they have to be on a leash and you have to pick up after your pet.  Pretty standard. 

The walk was uneventful, but as we were on our way to the car we passed by a woman who looked to be in her 60's.  Daisy loves people, and she started her whole tail-wagging "happy to meet you" dance, trying to lead me over to greet the woman.  I didn't let her, and she was about ten feet away as we passed, but I think this lady must be afraid of dogs or something, because she took a step back before aiming two kicks in the dog's direction.  The kicks were kinda feeble, but it got my back up.  Uh-uh.  Not okay to kick at my dog.  Daisy was on a harness and leash, and there was no danger of her unintentionally harming the lady.  Now, Daisy is about 70 pounds and admittedly looks a bit intimidating to people who first meet her, but she's really just a big wimp.  I can't totally blame the lady for her reaction, especially it she was afraid of dogs, but I was angry just the same.

I'm not sure if I handled this well or not, though.  I said, not in a sharp tone, "Ma'am, please don't try to kick my dog.  I understand you don't want to be jumped on or knocked down, but I've got her under control, and we're leaving.  She won't bother you."

The lady actually seemed a bit mollified, but said, "Just keep that beast away from me."

It seemed like a case of "phobic person meets trigger", and I'm not unsympathetic.  If someone came near me with a tarantula, I'd similarly freak out.  I've already made up my mind to give this woman a wide berth if I see her there again and Daisy happens to be with me, and I've described her to my family so that they can do the same, but we're not avoiding the track.  Dogs are allowed, and Daisy has every right to be there as long as we follow the rules.  Is there any way I could have handled it better?
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: NyaChan on December 04, 2012, 05:07:34 PM
Wow, hats off to you - I think you did an amazing job!
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: MinAvi on December 04, 2012, 05:11:13 PM
I think you did very well. I think I would have a very hard time being as polite as you were if someone attempted to kick my dogs whilst they were totally under control.

I understand that it might have been a trigger for her, but really it is her issue and dosent give her the right to harm (or attempt to) an animal that is absolutly no threat to her.

If Daisy did jump on her, or lunge in an agressive manner (not saying that she would) then that might be a different situation and the lady would have the right to protect herself.

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: chibichan on December 04, 2012, 05:20:27 PM
I would have left off the " Please " , but since she wasn't actually close enough to touch your dog , the Icy Glare of Death would have sufficed .

Kudos to you for recognizing what it was - a fear reflex , not an attempt to torment your animal . If you do run into her again , I'm pretty sure she will give you a wide berth .

If she tries the kicking thing again , you can tell her " You know that just signals to her that you want to play ( or fight ). "

Then you can advise her to stand quietly until you pass , or give some other reassuring advice .

You do not need to avoid her . She is the one with the issue . You are within your rights to use the track .
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Deetee on December 04, 2012, 05:35:41 PM
I'm a bit confused. You said the woman was ten feet away from you when you passed. Then she took a step back and kicked? Was she kicking your dog or kicking the air 10 feet away?

This matters because I feel that people with lively large dogs should keep their dogs controlled so that no people need to get any closer than they want to.

I will admit that my feelings on this have sharpened since a dog jumped all over daughter and stole the muffin out her hand. She never dropped it. The dog grabbed it. That situation was different as it was an off leash dog in an on leash area (actually dogs were forbidden in the playground and needed to be on-leash nearby). I get a suprisingly aggresive adreline rush when dogs get close to my kid now (and are not under apparent control.)

 An enthusiastic dog can be terrifying for a child, an elderly person, anyone with poor balance or anyone who is nervous around dogs. So the closeness of the dog can easily trigger someone to act aggresively out of fear. It's good you recognise this.

This does not condone someone attacking your dog unprovoked, but dogs can be quite scary (and almost every dog owner thinks their dog is "friendly" ) and backing  away means someone has the perception that the dog is not under control.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: AngelicGamer on December 04, 2012, 05:45:00 PM
I think the only thing that I would do is have put Daisy on the other side.  So, instead of being more on the path, she would be on the grass.

That said - you did amazing!  I would have been seeing red as well and I don't think I would have been as half as polite. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: BatCity on December 04, 2012, 05:47:50 PM
My two cents, as the dog loving mother of a kid who would have done the same thing.

A little background: DD13 is terrified of dogs, even though we've always had a house full of big, slobbering beasts.  Recently I posted in the I Need a Hug folder that we finally had to rehome our beloved boys because in spite of years of therapy, DD is actually getting worse.  In spite of the fact that I continue to discipline her for doing so, she will kick at any dog who approaches her.  I don't think she will ever be able to act appropriately around dogs.

Based on that, I'd guarantee that this woman has the same issue my DD has, but even so, I think your reply was perfect.  Even if this woman has a phobia, she is still acting inappropriately and deserves negative consequences.  Unfortunately, it probably won't do any good.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CrochetFanatic on December 04, 2012, 05:48:53 PM
To Deetee, it was about ten feet, and Daisy tried to veer as we passed, but she wasn't straining to get to her.  There was still space between us, and Daisy only lunges when it's a squirrel.  The lady had no way of knowing that, though, so I get what you're saying.  There really was no danger of the lady being hurt, but a distance of ten or so feet might not have been sufficient.

Nobody was hurt, unless you count Daisy's feelings.  ;D  She thinks everyone loves her, and is quite put out when that proves not to be the case.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Deetee on December 04, 2012, 05:55:47 PM
That really does sound like someone who really does not like dogs (or is terrified of them).

It doesn't make her behaviour any more pleasant but it sounds like it wasn't personal. She may not even be aware of the kicking. But her comment afterwards puts her firmy in rude category in my mind. If she had said "I'm just really nervous around dogs" I'm sure you would forgive a possibly inadvertant air kick.

(Like I said, since the recent "Incident with the muffin" I am oddly twitchy around dogs when I used to be much more relaxed.)
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: hobish on December 04, 2012, 06:10:56 PM

 Some people have phobias, others are just plain evil. Either way, if a dog who is on a leash and under control and ten feet away with room enough for you to even step back is not enough room to be no closer than you want to, that is your problem, not the dog owner's. Kicking is completely innapropriate. Period. (All yous general)

LOL, i can't even think straight; i admit i am biased. It took a long road to get my abused hound dog into the friendly exhuberant dog she is now. I cannot speak for what i would do to someone who tried to kick her. People cannot expect to think that not everyone knows that a controlled dog on a leash is not threatening, and yet a dog should know that people kicking at them is not threatening and is somehow ok. Does not compute.

CrochetFanatic, you handled that really well. Giving your family her description to avoid her -- for both of your sake -- was really good thinking.

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 04, 2012, 06:15:37 PM
I think you were out of line.  She did not "try to kick [your] dog" at all.  Not even close.  10 full feet away in fact.  Heck she took 2 steps backwards.  She kicked at the air.  You then admonished her and accused her of something she didn't come anywhere close to doing.  You should have just kept going and ignored her, instead you verbally attacked her. People don't have to like your dog, any dog or even the idea of dogs.  She was not in any way shape or form a danger to your dog, she was clearly trying to defend herself in case of an attack, not trying to instigate one.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: hobish on December 04, 2012, 06:19:51 PM
I think you were out of line.  She did not "try to kick [your] dog" at all.  Not even close.  10 full feet away in fact.  Heck she took 2 steps backwards.  She kicked at the air.  You then admonished her and accused her of something she didn't come anywhere close to doing.  You should have just kept going and ignored her, instead you verbally attacked her. People don't have to like your dog, any dog or even the idea of dogs.  She was not in any way shape or form a danger to your dog, she was clearly trying to defend herself in case of an attack, not trying to instigate one.

This is what i don't get. How is a dog on a leash 10 feet away a potential attack, but an unrestrained human at the same distance and actively kicking not a potential attack?
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Jones on December 04, 2012, 06:22:32 PM
A person kicking in the direction of an aggressive dog will most likely be seen and interpreted as "instigating a fight" to said dog's mind.

Luckily, CrochetFanatic had control of her dog and Daisy wasn't aggressive.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Girly on December 04, 2012, 06:29:10 PM
I don't think I would have said anything (she's 10 ft. away, after all), but I most certainly would have the 'what in the heck are you doing' expression on my face. Maybe I would ask her if I could help her with something? Heck, I don't know. I have a boxer as well, and I've never had anyone react to her that way.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 04, 2012, 06:30:18 PM
I think you were out of line.  She did not "try to kick [your] dog" at all.  Not even close.  10 full feet away in fact.  Heck she took 2 steps backwards.  She kicked at the air.  You then admonished her and accused her of something she didn't come anywhere close to doing.  You should have just kept going and ignored her, instead you verbally attacked her. People don't have to like your dog, any dog or even the idea of dogs.  She was not in any way shape or form a danger to your dog, she was clearly trying to defend herself in case of an attack, not trying to instigate one.

This is what i don't get. How is a dog on a leash 10 feet away a potential attack, but an unrestrained human at the same distance and actively kicking not a potential attack?

Thats my point neither was an attack, really.  This was two creatures reacting to one another.  But the OP tells us the dog was trying to go near the woman,"she started her whole tail-wagging "happy to meet you" dance, trying to lead me over to greet the woman".  If the dog wasn't on a leash no doubt the dog would have went over.  Now the OP is a responsible dog owner and didn't let the dog go, but trust and believe hundreds of thousands of dog owners would. That woman had no idea what type of dog owner OP is.  So she stepped back and readied herself.  The dog was in no danger at that time because OP was restraining the dog.  But the woman had to prepare that OP wouldn't restrain the dog.  The woman had to be prepared for the equally likely event the dog would approach and perhaps lunge.  And that's all she did.  She came no where near kicking the dog.  Yet she was accused of trying to kick the dog.

How would the OP have reacted if the woman instead of kicking the air had screamed "keep it away!  Its attacking me!  Keep it away!"?  That's essentially what OP did to her - accused her of a mythical attack. OP restrained her dog the woman readied herself for self defense.  No one got within 10 feet of each other and no one was harmed or even near harm.  Yet the OP accused the woman of seriously attempting harm.  That's not cool IMO.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: sweetonsno on December 04, 2012, 06:31:21 PM
So Daisy was ten feet away and the woman was kicking at air with that much distance between them? I really don't think there's any reason to scold her for trying to kick the dog. There's that much space between you already and she takes a step back as well? I'm having a tough time imagining how either of you could think that she was going to kick Daisy from that distance, unless she's Stretch Armstrong. If she was really that far away, accusing her of trying to kick Daisy sounds kind of like the kid who complains that their brother is touching them because he's inching his hand across the car seat. I would skipped the part about kicking the dog and left it at, "Don't worry, she won't jump on you. I've got her under control and we're leaving." As Girly said, my facial expression would probably say, "Why are you doing the foxtrot in a park?"
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Isisnin on December 04, 2012, 06:32:56 PM
You were great CrochetFanatic.  In fact you even did the woman a favor by politely pointing out to her that she should not make an aggressive action towards a dog - or any animal for that matter.

Your response was an entirely appropriate and polite response.


Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: wolfie on December 04, 2012, 06:34:19 PM
I think you were out of line.  She did not "try to kick [your] dog" at all.  Not even close.  10 full feet away in fact.  Heck she took 2 steps backwards.  She kicked at the air.  You then admonished her and accused her of something she didn't come anywhere close to doing.  You should have just kept going and ignored her, instead you verbally attacked her. People don't have to like your dog, any dog or even the idea of dogs.  She was not in any way shape or form a danger to your dog, she was clearly trying to defend herself in case of an attack, not trying to instigate one.

If she was so far away that she was not in any way shape or form a danger to the dog then the dog was far enough away they it was not in any way shape or form a danger to her and her action was needlessly aggressive.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 04, 2012, 06:35:24 PM
I think you were out of line.  She did not "try to kick [your] dog" at all.  Not even close.  10 full feet away in fact.  Heck she took 2 steps backwards.  She kicked at the air.  You then admonished her and accused her of something she didn't come anywhere close to doing.  You should have just kept going and ignored her, instead you verbally attacked her. People don't have to like your dog, any dog or even the idea of dogs.  She was not in any way shape or form a danger to your dog, she was clearly trying to defend herself in case of an attack, not trying to instigate one.

If she was so far away that she was not in any way shape or form a danger to the dog then the dog was far enough away they it was not in any way shape or form a danger to her and her action was needlessly aggressive.

I agree and the woman didn't deny that she was in fact going to or trying to kick the dog.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 04, 2012, 06:42:20 PM
I think you were out of line.  She did not "try to kick [your] dog" at all.  Not even close.  10 full feet away in fact.  Heck she took 2 steps backwards.  She kicked at the air.  You then admonished her and accused her of something she didn't come anywhere close to doing.  You should have just kept going and ignored her, instead you verbally attacked her. People don't have to like your dog, any dog or even the idea of dogs.  She was not in any way shape or form a danger to your dog, she was clearly trying to defend herself in case of an attack, not trying to instigate one.

If she was so far away that she was not in any way shape or form a danger to the dog then the dog was far enough away they it was not in any way shape or form a danger to her and her action was needlessly aggressive.

The OP told us the dog was pulling towards the woman and the woman was stepping backwards away from the dog. I bet from her perspective the dog was being aggressive first and her reaction was not needless at all.


I admit I am biased.  I've had more dogs then I can count run up and jump on me while I'm out jogging.  Just last week in fact I was nipped in the calf by a wiener dog and was afraid of what to do - if I kept running it would chase me, but it was jumping and nipping at me.  The owner was calling for the dog to stop but not really very good at getting the dog to listen.  Last year I was knocked over by a dog (I'd guess about 45-50lbs).  The owners think I'm aggressive and evil or whatever because I yell at them and am generally shaking and reacting badly and not the least bit amused.  More then once I have stopped jogging and slowed to walk because I see what appears to be dog walking its owner and I'm scared to run past and risk it chasing me and the person not adequate restrain it.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: SiotehCat on December 04, 2012, 06:43:14 PM
There would be no "please". If it happened again, the police would be called. Someone needs socialization training, and is not a canine.

What would the police be called for? The lady wasn't near the dog.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Deetee on December 04, 2012, 06:45:49 PM
There would be no "please". If it happened again, the police would be called. Someone needs socialization training, and is not a canine.

The police? And what do you say to them? "This lady stood 10 feet away from me and then took a step backwards so she was further away from me and then kicked the air in the direction of my dog".

There is a serious difference between "behaviour that some people don't like" and "behaviour that warrents police intervention".
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Betelnut on December 04, 2012, 06:47:59 PM
In my opinion, the OP overreacted a bit.  The woman was scared and reacted.  She didn't kick the dog but made kicking motions that could not, and didn't, even get near the animal.

In the future, if I were the OP and saw the same woman, I would put my dog between myself and her and walk quickly by as far on the opposite side of the path as possible.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 04, 2012, 06:48:16 PM
There would be no "please". If it happened again, the police would be called. Someone needs socialization training, and is not a canine.

The police? And what do you say to them? "This lady stood 10 feet away from me and then took a step backwards so she was further away from me and then kicked the air in the direction of my dog".

There is a serious difference between "behaviour that some people don't like" and "behaviour that warrents police intervention".

Yeah, the police would be an extreme overreaction.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Mikayla on December 04, 2012, 06:51:39 PM
I'm on the fence.  But one thing nobody has mentioned is the woman telling OP to keep "that beast" away from her.  This was completely uncalled for, especially after the explanation.

The other issue is that this was a dog friendly area.  That can mean a lot of things, but if it's "the place to go" in that town for people walking dogs, maybe people who are sensitive to them might want to walk elsewhere. 

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Deetee on December 04, 2012, 07:00:23 PM
I'm on the fence.  But one thing nobody has mentioned is the woman telling OP to keep "that beast" away from her.  This was completely uncalled for, especially after the explanation.

The other issue is that this was a dog friendly area.  That can mean a lot of things, but if it's "the place to go" in that town for people walking dogs, maybe people who are sensitive to them might want to walk elsewhere.

I did mention it (indirectly) as it moved me into thinking the woman was only nervous to rude (and possibly still nervous.

As for it being a dog area, that can depend. Sometimes there are very few places that one can go for a walk where there are no dogs.

Quote
It doesn't make her behaviour any more pleasant but it sounds like it wasn't personal. She may not even be aware of the kicking. But her comment afterwards puts her firmy in rude category in my mind. If she had said "I'm just really nervous around dogs" I'm sure you would forgive a possibly inadvertant air kick.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: sunnygirl on December 04, 2012, 07:19:19 PM
I think you were out of line.  She did not "try to kick [your] dog" at all.  Not even close.  10 full feet away in fact.  Heck she took 2 steps backwards.  She kicked at the air.  You then admonished her and accused her of something she didn't come anywhere close to doing.  You should have just kept going and ignored her, instead you verbally attacked her. People don't have to like your dog, any dog or even the idea of dogs.  She was not in any way shape or form a danger to your dog, she was clearly trying to defend herself in case of an attack, not trying to instigate one.

If she was so far away that she was not in any way shape or form a danger to the dog then the dog was far enough away they it was not in any way shape or form a danger to her and her action was needlessly aggressive.
I disagree. 10ft for a large dog that is actively trying to get to a person and 10ft for a scared human being who is backing away are not remotely the same thing. A large dog could cover that distance in one lunge if not properly restrained, and although the OP was properly restraining him a terrified stranger might not know or realise that. A scared adult 10ft away and backing further away is not a comparable potential threat or really any threat. And there's no indication she was trying to kick the dog -- I don't think the fact she didn't deny kicking it is an admission of guilt as she was probably too terrified to conduct a proper conversation. I'm not defending the woman because I think her behaviour was inappropriate and rude -- if you have that bad a dog phobia I think the onus is on you to scan the area to ensure you try to keep a comfortable distance from any dogs, especially when in an area commonly used by dog walkers (if the dog had suddenly jumped out at her from a hedge or something that would be different but it doesn't sound like that's what happened). However I don't think someone making feeble, probably unconscious air kicks while backing away = kicking the dog, or that you can compare a large pulling dog and a frightened woman in terms of physical threat.

I think the OP handled it extremely well, though.


Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Venus193 on December 04, 2012, 07:28:13 PM
The woman may have been 10 feet away from CrochetFanatic, but how long was the leash?

Not that this excuses the attempted kick.  If this woman is phobic about dogs she should not be in an area that welcomes them.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Beyond The Veil on December 04, 2012, 07:49:26 PM
It is likely the case that the woman saw just the dog first and then reacted immediately on a phobia. I would have done the same thing, I am also afraid of dogs and can identify with the woman. It wasn't necessary to scold her, it seems to me she was acting out of a sense of self-preservation. There was no danger to either party, so all in all this situation ended fairly good. There's no need to dwell over it.

I would have done the same thing as her if my phobia and instincts kicked into to protect myself, since the dog was making the first move. There seems to be a lot of hyperbole and overreaction in this thread.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: gen xer on December 04, 2012, 07:59:06 PM
 Sure....the lady over-reacted a little...but it really is no harm, no foul.  Although this is not directed at the OP...some people who are hard-core dog fanatics have a hard time understanding that not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for their pets.  Any perceived slight or dislike for their dog is a personal insult.  A little chilling out would go a long way to resolving these types of issues before they escalate.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: mmswm on December 04, 2012, 08:08:47 PM
My mother is terrified of large dogs.  Well, all large dogs except one (dearly departed) Japanese Akita/St. Bernard mix who topped the scales at 175lbs (he was my first "baby").  Years ago, she may have reacted the same way that the lady did and would have been highly offended at being "scolded".  While I don't think the OP was out of line in saying something, even what she said, perhaps a better response would have been something in a more soothing tone, reassuring her that the dog was controlled and she was perfectly safe.  Something like that might even open the door to a discussion about how kicking like that is perceived by the dog as an act of aggression, and an unrestrained dog might react badly.  That's the kind of discussion that eventually allowed my mother to control her response to large dogs when she's out in public.  Sometimes, a little education on a topic is all that's needed to, if not overcome a fear, to at least be able to cope with it more effectively.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: O'Dell on December 04, 2012, 08:17:18 PM
I love dogs but in this situation as the dog owner I'd be tempted to laugh at the absurdity of an elderly woman taking 2 attempted "kicks" at a leashed dog 10 feet away. AND then I'd immediately feel bad because she must be terrified to do such a silly thing and I'd ignore or say something friendly to her. I think it was wrong to scold her. Not only because she did not and could not have done harm from that distance, but because there was no need to do more than walk your dog away from the situation. The scolding was aggressive.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: bonyk on December 04, 2012, 08:30:12 PM
I'm also on the fence.  On the one hand the lady wasn't close enough to really hurt the dog, and was really just kicking the air.  On the other hand. . . kicking "at" something can be considered a threat.  Not a serious threat, but if someone threatened my pet to any degree I'd probably be pretty quick to defend her.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 04, 2012, 09:36:52 PM
I really on the fence too.  Part of my issue is trying to envision the woman's air kicks.  I'm seeing them as a "shoo, shoo" type reaction because I can't imagine a scared person stopping long enough to make accurately aimed kicks or wanting to really confront a large dog. 

If the woman had used her hands and did a shoo, shoo type motion (cant come up with a better description) would people feel she was in the wrong?

I know if the woman had a stick and started swinging that in the direction of my dog, I'd be upset, but just winging a body part wouldn't bother me. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Bijou on December 04, 2012, 10:04:24 PM
Looking at it from the lady's viewpoint...
She is a stranger to the dog.  Can a 70 lb dog be difficult to restrain, especially if excited or, heaven forbid, acting aggressive?  And as someone else mentioned, the length of the leash comes into question. 
The op may have felt she had the dog under control, but the interpretation of a large dancing dog jumping around trying to approach could well send a person into a panic of trying to protect herself.
I wouldn't have admonished the lady for kicking the dog.  It sounds like she was trying to protect herself from a perceived threat probably out of past experience or fear, and according to the OP, she was no where near enough to kick the dog.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CrochetFanatic on December 04, 2012, 11:24:16 PM
Well, I've got a lot of people saying I did great, and a lot of people telling me I was out of line for saying anything.  It sounds a lot like the conflict that was going on in my head as I made the first post.  :-[  I will say that there wasn't a whole lot of time to think, and my response was also out of reflex.

Someone asked about the length of the leash, and it's about ten feet normally, but I had it wrapped around my hand to only give her about two and a half feet of slack.  It's sort of a hold-over from when she was younger and would be defiant during training.

I think I'll take the advice and have Daisy on my other side when/if I see the woman, and try to stay away from her.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: AylaM on December 04, 2012, 11:34:24 PM
If the woman had used her hands and did a shoo, shoo type motion (cant come up with a better description) would people feel she was in the wrong?

As a dog owner I'd be annoyed if someone did that to my dog when we were that far out.   It would be like they are assuming that I'm not in control of the dog. I'd not say anything, as it isn't a threatening motion, but the person would probably get some sort of look ranging between "what are you doing" and an offended "excuse me?" 

If the dog actually went up to the stranger, I wouldn't be annoyed at all.  I'd actually be apologetic for allowing the dog to get that close without an invitation.  I can imagine understanding that the person might be scared, but if I had the dog under control they'd definitely get a look.

As far as the OP's situation, I think the immediate admonishment wasn't the best way to go about it.  But I don't blame her for it.  If someone looked like they were preparing to attack my pet I'd not really think through every scenario before saying something.  Being ready to kick is one thing, practicing is another.  One is defensive, the other is aggressive. 

That would be hard to see, so using a more visual example.  If the lady had an umbrella/cane/stick and she tensed up and held it in front of her defensively, looking prepared to strike and attempted to keep distance between them I'd not be too upset.  I'd be more inclined to protect her from the dog.  Taking practice swings in the direction of the animal would be upsetting.  I'd be more inclined to to act like the OP.

But I'd say a better scenario in the OP's case would have been something like:

OP(in shocked & cold way):  "Are you trying to kick my dog?"
Lady:  "Keep that beast away from me!"  or   "Sorry, I'm terrified of all dogs."
OP:  "Do NOT kick my dog"  or "don't worry, I have her under control"


I think I'll take the advice and have Daisy on my other side when/if I see the woman, and try to stay away from her.

That's a good call.  It will hopefully give the lady some reassurance and it will protect your dog at the same time.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: kareng57 on December 04, 2012, 11:43:27 PM
It is likely the case that the woman saw just the dog first and then reacted immediately on a phobia. I would have done the same thing, I am also afraid of dogs and can identify with the woman. It wasn't necessary to scold her, it seems to me she was acting out of a sense of self-preservation. There was no danger to either party, so all in all this situation ended fairly good. There's no need to dwell over it.


I was thinking the exact same thing.  Sometimes it's not even a phobia, it's someone who has experienced an attack/assault from a dog who the owner asserts is "perfectly friendly".
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Hollanda on December 05, 2012, 02:15:39 AM
I'm not good with dogs. I've had a dog bite me before - not my fault.  It was in my friend's house and the dog's owners gave me the dog's ball to play with her. I gently threw the ball and the dog caught it. She came back to me and put the ball in front of me. I picked the ball up and she lunged at me andbit my arm. Owner immediately managed to get her off me and then explained some things that, had I known earlier, would meant I had never gone near that poor creature. Firstly the dog was a rescue dog that had been abused. Secondly the dog was therefore wary of strangers. Thirdly and most important in my mind. The dog was on medication that caused her to maybe become aggressive but the owners were in"not sure". This was at my friend's house party and the dog was owned by her mother and her fiance. So....all that considered why bring the dog to a situation that was likely to distress her?! I was so shaken that I went into the bathroom to calm down. When I reappeared the dog had been taken homeby friend's mother and they never came back to the party. I am really not great with dogs. I don't get them and I did several times say "I don't like dogs" when asked to play with her. But either I wasn't strong enough at saying it or friend's mum really didn't want to hear it. This was years ago.and now I just don't like to approach any dog, regardless of the owner. I know dog lovers really sometimes don't understand that not everyone is a dog person, fine. But in my situation the owners were irresponsible.

OP I think you were fine.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: strawbabies on December 05, 2012, 07:47:31 AM
My husband was attacked by a large dog as a child.  As a result, he has a phobia of just about every big dog that isn't a golden retriever.  We have four small dogs, but large ones scare him.  He does his best to avoid them.  He doesn't go around making kicking motions just because a dog comes near him. 

I don't care if that woman does possibly have a phobia.  What she did was completely uncalled for.  You handled it better than I would have, OP.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 05, 2012, 08:23:55 AM
A lot of people in this thread have said if the woman is so afraid of dogs she shouldn't go places where they are welcome... I'm curious, what does that mean?  Other then beaches, and one small part of Central Park (Sheep's Meadow), I know of no public outdoor green spaces (parks, etc) that don't allow dogs on leashes.  Sure sometimes paved atrium type places or very specific use trails don't allow any dogs (and lets face it they are brought anyway) but the vast majority of parks and varied use trails always allow dogs IME.  So are many of you saying people who have - often totally justified - fears of dogs should never ever get to go to parks?

I do absolutely understand OP, and many posters on this board, are responsible dog owners who leash and restrain their dogs, but surely you all do understand a huge amount of dog owners are not so responsible and diligent.

The solution should not be people who are fearful of poorly restrained dogs and their irresponsible owners avoid the parks their community offers and that their taxes pay for.  The solution should be with the dog owners.  And if the good dog owners suffer for it, then their annoyance and wrath and irritation, etc should be taken out solely on the irresponsible dog owners, not the fearful innocent people without dogs who are simply trying to enjoy public spaces.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 05, 2012, 08:28:47 AM
A lot of people in this thread have said if the woman is so afraid of dogs she shouldn't go places where they are welcome... I'm curious, what does that mean?  Other then beaches, and one small part of Central Park (Sheep's Meadow), I know of no public outdoor green spaces (parks, etc) that don't allow dogs on leashes.  Sure sometimes paved atrium type places or very specific use trails don't allow any dogs (and lets face it they are brought anyway) but the vast majority of parks and varied use trails always allow dogs IME.  So are many of you saying people who have - often totally justified - fears of dogs should never ever get to go to parks?

I do absolutely understand OP, and many posters on this board, are responsible dog owners who leash and restrain their dogs, but surely you all do understand a huge amount of dog owners are not so responsible and diligent.

The solution should not be people who are fearful of poorly restrained dogs and their irresponsible owners avoid the parks their community offers and that their taxes pay for.  The solution should be with the dog owners.  And if the good dog owners suffer for it, then their annoyance and wrath and irritation, etc should be taken out solely on the irresponsible dog owners, not the fearful innocent people without dogs who are simply trying to enjoy public spaces.

I completely agree with you on this point.  The OP called it a walking trail, not a dog park.  Just because dogs aren't banned doesn't mean a walker expects to encounter a rather large dog eager to make their aquantance every time they go to the trail.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Cosmasia on December 05, 2012, 08:34:03 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.

Edit: I'd also like to say that kicking while being further away from the dog does not make it okay, it's a threatening action to do to anyone. Not acceptable.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Hollanda on December 05, 2012, 08:35:52 AM
Pod WN. I've also had owners allow their dogs to get right up to my DS in his buggy. I simply ask politely that they do not allow their dog to do that. In addition to my fear that the dog will snap and potentially harm my child there are also the health hazards associated with a dog trying to lick a baby's face! This has happened twice now. DS loves dogs...he laughs and claps when he sees one. So the owner thinks it somehow fine to lead the dog right up to him?? Um no..

But I would never make kicking motions toward a dog.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: sunnygirl on December 05, 2012, 08:53:21 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.
How was the dog in such immediate danger for it to be a 'safety trumps etiquette' situation? I don't see how the dog was in any danger from an an elderly woman standing a good distance away - and backing away - making feeble air kicks. She didn't actually kick or attempt to kick the dog. And the woman had no way of knowing whether the dog - who was actively trying to get to her, not "literally doing nothing" - presented a danger to her or not.

Like I said, I don't condone her behaviour. At all. But I think it's important to make a distinction between actual physical abuse (kicking an animal) and what the woman did.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: rashea on December 05, 2012, 08:57:36 AM
I think you would be better off trying to reassure her, and let her know that kicking at the dog might seem aggressive, and maybe even offer her a better option. A hand held up and a "I'm scared of dogs" would work much better.

I'm still trying to picture this kick, but I'm guessing that a little kick by someone 10 feet away was not something that resulted in you being genuinely afraid that she was going to hurt your dog.

I almost wonder if what she was thinking was to let off some of her fear (which is not to say that I think her actions were appropriate, but she's not here for me to offer advice to). Sort of a "ha, I conquered that dog".

I do feel for you OP. My dog is no longer scary to most people (something about the fact that she walks in circles and falls down pretty regularly) to the point where I've used her to help people who are afraid of dogs. But, I've had dogs that people were afraid of. And it's a tough thing to deal with. You know they are a wimp and wouldn't bite even if you pulled their ears. But, they don't know that. And that happy dance can look scary to someone else. Hang in there. Come up with a line to reassure people, and you'll be in good shape.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 05, 2012, 08:57:36 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.

Edit: I'd also like to say that kicking while being further away from the dog does not make it okay, it's a threatening action to do to anyone. Not acceptable.

I totally disagree with you.  The dog was advancing towards her because it wanted to meet her and wagging it's tail quickly - which to people who are not dog-people looks very threatening.  And she was backing up and the OP says they were feeble kicks at the air 10 feet away from the dog.  So while I think no one was actually in danger, if anyone was to suppose one was in danger it would have squarely been the scared backing up woman was in danger and the eager advancing dog was in none.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Cosmasia on December 05, 2012, 09:06:27 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.
How was the dog in such immediate danger for it to be a 'safety trumps etiquette' situation? I don't see how the dog was in any danger from an an elderly woman standing a good distance away - and backing away - making feeble air kicks. She didn't actually kick or attempt to kick the dog. And the woman had no way of knowing whether the dog - who was actively trying to get to her, not "literally doing nothing" - presented a danger to her or not.

Like I said, I don't condone her behaviour. At all. But I think it's important to make a distinction between actual physical abuse (kicking an animal) and what the woman did.

Someone threatening you is danger and kicking at someone is a threat. It's no different than if a person punches the air at you or makes other threatening moves.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: chigrrl1 on December 05, 2012, 09:17:47 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.
How was the dog in such immediate danger for it to be a 'safety trumps etiquette' situation? I don't see how the dog was in any danger from an an elderly woman standing a good distance away - and backing away - making feeble air kicks. She didn't actually kick or attempt to kick the dog. And the woman had no way of knowing whether the dog - who was actively trying to get to her, not "literally doing nothing" - presented a danger to her or not.

Like I said, I don't condone her behaviour. At all. But I think it's important to make a distinction between actual physical abuse (kicking an animal) and what the woman did.

Someone threatening you is danger and kicking at someone is a threat. It's no different than if a person punches the air at you or makes other threatening moves.
I'm with you on this one. Kicking demonstrates that she wanted to engage with the animal further.  If she merely wished to avoid the dog, she could have used her words to advise OP to keep the awful "beast" away from her.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: sunnygirl on December 05, 2012, 09:25:40 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.
How was the dog in such immediate danger for it to be a 'safety trumps etiquette' situation? I don't see how the dog was in any danger from an an elderly woman standing a good distance away - and backing away - making feeble air kicks. She didn't actually kick or attempt to kick the dog. And the woman had no way of knowing whether the dog - who was actively trying to get to her, not "literally doing nothing" - presented a danger to her or not.

Like I said, I don't condone her behaviour. At all. But I think it's important to make a distinction between actual physical abuse (kicking an animal) and what the woman did.

Someone threatening you is danger and kicking at someone is a threat. It's no different than if a person punches the air at you or makes other threatening moves.
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, because I really can't see any comparison. Threatening behaviour depends on context. A mugger waving a fist is a threat. A toddler waving a fist is not. You are not automatically in danger every time someone waves a fist while they're around you. The woman felt threatened and reacted very badly, but there's no evidence she presented any threat to the dog.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 05, 2012, 09:32:27 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.
How was the dog in such immediate danger for it to be a 'safety trumps etiquette' situation? I don't see how the dog was in any danger from an an elderly woman standing a good distance away - and backing away - making feeble air kicks. She didn't actually kick or attempt to kick the dog. And the woman had no way of knowing whether the dog - who was actively trying to get to her, not "literally doing nothing" - presented a danger to her or not.

Like I said, I don't condone her behaviour. At all. But I think it's important to make a distinction between actual physical abuse (kicking an animal) and what the woman did.

Someone threatening you is danger and kicking at someone is a threat. It's no different than if a person punches the air at you or makes other threatening moves.
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, because I really can't see any comparison. Threatening behaviour depends on context. A mugger waving a fist is a threat. A toddler waving a fist is not. You are not automatically in danger every time someone waves a fist while they're around you. The woman felt threatened and reacted very badly, but there's no evidence she presented any threat to the dog.

The same argument could be said for the dog. The dog was restrained and under control and posed no threat. Yes, people have been jumped on and nipped by dogs, but it doesn't mean they have to overreact everytime a dog glances in their direction.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Miss Unleaded on December 05, 2012, 09:39:41 AM
Quote
The kicks were kinda feeble, but it got my back up.  Uh-uh.  Not okay to kick at my dog.  Daisy was on a harness and leash, and there was no danger of her unintentionally harming the lady.  Now, Daisy is about 70 pounds and admittedly looks a bit intimidating to people who first meet her, but she's really just a big wimp.  I can't totally blame the lady for her reaction, especially it she was afraid of dogs, but I was angry just the same.

I'm not sure if I handled this well or not, though.  I said, not in a sharp tone, "Ma'am, please don't try to kick my dog.  I understand you don't want to be jumped on or knocked down, but I've got her under control, and we're leaving.  She won't bother you."

I don't think you did really badly, but I agree with others who say that I have a hard time imagining a 60 year old woman 10 feet away, taking a step back and making two feeble kicks in the air presenting any danger to your dog or any real threat.  I think a better way would have just been to reassure her that you had the dog under control and that she was in no danger.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: O'Dell on December 05, 2012, 09:51:07 AM
If the woman had used her hands and did a shoo, shoo type motion (cant come up with a better description) would people feel she was in the wrong?

As a dog owner I'd be annoyed if someone did that to my dog when we were that far out.   It would be like they are assuming that I'm not in control of the dog. I'd not say anything, as it isn't a threatening motion, but the person would probably get some sort of look ranging between "what are you doing" and an offended "excuse me?" 

I grew up around dogs and know how to handle them. I see a lot of dog owners who aren't in control of their dogs. Almost daily. I love and respect dogs and that is why I am wary of strange ones and even more wary of their owners. The dog was lunging? The OP could have appeared not in control and frankly an owner should know their dog and be aware enough to have that under control quickly. I think it's a good plan Crochet to have your dog on the other side of you when he's feisty and you are around anyone. Safer for your dog that way.

And the reflexes vs. etiquette of the situation? In my opinion, a civilized person doesn't let their instincts take over in situations where it's not necessary. No one was in danger in the situation the OP describes. Not the dog nor the stranger nor the OP. Etiquette is there to help us resist instinctive urges to lash out, verbally or otherwise, in situations where it's not appropriate.

(And also as a dog owner/lover, I find it ironic how protective people would be of a large dog. I suspect that many of you would protect your dogs from my playing with them. I thought boxers could take a fair bit of roughhousing. I'd be rougher with him than this lady was....just for fun.)
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 05, 2012, 10:08:00 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.
How was the dog in such immediate danger for it to be a 'safety trumps etiquette' situation? I don't see how the dog was in any danger from an an elderly woman standing a good distance away - and backing away - making feeble air kicks. She didn't actually kick or attempt to kick the dog. And the woman had no way of knowing whether the dog - who was actively trying to get to her, not "literally doing nothing" - presented a danger to her or not.

Like I said, I don't condone her behaviour. At all. But I think it's important to make a distinction between actual physical abuse (kicking an animal) and what the woman did.

Someone threatening you is danger and kicking at someone is a threat. It's no different than if a person punches the air at you or makes other threatening moves.
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, because I really can't see any comparison. Threatening behaviour depends on context. A mugger waving a fist is a threat. A toddler waving a fist is not. You are not automatically in danger every time someone waves a fist while they're around you. The woman felt threatened and reacted very badly, but there's no evidence she presented any threat to the dog.

The same argument could be said for the dog. The dog was restrained and under control and posed no threat. Yes, people have been jumped on and nipped by dogs, but it doesn't mean they have to overreact everytime a dog glances in their direction.

Totally agreed.  And if all the dog did was glance in her direction you'd have an excellent point.

But the reality is a 70 lb dog did more then glance, it was actively trying to get towards her (only stopped by a leash) and was displaying body language that indicated it was worked up (sure happy worked up to the owner, but undefinable worked up to a stranger).  She was stepping backwards, away from the animal.

So the "threat" being posed was by the advancing one (the dog) not the retreating one (the woman).

Her "kicks" were defensive not aggressive.  She made it clear via her actions of stepping backwards she did not want to attack the animal, she wanted to be far away from the dog and wanted the dog kept away from her.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Fleur on December 05, 2012, 10:23:58 AM


I have to say I agree with Willy Nilly. Sorry, OP, but I think that you were a bit rude to the woman. Not horridly so, and I can sort of understand your frustration. But as someone who has been jumped by uncontrolled dogs in the past, I can see where she is coming from. Not that I'm saying that you'd have let that happen! But she was just lashing out, from fear, and your dog was in no danger. It would have been far more gracious just to let it go.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 05, 2012, 10:26:31 AM
Safety trumps etiquette. That lady was in no danger, but your dog was. There's absolutely no reason to try to be polite or sweet or mild with someone who kicks at a dog, regardless of whether they actually manage to hit it. Especially when said dog is on a leash and is doing literally nothing to that person. I'm shocked, honestly, that she had the nerve to do that and then call it a beast. It doesn't matter if she has a phobia, that's her problem to deal with. You don't kick animals who are doing no harm to you, especially someone else's pet.

I'm even more shocked that kicking was her first reaction. If she was phobic she could just as well have stepped back or said "please don't come near". What a horrible person.
How was the dog in such immediate danger for it to be a 'safety trumps etiquette' situation? I don't see how the dog was in any danger from an an elderly woman standing a good distance away - and backing away - making feeble air kicks. She didn't actually kick or attempt to kick the dog. And the woman had no way of knowing whether the dog - who was actively trying to get to her, not "literally doing nothing" - presented a danger to her or not.

Like I said, I don't condone her behaviour. At all. But I think it's important to make a distinction between actual physical abuse (kicking an animal) and what the woman did.

Someone threatening you is danger and kicking at someone is a threat. It's no different than if a person punches the air at you or makes other threatening moves.
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, because I really can't see any comparison. Threatening behaviour depends on context. A mugger waving a fist is a threat. A toddler waving a fist is not. You are not automatically in danger every time someone waves a fist while they're around you. The woman felt threatened and reacted very badly, but there's no evidence she presented any threat to the dog.

The same argument could be said for the dog. The dog was restrained and under control and posed no threat. Yes, people have been jumped on and nipped by dogs, but it doesn't mean they have to overreact everytime a dog glances in their direction.

Totally agreed.  And if all the dog did was glance in her direction you'd have an excellent point.

But the reality is a 70 lb dog did more then glance, it was actively trying to get towards her (only stopped by a leash) and was displaying body language that indicated it was worked up (sure happy worked up to the owner, but undefinable worked up to a stranger).  She was stepping backwards, away from the animal.

So the "threat" being posed was by the advancing one (the dog) not the retreating one (the woman).

Her "kicks" were defensive not aggressive.  She made it clear via her actions of stepping backwards she did not want to attack the animal, she wanted to be far away from the dog and wanted the dog kept away from her.

I think the actions of the dog are getting more and more exaggerated as the thread continues. The dog did not lunge, he moved in her direction and the OP pulled him back. The dog was at no time a threat.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: O'Dell on December 05, 2012, 10:35:12 AM

I think the actions of the dog are getting more and more exaggerated as the thread continues. The dog did not lunge, he moved in her direction and the OP pulled him back. The dog was at no time a threat.

Thanks for pointing that out. I realize now that I confused the dog veering toward the woman and the dog only lunging at squirrels.

This thread highlights for me how much more conversant I am in dog etiquette than human etiquette. The dog seems to have not perceived a threat and moved on. Yet here all us humans are thrashing out the last details and speculating and misinterpreting and.... Sometimes this sort of thing brings home to me exactly why dog owners think I'm weird when I interact with their dog while ignoring the human.

I don't like all dogs, but I do like all dogs more than humans. :P
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 05, 2012, 10:41:47 AM
<snip>
I think the actions of the dog are getting more and more exaggerated as the thread continues. The dog did not lunge, he moved in her direction and the OP pulled him back. The dog was at no time a threat.

From the OP:

...The walk was uneventful, but as we were on our way to the car we passed by a woman who looked to be in her 60's. Daisy loves people, and she started her whole tail-wagging "happy to meet you" dance, trying to lead me over to greet the woman.  I didn't let her, and she was about ten feet away as we passed, but I think this lady must be afraid of dogs or something, because she took a step back before aiming two kicks in the dog's direction.  The kicks were kinda feeble, but it got my back up. 

...Now, Daisy is about 70 pounds and admittedly looks a bit intimidating to people who first meet her, but she's really just a big wimp.  I can't totally blame the lady for her reaction, especially it she was afraid of dogs, but I was angry just the same.

I never said the dog "lunged" but the OP does tell us the dog was actively trying to get near the woman, heading in the woman's direction and it was only because the OP restrained the dog that she didn't get up close to the woman.

The OP also admits her dog is 70 lbs and intimidating looking.  And the woman appeared to be in her 60's.

So no I don't think the dog's actions are being exaggerated.  If anything I think the woman's actions are being exaggerated.  She was visibly frightened, she was stepping backwards and her kicks were into the air 10 feet away and "feeble" and while she may have been in great shape for 60 (which we don't even know) the reality is the average American non-dog-person mid-60's woman is not really all that physically able to protect themselves against a 70lb strange dog.

I think its important to note too, that while the OP had her dog under control the woman didn't know that. It was totally an act of trust towards a total stranger.

And the sequence of events was:
1. 70lb dog tries to advance towards woman
2. Woman steps back, clearly scared and feebly kicks at air
3. Dog owner verbally attacks woman instead of reassuring her the dog was under control and harmless
4. Woman reacts verbally in the negative.

So we have two acts of aggression coming at the woman from her point of view and two acts of response from the woman.  At no point did the woman initiate - she didn't initiate physical interaction, nor did she initiate verbal interaction.  All the woman did was react.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: #borecore on December 05, 2012, 10:47:02 AM
When I was young and terrified of dogs, I was taught to raise up one leg quickly and basically show the dog I was defending myself (and particularly my vulnerable abdomen). Sometimes, being terrified as I was, this probably looked more like frantic flailing or kicking. Something about this posture, I was told, makes the dog back off. Whether that's true or false, it does make me feel better about an oncoming, enthusiastic dog, even now when I'm less frightened in general.

I think the OP overreacted, but I've heard much worse from people who can't handle the thought that anyone might be afraid of their precious pup, even when we weren't in the same room.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 05, 2012, 10:47:36 AM
<snip>
I think the actions of the dog are getting more and more exaggerated as the thread continues. The dog did not lunge, he moved in her direction and the OP pulled him back. The dog was at no time a threat.

From the OP:

...The walk was uneventful, but as we were on our way to the car we passed by a woman who looked to be in her 60's. Daisy loves people, and she started her whole tail-wagging "happy to meet you" dance, trying to lead me over to greet the woman.  I didn't let her, and she was about ten feet away as we passed, but I think this lady must be afraid of dogs or something, because she took a step back before aiming two kicks in the dog's direction.  The kicks were kinda feeble, but it got my back up. 

...Now, Daisy is about 70 pounds and admittedly looks a bit intimidating to people who first meet her, but she's really just a big wimp.  I can't totally blame the lady for her reaction, especially it she was afraid of dogs, but I was angry just the same.

I never said the dog "lunged" but the OP does tell us the dog was actively trying to get near the woman, heading in the woman's direction and it was only because the OP restrained the dog that she didn't get up close to the woman.

The OP also admits her dog is 70 lbs and intimidating looking.  And the woman appeared to be in her 60's.

So no I don't think the dog's actions are being exaggerated.  If anything I think the woman's actions are being exaggerated.  She was visibly frightened, she was stepping backwards and her kicks were into the air 10 feet away and "feeble" and while she may have been in great shape for 60 (which we don't even know) the reality is the average American non-dog-person mid-60's woman is not really all that physically able to protect themselves against a 70lb strange dog.

I think its important to note too, that while the OP had her dog under control the woman didn't know that. It was totally an act of trust towards a total stranger.

And the sequence of events was:
1. 70lb dog tries to advance towards woman
2. Woman steps back, clearly scared and feebly kicks at air
3. Dog owner verbally attacks woman instead of reassuring her the dog was under control and harmless
4. Woman reacts verbally in the negative.

So we have two acts of aggression coming at the woman from her point of view and two acts of response from the woman.  At no point did the woman initiate - she didn't initiate physical interaction, nor did she initiate verbal interaction.  All the woman did was react.

The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: WillyNilly on December 05, 2012, 10:53:14 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 05, 2012, 10:55:11 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

I'm not going to argue with you, nor put up with your snarky and sarcastic comments. You are unwilling to budge on your position, so anything that I say isn't going to change your mind.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Betelnut on December 05, 2012, 11:09:05 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

I agree with Willy Nilly.  In my experience many, if not most, dogs are not properly restrained by their owners.  It is totally within reason that someone seeing a dog on a leash would think that the dog could and will initiate contact.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CaptainObvious on December 05, 2012, 11:11:28 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

I agree with Willy Nilly.  In my experience many, if not most, dogs are not properly restrained by their owners.  It is totally within reason that someone seeing a dog on a leash would think that the dog could and will initiate contact.
In my experience the opposite is true, so I guess we are at an impasse.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CakeBeret on December 05, 2012, 11:22:24 AM
I think that fear makes people do funny things.

I have a relative who lives on a farm and has chickens. One rooster is particularly mean, and one day attacked me. It's a rooster, it's not like it could do me serious harm, but I did feel 'under attack' and instinctively kicked it. I didn't intend to at all, but in the heat of the moment, it happened.

I think this lady is probably quite scared of dogs, and was instinctively trying to make a "stay away"/"back off" gesture. I think the OP had every right to be annoyed by this, but I think that being sharp with the lady was out of line. I think the OP should have said something to her in a soothing tone: "Please don't be alarmed. She's excited and wants to meet you, but I promise I won't let her near you."
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: AylaM on December 05, 2012, 11:25:03 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

I agree with Willy Nilly.  In my experience many, if not most, dogs are not properly restrained by their owners.  It is totally within reason that someone seeing a dog on a leash would think that the dog could and will initiate contact.
In my experience the opposite is true, so I guess we are at an impasse.

My experience is that most people do not suitable restrain their dogs at all times.  But also that if I asked, they could reign them in more because they are not that out of control.

So if I came across a dog that was too close for comfort, I usually assume that the owner will pull them back if I ask.  So I ask.

She didn't ask.  She kicked at the dog. 


Also, I'd like to add that I don't like the argument that it was a feeble kick from an old lady in the dog's direction.  If the dog moving towards her is enough of a threat that she feels the need to kick, why isn't her kick enough of a threat that the owner can call her on it?
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: BarensMom on December 05, 2012, 11:32:13 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

I agree with Willy Nilly.  In my experience many, if not most, dogs are not properly restrained by their owners.  It is totally within reason that someone seeing a dog on a leash would think that the dog could and will initiate contact.
In my experience the opposite is true, so I guess we are at an impasse.

I actually agree with both views.  A dog can be uncontrolled while on a leash, especially those retractable ones, while an unleashed dog can be completely under voice control.  The problem lies in the simple fact that dogs are unpredictable creatures, and no one knows how they will react in every circumstance. 

The woman in the OP's story had no way of knowing whether the OP would be able to control her 70-lb dog.  I could understand her doing what she mistakingly thought would ward off the dog.   However, if she has a real dog phobia, she should go to those areas where dogs are prohibited.

I've had people react badly to Baren, even though he is just love and snot held together by fur.  He is a big dog and, for people who have phobias or bad experiences, it's understandable.  As long as they don't actually kick or hit him, I will just reassure them that he's under control and move away as quickly as I can.

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: shivering on December 05, 2012, 11:37:46 AM
It sounds like both sides overreacted a little, but no one was in the wrong. If I was OP, I probably would've said something "don't worry, I have her under control and will keep her away" and kept walking.

The woman saw Daisy focus on her and got nervous. I'm sure Daisy's size played a part. The feeble kicks were probably just a defensive reaction. She was 10 feet away. She wasn't actively coming after the dog.                                   
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Wordgeek on December 05, 2012, 11:45:37 AM
Again, stop squabbling like children.  If you can't stay civil, stay out of the conversation.  That applies just as much to passionate subjects as to tamer discussions.

Govern yourselves, or be governed.

ETA Captain Obvious will not be participating in the thread (or the forum) for a little while.  I don't see anyone else who needs a spanking although Willy Nilly is getting close.  There may be others.

I'll reopen the thread after a few hours, to give people a chance to catch up on their reading and to cool down a bit.

ETA 2 After reading the thread, it seems that WillyNilly does need a little break.

Thread reopened.  Play nice.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Gyburc on December 06, 2012, 04:58:03 AM
  I said, not in a sharp tone, "Ma'am, please don't try to kick my dog.  I understand you don't want to be jumped on or knocked down, but I've got her under control, and we're leaving.  She won't bother you."

The lady actually seemed a bit mollified, but said, "Just keep that beast away from me."


OP, I think this was fine. You were polite, referred to her concerns, made your point, and she accepted it. I wouldn't say that this was a particularly friendly exchange, but I don't think etiquette requires us to be friendly to perfect strangers.  Just to add, I am quite wary around dogs myself.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CharlieBraun on December 06, 2012, 06:57:03 AM
OP - I think you did rather well under the circumstances, and I think you did this woman (and your family) a huge favor by "ID-ing" her so that others can avoid her.

While it's rather impossible to avoid being around dogs in park settings, I disagree with the PPs who feel that dogs are anywhere and everywhere.  Why, I spent an hour in a lovely grocery store last evening with nary a wagging tail about!

Poor lady, though.  Something unpleasant must have happened to her in her past that involved a dog, and that's never nice to contemplate.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: ettiquit on December 06, 2012, 07:19:37 AM
If we can forgive the woman's reaction based on an assumed phobia, I think we can forgive the OP for her reaction as well.  Just as the woman had no idea if the dog was going to actually lunge at her, the OP had no idea if the woman intended on trying to harm the dog.  I think people are more unpredictable than dogs, and since the woman chose not to use her words to convey her concern, there was no good way to interpret her intent.

I'm not finding any rudeness in the OP's response.  The woman kicked at her dog.  The OP asked her to please not do that, and then reassured her that she had control over the dog.  There are so many ways the woman could have responded to that politely, but she chose to snap at the OP and call her dog a "beast". 

I do feel bad for people with dog phobias, because the vast majority of dogs they encounter are likely completely harmless.  I was bitten (unprovoked) by a dog when I was a kid, but for some reason it only made me afraid of that dog.  I have two dogs, and they can be spazzy, so when I walk them I keep very tight control when we happen upon other people. I would be annoyed and a bit bewildered if someone kicked at my dogs as we walked by, although I would probably just give them a "do you eat paint chips?" look and be on my way to avoid any confrontation.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Oh Joy on December 06, 2012, 07:25:38 AM
Given that the lady was ten feet away from the dog, I see this as similar to making a silent obscene gesture.

I likely would have ignored it.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: ettiquit on December 06, 2012, 07:26:18 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: BarensMom on December 06, 2012, 07:50:47 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones.

Based on years of observation and recent experience, the irresponsible dog owners outnumber the responsible ones, in my neck of the woods anyway.  Of course, I have no formal research to back up my statement, so a huge grain of salt is required.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: LadyL on December 06, 2012, 08:00:52 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones.

Based on years of observation and recent experience, the irresponsible dog owners outnumber the responsible ones, in my neck of the woods anyway.  Of course, I have no formal research to back up my statement, so a huge grain of salt is required.

Humans are also biased to remember more emotionally charged incidents than neutral ones (with plenty of research to confirm it). But I think this discussion is not all that related to the etiquette question at hand.

OP, I would be really surprised if not shocked by someone making an aggressive gesture towards my pet. Even if they did something not physically threatening but negative, like flipped me off or make a terrible "yuck" face, I think I would be taken aback. Given that it would catch almost anyone off guard because it was an unusual reaction, I think you did well. I don't think it's your job to accommodate potential random phobias of strangers to the extent that 7-10 feet between your leashed dog and others isn't enough.

The woman could have said "Stay back! I don't like dogs!" or "Please keep him back!" or even just "Get back!" instead of kicking at the dog and then calling him a "beast."
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: BarensMom on December 06, 2012, 08:35:13 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones.

Based on years of observation and recent experience, the irresponsible dog owners outnumber the responsible ones, in my neck of the woods anyway.  Of course, I have no formal research to back up my statement, so a huge grain of salt is required.

Humans are also biased to remember more emotionally charged incidents than neutral ones (with plenty of research to confirm it). But I think this discussion is not all that related to the etiquette question at hand.

OP, I would be really surprised if not shocked by someone making an aggressive gesture towards my pet. Even if they did something not physically threatening but negative, like flipped me off or make a terrible "yuck" face, I think I would be taken aback. Given that it would catch almost anyone off guard because it was an unusual reaction, I think you did well. I don't think it's your job to accommodate potential random phobias of strangers to the extent that 7-10 feet between your leashed dog and others isn't enough.

The woman could have said "Stay back! I don't like dogs!" or "Please keep him back!" or even just "Get back!" instead of kicking at the dog and then calling him a "beast."

I'm playing devil's advocate here.  7-10 feet between a dog and a phobic person isn't very much space when you consider that an average non-retractable leash is 4-6 feet.  Add a retractable in the mix (which some people don't know how to use properly), and 7-10 feet isn't far at all.  When taking that into account, the kicking gestures are understandable, although not the best choice if one wants to escape being noticed by a dog.   OP had the dog under control, but the woman couldn't be 100% sure.

Personally, I would be more offended at the use of the word "beast," than the gestures. 

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: lowspark on December 06, 2012, 08:49:02 AM
Both the kicking gesture and the OP's comment sound to me like a gut reaction. The lady saw the dog coming toward her, didn't want it to, and reacted. No time to think about whether the dog was actually under control or what kind of leash was being used, etc. The OP saw the kick and reacted with what she said. Up to this point, I think that although each of them could have reacted better, I don't really see anything egregious going on.

But when the woman made the "beast" comment, she went over the line.

I was bitten by a dog when I was young and since then I keep my distance from strange dogs. (I have no problem with pets of people I know but in a situation such as this, I just, well, keep my distance.) If I felt threatened, I could see reacting, and maybe this woman did, for whatever reason, feel threatened. But again, there's just no reason to make a rude comment like that after the OP said the dog was under her control and at the point in the story at which it seems obvious that the dog was under control.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: boxy on December 06, 2012, 09:45:39 AM
I don't think the woman was wrong or rude at all for anything she did.  She was probably scared to death of being pushed over by the dog (falling), being bitten, or otherwise hurt. 

You may have been in control of the dog, but SHE wasn't.  You can't fault her for trying to protect herself. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: LadyL on December 06, 2012, 09:49:18 AM
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones.

Based on years of observation and recent experience, the irresponsible dog owners outnumber the responsible ones, in my neck of the woods anyway.  Of course, I have no formal research to back up my statement, so a huge grain of salt is required.

Humans are also biased to remember more emotionally charged incidents than neutral ones (with plenty of research to confirm it). But I think this discussion is not all that related to the etiquette question at hand.

OP, I would be really surprised if not shocked by someone making an aggressive gesture towards my pet. Even if they did something not physically threatening but negative, like flipped me off or make a terrible "yuck" face, I think I would be taken aback. Given that it would catch almost anyone off guard because it was an unusual reaction, I think you did well. I don't think it's your job to accommodate potential random phobias of strangers to the extent that 7-10 feet between your leashed dog and others isn't enough.

The woman could have said "Stay back! I don't like dogs!" or "Please keep him back!" or even just "Get back!" instead of kicking at the dog and then calling him a "beast."

I'm playing devil's advocate here.  7-10 feet between a dog and a phobic person isn't very much space when you consider that an average non-retractable leash is 4-6 feet.  Add a retractable in the mix (which some people don't know how to use properly), and 7-10 feet isn't far at all.  When taking that into account, the kicking gestures are understandable, although not the best choice if one wants to escape being noticed by a dog.   OP had the dog under control, but the woman couldn't be 100% sure.

Personally, I would be more offended at the use of the word "beast," than the gestures.

Sure, but then the OP would need to keep something like a 12-15 foot distance from EVERYONE she encounters in public, to account for potentially phobic reactions. I don't think that's realistic or fair. I think the onus is on the phobic woman to tell dog owners, firmly but politely, "Please keep back" and maybe add "I'm afraid of dogs."

I definitely agree about the "beast" comment. Uncalled for and unproductive.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: anonymousmac on December 06, 2012, 10:38:39 AM
I'm not very fond of dogs (I apologize very much to those who love them!), and I tend to get defensive and anticipate problems when encountering dogs on walks, because of bad experiences with aggressive off-leash dogs in an area where they're required to be on leashes, especially around my child who is scared of them.

And even I think that the OP did the right thing, and the other woman was very rude and picking a fight.

I don't know much about dogs, but to me the kicking motions seem like a clear provocation to the dog, almost "Come here and fight!"  Sure she was 10 feet away and wasn't actually making contact, but someone giving you the finger isn't actually touching your face either.

She was choosing to start an interaction, communicating aggressive intentions towards an animal that probably wouldn't be able to help but respond.  The OP was defending herself and her dog from those aggressive statements, and telling the woman to back off and cut it out.  And she was very polite about it!

OP, I think you did nothing wrong.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: SPuck on December 06, 2012, 10:54:53 AM
I would not call this woman rude but body language dumb definitely. I walk twice a day, and I know the best way to keep the interested dog away from you to ignore it and show body language of indifference. If a person who is afraid of dogs reacts with bag body language constantly, then more often than not the dogs are going to make a bee line for that person if given the chance.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Allyson on December 06, 2012, 11:06:16 AM
I don't think anybody did anything badly wrong. I think the woman had a phobic reaction, and the OP had a protective one, but at no point did anybody do anything out of line harmful or rude.

I'm scared of dogs. My reaction would be more likely to freeze than anything else, but perhaps she panicked and reacted differently. Had she run up to the dog to behave aggressively it would have been entirely different. Everyone spoke civilly after the fact too. This situation really easily *could* have escalated and didn't which is nice to see.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Judah on December 06, 2012, 11:19:20 AM
In my opinion, the OP overreacted a bit.  The woman was scared and reacted.  She didn't kick the dog but made kicking motions that could not, and didn't, even get near the animal.

In the future, if I were the OP and saw the same woman, I would put my dog between myself and her and walk quickly by as far on the opposite side of the path as possible.

This is pretty much where I fall. The woman didn't kick the dog, she made a kicking motion from 10 feet away out of fear.  The best course of action is to just give her a wide berth. 

I don't understand the objection to the woman using the word "beast". A dog, by definition, is a beast.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Hollanda on December 06, 2012, 11:29:21 AM
It was possibly the tone in which the comment was said as much as what was actually said.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: bansidhe on December 06, 2012, 12:01:04 PM
To me, anti-dog woman sounds more like a nasty piece of work looking for a confrontation than someone with a genuine dog phobia. I have seven dogs, all of whom are medium-large or large, and have several times encountered people with dog phobias. In every case, the person's response upon encountering my (leashed and controlled) dog was to either freeze in place or retreat, not kick at the dog then insult it.

If she's genuinely that frightened of dogs, what on earth is she doing hanging out in a place where she's likely to run into them? I wasn't there of course and may be reading too much into things, but she sounds to me like one of those tiresome people who enjoy putting themselves into a "victim" position so they can feel justified about yelling at someone else. OP handled things quite well, I think - certainly much better than I would have.

As for people in general controlling their dogs in public, I find that an alarmingly large percentage of people are seriously clueless in this regard. Because of this, if I had a dog phobia I would go out of my way to avoid places frequented by dogs.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 06, 2012, 12:15:27 PM
To me, anti-dog woman sounds more like a nasty piece of work looking for a confrontation than someone with a genuine dog phobia. I have seven dogs, all of whom are medium-large or large, and have several times encountered people with dog phobias. In every case, the person's response upon encountering my (leashed and controlled) dog was to either freeze in place or retreat, not kick at the dog then insult it.

If she's genuinely that frightened of dogs, what on earth is she doing hanging out in a place where she's likely to run into them? I wasn't there of course and may be reading too much into things, but she sounds to me like one of those tiresome people who enjoy putting themselves into a "victim" position so they can feel justified about yelling at someone else. OP handled things quite well, I think - certainly much better than I would have.

As for people in general controlling their dogs in public, I find that an alarmingly large percentage of people are seriously clueless in this regard. Because of this, if I had a dog phobia I would go out of my way to avoid places frequented by dogs.

I don't think the OP did anything wrong and I agree the older woman was reacting to a fear.  Her actions and words could have been better but honestly, I wouldn't have given them a second thought once the encounter ended. 

But I am very bothered by the bolded part here.  I understand someone with seven dogs wouldn't really be able to relate to someone who geniunionly doesn't like them or is afraid of them.  That doesn't mean she should not have access to a walking trail that was designed for humans to walk on and ALLOWS dogs (instead of the reverse, a dog park designed for dogs). 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 06, 2012, 12:31:37 PM
When I was younger I was very intimidated by larger dogs. I didn't mind the mid-sized ones like cocker spaniels and shelties, but bigger ones like German Shepherds and labs made me nervous.  I never was bitten by a dog, it was just the fact that they were big and I've always been on the small side and just pictured a dog knocking me down and slobbering on me.

I've gotten over it and now am fine with any sized dog, but even when I was nervous I wouldn't have kicked at a person's dog. I would have either put more distance between myself and the dog, or stood still and let it sniff me, maybe giving it a little pat on the head before moving on and if the owner said the dog was friendly.

This woman obviously has a bigger fear than mine ever was, but I still think the kicks were a bad idea, though we're rarely rational when we're afraid.  I agree with some PP's that while the woman had no idea that the OP was in control of her dog, the OP had no idea the woman wasn't going to hurt her dog. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: TurtleDove on December 06, 2012, 12:38:14 PM
I am afraid of dogs and simply do not know enough about the psychology of dogs (or animals in general) to know how to handle myself around them.  I think some posters assume all people have experience with animals and that is simply not true.  I think this is a situation to just let slide.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: bansidhe on December 06, 2012, 12:50:02 PM
If she's genuinely that frightened of dogs, what on earth is she doing hanging out in a place where she's likely to run into them?

But I am very bothered by the bolded part here.  I understand someone with seven dogs wouldn't really be able to relate to someone who geniunionly doesn't like them or is afraid of them.  That doesn't mean she should not have access to a walking trail that was designed for humans to walk on and ALLOWS dogs (instead of the reverse, a dog park designed for dogs).

She can access it all she wants, but she needs to come to terms with the fact that she's going to encounter dogs and she needs to learn how to behave appropriately in that circumstance.

As an example, this isn't a phobia situation, but I'm not overly fond of small children - especially large clusters of them. I'm free to access family restaurants, parks with playgrounds, and Chuck E. Cheese all I want but I tend to either hang out in other places or manage socially acceptable reactions when I encounter small children instead of, say, yellling "Keep your brat away from me!" The latter is just not cool.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: TurtleDove on December 06, 2012, 01:03:31 PM
Now, Daisy is about 70 pounds and admittedly looks a bit intimidating to people who first meet her

This is the part that I think some people overlook when judging the woman.  The OP knows her dog is not violent.  Many dog owners would be able to tell that Daisy's tail wagging and lunging was happy and not aggressive.  But for people who are not familiar with animals, or with that particular animal, a dog lunging at them is scary.  It's not annoying (like the "I don't like kids" situation), it is a moment in time where a person fears for their safety.

For me, I doubt I would have reacted exactly how the woman did but I am TERRIFIED of large dogs and my actions trying to put space between them and me, especially when they are moving and I don't know the length of the leash, are self protection because large dogs intimidate and scare me.  I would imagine there have been times my movements when scared were interpreted as aggression by the dog owner, but I can assure you they were not. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: ettiquit on December 06, 2012, 01:05:23 PM
I don't think anybody did anything badly wrong. I think the woman had a phobic reaction, and the OP had a protective one, but at no point did anybody do anything out of line harmful or rude.

I'm scared of dogs. My reaction would be more likely to freeze than anything else, but perhaps she panicked and reacted differently. Had she run up to the dog to behave aggressively it would have been entirely different. Everyone spoke civilly after the fact too. This situation really easily *could* have escalated and didn't which is nice to see.

How is "keep that beast away from me" even remotely civil?
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Happy2BCF on December 06, 2012, 01:15:24 PM


I don't understand the objection to the woman using the word "beast". A dog, by definition, is a beast.
[/quote]

Many children, by definition, are brats but I've seen people on this board get upset by the use of that word.  Don't insult my dogs & I won't (publicly) insult your children.
OP, you did much better than I would have.  My dogs mean the world to me & I don't take kindly to threats of violence against them.  A question to those who say there was no threat of violence from the older woman - if someone had made kicking motions towards your children would you be upset?  Would you just brush it off as no big deal as some of you have suggested?   Please don't tell me
children are different.  ALL living creatures deserve the same consideration.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: rashea on December 06, 2012, 01:17:06 PM
Now, Daisy is about 70 pounds and admittedly looks a bit intimidating to people who first meet her

This is the part that I think some people overlook when judging the woman.  The OP knows her dog is not violent.  Many dog owners would be able to tell that Daisy's tail wagging and lunging was happy and not aggressive.  But for people who are not familiar with animals, or with that particular animal, a dog lunging at them is scary.  It's not annoying (like the "I don't like kids" situation), it is a moment in time where a person fears for their safety.

I have to agree to a point. OP, I believe Daisy is a boxer? So, a dog like this:
(http://puppydogweb.com/gallery/boxers/boxer_brewer.jpg)

I don't think the woman acted well, but I do think the OP would be best off preparing a short script for using with people who are afraid because appropriate or not, some people do think large dogs, especially breeds like boxers are dangerous. And while I don't condone her actions, the woman isn't here. So, I'm choosing to advise the OP.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: TurtleDove on December 06, 2012, 01:19:29 PM
Please don't tell me children are different.  ALL living creatures deserve the same consideration.

I agree all living creatures deserve respect, but I think there is a legitimate fear of a large dog with teeth and claws that simply does not exist for a toddler or young child.  So yes, I will say that children are different than large dogs because I believe some people have a legitimate fear of large dogs.  I wasn't there, but from the OP's description, the woman did not threaten violence against the OP's dog. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: TurtleDove on December 06, 2012, 01:21:19 PM
That dog is beautiful!  For as much as dogs terrify me, I do like to look at photos of them!  Kinda like elephants and tigers and lions - I find them beautiful but I don't want to be in close proximity to them!
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Judah on December 06, 2012, 01:21:43 PM

Quote
I don't understand the objection to the woman using the word "beast". A dog, by definition, is a beast.

Many children, by definition, are brats but I've seen people on this board get upset by the use of that word.  Don't insult my dogs & I won't (publicly) insult your children.
OP, you did much better than I would have.  My dogs mean the world to me & I don't take kindly to threats of violence against them.  A question to those who say there was no threat of violence from the older woman - if someone had made kicking motions towards your children would you be upset?  Would you just brush it off as no big deal as some of you have suggested?   Please don't tell me
children are different.  ALL living creatures deserve the same consideration.

All dogs are beasts, and the world "beast" is not derogatory; all children are not brats, but the word "brat" is always derogatory. 

Someone making kicking motions toward my children from 10 feet away while they are backing up would get them a quizzical look from me, and I'd put myself between the person and my kids. But my kids would be unlikely to be trying to move toward the stranger unlike the dog in the OP.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Judah on December 06, 2012, 01:23:32 PM
I have to agree to a point. OP, I believe Daisy is a boxer? So, a dog like this:
(http://puppydogweb.com/gallery/boxers/boxer_brewer.jpg)

I don't think the woman acted well, but I do think the OP would be best off preparing a short script for using with people who are afraid because appropriate or not, some people do think large dogs, especially breeds like boxers are dangerous. And while I don't condone her actions, the woman isn't here. So, I'm choosing to advise the OP.

Awwwww, he looks just like my Charlie.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Jones on December 06, 2012, 01:29:51 PM
I can't say I fancy snakes at all. Not a phobia, but a healthy respect for fangs and strength. I have therefore learned what actions to avoid should I meet a snake in the wild. I've learned ways to tell if a snake is poisonous if I don't recognize the breed (none of which are quite useful unless I get up close *shudder*). And yes, I try to avoid places where snakes are likely to be if I am by myself. I would never shake a foot at a rattlesnake even from several feet away.

I would have thought this would translate into similar activities for people who have fear of other animals too. I supposed that if people aren't afraid of an animal, they're more likely to act casually around them, not thinking through the consequences. If someone is afraid of a dog, a good recommendation is to learn what actions to avoid when around an aggressive creature so as to not "flip them off" and cause an altercation.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Happy2BCF on December 06, 2012, 01:43:08 PM

Quote


All dogs are beasts, and the world "beast" is not derogatory; all children are not brats, but the word "brat" is always derogatory. 


Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  I think the way the older woman used the term "beast" was derogatory.
So what is the acceptable term for unruly, rude, obnoxious children?  I have a phobia about them so I try to get as far away from them as possible.   Which is exactly what the woman should have done with the dog (without the kicking).
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: GratefulMaria on December 06, 2012, 02:00:00 PM
If she's genuinely that frightened of dogs, what on earth is she doing hanging out in a place where she's likely to run into them?

But I am very bothered by the bolded part here.  I understand someone with seven dogs wouldn't really be able to relate to someone who geniunionly doesn't like them or is afraid of them.  That doesn't mean she should not have access to a walking trail that was designed for humans to walk on and ALLOWS dogs (instead of the reverse, a dog park designed for dogs).

She can access it all she wants, but she needs to come to terms with the fact that she's going to encounter dogs and she needs to learn how to behave appropriately in that circumstance.

As an example, this isn't a phobia situation, but I'm not overly fond of small children - especially large clusters of them. I'm free to access family restaurants, parks with playgrounds, and Chuck E. Cheese all I want but I tend to either hang out in other places or manage socially acceptable reactions when I encounter small children instead of, say, yellling "Keep your brat away from me!" The latter is just not cool.

Where I live, walking trails are not as thick on the ground as restaurants and even parks (either with or without playgrounds), so someone wishing to avoid dogs may not have that luxury.  The woman could have handled it much better, IMO, but around here she may not necessarily have had anywhere else to go.

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: BeagleMommy on December 06, 2012, 03:00:13 PM
OP, I don't think you did anything wrong.  I also think the woman had a phobic reaction.  However, I can tell you how The Beagle would have reacted.

Now The Beagle isn't a large dog and he is very friendly.  People can be afraid of dogs in all shapes and sizes.  When we walk him (and we walk him around people, other dogs, baby buggies, etc.), if we see someone coming toward us we pull him closer to us or to the opposite side.  If someone asks to pet him we put him in a "sit/stay" and allow people to show him affection.

Had he seen this woman kicking at the air he would have interpreted it as "this human is trying to hurt MY people" and he would have bared his teeth and growled in a "back off lady" stance.  She may have gotten the opposite reaction to what she needed.

The lady would have been better off if she had stood still (or backed up) and said to the OP "I'm afraid of dogs.  Is you dog under control?" or "Please move your dog to the opposite side, I have a fear of dogs.".

Not every dog reacts the same way to people and not every person reacts the same way to dogs.  I think the lady was slightly rude with the "beast" comment, but not egregious.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: SPuck on December 06, 2012, 03:28:20 PM
I would have thought this would translate into similar activities for people who have fear of other animals too. I supposed that if people aren't afraid of an animal, they're more likely to act casually around them, not thinking through the consequences. If someone is afraid of a dog, a good recommendation is to learn what actions to avoid when around an aggressive creature so as to not "flip them off" and cause an altercation.

I could not have said it better myself. There is nothing wrong with a person having a phobia, but it is up to them to learn how to handle their fear. I would say knowing not to get agitated around a dog or cat is like knowing not to walk on streets at night in dark clothing.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: wildkitty on December 06, 2012, 03:32:20 PM
I am a longtime lurker, but I am a devoted pet parent and just had to respond. Basically, a threat against a furkid of mine is a direct threat to me.

I think the encounter has been over sensationalized by some. The dog did not lunge toward the woman or act aggressively in any way. They approached each other on a path. The dog wagged its tail and continued toward the woman, which was necessary so as to pass. It was not required or even necessary for the OP and her dog to veer off the path on the off chance that the approaching stranger is some psychotic dog-kicking nut or that this person is so terrified of dogs that she cannot possibly control her reaction.

Let me put it this way. I am certifiably, bat-poop crazy afraid of snakes to the extent that I cannot look at a picture of a snake. Any snake. Even one that is harmless. But that said, if a person out for a stroll with their pet rattlesnake was about to cross my path, my reaction would not be to threaten physical violence or yell at the snake owner. My reaction as a sensible adult would be to avoid the snake at all costs. I will grant you that my avoidance would consist of a world-record speed walk and a little hyperventilating. This past summer I was walking along a boardwalk and came across a man sitting on a bench while his 12 foot long python(?) was sunning itself in on the beach. I shuddered, quickened my step, and put the snake and its owner well behind me. The end. No need for theatrics or extraneous drama. No matter how great the urge to scream and run away, as an adult I am required to control my behavior.

The OP did not overreact and neither did she under-react. Part of being a responsible pet owner is protecting your pet from harm. If some nut started kicking at my dog, from ten feet away or not, I would defend my dog as necessary. The OP defended her dog appropriately. Kicking at a dog is a threat, fear is not an excuse. An unprovoked attack on a dog by a human is punishable by law. An owner defending their dog is also protected. If you cannot control your reactions to such an extent that you physically lash out at any perceived threat, imagined or not, than the onus is on you to deal with the consequences.

I did get a great laugh out of the posts that suggested that a woman in her 60ís is elderly and feeble. I canít wait to call my 61 year old, athletic mother with the news. Iíll call the Retirement Home and reserve my parents a room.  ;D
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: AylaM on December 06, 2012, 03:34:25 PM

All dogs are beasts, and the world "beast" is not derogatory; all children are not brats, but the word "brat" is always derogatory. 


Where I come from beast tends to have a derogatory connotation when used to refer to pets. Yes the dictionary definition fits dogs, but it is usually used when someone doesn't like your animal or the animal is brutish or violent. 

With that in mind, I think a more accurate description of the pet/kid thing would be someone calling your child an animal.  Humans are animals.  We're mammals.  But in most circumstances calling a person an animal is meant to be derogatory. 

I don't think kicking at the dog was at all helpful though.  And I think the OP did ok.  The woman was scared and acted out to protect herself I won't say she was terrible because she didn't actually kick the dog.  The OP was startled and acted out to protect her dog.  No one did anything too terrible and no lasting harm was done.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Wordgeek on December 06, 2012, 04:14:57 PM
Enough with the side discussion on the word beast.  If you want to get into a semantics debate, go to a language board.

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on December 06, 2012, 04:30:09 PM
I guess my take is this:

Strange Women:

--saw big dog looking at her/trying to lead you to her
--did not know the dog was friendly
--did not know the owner
--did not know if it was under control
--did not know how long the leash was
--did or did not have a phobia
--in a public walk way that is meant for walking but dogs are there sometimes

--was 10 feet away
--backed up from the dog
--made kicking motions (strong or feeble doesn't matter)
--responded negatively to the OP's correction

Op I honestly think that the average non dog owner would know the "Friendly body language" to the "Aggresive body language to the dog" For a stranger to feel comfortable I believe she would need to know a lot of the above which would be impossible for a stranger to know. The lady would have had to make a lot of guesses in the short amount of time this incident happened. I do not believe she was aggressive since she did not approach your dog and try to kick it. She backed up when she did the motions. The intention I believe was in fear. What was her face expression showing? What was her body language telling you? Since human communication is more then just verbal communication.

I believe that a responsible dog owner should move the dog to the other side of him/her and rein the dog in even if they are friendly. When I owned a dog and saw someone coming towards me I would have moved our doggie (Alaskan malamute) to the grass area as long as it wasn't to hilly so that way I know we were a far enough distance away and makes for a better work out anyways. I know if a dog was approaching me I would back up as well and move around them. Was there any other space for her to safely backed up? I guess since there is so much we don't know ie body language its hard to say. If its a shared walk way I would have done my best to be respectful other other people since public walkways are meant for people and used. As for going to other places to walk. There might not be any other places to walk that don't allow dogs. In my town almost all side walks/walk ways besides indoor ones (if they are available) allow dogs..It is hard to find a place where you can completely avoid dogs..
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: TealDragon on December 06, 2012, 05:12:05 PM
I am a longtime lurker, but I am a devoted pet parent and just had to respond. Basically, a threat against a furkid of mine is a direct threat to me.

I think the encounter has been over sensationalized by some. The dog did not lunge toward the woman or act aggressively in any way. They approached each other on a path. The dog wagged its tail and continued toward the woman, which was necessary so as to pass. It was not required or even necessary for the OP and her dog to veer off the path on the off chance that the approaching stranger is some psychotic dog-kicking nut or that this person is so terrified of dogs that she cannot possibly control her reaction.

Let me put it this way. I am certifiably, bat-poop crazy afraid of snakes to the extent that I cannot look at a picture of a snake. Any snake. Even one that is harmless. But that said, if a person out for a stroll with their pet rattlesnake was about to cross my path, my reaction would not be to threaten physical violence or yell at the snake owner. My reaction as a sensible adult would be to avoid the snake at all costs. I will grant you that my avoidance would consist of a world-record speed walk and a little hyperventilating. This past summer I was walking along a boardwalk and came across a man sitting on a bench while his 12 foot long python(?) was sunning itself in on the beach. I shuddered, quickened my step, and put the snake and its owner well behind me. The end. No need for theatrics or extraneous drama. No matter how great the urge to scream and run away, as an adult I am required to control my behavior.

The OP did not overreact and neither did she under-react. Part of being a responsible pet owner is protecting your pet from harm. If some nut started kicking at my dog, from ten feet away or not, I would defend my dog as necessary. The OP defended her dog appropriately. Kicking at a dog is a threat, fear is not an excuse. An unprovoked attack on a dog by a human is punishable by law. An owner defending their dog is also protected. If you cannot control your reactions to such an extent that you physically lash out at any perceived threat, imagined or not, than the onus is on you to deal with the consequences.

I did get a great laugh out of the posts that suggested that a woman in her 60ís is elderly and feeble. I canít wait to call my 61 year old, athletic mother with the news. Iíll call the Retirement Home and reserve my parents a room.  ;D

I pretty much agree with this. If you are so phobic of something that the only response you can muster is to let go of rational thought and let primal instincts take over that include an aggressive motion, it's totally on you to either find a better way to deal with your fear or avoid your fear. Being so terrified that you cannot manage a single word to explain what's going on to those around you (and really, to protect yourself) is an extreme reaction. If someone had this extreme of a reaction to my dog and started to kick at her/at the air 10ft away, I would be livid and I don't know that I'd manage to be as polite as the OP. Someone who has let go of rational thought to that degree is not capable of reliably evaluating the distance between herself and the dog. Even in our best states, most of us, when asked to say how far away 10ft is, would probably have to look twice and then give our best guess, which may or may not be accurate. In something that you feel is an emergency situation where your primary goal is to get the dangerous thing away from you, especially when it's due to a phobia, your mind isn't going to give the same level of concentration to evaluating distance that it would in a non-stressed situation. So this woman may have been aware that she was 10ft away, she may have thought she was 20ft away, or she may have thought she was 3ft away. We can't know exactly what was going on in her head. But knowing how people think and how phobias work, if I were walking my dog, I would know that she probably doesn't have an accurate idea of how far away she is and she might really intended to harm my dog.

So, I think you did great, OP. Calmly and politely stating that her actions were inappropriate and addressing her apparent concerns sounds like the perfect response. It's too bad that her response to that had to be further rudeness instead of anything that explained or apologized for her previous behavior.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: lollylegs on December 06, 2012, 06:29:06 PM
Like PPs have said, dog 'psychology' is second nature for some and a complete mystery to others.  As someone who's never owned a dog and honestly, just doesn't care for them, I probably wouldn't even notice the wagging tail and if I did, I wouldn't associate it with friendly playfulness.

I also think some of the dog-phobia conversation is getting a little blown out of proportion. I'm not dog-phobic, but I am a little afraid of dogs (I know how that sounds  :)  What I mean is that I'm afraid, but not deathly afraid).  If a dog lunged towards me, even if it was on a leash, even if it was friendly, even if the owner had it under control, I would freak out.  But I've never thought to avoid all places where I might possibly run into a dog and I'd be offended if anyone suggested that my fear wasn't real because I go to parks.

That said, my opinion is that both the OP and the lady are in the clear.  The OP seems to be a very responsible dog owner and the response is understandable.  Equally, I believe the lady's reaction was understandable.  Just one of those unpleasant encounters that happens sometimes.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: peach2play on December 06, 2012, 06:39:46 PM
OT but the snake on the beach thing would have had me walking on water away from it.  I can apparently levitate through the air when I see a snake as I am deathly afraid of them.  I have never, ever, in my life, tried to kick a snake. My flight instinct is very strong.  Perhaps this lady doesn't have a flight instinct, but a fight instinct and when she sees a dog she perceives as attacking she goes into fight mode and kicks.  Understandable...kinda. 

I see this as no different than a very sever (insert deathly) allergy.  If you are allergic to bees, you stay away from your local flower shops, large outdoor gardens and stick to more suburban areas where there is less chance of getting stung.  If you are allergic to peanuts, you stay away from Thai places, candy factories, peanut farms and bakeries.  Unless you are at work (which is a very different situation), if strong perfume triggers migraines, you avoid perfume counters, Bath and Body Works and any other really smelly place.  You do not throw rocks at a business simply because their products can hurt you.  It is the same with this lady.    There are plenty of places to walk where there is a smaller chance of encountering dogs.  No, walking to the grocery store and back isn't the same as walking around a wooded track but the exorcise is all the same.  She can't have her cake and eat it too.  She saw the dog coming down the path and only backed up a little, then acted aggressively and when called on her behavior acted like a small child about it.  If she is so scared that her first reaction is to hit/kick etc, then she needs to not put herself in that position.  I think the OP could have chosen her words differently and I would have said, "Did you just try and kick my dog?" but the lady bears 80% of the blame for not backing father away and kicking before seeing if the dog was out of control/aggressive.

I would also like to remind everyone that no where does it state that the dog was lunging.  At most, the dog turned towards the lady and took a step.  There is a very big difference between a lunge and a step.  A lunge would mean that dog had jumped at the lady, the OPs arms were extended pulling and the dog had reached the end of it's leash.  We see that no where in the description.  If the dog had lunged, then the lady's reaction would be far more understandable.   Excited walking (ie dancing or a small child hopping from one foot to another is vastly different than launching yourself at someone).
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: JoieGirl7 on December 06, 2012, 06:46:47 PM
I think the OP was very rude.

On one hand she says that she had no sharp tone when she spoke to the woman but on the other hand by her own admission she says that she was angry at her.
 
Obviously, the woman perceived a threat.  She was not a threat--not unless the dog was to come close to her.  She was certainly not trying to come to the dog.

It seems that the OP was insulted that the woman perceived her dog as a threat and responded by being rude to her.

On this thread it has been asserted that people should expect to come into contact with dogs on a walking trail.  Well, I think the same applies for dog-owners--you are going to come across people that feel that your dog poses a threat to them.

The OP also admits that her dog can be intimidating.

Whether or not this woman has a fear of dogs, certainly a 70 pound dog that is trying to get to her does pose a huge danger to her if he is able to.  The other way around--not so much.
 
Not only that, but how many times on this board do people talk about having hidden disabilities.  Maybe this woman was perfectly healthy, maybe not.  In any case, being older she has a greater danger of long range health problems if she knocked down by a large dog and injured.
 
Anyway, etiquette wise, I give the woman a pass because she obviously felt threatened by the dog and instead of being re-assured by the owner who should have known better, the owner became angry and lectured her.
 
The OP was in the wrong here.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: wildkitty on December 06, 2012, 07:13:12 PM
In what world can some jerk threaten a pet and be excused for their reprehensible behavior by, "Oh, it's okay. She was scared.". Really? Daring to blame the pet owner for protecting her pet? That sounds suspiciously like victim-blaming. Yes, the OP and her dog were threatened.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: lollylegs on December 06, 2012, 07:20:40 PM
I would also like to remind everyone that no where does it state that the dog was lunging. At most, the dog turned towards the lady and took a step.  There is a very big difference between a lunge and a step.  A lunge would mean that dog had jumped at the lady, the OPs arms were extended pulling and the dog had reached the end of it's leash.  We see that no where in the description.  If the dog had lunged, then the lady's reaction would be far more understandable.   Excited walking (ie dancing or a small child hopping from one foot to another is vastly different than launching yourself at someone).

I just went back and re-read the OP and you're right. I guess I pictured the dog lunging from the description the OP provided and kinda ran with it. My apologies for misquoting.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: JoieGirl7 on December 06, 2012, 08:16:36 PM
In what world can some jerk threaten a pet and be excused for their reprehensible behavior by, "Oh, it's okay. She was scared.". Really? Daring to blame the pet owner for protecting her pet? That sounds suspiciously like victim-blaming. Yes, the OP and her dog were threatened.

When people threaten to kick a dog or anyone or any thing for that matter, they usually move towards the object to kick it not away from.  The dog was nowhere near her.

But the dogs intent was to try and get closer to her.  Her actions were to try and get away from him.

The dog was the aggressor here.  Just because his intentions were friendly and hers were fearful doesn't make his aggression any less of a threat to her.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: PeterM on December 06, 2012, 11:34:19 PM
I think the OP was very rude.

On one hand she says that she had no sharp tone when she spoke to the woman but on the other hand by her own admission she says that she was angry at her.

So you believe the OP was lying when she said she had no sharp tone?
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: CrochetFanatic on December 06, 2012, 11:43:03 PM
I was angry, but I didn't yell.  If anything, my voice was pretty deadpan.  I didn't want the dog to take her actions as either a threat or an invitation to play, the latter being more likely.  The whole thing really came to nothing in the end; Daisy kind of sidled closer to me and looked confused/hurt, and we went our separate ways.  I probably should have put more space between us, but we had almost reached the part of the trail that was adjacent to the parking lot, and I was thinking about going home.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Isisnin on December 07, 2012, 12:11:06 AM
I was angry, but I didn't yell.  If anything, my voice was pretty deadpan. I didn't want the dog to take her actions as either a threat or an invitation to play, the latter being more likely.  The whole thing really came to nothing in the end; Daisy kind of sidled closer to me and looked confused/hurt, and we went our separate ways.  I probably should have put more space between us, but we had almost reached the part of the trail that was adjacent to the parking lot, and I was thinking about going home.

I'm the same when I get angry, I speak levelly and dispassionately.   I say "Please don't..." instead of "PLEASE! Don't...". 

You handled the situation well.  You deescalated the situation by acknowledging and understanding her concern: "I understand you don't want to be jumped on or knocked down" and then by reassuring her that you had the dog under control, that you were leaving, and that she (the lady) was safe: "I've got her under control, and we're leaving.  She won't bother you.".  Well done.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: JoieGirl7 on December 07, 2012, 12:33:24 AM
As a dog owner, the onus is always on you to control your animal completely when you are out around other people.  And when people react in whatever way they do, it is up to you to keep both them and your dog, safe.

It doesn't matter how your dog would have interpreted the woman's actions because it doesn't absolve you of your responsibility to control your dog at all times.
 
Some people are more sensitive than others and some people are just nuts.  Either way, if your dog is under control you should simply ignore them and get on with your business.  The woman was afraid of your dog.  She posed no threat to your dog whatsoever and the only way she would have kicked your dog would have been if you had let your dog approach her further.
 
The only part of what you did that I don't agree with is taking her to task.  I think its a good thing to say "I've got him under control, he won't come near you."  Or something similar.
 
And I don't think you should avoid the track or anywhere else you would take a dog.
 
But, in light of a lot of the responses of this thread, some of which have gone so far as to suggest that a person who is afraid of dogs should not be in places where dogs might be, I think its necessary to point out that a dog owner is the one who needs to be more aware of people like this woman who are afraid of their pets.

Too many dog owners let their pets drag them over to people who do not want to engage.  Or, they don't act decisively enough to where the people around them are confident that they have their pets under control.

When you see that someone is backing away and is afraid, you should find a way to limit exposure. Some suggestions are really good like making the dog go to the other side of you.  I think one could also talk to the dog and direct him away from his intent.  Or even just stop and have your dog sit so while the other person gets some distance.

Ultimately, I think we all know that if something bad happens between a stranger and a dog and the human is hurt in any way, the dog is going to get the worst of it in the end.  So, it makes even more important to protect your dog by not engaging with strangers in this way unless it is absolutely necessary.  And when you do engage it should be all about you having control over the dog, not trying to control the human's behavior.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: hobish on December 07, 2012, 12:56:36 AM

No harm, no foul.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Miss Unleaded on December 07, 2012, 02:02:02 AM
I did get a great laugh out of the posts that suggested that a woman in her 60ís is elderly and feeble. I canít wait to call my 61 year old, athletic mother with the news. Iíll call the Retirement Home and reserve my parents a room.  ;D

I don't care to keep hashing the discussion which I think has been pretty adequately addressed already from multiple angles.  I just wanted to point out that the woman was described as 'kicking feebly' so I think the description of the woman derives more from that than a genuine belief that all 60 year olds are feeble. 
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: JoieGirl7 on December 07, 2012, 03:37:38 AM
I did get a great laugh out of the posts that suggested that a woman in her 60ís is elderly and feeble. I canít wait to call my 61 year old, athletic mother with the news. Iíll call the Retirement Home and reserve my parents a room.  ;D

I don't care to keep hashing the discussion which I think has been pretty adequately addressed already from multiple angles.  I just wanted to point out that the woman was described as 'kicking feebly' so I think the description of the woman derives more from that than a genuine belief that all 60 year olds are feeble.

I agree that that is where some of that is coming from.  However, a person over 60, whether they are athletic or not is at greater risk from complications of a fall than someone who is 30 or 40.
 
And on this board it is repeatedly pointed out that even healthy looking people can have hidden disabilities.  So, someone who looks perfectly fine jogging out on a track or taking a walk, may for various reasons be unable to handle a large dog jumping up on them.
 
A person's fear may stem more from the possible harm done that way than any fear of the dog being mean and being bitten.

Just because a dog's intention are to play doesn't make it any easier for someone to handle them if they have physical issues.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Gyburc on December 07, 2012, 05:11:35 AM
I didn't intend to say anything more, but I think I missed something in my previous post.

I *don't* believe the OP can have been noticeably rude because of the way the other lady reacted. The OP said that she seemed 'mollified'. Her response ('Just keep that beast away') doesn't sound particularly friendly, but it also doesn't sound like the response of someone outraged.

I would also add that I think the OP was right to ask the other woman not to make kicking moves, and in fact that is quite valuable advice to give to someone who is afraid of dogs - i.e. don't make sudden and odd movements that might alarm the dog or attract its attention.

I'm not unsympathetic to the other woman - as I said, I'm wary around dogs myself and like to keep a good distance from them unless I know them well. But the way she reacted was both odd and counter-productive, and I think it's a good thing that the OP spoke to her about it.

Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: LadyL on December 07, 2012, 07:50:50 AM
In what world can some jerk threaten a pet and be excused for their reprehensible behavior by, "Oh, it's okay. She was scared.". Really? Daring to blame the pet owner for protecting her pet? That sounds suspiciously like victim-blaming. Yes, the OP and her dog were threatened.

When people threaten to kick a dog or anyone or any thing for that matter, they usually move towards the object to kick it not away from.  The dog was nowhere near her.

But the dogs intent was to try and get closer to her.  Her actions were to try and get away from him.

The dog was the aggressor here.  Just because his intentions were friendly and hers were fearful doesn't make his aggression any less of a threat to her.

I disagree. The dog was a perceived aggressor. In reality he was just doing his dog thing, wagging his tail and walking. Compare that to kicking - kicking is aggressive. I'm not saying the woman was a credible threat, but she was "protecting" herself in a way that actually invites harm.

I think the OP should, like all dog owners, keep good control of her dog. The phobic woman should find ways to handle her fear that actually communicate that fact (if it's the truth) and keep her safe rather than potentially invite confrontation.

It is just not socially acceptable to make aggressive  gestures at strangers, whether you're a dog or a human.
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: ClaireC79 on December 07, 2012, 09:23:40 AM
You said she stepped back before making a 'kicking motion' - is it possible that when stepping back she trod on something and the 'kick' was her shaking it off?  (and before anyone says she would have said that she wasn't kicking at the dog - if someone with a big dog started telling me off (whether it was warrented or not) I wouldn't defend myself because I'd be scared)
Title: Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
Post by: Wordgeek on December 07, 2012, 09:34:12 AM
It looks like everything useful that can be said has been said already and the discussion is being reduced to nitpicking over minor details.

Thread closed.