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30 Days of Mallei

Day 20:
Throwback Thursday & some thoughts on dog etiquette.

When Mal was a young fellow, he got attacked for no reason by a big German Shepherd. Since then, with me, he’s been understandably wary around large dogs, black dogs, boisterous dogs, dogs that sniff him for too long etc.

We’ve recently taken to walking in a forest where it’s technically dogs on-lead but you so rarely see anyone there that I have Mal and Loki off lead, because their recall is good enough that I can call them back and leash them up whenever I see anybody- which I do, regardless of whether they have a dog or not.

But the other night (and about a week before this too, at a different park), somebody was coming towards us with their dog. I grabbed my two and put them on lead, and continued walking toward these people. In the most recent case, the lady had a large black rottie cross off-lead, and a staffy on lead. The Rottie comes up to us- I could tell he was a friendly dog but Lu and Mal are growling and growling because they’re morons and think they own the park and Mal is growling because it’s a big black dog. So I’m sort of pulling them away trying to get past and the lady is calling her dog and it’s coming toward us and just sniffing at my dogs and Mal’s all “GRRRR” and Lu and Loki are saying hello and it’s trying to go past them to say hello to Mal who is all “GRRRR” and I’m like, “No Mal, come on, you won’t like that one buddy, let’s keep going” and meanwhile trying to not step on the other two so we can get away from this dog, who is fine, but obviously I’m not wanting Mal to say hello, and she’s calling her dog and nothing’s happening… And during all this, Loki’s lead slips out of my hand and he trundles over to the staffy, and the lady goes: “HEY!” like, hey, watch your dog (because maybe her staffy isn’t friendly or something) and of course as soon as I call Loki he comes straight back without even saying hello to this dog, and I’m thinking: Uh, excuse you? Have you seen your other dog? Don’t get all ‘hey’ at me. Bloody hell.

And the other week this couple had 5 little yappy dogs and picked up 2 of them and 3 of them followed us yapping and sniffing my dogs and they’re like; “Oh, sorry, they’re really friendly” and I’m like: well I’m sure they are but what if mine aren’t?

I just assumed it was common etiquette that at the very least, if you saw someone with dogs coming toward you with their dogs on lead, or that they had their dogs off lead and stopped to put them on lead when they saw you, that you would do the same. Maybe you wouldn’t bother in an off-lead dog park kind of scenario but surely any place where dogs are technically meant to be on lead, you’d put them on lead when you saw other people, or other dogs? Like, if Mallei had attacked this dog, say (and he doesn’t do that, but I always worry that the other dog will attack him for his bravado), well, we’d be the ones in trouble, wouldn’t we? And they’d be all: “How dare you take your vicious dog on a walk!” and I’d have to be all: “Well, how about you don’t let your dumb dog off lead if you can’t control it?” and everybody would feel angry and it would be stupid.

 

Here is the photo for today anyway. It’s old (2005) so the quality is so small. I had to figure out a way to keep a little bandage over his puncture wound on his shoulder so he ended up getting tape all the way around him so it wouldn’t just fall off. It looked a lot more dramatic than it was. He has white hairs there now where he was bitten!

Agility 008

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2 thoughts on “30 Days of Mallei

  1. Rosie says:

    I don’t think it’s as much about etiquette as it is about safety and also people being “embarrassed” about how their dogs behave. What I see around my neighborhood is MOST people are good and have their dogs on-lead in areas where it would be pretty unsafe to NOT have them leashed (bike path, children’s play area, etc). The few people I meet with the dogs totally OFF lead do have voice control over their dogs, so that’s good.

    I have let my dogs off in the woods, only to have them bark as some poor woman and her kid. I apologized and quickly put them on=lead (they do return, usually). I always try to say something, and I do leash them up right off. We try to limit our off-leash to really early… and when it’s raining hard and no one is around. Still, sometimes stuff happens. I trust my dogs not to harm any humans. And I trust them not to be asshats to other dogs, but sometimes… the energies just don’t mix.

    It’s that balance of needing that off-leash physical outlet for the dog, and the considerations of others using the area. Not always easy.

  2. My boyfriend has really great voice control over his Husky, but he makes sure to leash him around other dogs. It never hurts to be safe. I wanted to get a new puppy and I took him and his dog with me to make sure they got along first before agreeing to getting the puppy. It wouldn’t do to have them not like each other but us always wanting to be around each other! Luckily, I think this will work out.

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