Worst day at the park!

Ugh, feeling so very stressed and angry after our trip to the dog park today! everyday we take Foster and Ferret down to the local dog park, lucky for us it's about 500 yards down the road from our house. We walk them down on the leads to a great big open field that is fenced all the way around. In order to get to the gate we have to walk down a narrow path that has fences on both sides. Well lo and behold when we got down there today there was a horrible looking staffy on the loose. No tags, no owner, just on it's own wandering down the path. He came over to sniff the boys and started growling and getting into the alpha male stance. Foster of course felt very threatened and did the same. There was fur flying and teeth showing. Even Ferret, who is such a wimp and never shows aggression, got into it with this dog. So we (and thank god there are two of us walking these two) managed to put about ten feet between the boys on their leads whilst this awful dog kept going back and forth between the two of them trying to start fights. It would have been so much worse had I been on my own and had all three dogs under my feet. We finally managed to make it to the gate and this dog tried to follow us into the park and then made a lunge for Foster, so I had to give this dog a bit of kick to move him out of the way so I could close the gate. Of course once we got into the park the boys were completely upset and stressed. We were all alone in the park so I let them off the lead (and yes they are very good on recall) and they had a good run around. Then one of the regular dogs arrived. They've all met before, so no real dramas I thought….wrong! Foster actually gave chase and tried to have a bite of this poor dog! He has never done anything like that before ever. As soon as they ran off I ordered Foster to sit, and he did, and he knew he was in the wrong. I apologized to the other owner, and we all had a chat about how the staffy had been winding up all the dogs today. So I thought my adventures for the day were over.....wrong again! On the walk home there was a couple of moms with babies in strollers and a couple of 4 or 5 year olds walking on the path in front of us, so I had the boys sit and stay in order to get a bit more space between us and the kids. Well one of the little brats comes running towards us with hands outstretched. I said 'please don't pet the dogs' and he kept coming, so I said it again and again. Finally he was within inches of the dogs, so I had to yank them away and yelled at this kid 'DO NOT TOUCH' and the moms finally figure out one of their kids are missing and come running over and start screaming at me!! Yelling about 'well if your dogs don't like kids why are you walking them by a F*CKING school'!! I have to admit it, I completely lost my cool. I told this woman that it's not that they don't like kids, they just don't like to be touched by strangers. She started swearing up a storm and carrying on, so I ended up just leaving. I just couldn't believe it! I had done exactly the right thing, as a responsible dog owner, by making the boys sit and putting a lot of space between us and them because I knew that the boys were unpredictable and stressed out, yet she is the one who hasn't taught her little brats not to run up to a strangers dog and I'm somehow the bad guy! I am so angry right now! I never want to leave the house again. I'm angry that someone just let their aggressive dog wander the streets alone, and I'm angry that Foster chased another dog, and I'm angry that parents don't teach their kids about dog safety, and mostly I'm angry because I try very hard to be a responsible dog owner, yet I've been yelled at today for doing nothing wrong.

Right, vent over...

So, having said that, anyone have a better idea on how to deal with stray dogs and kids who run up to you?

Make yourself a hot cup of tea and take a nice relaxing bath. You have ever right to be angry. I think you handled yourself perfectly with those ignorant mothers.

The only advice I have to offer you is try to stay calm in those situations. I KNOW how hard it is, I have been there, believe me….but the more upset you get, even if is just steeping inside you, the more the dogs will react to anything.

The loose dog situation is virtually impossible to control...it happens, and it sucks..you could carry a big walking stick to try to discourage dogs like the staffy...but it may rile him up more, if he is just 'that' type of dog.

Did you try stepping in between your dogs (sit/staying) and the oncoming kid? Sometimes if your dogs have a solid sit stay you can get in between them and the oncoming threat. I would probably have tried that, then bent down toward the kid and said/yelled "STOP"; preschool and younger age kids do better the fewer words you use. I would say this is solidly on the moms to be paying attention though....luckily you are a responsible dog owner...but what if the kid had been running up to any other kind of dangerous situation...they were probably too busy blabbing to notice.

Sounds like a rough day.....hope things go better today 🙂

Thanks. I am feeling much calmer now….had a nice cup of tea and a relax! I just felt so completely helpless with the staffy. I knew that if they started fighting there was no way my boys would have come out on top and I felt so trapped and I had no escape route. I guess in hindsight, I should have just picked the boys up off the ground and moved on.... And you're right, I should have stepped in front of the dogs to block the little kid coming up to them, I guess I was feeling rather stressed already and I was certainly on edge since I had never seen Foster so aggressive before. I guess I am just most angry about being yelled at for trying to do the right thing.

Sorry you had such an awful day.
Tomorrow, it will be better…
Stupid folks and bad dog owners, sadly, its everywhere, seems like..

Mace…

Not that I like being cruel to dogs but if it becomes dangerous incapacitate the lot, get your dogs out of there and run. It will last for about 15 mins and then wear off. Water will not help. Be aware that you will probably get a bit of it too, but hold your breath and get to safety.

In that situation I would have kept my cool like you did, but I know several people who have had to do hospital trips because of dogs so be very careful.

As for the stupid mothers and their children, I am truly sorry for ignorant people, but unfortunately they happen and then they reproduce.

With the kids I have taught Indy to run behind me when he is scared. At our last apt the kids would run to him and he would get into a corner, so before they got there I would jump out in front and yell "NO". I try to use words their parents would if they were doing something bad. Now when that happens Indy jumps behind my legs and the process is easier. That took time though.

Hope this helps. I have also picked other dogs up to get them off of Indy. I use only as much force as is absolutely necessary and sometimes it is quite a bit, but you have to be really careful doing this.

The only time i have ever had trouble with stupid mothers i found that getting louder than they are and making them understand that they are bad mothers worked. when being attacked by a bully breed i don't fuck around and just floor the dog ninja style.

That being said most of the mothers around her expect strangers to discipline their children around strange dogs. and most of the pit bull owners around here call their dogs back after and elbow drop.

Pepper spray for the dog and the kids…only kidding..use it on the mom.

Anne in Tampa

Wow, I thought stupid parents only existed on this side of the pond.

Sounds like you and your pups were way over your thresholds. Stress added to stress can sometimes look like creative math where 2+2=8. So in the case of Foster, he was over (or very close to it) threshold after dealing with the staffy. When he encountered his "friend" his "friend" may have done something that, on a normal day, would have been a mild annoyance. But, the mild annoyance coming on the heels of the staffy incident was too much for Foster and he lashed out. The straw the broke the camel's back so to speak.

And that applies to you in dealing with the loose child. Do you think you woul have lost your cool if you'd had a wonderful day at the park? It's like some days someone will cut you off in traffic and you'll grumble, other days (really crappy days) something like that will happen and you'll start yelling words that would make a salior blush. (Okay, maybe not you, if it helps, you can substitue me instead.)

The reason I'm telling you all this, is that it can take time for those stress juices/pheremones to return to normal levels. So be on the look out tomorrow, perhaps the next day, for stressors in Foster's environment. If you're headed to the park and the loose staffy (or annoying child) is there, you'd probably do best to just take a nice walk somewhere else.

And I'm sorry your nice day at the park was ruined. Hopefully things will look up tomorrow (which is probably already there as I type this right now)

Make sense?

Ah, yes we have bad parents on this side of the pond as well! I think the fact that she was swearing like a trooper in front of her young children really shows what kind of person she is!

I agree, Foster was way over his threshold for stress. Me too! It was just one of those days when everything goes wrong all at once…..today seems better!

I did like the previous comment about dropping stray dogs ninja style...I will have to keep that in mind for the future! 🙂

Thanks to everyone for the support...it's nice to know that I am not the only person to encounter these situations!

I had something similar occur at the vets office. I was in the waiting room with EL D when this little girl comes in (her dad and dog were with the doctor) and starts running towards EL D with her hand out. I told her do not pet my dog but she keeps after him. I really wanted to grab her away but knew that could cause even more problems so I got between her and EL D and told her EL D needed to smell her to see if she was a good girl before he would let her pet him. I told her some dogs don't like to be petted and she needed to ask permission (something her parents should have taught her – like your stupid mothers) and luckily the vet's assistant walks in and so I just picked EL D up and left. Not an easy situation to be in but keeping cool has to rule.

Sadly, the majority of people seem to believe that all dogs just love attention and affection from anybody. They think that if a dog doesn't like their kid running up all excited and manic to pet him, then the dog shouldn't be out in public. Shame on that mother for not teaching her kid the proper way to approach a dog and more shame on her for her potty mouth. Nice role model. :eek:

Sorry you had such a bad day…

That stinks. I still say some people should leash their kids! <joking>Seriously, I know how you feel. If something like the pit bull incident happens before we get to the park you can forget Manning behaving in any way appropriate once we get there. We had a kid (and I mean little kid) one day who kept wanting to pet Manning while we were eating out on an outdoor patio downtown one day. Manning is pretty tolerant about kids petting him but this unsupervised child went from gently petting him to grabbing his ear all the sudden. As you can imagine he was not pleased. Luckily I had him on a short leash and was watching him closely so I yanked him back as soon as I saw her grab at his ear. It wasn't like we could get up and leave since we hadn't paid yet. Sorry to hear that you had to deal with both the unsupervised dog and child in the same trip.</joking>

@wizard:

I had something similar occur at the vets office. I was in the waiting room with EL D when this little girl comes in (her dad and dog were with the doctor) and starts running towards EL D with her hand out. I told her do not pet my dog but she keeps after him. I really wanted to grab her away but knew that could cause even more problems so I got between her and EL D and told her EL D needed to smell her to see if she was a good girl before he would let her pet him. I told her some dogs don't like to be petted and she needed to ask permission (something her parents should have taught her – like your stupid mothers) and luckily the vet's assistant walks in and so I just picked EL D up and left. Not an easy situation to be in but keeping cool has to rule.

i had a similar incident with rocky at the vet.. i was the only person with a dog in the waiting room and there was a woman with a small boy getting meds for her dog.. the boy came over and asked if he could pet rocky and told him no and he asked why (of course) and i explained it as nicely as i could that he can be a mean boy and he likes to bite. and he walked back to his mother but then kept coming back and would sit right next to me and kinda try to get rocky to come to him and he would look at me then look away like he didnt want me to see him doing it.. so i had to keep rocky between my legs so the kid didn't get any closer. his mom just commented that i look like his aunt… thats why he was talking to me.. :rolleyes:

I had a very poor experience with another dog recently. I was walking Shelby on her leash and noticed an unleashed rough-looking dog in someone's front yard. Instead of turning around (like I should have done) I decided to cross the street and keep going in the same direction. Needless to say, it ran after us, barking and growling. I scooped Shelby up and put her in a pick-up truck parked in someone's driveway. I had to jump in myself to aviod a bite from the dog. People who will allow their aggressive dog to run around unleashed outside of a fenced in yard are beyond me!

You should call animal control and report a dangerous dog running loose.
No one should have to deal with that type of danger when walking their dog.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.