Usually I act as if dog owners are one big happy family.
We all love our dogs. We all get along.
No discord. No pet peeves here!
Well that’s a load of hooey.
I’m not talking about the good natured 'my dog is cuter than yours' or 'this breed is smarter/cuter/better behaved than that breed.'
Today I am talking – okay I am venting about my pet peeves– about things that some dog owners do that make all of us look bad. These things anger and sometimes endanger people and other dogs.
There is no poop fairy people! Seriously.
It does not matter how big or small your dog is. Clean up after it! Carry a bag with you. Carry two just in case. No one else should have to deal with that. I don’t want to step on it.
What I want to do is return it to you. On your front porch. In a paper bag. Which I will set on fire before I ring the bell and run.
Of course these days everyone had door cams and I'd get caught and I bet I’d be the bad guy. Sigh, I miss the good ole days.
For the record I have never done this – but oh have I wanted to!
There is a time and place for this, namely dog parks but see #4 below.
Also, they should be free to roam - on your own property, assuming your dogs stay on your property.
It's important, that you supervise your dogs when they are off lead. There are many dangers for your off lead dog.
A man who wanted to buy one of my keeshond pups tried to impress me with how great a dog owner he was by telling me about his current dog's off lead time.
"He runs loose through the woods by the house. He comes back in a few hours, all tired out."
I did not sell him a puppy.
I sent him and his money away with a lecture about the hazards his dog might encounter: snakes, rabid animals, unfriendly dogs, angry armed people.
People who think their off leash dog is no problem despite the dog jumping (“he’s friendly!”) on people.
That is not friendly. It is rude, annoying, and aggressive.
Breeds matter here. You will have more success teaching a herding dog to stay close to you than you will a hound. The hound doesn't love you less, they merely have other instincts.
These girls did stay in the yard, unless of course the next day neighbor came out. This was a friend they clearly needed to greet.
Not jump on.
Not bark at.
Simply run to, accept the adoring pets or the "not today" if it wasn't a good time.
As herding dogs, they were always more focused on keeping track of our "herd" than running off to explore. In fact they've been known to herd up a dog who wasn't meant to be running loose.
Some people take their dog to the dog park and they sit and stare at their phone. Not only are they not playing with their dog, they are not supervising their dog.
The last time Sandy and I were at a dog park, I had to push three dogs off of her. They were big dogs who didn’t like how fast she ran, so they pinned her down.
I rather loudly them not to be a**holes and I hope their owners took it personally.
One followed us menacingly as we left. I told it to back off. Turns out, I can be menacing too.
Some people assume every other dog they pass wants to make friends with their dog.
And that every person is delighted with being sniffed by a dog they don’t know.
It's not true folks!!!
Even dog lovers don't always enjoy being accosted by your dog. We love our dogs. If we want to pet yours, we'll let you know. I promise.
Not all dogs want to be greeted by other dogs. Older dogs really don’t appreciate being mauled by your puppy. Others don’t see or hear well and will be startled by your dog. Which could earn your dog a bite. (If this happens, it is your fault!)
This sweet boy had been attacked once. When another dog approached him, he would back away and growl. Yet some people didn’t get it!
Fortunately, he was willing to let me step between him and the oncoming dog.
I stopped it, but honestly I shouldn’t have to.
Whew, I feel better now.
Not everyone loves dogs. I realize for some dog lovers, that is hard to believe but it is true.
Leaving a mess behind, and letting your dog run loose, jump on people, startle other dogs are all bad behaviors that only make it worse. It's up to all of us to make our dogs respectable, well behaved members of our community.
© Copyright Suzanne Grosser