Idiot told me I have vicious dogs, again... Another off leash dog rant Discussions

Discussion in 'Akita' started by who owns who, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    Idiot told me I have vicious dogs, again... Another off leash dog rant

    I was having a lovely walk this morning at the Xmas tree farm near my house this morning, with both my dogs on leash, of course, when I see an off leash dog coming towards us.

    I holler out “would you please leash your dog, mine don’t want to say hi”. It’s a couple walking their dog and they call out to him and of course he doesn’t listen. As it gets closer I get more frustrated and am yelling at the dog to go away. The dog is ignoring its owners calls to come to them. My dogs are pulling a bit and Bandit does a quick jump onto Katie Mae. My dogs didn’t bark or growl but they were pulling. I keep trying to put myself between my dogs and the dog who’s not listening to it’s owner. The dog got within about 5-6 feet of me.

    After they eventually get it on leash and I ask them if they know there is a leash law in our county. The women proceededs to tell me they know the owner of the tree farm and have permission to walk their dog off leash, and tells me I have vicious dogs. I tell her I have the owners # and will be calling her. I’ve had many people tell me they know the owner. Some probably do, but too many have said this and I think some are just saying this to justify what they are doing.

    I did call the owner but it went straight to voicemail. There used to be a sign saying please leash your dog and pick up their poop. Someone took that sign down over a year ago. Now there is a sign someone wrote on a piece of paper and put inside a plastic bag saying pick up your dogs poop and that it’s nice we are given permission to walk our dogs at the tree farm.

    While writing this post I called the local spca to see if they couid give me any info. She couldn’t/wouldn’t even say who would be at fault if my on leash dog injured an off leash dog that approached us. I don’t know what would happen in this situation as I’ve always been able to keep my dogs away from the off leash dogs that approach us. They just simply don’t need to interact with other dogs and as I have 2 of them I don’t want to have to deal with this situation.

    We were all enjoying the walk and now I’m home and still thinking about this.. It’s not the first time I’ve been told I have vicious dogs for merely saying would you leash your dog and keep it away from mine. Argh
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  3. mjfromga

    mjfromga Member

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    Unless there are many witnesses to a dog fight... The outcome is your word against theirs. Here, the breed usually makes the choice. A pit bull or other breed known for aggression and high on the bite list (the Akita is included) will oftentimes be the one ruled at fault. Not too many reports of Labradors badly mauling people or other animals.

    My guy is a friendly guy and he won't bombard another dog if I insist that he doesn't. He is not allowed to approach leashed dogs as they're almost always unfriendly or standoffish. We no longer go to the dog park as there are too many unfriendly dogs.

    Your dogs were probably making the other owner as nervous as they were making you. When I see big dogs pulling and acting sorta rowdy... I try to go the other way. My dog is big and does not ever behave that way so it does make me nervous. Not all owners with dogs on leashes actually have true control. Sometimes one good pull and the leash leaves the hand, then it can all break loose.

    I know my dog will not cause harm whether he is on leash or off... So if I don't have that confidence with someone else's dogs, I may view the dogs as unfriendly or poorly trained... But I won't use the word vicious.

    Perhaps they had such permission to walk the dog off the leash. You can't be sure they didn't. It's unfortunate their dog didn't come when called, though. Being friendly and being well behaved are two different things.
  4. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    I’m hoping to hear back from the owner of the tree farm to get some clarification on what’s allowed, ie on or off leash dogs. I may consult an attorney at some point because I can’t control what other people’s dogs do as far as approaching us off leash and would just like to know. Unfortunately I’m guessing it’s a gray area open to interpretation.

    My dogs, as of now, have never gotten away from me while on leash, and only broke out of the fenced yard once, a situation I’ve rectified. I’m very aware of the breed I own and the reputation they have. I feel confident in my ability to keep hold of them, and if necessary would have no guilt about trying to kick a dog that got to close. I figure a kick from me is better than a 2 dogs on leash versus one dog off leash altercation with me in the middle.

    I think you have a good understanding of dog behavior, although we may not agree all the time. Having voice control over a dog is kinda like having voice control over a 4 year old. It works sometimes, but other times that shiny object is just too attractive
  5. mjfromga

    mjfromga Member

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    Yup. A well trained dog has a high recall response but these are animals and so there's no such thing as perfection. Even my dog... Who is well behaved, I sometimes have to say things twice or insist. He will not ignore me but he can sometimes be a tad stubborn or take his time obeying.

    It would be nice if their dog would come when called... That's my main problem. My dog will come when called when we are out. And long before I get to someone with leashed dogs, he is already called back and leashed. Not that hard to respect other people's space.
  6. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    Well if I ran into more people like you while out for a walk I probably wouldn’t find myself getting so frustrated. It’s really a lot about the attitude of the other dog owner. It makes a huge difference in how I feel if someone apologizes for their dog getting close to us versus telling me I have vicious dogs, which to me is them just being defensive about not being able to control their off leash dog and pushing it off on me..
  7. mjfromga

    mjfromga Member

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    Well I have to deal with dogs that aren't mine in my personal space as well as on my dogs territory. If I take him places such as PetSmart, there's usually at least one questionable owner with a questionable dog. And here at home, my neighbors dog invades all the time. Strays sometimes as well. My boy takes it all in stride, but if he were a territorial or aggressive dog, there would be problems. I'm sure your dogs aren't vicious.
  8. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Oh dear, horrible isn't it? Spoils your whole day.
    Eddie used to be very reactive, but using a Halti and a double ended lead has had a calming effect on him. I can't say he loves the Halti, but it seems to give him confidence - even when I don't attach the lead to it.
    I tought mine to sit to one side of the path, at a safe distance, while other dogs pass. We then do the Watch the Doggy/Watch Me game, and they get rewarded for turning their attention onto me, (or more honestly, onto the anticipation of a treat!). I reward as the other dog passes by. I don't know how suitable this method would be for your breed - I know that your time is short at present, and I guess you would have to train one dog at a time.
    Of course, all this is useless if the off lead dog is the type that wants to sniff your patiently sitting dog's bum, or pant in it's face. Our nemeses are Retrievers, it is usually easier to change direction!
  9. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    As an Akita owner I would say this is the hardest things to deal with.
    The feeling stays with you for such a long time doesn’t it Marc ?
    Your walks on the beach have already been spoiled & now through the tress there is still potential problems.
    I think you are doing the right thing be speaking to the owner to find out if so many people have been given such permission
    These situations always catch us off guard & we have to react quickly. I can only imagine how it is for you having 2 to deal with, staying composed & trying to give instruction to the other dog owner.
    Sadly, the Akita gets the blame when all we ask is for everyone to abide by the law & keep your dogs away by keeping them on leashes
    This is the work we live in, some people have bad attitudes & believe they are above the law.
    Are the walkers correct though, can they get permission to let their dogs OFF lead ?
    Px
  10. mjfromga

    mjfromga Member

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    It is legal here to have your dog off lead on PRIVATE property so long as you have permission or ownership of the private property and the dog is under control and stays on the private property.
  11. mjfromga

    mjfromga Member

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    It is illegal unless specified, to have an unleashed dog in a PUBLIC area. The punishment is mild though even if you do get caught. My dog is harmless and so even if he was off leash in an area like this, if he is mauled by a vicious Akita, I sure would want the Akita to take the blame. And it would in 99% of cases.

    My dog is a gentle and well socialized boy and he won't hurt anybody or anything and he doesn't deserve to have to fight for his life just because some other owners don't have nice dogs.

    It's kinda like a jaywalker being hit by a car. Sure they are illegally walking, but it doesn't mean that if someone runs them over... It should be passed off as only the fault of the jaywalker. At the end of the day, ANY pedestrian has the right of way and cars are supposed to yeild.

    I kinda feel like this should apply to dogs as well. Nice dogs should sort of have the right of way and unfriendly ones should be the ones to have to make an adjustment. My boy has been snapped at by a few pit bulls and a Malamute looking dog at PetSmart. All the dogs are on leads in there but dogs have to walk past one another and stand in line near one another. I've given nasty looks to these people and I even once said "Really??".

    To me it's like... Don't bring unfriendly dogs to public areas where they risk the safety of friendly dogs and people and make people nervous. My dog should NOT have to be snapped at. He quickly dodges unfriendly snaps but still. He doesn't behave this way. He would never behave this way.

    My other dog Jade was unfriendly like that. You sniff her butt, she snaps. You get under or over her, she snaps. She snapped at small dogs regardless and would attack to HURT badly. Scared of kids, she would snap at them. She was just reactive.

    She never went to a public area unless she was MUZZLED. And she wore red stuff as a warning. I never took her to PetSmart. I never took her to public parks. We avoided most situations where she might feel the need to defend herself.

    I had her at our small local park once. She broke her leash going after a small dog that got away from his owner. The lady had just put his leash under the wheel of a baby stroller. The clasp of my dogs leash literally snapped in two. Never had it happen before. All everyone heard was yelps and vicious snarling as she tried to destroy the small dog. Lady was frantic but would not get in to save her dog. I rushed over to them and snatched her off by her harness. The small dog popped up unharmed. Her muzzle saved him. She was unable to do any damage. She was "muzzling" him TRYING TO BITE HIM, but she couldn't. He was scared so was yelling... But was not hurt. The owner literally told me... I'm so glad you had that on her face. Both me and the other owner were at fault... But I would have been blamed for that because she had a poodle that my German shepherd mix mauled to bits. I don't think we ever returned after that.

    She was my mother's dog and my mother never cared for her properly and then I tried to take over but I wasn't really able to train her so we failed her... But our lack of socialization and training of our dog should not be other people's problem. And I tried HARD and made sure that it wasn't. She passed away last Labor day, but when you have unfriendly dogs... I feel like it is also your responsibility to try to avoid situations like these and protect other people's pets... Because as you say, in most cases, your dog will be the one blamed anyway.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  12. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    Chris B and CaroleC like this.
    My dogs, with their current training, aren’t going to just calmly sit while an off leash dog approach’s us. Given their breed, they may never deal with this calmly, no matter how much training and endless treats... If the dog is on leash, although they aren’t thrilled to see it, the situation is completely manageable, I do as you say, go to the side of the path/trail/road/sidewalk and wait for them to pass. It’s the off leash that is the problem, and no dog is going to get close enough to sniff anybody’s bum, that’s just not ok with them. I think Bandit is being protective of me and of Katie Mae. When he was a single dog things were much different, but all that has changed having two of them. They just need a certain amount of personal space and things are fine.
    It’s not like they are lunging, or barking, or growling at the off leash dogs, they are just pulling a bit, as the dog gets closer then they feel is acceptable. It’s just part of their DNA to be protective.

    Unfortunately there are people who think that all dogs should just be friendly with other dogs and that if your dog isn’t like that, and is reactive, then you have an aggressive and or “vicious” dog.

    Not all people are friendly with other people, we all like a certain amount of personal space, and can feel uncomfortable when that distance is violated. Dogs are no different. The people who have said I have vicious dogs are people who I’ve asked to leash their dogs and then reminded them that we have a leash law in our county. They don’t like to hear that so IMO they lash out at me with your dogs are vicious. They aren’t snarling, or lunging, they just don’t like other dogs getting to close to me, or them. They are, after all, guard dogs, they are just doing what they think is their job.

    I will try and heed the advice of just changing direction when I see an off leash dog in the future, after I ask them to leash it. Unfortunately there is a huge lack of comman curtesy these days... I don’t really think that I’m asking for too much, but obviously I am, at least from some people. Better to just avoid confrontation and getting myself worked up, because they other people just don’t care.

    With the incident yesterday the man was not happy that with what his wife was saying to me because he was trying to get her to stop saying my dogs were vicious but she couldn’t help herself, for whatever reason.

    Sorry for my long rambling response. It does help me to be able to vent here.
  13. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    It is one of the things that goes with having an Akita, or two. It does stay with me for awhile, but I’m getting better at letting it go. Realizing that the people who tell me my dogs are “vicious” are just being defensive when I’ve asked them to leash their dog and reminded them about the leash law helps me let the frustration go quicker.

    I do feel “boxed in” as far as where I can walk my dogs without running into uneducated or entitled dog owners. My dogs love people and especially kids. They are well behaved in these situations and really love getting fussed over, and are surprised when someone doesn’t want to give them attention. I just need to not take what others say personally, which is a good life lesson in general.

    The owner hasn’t gotten back to me, my call went directly to voicemail. She could be on vacation or something, but I’ll ring her again today. I guess that it’s possible some may have permission to walk dogs off leash, however there used to be a sign saying please leash your dog and clean up after it. I don’t believe that all the people who say they know the owner actually do, just too many of them say this for me to believe it. I think they’ve heard it from someone else and just repeat it, as I’ve no way of knowing or proving otherwise. I would think that it’s a huge liability for the owner to allow dogs off leash on this 100 acre parcel. “If” something happened, she could possibly be held responsible, or sued in court.

    I will keep walking my dogs there when I’ve time to drive up there on my days off (like today) and will keep asking people to leash their dogs as they approach us. I will only stop going there if I’m told I’m not allowed to by the owner, otherwise I’ve as much right as everyone else.
  14. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    CaroleC likes this.
    The rub here is what does “under control” mean? If the off leash dog is closer to me then it’s owner, they don’t have good control. If they are calling it and it ignores them, they definitely don’t have control. If it comes and tries to say hello and then goes to its owner, they don’t have control. As I posted above, it seems a huge potential legal and financial liability to give permission to walk dogs off leash on this private property
  15. mjfromga

    mjfromga Member

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    I don't think or believe all dogs should be friendly. I realize there are breeds with ingrained aggression. Though I don't understand why people choose these breeds over breeds without these traits, I accept that people do choose them.

    I simply believe that unfriendly dogs don't belong in public areas where they are likely to react or where they pose a threat to others in the area. I tried my hardest to keep my unfriendly dog out of these situations.

    Under control really does not mean anything. That's the problem. A dog chained behind a fence is under control... Until the chain breaks and he leaps the fence. A leashed dog walked by a capable person is under control... Until he stumbles over a rock and falls and loses the leash. A dog walking beside it's owner under voice command is under control, until someone threatens the owner and the dog decides not to listen.

    Here, in most wide open areas, many people ignore leash laws. This is just common knowledge around here. With everything surrounding the potential for issues and knowing that people will walk their dogs off leash even if he doesn't specifically allow it, he would be wiser to ban everyone from walking dogs on his property.

    I do not think the actual verbiage would have permitted walking dogs off leash. They probably simply got permission to walk the dogs, and thus assumed that they could walk them off leash without it being an issue. They did not take people like you into account whatsoever.

    An oversight on their part and not very considerate to call your pets names... But I understand their mentality. They simply did not expect to run into this issue.

    The way people like me (and probably the lady you ran into) see it is like this... If all dogs had the personality of my current dog, there would never be fights and problems between dogs. But if all dogs had the mentality of my previous dog, there would still be tons of problems.

    Not saying one dog is better... Just offering a different perspective on why she may have reacted that way. I have found myself annoyed with reactive dogs many times so I'm just saying what she may have been thinking. Not trying to bash. Discussion and understanding is good.

    My boy was banned from a therapy training program because upon examination, they determined him to be "An Akita or any mix thereof" which is forbidden from entering their program. He doesn't even remotely resemble such and I doubt he has a drop of Akita blood in him, but they saw a black dog with a curly tail and jumped on that.

    I mean aggressive or reactive dogs with a bad reputation do a lot of damage as a whole.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  16. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    You should definitely be able to walk your dogs on lead in safety.

    You have taken precautions by using the lead. It's the irresponsible that allow their dogs to run up to dogs on lead that bug the vast majority of us.

    If everyone had the good manners to clip on the lead when they saw another owner with dogs already on lead, everyone would have far happier walks
  17. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    In a perfect world everyone would do that. Unfortunately it’s not a perfect world.. The folks yesterday tried to call their dog but it didn’t have good recall. The man was obviously frustrated by that, but the woman was just mean and nasty, redirecting her frustration over the dog not coming when called onto my dogs and me, saying I have vicious dogs, lol. That’s my amateur psychology take on it.. and possibly more educated take on it soon as I’m going to be taking some classes with the thought of getting a degree if it seems like something I’m interested in after the first classes I need to be a substance abuse counselor. If my dogs were truly vicious she would have probably not said anything because they’d be high tailing it away from us as fast as possible!!!

    I’d thought about putting vests on my dogs saying “please stay away”, or “please give us space”, or “my dogs don’t want to say hi to your dog”, something along those lines but decided against it, just in case something bad did ever happen. If I had signs like that on them and they did get into an altercation that could be used against me.. I just want to walk in peace and enjoy the exercise and watch the dogs trot along and enjoy themselves.
  18. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Malka and CaroleC like this.
    I think it's a combination of fear and guilt that cause the verbal abuse. Fear because they are worried their dog will be hurt and guilt because they know that they are in the wrong. Just my take on it.

    Good luck in getting that degree. Go for it. Very hard work, but very worthwhile and satisfying when it all comes together
  19. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Coincidentally, we had a couple of words this morning too.
    On a nice wide path with a mowed green space to one side, and an open field on the other. A youngish woman was coming towards us with 3 small off-lead dogs, scampering about, but mainly on the path.
    I took Ed and Merry onto the green space, and asked them for a Sit/Wait to allow her to pass. She had at least 25 feet of clear space, and called to her dogs, but one of them ignored her and ran straight over to mine and began rearing on its hind legs in Eddie's face - making both of mine break their sit.
    The woman shouted the usual, 'It's alright, she won't bite'.
    'Maybe not, but why don't you call her back -- or put her on a lead'.
    'Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah', and carried on walking.
    Ed has made huge strides in overcoming his natural fear reactivity, and gains much his confidence by doing his best for his Mum, and receiving praise and usually a tit-bit for doing it. My part of the bargain is to make the decisions and keep him safe, and incidents like these always make me feel that I have broken that trust - even though there was no aggression involved in this particular case.

    ps. I second Chris's good wishes for your degree. As a young woman I did an ONC in science subjects at a tech. college, but lost interest in formal education. In 1990 I decided to return to education and got a place at Uni. when I was 50. This time I did arts subjects, thoroughly enjoyed it, and got a good degree.
  20. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    I got my degree when I was 53. I was the 'veteran', but really enjoyed it.

    What surprised me about it was I absolutely detested school and left when I was 15.

    Who'd a thought that I'd enjoy learning so much more all that time later :)
  21. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    I’m 53 now and I wasn’t that interested in school as a youngster, I was more interested in having fun and partying. It may take awhile as I need to work full time while taking classes. Thanks for the well wishes and nice to hear of others who successfully went back to school later and enjoyed it too!!

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