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My parents' 12 year old beagle, Maggie, stays with me pretty regularly. She's a total sweetheart and she's never shown the slightest hint of aggression in her life. She likes meeting other dogs and then continuing on her way. I usually take her for slow walks around the apartment complex (about half a mile per loop) three times a day, and we run into plenty of other dogs of all sizes and breeds. Most of them are friendly (there are 100+ dogs in my apartment complex and 90%+ are either well behaved or under control), but there are a few really reactive/aggressive dogs that snarl, lunge, and bark.

I would obviously never put her or myself in danger (and I think there's a real chance some of these dogs would bite if we were within reach), but isn't it just good manners for the person with the reactive/aggressive dog to move off the sidewalk? Most of the time I'm the one getting off the sidewalk and walking on the grass or in the parking lot while the other person's dog acts out and carries on. Anyone have experience with this? Does complaining to management ever help in situations like this?
 

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In my mind, yes the person with the aggressive dog should move. However, ultimately the responsibility to keep your dog safe lies with you; only you can decide how to act, and if you choose not to move and your dog gets hurt, it's on you. Them as well, but still on you.


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I think the owner of those aggressive dogs should move out of the way but the main thing is your safety and the safety of your dog and if that means you've got to move out of the way, move out of the way. I don't think complaining to the manager of the complex would do anything. In fact if the manager told them you were the one complaining, some people might get stupid.
 

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I think the owner of those aggressive dogs should move out of the way but the main thing is your safety and the safety of your dog and if that means you've got to move out of the way, move out of the way. I don't think complaining to the manager of the complex would do anything. In fact if the manager told them you were the one complaining, some people might get stupid.
I agree.
But then I don't live in an apartment complex. This one of the places Max likes.



We do live in an urban area. But we can find the odd oasis.
 

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McCourt;3191242 said:
In fact if the manager told them you were the one complaining, some people might get stupid.
I agree. They are clueless idiots, not the dog's fault, but if they are like that on a good day, it probably would be better to avoid a confrontation.

A very long time ago, (maybe 50 years) I recall a public service advertisement about safe driving. They always ended up saying 'You could be dead right'.

Now if there is an actual unavoidable type danger, like they have a snarling lunger and it comes after you, yes, by all means say something. But stepping off the sidewalk isn't a big deal, and if it can avoid a dog/people fight, I'm all for it.
 

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Good point, that was what I was thinking as well but I just wanted to see if anyone had experienced something similar. I guess I'm more bothered by the principle of the thing than anything else.
 

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I agree.
But then I don't live in an apartment complex. This one of the places Max likes.



We do live in an urban area. But we can find the odd oasis.
Max is cute!! We live in the suburbs in a neighborhood I like to call "Stepford." LOL All kidding aside, everyone in my area is super considerate. There are all kinds of dogs around here and everyone seems to keep their pets on leashes and picks up their dogs' waste. There is a nice park behind our house with a duck pond. I've never heard about any sort of problem with dog fighting or bites.
 

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Max is cute!! We live in the suburbs in a neighborhood I like to call "Stepford." LOL All kidding aside, everyone in my area is super considerate. There are all kinds of dogs around here and everyone seems to keep their pets on leashes and picks up their dogs' waste. There is a nice park behind our house with a duck pond. I've never heard about any sort of problem with dog fighting or bites.
Thank you kindly for that. Yes, we also think he, Max, is a handsome beast but, of course, we would.
I just thought it would give a bit of a feel for where walk the dog off the lead. It's what I call the forbidden land. I once stepped in a hole there and went base over apex cracking a rib in the process. Understandably, my dear wife doesn't like me going there.

This is another place. It's Houghton Hall Park which has had a makeover recently. About 42 acres of grass and woodland.



The bird was safe. It can fly. Max hasn't mastered that one yet...........:)
 

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It goes both ways. A lot of reactive dog owners will tell you what it is like to own a reactive dog and have people YOU ARE TRYING TO AVOID let their dog drag them after you. Or have triggers on either side of the street. The easiest solution that I have found is to learn about oncoming dogs so that you can do the proactive thing and give reactive dogs plenty of space (even if their owners aren't trying to give them any).
 

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If I see a dog barking, lunging, or throwing off some signals they are uncomfortable, I just move to the side. It doesn't bother me to get out of the way, and if it helps avoid an incident all the better. You never know what these people have just encountered (some stranger insisting on their dog meeting theirs, kids trying to pet him), so I just give them space.
 

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I too live in a dog friendly appt. There are at least 75 dogs living here. Not a single one has any traning except me and my dog. My dog was bitten twice in the first couple days after I rescued her. This has turned out to be a huge problem with reactivity. I spend a lot of time everyday dealing with it.

We avoid all contact with other dogs. I demonstrate well trained behavior by formally stopping with a sit at the curb. Then a controlled walk across the street. A comment pointed at me "I don't have to train my dog, he stays by me automatically." My snap back was "why is he lunging at the end of your retractable leash? " " Oh he is ok, he is just having fun". I've lived here six years and have yet to know of anyone training their dog.

Ironically We go to two different dog classes a week more for interaction with other dogs than training although we do all the training exercises. Here my dog has no problem with being close to other dogs. It's as if they say hi glad to see you to each other by some mysterious method. Even at other training groups we occasionally go to the trained dogs just seem to know how to get along.

I've talked to all four trainers about this and they agreed.

It's taken two years but my dog is finally calming down at home, the look in her eyes when looking at other dogs is something akin to" hey, freak, behave your self, it's lots easier and more fun"
 

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Etiquette seems to... vary...
Just seems to be different from one group of people to another.

I personally think good ettiquette when passing other people and dogs is for owners to bring dogs in close/shorten leashes and keep dogs on the outside (dog, person, person, dog) as they pass to prevent any nose to nose greetings between the dogs, jumping on the person, etc. The dog savvy people I know tend to all bubble out a bit as well giving a bit of space to the other person and dog even when both dogs are behaving. They tend to do larger bubbles for people/dogs seeming to have difficulty. Part of it is safety, but many people view it as rude/inconsiderate to come in close or refuse to give a bit of space when the other dog is reacting and owner struggling.
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@Bentwings That's pretty similar to my dog's reaction—a curious "why are you doing that" look before finding something more interesting to smell.

I guess a bit of my issue stems from the fact that my family had a reactive dog while I was growing up, we recognized that she and her behavioral issues were my family's problem and shouldn't be affecting other dog owners' walks, and we made every effort to redirect her and train her out of the behavior (never entirely successful, but we got to the point where her reactions went from easily 1-2 minutes long to under 10 seconds). So the people who just stand there and do nothing, or drag their dog along like it's normal that their dog is in a frenzy and half choking himself at the end of the leash, frustrate me for their dog's sake.

I made the original post immediately after encountering probably the three worst behaved dogs in my apartment complex, so I wasn't exactly in the most objective mood. Sorry if I didn't get my point across well!
 

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I personally think good ettiquette when passing other people and dogs is for owners to bring dogs in close/shorten leashes
Better still, walk where you don't need a leash. That way the dogs sort it out among themselves. Usually amicably. Intervene only if required.
 

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Better still, walk where you don't need a leash. That way the dogs sort it out among themselves. Usually amicably. Intervene only if required.
Ummm... No...
Just not polite to allow a dog to approach a stranger or unfamiliar dog on or off leash without asking first. Nevermind safety issues...
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Ummm... No...
Just not polite to allow a dog to approach a stranger or unfamiliar dog on or off leash without asking first. Nevermind safety issues...
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I tend to agree with this. I would never introduce dogs for the first time off leash. I've either had large dogs, GSDs or my two tiny dogs now, but in my experiences, I've either been worried my dog would hurt another dog in a scuffle or now my issue is my tiny dogs getting hurt. If you don't know the dog or the owner, I believe a leash is a necessity until the dogs get to know one another.
 

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Ummm... No...
Just not polite to allow a dog to approach a stranger or unfamiliar dog on or off leash without asking first. Nevermind safety issues...
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We won't see eye to eye on that. Maybe it's because of how our dog, Max, behaves. He is gentle, sociable, and he makes people smile. And he knows when to walk away from a stranger. Human or dog for that matter. I don't know how he knows. Body language maybe.

The off lead/leash issue is contentious here and I have explained more than once why ours gets walked off lead. He is a big active fellow and gets the exercise and blow off that energy.

We walk six to ten miles a day. The dog does several times that when he dives in and out of woods. It would be a disservice to him were he not allowed to do so. If I had any reservations about his behaviour with people/dogs I wouldn't allow him off lead. And that, I'd take as a failure on our part. That we hadn't given him the confidence to be the big, gentle fellow that he is.

Many dog walkers in my area don't use leads. We meet and greet. It's almost like a social network.

A little tale to illustrate.
A day or so ago a neighbour was trying to recall his pug. No lead. My dog, Max, walked it home to its gate. No instruction required.

It isn't the first time he has done that. Rascal and Pablo get the same guidance. I don't know quite how it works. It just does.

I hope this helps to explain a little about my view of on or off the lead.
 

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Besoeker, if all dogs had humans like you, I'd let mine off leash around them in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I think the opposite is true and too many people never spend enough time with their dogs, rarely exercise them enough and never do any training with them.
 

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We're not talking about a rural or forest setting.
The op is in an urban setting.


Still...
You're not the only one here with a social dog, a high energy dog, and/or the only one walking offlead.
Even in a rural setting it's not always appropriate for dogs to be off leash. And certainly still not polite imo to let a dog run over and greet strangers and unfamiliar dogs without asking first. Ultimately you do not know the person or dog. By doing so imho one puts their dog at risk and impedes the rights of the other person. If one asks and the other person says yes, then no problem. But the polite thing to do is to ask giving them choice in the matter, and respect their choice should the answer be no.
 

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In my area off the lead walking would be a disaster. As McCourt says, not everyone is careful with their dogs and many are not, here. Pit bull fighting is still an unfortunate (and criminal) sport in the Houston area and there are thousands of abandoned pits that turned out not to be good prospects. And there are numerous jackasses who think it is cool to have a 'bad' dog that is ready to attack other dogs and people, so even on the leash these are dangerous to get near.
There are strays, cars, and the cottage industry of dogs who are stolen practically from under their owner's noses for resale on Craigslist. Walking with the dog is no guarantee of protection from a dog thief if there is no leash, as the thieves work in teams from cars, one to drive and the other to get the dog.
And on top of it all, my city is vigilant in trying to get the strays especially in my area since I live near a school. A dog without an owner can be picked up, an unleashed dog near an owner can be a reason to ticket the owner.
 
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