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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Grrr:mad:

Tessa and I were just minding our business, out for a walk in this freezing cold weather Alberta is having right now, when a freaking runner with his dog comes up from behind us. Tessa lunged, but I don't think she bit/made contact - there was no growling on her part, no barking, just a quick pull towards what I thought was just a person walking next to us. I pulled her back and realized that he also had a large dog, so Tessa pulled closer and I held on. The runner didn't even stop, just stepped slightly to the side with his dog, apologized and kept running by. I think I said "that's alright?" I should've yelled at him instead!:mad:

Meanwhile all I can think about is "what if Tessa had bit him and I didn't notice?", "what if she made contact with his dog and I didn't know it?", "what if she did make contact and he realizes it when he gets home and calls animal control?". I'm pretty sure she didn't as he would've said something/the dog would have yelped which didn't happen - he wouldn't have kept running if contact was made right? The whole situation has my anxiety disorder on high alert, it doesn't help that I have obsessive compulsive disorder (including driving OCD and fears of hurting others) so all I'm doing right now is obsessing about it which is upsetting me more. He's probably at home laughing about it:mad:.

I don't know what I'd do if something happened to her because I wasn't prepared, because I didn't prevent it, because this jack a** put her in danger of reacting with a bite.

I hate this runner for making me worry like this. I keep rethinking what happened in my mind, which is only making me worry more. I keep think what I could've done to prevent not knowing he was there. I did have my hood from my jacket up because it's cold but I could hear the dogs barking and other people who had walked by - that Tessa didn't even flinch at. The snow was crunching beneath my feet - but I didn't hear his foot steps, and I notice Tessa reacted to a couple of dogs across the road - but there was no notice this runner was behind us. She didn't react to him or his dog. At All.

Normally she would've reacted to the dog by stopping mid sidewalk and barking at it, which would have been my cue to move over, but it's like she didn't even know he was there until he was - she was just as startled as I was. No yell, no cough, I had no idea they were there until he was right there beside me. I had looked ahead at the area before we got there to see if there was going to be any issues, you know since any dogs are a training experience for Tessa and we need to be under threshold, and no one was around. I never even saw him running in the area adjacent.

Why couldn't he have just given a heads up? Or even just go around us? What would make him think running close to a large, strange dog with his dog would be a good idea? Tessa could've easily bit him or his dog thinking she was protecting me and we'd be in huge trouble. If I had known he was there, we would've crossed the street, or moved to the side to let them pass. UGH!

Sorry this is such a long rant, my nerves are just shot. Poor Tessa was so spooked and I'm so anxious that I'm going to get a call or visit from Animal Control...Did I mention I now HATE this guy?!:mad:
 

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Oh dear, I'm sorry this happened, nothing worse when you are trying to enjoy a event-free walk with a dog that's reactive, ( I feel your pain! )
 

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Personally I think it's a bit of an overreaction, even though it would have been nice for him to have alerted you that he was coming up by you. For all anybody knows, he may run into people all the time who don't have reactive dogs or even don't have dogs at all. From what you described, it also seems like his own dog didn't do anything, so at least it seems well-mannered unlike so many I've run into. It's highly unlikely that he'll call animal control, and I really doubt he's laughing about it. Yeah, a heads up would have been nice, or even if he could have given a wider berth if possible. But people make mistakes all the time and it isn't this guy's fault that you have disorders, and he certainly didn't do anything intentionally to set off your issues. I understand anxiety. I really do... having severe SAD and GAD myself, along with PTSD and stress-induced Trichotillomania... I dunno, just seems like you need to do whatever you can to calm down, try not to worry, and let go of the petty hatred for a random person who in all likelihood did not mean any harm at all.
 

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I'm sorry that happened! I know what it's like to have a reactive dog and have someone pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and the fear of what if my dog bites someone.

Some people just do not understand that even if a dog is not reacting they still should keep at least leash distance away just in case. I think that because Tessa was not reacting that he might have thought it was safe to pass close by and didn't think twice about it until she did react. I've had Zody do that to someone, he was fine one second then the next he was in attempt to bite ankle mode, he didn't make contact because I yanked him back in time. I learned to not trust him that day and give him very little slack in the leash when I'm standing near someone and he's with me. So I know how heart dropping and scary it is.

I highly doubt Tessa made contact with either of them, and even if she did I doubt she broke the skin, what you describe sounds like either an air snap or a warning bite. I know you know that dogs can control the force of their bite and that's likely what Tessa did. Please quit worrying about the authorities showing up. Another thing to remember... He did not stop to get your name, or your address, if he did report what likely was a small nip he'd be stuck telling the authority... "We got nipped by a black, lab looking, dog being walked on leash by a lady at X location. I did not stop to get her information." I really doubt that the authorities would put much effort into looking for you.
 

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Have you considered getting a muzzle and muzzle training her? I know it's frustrating. But ultimately, you still are responsible for preventing your dog from biting, even if they do come super close like that with no warning.

I've taken Tigger to some cities and towns where it's basically inevitable for that to happen. There's traffic, side walks can get crowded, and your dog has to be ok with people zooming by on foot, bike, skateboard, with other dogs or not....VERY close too, in the dogs space. And nobody thinks or even considers the possibility that your dog may react or lunge or bite, because if it might, then it's consensus that you shouldn't be taking it out to busy areas like that in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tessa is muzzle trained, for emergency uses. I wouldn't use it for every day walking because she's never aggressively lunged at anyone, as she is more fear reactive, even at the runner that startled us she reacted in more of startled "holy cow" way and moved forward towards him not a "I'm going to eat your face" lunge. I also don't take her to place where there is too much stimuli or dogs, it's too stressful for her. We walk strictly at odd hours for exercise, or in areas where dogs aren't common, unless we're training on our dog reactivity in which case we train in areas that are open have multiple escape routes. We have never had an issue like this, ever.

And no, I don't have any issue saying I have major dislike for the guy, he's a plain sidewalk hogging jerk. I've talked with a lot of the neighbours in my area and they've said they've had similar experiences with him. One said he actually knocked her down when he ran up behind her, and another said he ran into him and his wife when they were holding hands walking down the sidewalk. He doesn't own the sidewalk any more than the rest of us. If he had given notice he was there there would be no problem, Or if he had been polite enough to run on the other side of the sidewalk, or around people walking ahead, but he apparently doesn't care enough to.

I'm a runner too, and I know it's important to get your groove going and you don't want anyone to interrupt it, but I still have manners. If I see someone ahead I go around, I let them know I'm there, I change my route. Takes 5 seconds of my run and it saves me from upsetting or startling someone. What if I had been deaf? Special needs? What if Tessa had been really aggressive? Hopefully he learned something, but I doubt it.

I get that I shouldn't have gotten so upset, but I had been startled to the point of having an anxiety attack.
 

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I've encountered a lot of joggers and bikers walking my dogs in parks, wooded trails. Those types of places. Very few have let me know they were coming up behind us. A 'heads up' would work just fine. Today a biker came riding up and had a bell on his bike that he rang. I yelled out 'thank you'. I wonder why these people don't let you know they are there. Do they want to get bit? Or knocked over by a dog. My dogs are friendly, but Vegas will lunge towards people and get in their way. Freyja is just huge and loves people. She is getting better with jumping but isn't 100%. It's like, at least give me a warning so I can step aside and get a better grip on the leashes.
I completely understand where you're coming from, I have my own anxiety problems. Some people are just rude. Try not to let them set you off.
 
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Once Norris and I were out walking and suddenly a woman comes running up right behind us, startling both of us. Luckily Norris is only reactive to dogs! I'm only 33 years old, but I have the hearing of a 70 year old because I've spent so long working in loud boarding kennels, and I didn't hear her coming at all. An "excuse me" would be very nice in those situations so that I can move to the side and let them pass. Once a guy on a bike came riding up behind us and scared the crap out of my dog, lol. At least he said "Sorry!" though.

If my dog would bite people in those situations, I would muzzle him in public for HIS safety because you can't trust people! People are allowed to do stupid things and make mistakes, dogs are not. It's just the way it is :/
 

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Sorry you had that situation. We have a tonne of runners in my area and the occasional bike on the sidewalk (which shouldn't happen). I don't think I've ever had anyone give me a heads up, and always figured my dog is my responsibility, and it's up to me to keep a look out as she used to be nervous, and is small and I don't want her stepped on.

Maybe keep her leash a bit shorter when you're walking, and look around a bit more? That can protect the both of you, too, and prevent any issues with others. Hope you have better walks ahead. :)
 
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I am sorry this happened to you, but I don't think the runner did anything wrong.

You are both people who live in the community, and both have the right to be out using the sidewalks and public places with your dogs. If someone's dog is ill-mannered, overly fearful, aggressive, whatever, the onus falls on that person to take the extra care. It is not the responsibility of everyone else to check their actions for how it may impact a reactive dog.

The runner, using the sidewalk with his in control dog did nothing wrong.

I understand how it could be an unsettling encounter for you, but to direct any hate towards the runner or the runner's dog is unfair to them.
 

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I don't blame you for being angry at the guy. Even without my dogs I've been buzzed by runners with zero warning, very startling. Seriously, the trail is a good 15' wide, there is no reason they need to be brushing past me at all. They're lucky I don't have better reflexes, I sort of wonder what would happen if they tried that move on someone with serious self defense training.
 

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I'm sure it must have been scary due to your dogs reactivity, but I don't see how this guy did anything remotely wrong. Runners, dog walkers, bicyclists etc whiz past us all the time. Was this not a communal type trail? That's the nature of walking along a trail. If he had a non-reactive dog and simply jogged past you there is nothing rude about that... If he had stopped next to you or tried to have the dogs interact without asking that would be a different situation entirely.

If your dog is that reactive I think muzzle training sounds like a potential next step for everyone's safety if you can't control your environment 100% of the time.
 

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I got a lightweight racing muzzle for koda if I'm walking during a time where there's a higher chance of dogs being out-we don't always use it, but its nice to have.

One time, two ******* and their poor dog intentionally snuck up behind Koda. The dog sniffed her butt, and by the time either of us realized (traffic was loud) Koda FREAKED and started air snapping at the unsuspecting dog. Sort of like if a spider suddenly lands on your face and is WAY too close. They laughed, I ran away (partly for Koda but more so I wouldn't hit them and do something I regret).

People suck sometimes. I don't think responding with 'that's alright' is the best solution-because it isn't alright-but hard to do anything when the literally just run away. Hopefully they don't do it again.

And as difficult as this is right now...here's another reminder to breathe. Deeply. Relax. You're both okay, and that's what matters the most. <3
 

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Honestly if your dog is reactive to strangers in their space to the point of snapping at someone, I'd muzzle them, and to me if this was Cosmo, this instance would have been a big red flag and indicator my dog needs to be muzzled for their own and others safety. You are responsible for your dog, so it's unfair to me to be angry at a runner with their dog who is well mannered and in control. What the dude does to other people is irrelevant to this situation. Sidewalks aren't very big, so it should be common sense that someone may have to pass you closely on a sidewalk, and it's unfair to expect someone to move on the other side of the road every time they pass someone. What if there was someone else on the other side as well, where are they supposed to go to be the most curteous? Zipping around the road is unsafe for them.

I highly highly highly doubt, like I'm almost sure, that he won't talk to the authorities. Sounds like he just went on his way. Plus he didn't have any of your information. If I was him I'd honestly be annoyed at being snapped at and wonder why the dog doesn't have a muzzle.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Honestly if your dog is reactive to strangers in their space to the point of snapping at someone, I'd muzzle them, and to me if this was Cosmo, this instance would have been a big red flag and indicator my dog needs to be muzzled for their own and others safety. You are responsible for your dog, so it's unfair to me to be angry at a runner with their dog who is well mannered and in control. What the dude does to other people is irrelevant to this situation. Sidewalks aren't very big, so it should be common sense that someone may have to pass you closely on a sidewalk, and it's unfair to expect someone to move on the other side of the road every time they pass someone. What if there was someone else on the other side as well, where are they supposed to go to be the most curteous? Zipping around the road is unsafe for them.

I highly highly highly doubt, like I'm almost sure, that he won't talk to the authorities. Sounds like he just went on his way. Plus he didn't have any of your information. If I was him I'd honestly be annoyed at being snapped at and wonder why the dog doesn't have a muzzle.
Thank you for your perspective, but I'm not muzzling my dog unless I feel the need. I don't currently feel that's it's required. She isn't the type to 'snap' or bite a person. Does she move to put herself in front of me? yes. Has she ever snapped? no. I said, a month ago, that I worried about "what if she had..." even though I knew deep down she wouldn't have. What ifs are a part of my day to day life with my anxiety disorder. I make things worse in my head than they are in reality because of all the "what ifs". And yes, I do regret even bothering to vent on here - should have never posted I guess, but I was upset at the time and needed to get it out.

Also, yes I do expect common courtesy when you use a side walk and find it sad that so many are ok without it. I don't care what you are doing on that side walk, you need to be courteous to those who are walking vs if you are moving faster. I don't require you to go around, but a simple "Hey!" would have had me realize someone was behind me and we would have moved to increase Tessa's threshold. What if I was deaf? Old? Handicapped? Should people just be allowed to be rude because it's expected that manners have gone the way of the dodo?

I too run, and I have yet to have a moment when I have required to bulldoze through people with zero alert I'm there, actually I've never seen the need to bulldoze through people ever - particularly if I'm coming up behind them and they are walking a strange dog. I give a shout. If the person doesn't move their head, then I glance around for 5 seconds and look for an alternative, if there isn't one I slow down, also for 5 seconds, and pass them.

I also live in a very small area where people still have manners. I have never encountered an incident like this. Maybe I'm naive. FYI I ran into this person again, almost the same reasoning, only he came up on our front. I moved off the path onto the sidewalk and had Tessa stop and stay. He approached and stopped, asked why I did that, I explained that Tessa is fearful of life and needs space to be calm and explained if he wants to run by all is needed is a yell that he's there and we'd move. He agreed. Hopefully this will be a win win for us both.

I get that others may have a differing of opinion, good on you, but I had a particularly bad night A MONTH AGO and I need to vent my feelings. I have done so and moved on. Tessa had a slight set back because of the incident, but has moved on as well. Thanks for your opinions, but this thread is done.
 

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Thank you for your perspective, but I'm not muzzling my dog unless I feel the need. I don't currently feel that's it's required. She isn't the type to 'snap' or bite a person. Does she move to put herself in front of me? yes. Has she ever snapped? no. I said, a month ago, that I worried about "what if she had..." even though I knew deep down she wouldn't have. What ifs are a part of my day to day life with my anxiety disorder. I make things worse in my head than they are in reality because of all the "what ifs". And yes, I do regret even bothering to vent on here - should have never posted I guess, but I was upset at the time and needed to get it out.

Also, yes I do expect common courtesy when you use a side walk and find it sad that so many are ok without it. I don't care what you are doing on that side walk, you need to be courteous to those who are walking vs if you are moving faster. I don't require you to go around, but a simple "Hey!" would have had me realize someone was behind me and we would have moved to increase Tessa's threshold. What if I was deaf? Old? Handicapped? Should people just be allowed to be rude because it's expected that manners have gone the way of the dodo?

I too run, and I have yet to have a moment when I have required to bulldoze through people with zero alert I'm there, actually I've never seen the need to bulldoze through people ever - particularly if I'm coming up behind them and they are walking a strange dog. I give a shout. If the person doesn't move their head, then I glance around for 5 seconds and look for an alternative, if there isn't one I slow down, also for 5 seconds, and pass them.

I also live in a very small area where people still have manners. I have never encountered an incident like this. Maybe I'm naive. FYI I ran into this person again, almost the same reasoning, only he came up on our front. I moved off the path onto the sidewalk and had Tessa stop and stay. He approached and stopped, asked why I did that, I explained that Tessa is fearful of life and needs space to be calm and explained if he wants to run by all is needed is a yell that he's there and we'd move. He agreed. Hopefully this will be a win win for us both.

I get that others may have a differing of opinion, good on you, but I had a particularly bad night A MONTH AGO and I need to vent my feelings. I have done so and moved on. Tessa had a slight set back because of the incident, but has moved on as well. Thanks for your opinions, but this thread is done.
From what I read it didn't sound to me like he bulldozed through, however it was your experience not mine. Sidewalks are to share, I personally wouldn't expect someone to move across the street from me. I agree that a "behind you" or something would have been polite and I'm glad you got to vent, everyone needs to vent! I'm just saying that I don't think he had horrible intentions, I don't think you should worry about him calling anyone, and I don't think its fair to hate him for not giving a headsup. He may not have even considered those factors, ignorance is bliss. I'm glad you got to talk to him, sounds like everything went fine, he was nice about it, and there's no reason to just hate him for such a small reason.

The big city I'm moving to is much more polite than the little city I'm from so the size of a city doesn't really matter imo haha.

I didn't know it was a month ago, it just came up in the list of threads. Everyone can give their opinion, no need to be aggressive about it. Sorry you had a bad experience, glad it's fixed.
 

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Maybe it's just your area?

Idk. I've never, anywhere I've been in CA or even Utah, had a runner give me a heads up before running by me from behind. Whether my dog was with me or not. Same with bikers or people on skateboards. That's why it's weird for me to expect a warning, or say that not doing so is discourteous. To me, what he did is perfectly normal and what I expect.
 

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Maybe it's just your area?

Idk. I've never, anywhere I've been in CA or even Utah, had a runner give me a heads up before running by me from behind. Whether my dog was with me or not. Same with bikers or people on skateboards. That's why it's weird for me to expect a warning, or say that not doing so is discourteous. To me, what he did is perfectly normal and what I expect.
I'm the same way, there aren't a lot of runners where I live, but there's a lot in the city I'm moving to in which I frequently visit as well as the city my mom lives in which I'm also in a lot, and I've never had someone warn me unless they were on a bike, then I usually get a warning. But runners, nah, and it's never been an issue for me personally.
 

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Also yeah, if my dog tried to bite someone BECAUSE he was reactive I would certainly muzzle him in public. It's not cruel, its for others safety. I may not be able to predict others' actions. Children run up to Cosmo all the time, if he was bite reactive I certainly would't want the liability of him biting a child. It sounds like your dog bites when approached quickly, I'd be concerned about that.
 
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