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Anyone else have an issue with people walking a dog?

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Anyone else have an issue with people walking a dog?

Old 04-28-19, 07:09 AM
  #1  
McMitchell
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Anyone else have an issue with people walking a dog, on a Flexi leash?

I was riding in my community yesterday and had a potentially serious issue. I came around a corner carrying enough momentum to get me up the far side of a steep hill.

A woman was walking her dog on a Flexi leash. She was on the left side of the road, her dog had the leash stretched across most of the road. The dog was moving toward my bike pulling out more leash. By the time I got to the point where the dog was I had about 1 foot of pavement to circumvent the ladies dog. The ladies husband grabbed the leash from her and stopped the dog before it got to my bike. I might have gone down in a tangle with the dog, leash & lady had he not stopped the dog.

I happen to be a “dog trainer” with a severe dislike of any kind of Flexi leash. The problem I have with that leash is they teach the dog to pull on leash. The “brake”, which is suppose to stop the dog, frequently does not work when needed. The thin nylon line often defies the brake, especially when the line is moving fast and you actually need it to work.Trying to grab the thin line often results in “a rope burn”.

‘The woman walking the dog tried to blame the incident on me which surprised me. She took the position that they could not hear me coming. She thought I should “ring a bell, sound a horn” constantly while riding. I think the law states that any dog less than 6’ from the owner is “out of control”

I am wondering if others have had similar incidents with dogs “walked” on Flexi leashes? I suggest that my clients walk their dog on a 4-6’ leather or fabric leash sturdy enough to actually stop the specific breed/size of dog.

Last edited by McMitchell; 04-28-19 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:14 AM
  #2  
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Agreed. I have owned dogs, of various breeds, for most of my adult life.

Flexi-leashes are a nuisance and a bad dog walking tool.

Otherwise I have no problem with people walking their dog. It is good for the owner and it is good for the dog.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:26 AM
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We are in complete agreement. I use to run a 12 acre dog park, where people could “walk their dog off-leash”. We had to shut it down when other houses were built around us, as the Park Dogs were running out of the park.

I think walking ones dog is great for dogs and people. If the dog or dogs are “under control”.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:31 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by McMitchell View Post

‘The woman walking the dog tried to blame the incident on me which surprised me. She took the position that they could not hear me coming. She thought I should “ring a bell, sound a horn” constantly while riding. I think the law states that any dog less than 6’ from the owner is “out of control”
Well, did you give some warning? Bell? Voice? If you didn't, I'd agree with her.
I will always ring my bell when approaching dog walkers. Especially when approaching from behind, I will give advance warning as far away as I can.

Most laws, where there are any at all just specify "in control". I have a few I regularly encounter who are off leash, but the owner has such control as to direct it to sit from 20 yards away and the dog does. These well controlled dogs seem to mostly be hunting dogs.

But yes, I don't care for the retractable leashes the allow the line to span the trail as a tripwire.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:03 AM
  #5  
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The majority of dogs, partly due due to their dispositions and partly due to their training, will never be 100% "under control" via voice commands, or even tugging on a leash. However some dogs are extremely obedient, even under the most trying of conditions. These are mostly working dogs, with a lot of training, but occasionally a relatively untrained dog can exhibit these traits.

The problem is that everyone seems to think their own dog is one of these exceptional animals, but very few of them actually are. Dogs will be dogs, I worry more about the owners.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:06 AM
  #6  
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I tried the retractable leash with my very first dog, but not for long. Haven't used one in decades for just the reasons cited.

As for your incident: it was totally the dog owner's fault. I wouldn't have even bothered to argue with her; I probably would've just yelled "get your dog off the road" while riding by and not looked back.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:09 AM
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If I made a list of the things other people do that annoy me, it would be a very long list. I try to be nice to people anyway.

I assume you weren't in a race. Just slow down, say hello and excuse me. Even the most oblivious of dog-walkers will reel in their dog so you can get by.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:11 AM
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I see a lot of retractable leashes during the spring before it heats up and people retreat back inside. I often humorously imagine having a wire strike protection device mounted on my bike.

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Old 04-28-19, 08:15 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
If I made a list of the things other people do that annoy me, it would be a very long list. I try to be nice to people anyway.

I assume you weren't in a race. Just slow down, say hello and excuse me. Even the most oblivious of dog-walkers will reel in their dog so you can get by.
^^^ Credited response. You can can get upset, you can yell, you can scream, you can call the cops, you can threaten to sue them, you can report them to animal control, you can write an angry letter to the editor.

Or you can move out of the way, smile, wave, and "fuggetabout it". I much prefer the latter.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:19 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Well, did you give some warning? Bell? Voice? If you didn't, I'd agree with her.
I will always ring my bell when approaching dog walkers. Especially when approaching from behind, I will give advance warning as far away as I can.

Most laws, where there are any at all just specify "in control". I have a few I regularly encounter who are off leash, but the owner has such control as to direct it to sit from 20 yards away and the dog does. These well controlled dogs seem to mostly be hunting dogs.

But yes, I don't care for the retractable leashes the allow the line to span the trail as a tripwire.
I encounter dogs most days I ride and never had an issue before. I try to ring the bell often. There are deer, Turkey, squirrels, snakes, even bear in the area so I try to ring it often. In this instance I was coming around a 90 degree corner leaning into a turn, not a great place to try to ring a bell. This area has many trees with fresh leaves , dense woods.

Down stay & recalls are the skill sets we stress for “dog control”. Hunting dogs are trained to sit but I find an actual down works even better. My GSDS are trained to down from practically anywhere. Everyday my GSDs have to do a down stay while I put their food down & hold it until I “free” them, which typically happens when they make eye contact. Dogs who watch/pay attention to their handlers typically respond more reliably.

Last edited by McMitchell; 04-28-19 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:24 AM
  #11  
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I have a dog. He's a good dog, but he does pretty much whatever he wants. Sometimes my teenage daughter walks the dog on one of those flexi-leashes, and she's not much more competent than the dog. I expect most people's dogs are more like that.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:04 AM
  #12  
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It's a total lack of situational awareness. I've owned many dogs over the years and I love flexi leads BUT you absolutely, without question, no if-ands or buts must keep aware of your surroundings. I completely blame the dog owner in this case. Make the freaking effort to glance over your damn shoulder ever 10-15 seconds.....or do NOT use the f&*$ing flexi! - I have absolutely no patience for this.

We have rail-trail in town that I use as a shortcut to start several of my road rides. I regularly see this issue with flexi users. I usually bellow "On your Left" in the most Darth Vader like voice I can muster and, as I pass, I will comment that they need to reel their dog in.

But it's not just the flexi dog owners - regular pedestrians walking four, five, six abreast are another issue on this trail as are runners with full over-the-ear headphones.

It is a shared-use trail/road, so share, damn it. (sigh)
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Old 04-28-19, 09:05 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
The majority of dogs, partly due due to their dispositions and partly due to their training, will never be 100% "under control" via voice commands, or even tugging on a leash. However some dogs are extremely obedient, even under the most trying of conditions. These are mostly working dogs, with a lot of training, but occasionally a relatively untrained dog can exhibit these traits.

The problem is that everyone seems to think their own dog is one of these exceptional animals, but very few of them actually are. Dogs will be dogs, I worry more about the owners.
Agreed, often the issue has more to do with the owners. This is how I know if a human student is actually learning. They start recognizing that most of their dogs issues have to do with things they actually “trained” the dog to do. I quit competition dog sport, the reason being the pressure one has to put on a dog the closer the team gets to 100% reliability. Now I am more of a glorified dog walker ;-) If most people could actually see the pressure they put on “hunting dogs” to “always retrieve” never break a sit.......they might get sick.

Last edited by McMitchell; 04-28-19 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:27 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by PickleRick View Post
It's a total lack of situational awareness. I've owned many dogs over the years and I love flexi leads BUT you absolutely, without question, no if-ands or buts must keep aware of your surroundings. I completely blame the dog owner in this case. Make the freaking effort to glance over your damn shoulder ever 10-15 seconds.....or do NOT use the f&*$ing flexi! - I have absolutely no patience for this.

We have rail-trail in town that I use as a shortcut to start several of my road rides. I regularly see this issue with flexi users. I usually bellow "On your Left" in the most Darth Vader like voice I can muster and, as I pass, I will comment that they need to reel their dog in.

But it's not just the flexi dog owners - regular pedestrians walking four, five, six abreast are another issue on this trail as are runners with full over-the-ear headphones.

It is a shared-use trail/road, so share, damn it. (sigh)
I hear you Pickle!
”One could do worse than being a swinger of birches”-more Robert Frost

Last edited by McMitchell; 04-28-19 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by McMitchell View Post
Agreed, often the issue has more to do with the owners. This is how I know if a human student is actually learning. They start recognizing that most of their dogs issues have to do with things they actually “trained” the dog to do. I quit competition dog sport, the reason being the pressure one has to put on a dog the closer the team gets to 100% reliability. Now I am more of a glorified dog walker ;-) If most people could actually see the pressure they put on “hunting dogs” to “always retrieve” never break a sit.......they might get sick.
IMO, the problem is always with the dog's owner. If you can't safely manage a dog, you shouldn't have one.

With that said, we've all made mistakes. I've occasionally had a dog get loose and cause problems. But in those circumstances I apologize, as it's my fault; I would never blame the innocent bystander who is merely trying to use the public space.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
If I made a list of the things other people do that annoy me, it would be a very long list. I try to be nice to people anyway.

I assume you weren't in a race. Just slow down, say hello and excuse me. Even the most oblivious of dog-walkers will reel in their dog so you can get by.
This ^^^

Coincidentally, this just happened to me the other day when I was in the 'warm-up' part of my ride on a nearby MUP. There was a woman ahead on the far right side of the path with a dog on a flexi-leash. The dog extended the leash out and was sniffing the grass on the far left side of the path. Amazingly (for oblivious me), I noticed the leash across the path and started slowing down - almost the same time, the woman noticed me coming and quickly crossed the path to get to her dog. I joked about being happy I noticed the leash and not just cycled through it. It was all good ... while she probably shouldn't have had her dog/leash on the opposite side of the path, this was an easy situation to work around in a friendly, respectful way. I also accept my responsibility in giving notice that I'm coming up from behind in a way that doesn't startle the person ahead of me.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:29 AM
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My experience with dog owners it that many of them never seem to be able to see your side of the story no matter what. They always seem to want to make you out as the one who is unreasonable.

My wife, like many people has a fear of dogs, even if they are leashed. She will always give them a wide berth when passing them while we are on a walk. She does her part to create a large space between herself and the dog, I just wish (some of) the dog owners would recognize the dynamic that is unfolding and hold their dogs back a bit. You can obviously see that my wife is being overly cautious.

I just think that dog owners need to take into consideration that not everyone dying to try and become friends with their dog.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:37 AM
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Where I live the Riverwalk is the MUP, shared , as it is, a little advance warning from the bicycle bell ,

and not speeding , so people have time to react, and a pleasant 'hello' as I pass, works quite well..
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Old 04-28-19, 09:41 AM
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We have a 6' max lead law for dogs on our MUP. 99% of the people are super good about it and I am very careful around animals and kids. Both are very unpredictable.

I have had one run in with a dog, a lady was walking her dog on a 20' leash and I ran over the leash. I thought the dog wasn't even on a leash. I ran over the cord and the dog for some reason took offence to this and ran out after me. The little fluffy thing then went under my rear wheel! I went down, dog was hurt badly I believe. The lady was super pissed at me but after the police showed up and saw the super long leash and I told them the incident and the lady pretty much had the same rendition of what I stated she was issued a citation. She still thought the bikes on the path were at fault and the MUP should only be for walkers.

I still think to this day the dog did not survive. It was pretty hurt. I don't know and I don't think I really want to know because of a careless owner I hurt that poor dog.
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Old 04-28-19, 10:11 AM
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So my hope in making this post was to increase awareness of bicyclers and dog walkers. I thought I had something of value to add to the ensuing debate.

One more thought, dogs tend to chase anything they might be able to conceive of as fleeing prey. They are often suspicious of anything that moves “suspiciously/aggressively” as well, particularly when they think they are “in a pack”.

If this post prevents one incident like the one above I believe the effort will have been well spent.

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Old 04-28-19, 10:24 AM
  #21  
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I never have a problem with dogs. I frequently have a problem with irresponsible humans.
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Old 04-28-19, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
I never have a problem with dogs. I frequently have a problem with irresponsible humans.
but we cant put them down

sarcasm implied....
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Old 04-28-19, 01:57 PM
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"We're too bust spinning, to put anybody down ..."
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Old 04-28-19, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
"We're too bust spinning, to put anybody down ..."
errr “ We are too busy spinning, to put anybody down”....? ;-)
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Old 04-28-19, 03:10 PM
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We have these type dog owners here also, walking sometimes multiple dogs on those long leashes on the fitness trails ! That’s bad enough , and then add in head phones ? You would think they were on their very own private property !
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