Pack mentality

Michael is calling for a culture change in the Hilly Fields dog-owner community since his dog has been bitten twice in recent months. He writes:

I’m a regular user of Hilly Fields and it’s a park I greatly love. It’s very sad then that the “sociable” dog owners of Hilly Fields don’t seem that responsible. There’s is never a single time that I see a dog owner put their dog on a lead when my dog and I walk past them.

It’s pretty much the first rule of dog owning: See a dog you don’t know? Then put your dog on a lead. Let them get to know one another while the owners are in complete control. I know that a lot of dog owners will argue that their dog is kind and gentle but you just don’t ever know how one dog will react to another.

My dog got seriously attacked last year in Ladywell Fields because of a thoughtless owner who couldn’t be bothered to simply put their dog on a lead for a moment.

Also, yes, these owners “socialise”. But they do it by simply standing there talking while their dogs run around. That’s not walking your dog. Fine, socialise, by all means. But walk with the dogs. Every time I see a large group of dogs off the lead, it means I can only stay at one part of the park.

And you know what? Maybe I’d like to socialise with them too but it’s impossible if they won’t just take a minute to put dogs on lead and get them to know one another first.