Stories of an ultra runner and adventurer: an obsessive approach to the outdoors by Candice Burt

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10 Things Dog Owners Should Never Say to Runners

Dedicated to all the leg-humping-teeth-baring carnivores out there.

After conducting an enlightening poll of runners about dog encounters, I've come up with some statements that dog owners should never say to runners.  It's not so much that the dog is the problem, it's the ridiculous statements their owners make to runners and other non-tethered folks.  Don't get me wrong, I love dogs and most dog owners.  I just find you funny and obnoxious.

It's OK, he's friendly!  As person's dog lunges and bears its teeth at runner.  If you have to say he's friendly, there's a problem.

He really likes you!   This either means the dog just humped your leg, jumped up on you, or is wiggling his body like the wound-up-under-exercised-ADD dog that he is.  Also goes along with "Oh sorry she's still a puppy." An apparent excuse for bad behavior and leg sex.

Oh sorry, she's still a puppy.  That explains why the 100 pound dog just jumped up on me.

She's just scared.  I'd say that looks more like some serious carnivorous intentions.

She won't bite.  If you have to say this, then she really might bite and I'm not coming anywhere near that piranha on a leash.The next thing these owners are likely to say is:

Oh my, he's never done THAT before. Well, thanks for clarifying and not apologizing. 

He has a high prey drive. No way! Is that why he just ran off into the bushes after that squirrel?

He's afraid of kids. I call that aggressive and dangerous.

She loves giving kisses.  Actually, I think she likes salt and has a penchant for french kissing.

He's in training. You mean you're in training?  Dogs respond to their owner's behavior. Good leadership equals good dog behavior.

Now go walk your dog and please don't forget to pick up your little baggies of shit. 

29 comments:

  1. Truth! Best one I heard, after nearly being attacked, "I would have shot that dog if he had got you". Really? That's comforting.

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  2. On a run a couple of months ago: "She's usually OK, it's just runners that set her off..." Oh great! Well, just hold her while I try to unobviously run off...

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  3. Written by a non dog owner. With no understanding of how a dog's mind works. Yes, not all dogs are as well behaved as people would like but that's life. If an animal is truly dangerous then it needs professional help, that includes the owners. If you don't like being licked, jumped on, or otherwise accosted by dogs you don't know, then poke off where there isn't any known dog walkers. Your the intelligent one, not the dog, so adjust your routine to avoid the situation, or become a master dog trainer and fix all these antisocial animals as and when you encounter them.

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    1. Craig, I don't believe you. I think you ARE a dog owner. Stop blaming the victims and preach to the dog owners. When your dog is a nuisance to others, YOU are responsible for your pet.

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    2. Silly runner, you shouldn't have dressed that way. You were asking for it.

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    3. Right...cause it's the people who don't own dogs that must adjust, rather than those who choose to have them. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Everyone else pays for your choice, and you're free to let your dog do whatever? How about a different solution: as a dog owner, you're in charge of your animal while out in public. By your own account, you're more intelligent than that dog. So rather than bagging on those who like to stay healthy (I read your other comment below) by telling them to buy a car instead, how about using some control and common sense. Show that you're more intelligent, and courteous not just to your dog, but to other humans as well. Many of us choose not to have a dog because we don't want to deal with them. You, clearly, are just fine dealing with them. So deal with your own, and keep it off me while we're sharing the path.

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  4. ^^ Pretty sure Craig Bullen's post was written by a dog.
    Oh yes, let's only run where there's no chance of encountering a dog. Where should that be? The moon? Clueless, mindless dog owners and horribly behaved dogs are the problem - not the runner minding their own business.

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    1. Yes, written by a dog that still has more intelligence than your average meat head runner. Buy a car. Then you might win a race!

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    2. Craig I poop on your face
      -Beavis

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  5. My dog runs with me. We both don't like getting barked and growled at but most dogs are cool so don't hate.

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  6. If your dog is a jerk then keep him home, in a dog park or on a leash. I was once jumped on by three large, unleashed, muddy dogs. Their owner didn't even apologize - just walked off saying "come on girls" laughing. Didn't hate the dogs - just their irresponsible owner.

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  7. It isn't hate, but this thought crosses my mind, "I don't know you. I don't know your dawg. Why do you think I want to play with your dawg?" I have never met a dog owner that reacted to that favorably idea. I have a few small scars on the back of my legs from friendly little nippers. I am wary of loose dogs, but totally admire the behavior of well-trained dogs.

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  8. Infamous dog owner remark: "Well, where do you EXPECT him to go?" Answer: on YOUR property. To all dog owners: have your animals piss and shit on YOUR property instead of taking them to your neighbors' lawns and flower gardens. Grow up. Be responsible. Also: Why ask others where they expect your dog to "go"? You're the one who bought the dog.

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    1. Want to run. Buy a treadmill. Problem solved

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    2. You'd think dog owners on here would make every effort not to perpetuate the nasty attitudes so many of us encounter when dealing with dog owners who break the law and/or don't take adequate responsibility or are just plain rude when property owners or passers-by call them on it. But not Craig Bullen! Craig, your mean-spirited remarks in your various posts here are sadly representative of what I too often encounter by dog owners who let their dogs destroy their neighbors' lawns, gardens and flower beds. I'm not judging ALL dog owners, but the ones who are disrespectful of others, like Craig Bullen, typically do behave in the manner seen here. Rude and nasty, as if the world should be their oyster and theirs alone. I do agree that we all need to work together in cooperation; we all have to put up with little annoyances, but meanness, especially in response to someone calling you out for not using a leash or otherwise being inconsiderate and disrespectful is unacceptable.

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  9. Dog owners and their dogs are like parents and their kids—they seem to imagine everyone will naturally find them captivating and adorable. They seem not to understand that a good portion of that fawning might be simple courtesy, no more genuinely sincere than a perfunctory "How are you?"

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  10. My comment about not being a dog owner, was directed at the writer of the article as it would appear that any accident that involves you running close enough to a dog must always be the dog/owners fault. You must be the kind of idiot that drives close behind horses and laughs when you see a rider struggling to control their horse after you race past, all because it's Your right to do what YOU want to do. Arrogant fools. What I was pointing out is that YOU as the runner can't predict what every dog&owner will be like. So, if you want to avoid situations then go elsewhere. I keep my dogs on lead till we are away from public areas. Remind me not to stop and give way to runners in future, then you can bitch and moan some more.

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    1. Craig, let's keep the comments nice. I'm sorry that you feel offended, but there's no need to personally insult anyone here. This post was meant as a funny commentary on things dog owners SAY to runners, and as that it is admittedly one sided. I enjoy animals and have in fact owned quite a few myself, including dogs. I currently travel too much to be a dog owner. I think as a writer our best commentary comes from personal experience. So relax and don't take things so seriously!

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    2. I am the type of idiot who often misjudges just how long those "leash-on-a-reel" things are. I spent several hours running alongside an endurance horsey person (on large horse thingie) and had no bad experiences. I paused on day as I rounded a bend in the trail to see a bunch (thousands?) of dawgs coming at me. The lead dawg's ears went up and then he (she?) sat down. The other (turns out there was only 14 of them) dawgs all went to "sit" too. I stood there. In a few seconds the two women (who would become wonderful conversation points over the years) came around into view. "Side!" and all the dawgs moved to the side of the trail. It was a fascinating moment. I still do not have a dawg.

      Don't think all us arrogant idiotic fools hate you ignorant insulting dog owners.

      Run gently out there.

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    3. I imagine Craig's external problem with his dog's behavior reflects his own internal issues. If that is really his dog in the picture it makes sense that he looks sad.

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  11. I think Craig could not make friends; therefore, he purchased a dog. A dog that had no say in the matter and is now serving time as, "Craig's best friend".

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    1. LOL, Scott. I needed a laugh literally out loud! Good one.

      I've had that same sense before... Not naming Craig here, but just jerks in general, it's disconcerting to see a dog adoring its master when you know its master to be, like, a 2 on the decency scale, LOL. You're thinking, oh if only there was some way to let that poor animal know it seems to be unwittingly supporting such behavior!

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    2. LOL that is pretty darn funny Jon and Scott.

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  12. I'm not quite clear on why a dog owner would tell a runner that their pooch is afraid of kids - unless you're running with the kids (possibly away from those dirty little beggars)? From a dog owner who's dog is afraid of kids - I agree it does mean he is aggressive/dangerous in that situation, but not in all of them - he loves seniors and is quite docile. Nuance is important, so is context.

    That being said - I get embarassed when I see dogs jump on runners - it is inexcusable on the dog owners part. My boy hates skateboard, rollerbladers, and drunk amblers - I've managed (or perhaps it is age) to train him on the 'boarders and 'bladers, but he'll never love the drunks. I think it is incumbent on dog owners to be aware of their best friends triggers, and act accordingly. Aggressive dogs should be kept in dog parks and/or on-leash. It shouldn't be the responsibility of the runner to avoid a path or street for fear of dogs.

    I think it is just responsible behaviour for runners (and really anyone who doesn't know the dog they're approaching) to think self preservation, and just swing wide when they see dogs. People who have their pets off leash (regardless of training) in areas where people run are just jackasses - that I will concede - dog owners need to be cognizant of the fact that at the end of that leash it is ultimately an animal that likes to eat meat - unless you have a vegetarian dog, which is even more reprehensible. Don't even get me started on those extendable leashes...only hammerheads use them.

    All in all - pretty funny article.

    I can't, however, reconcile the comment telling Craig to keep the comments nice, with the comment that says Jon and Scott's scathing characterization of Craig being categorized as "funny". That didn't seem nice at all.

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  13. I have my way with dogs. They don't dare open their mouths . On the contrary, they really become submissive in front of me. By the way, your post was hilarious and highlighted an important aspect.

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  14. I was bit by a dog while running yesterday. The owner seemed genuinely sorry and also mortified that his dog had just sunk his teeth into the back of my leg. It was a terrible moment for everyone and likely the countdown to euthanasia for the dog has started. Also tragic.

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  15. I am a dog owner as well as a runner. When we run together on less traveled trails I let him off leash. When we encounter other trail users he "heels" until they pass. Respect gains respect.

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  16. I'm a dog owner and my dog runs with me, off leash when we're on trails. She only gets this privilege because she's earned my trust. She ignores other people on the trail and only stops long enough to "say hi" to other dogs in the way that only dogs do.

    I am always angered by people who don't clean up after their dogs, especially in neighborhoods but even on the trail, if your dog drops a deuce RIGHT ON THE TRAIL, at least get a stick and get it off the main thoroughfare.

    Even hostile dogs need exercise, in fact that's often exactly what they need, but owners of hostile dogs bear the responsibility to control their critter and get well off the trail when they see runners/hikers/bikers/horses or any other mover on the trail. You give up right-of-way when your dog is a known jackass.

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