The problem with dog owners


Dogs have not been an issue I’ve personally had problems with except once.  However, there are three tales of dogs pooping and attacking of late and methought that required a post.

In all three of them, there was the dog itself of course but what can one do – a dog is a dog and does doggy things.   No, the problem in all three cases was the owner.   In each case, there was an altercation after the dog did something to a passerby – attacked or pooped or attacked the passerby’s dog … plus the poop.

Terse but polite requests were ignored, the dog owners all took umbrage that their dog was being called out and they [the owners] got savage and vindictive.  All of the incidents resulted in slanging matches and almost physical harm to the passerby.

This is too coincidental for mine.    Too coincidental by half.   Just as a horse-woman gets horsy and a football fan gets neanderthal, what is it about dog owners?   Many I’ve known get very, very tense if any sort of criticism is levelled, even in a nice way – it’s never descended to …

Hang on – yes it has.  I’m forgetting my neighbour and his flat refusal to stop the infernal howling when he’d leave it for five or six hours.  When I broached it the third time, he went savage and came at me – the owner, not the dog.   His woman dragged him inside and I heard her telling him he was wrong and I could call the police if I wanted.

I was certainly close to it.   And now I look back at that time, the parallels with all the other cases are uncanny.  What we’ve got here is people dropping into convenient entrenched positions.   Many who are all for banning this or that suddenly go all libertarian with their dogs – they should be free to do anything they want, say the owners.  Mind your own business and let the hellhounds loose.

The victim suddenly goes all classical liberal – there are limits to freedom you know, there’s such a thing as a good neighbour etc.  Result is almost fisticuffs.   One person I knew never fought it out with dog owners – he just poisoned the dog.

It’s also an extension of the general selfishness across the nation these days.   Oh and that incident of mine – I was at a rugby match on the touchline as coach when a woman with a dog, supporting the opposition, came close.   When it was obvious she and I had not hit it off, her dog got into it and came at me, ripping my new trousers.

I took the woman to task over it and she said I shouldn’t have been so close to him or some such idiocy.  She called the mutt and off they went.   No offer of restitution, no apology.  That dog was obviously habitual at it and she’d developed this haughty manner whenever she took the dog out.

Needless to say, I was not impressed and thought if that was indicative of what dog owners are like, then the further away I stayed the better.

Would you say it is indicative of dog owners?

18 Responses to “The problem with dog owners”

  1. The Jannie April 24, 2013 at 07:14 Permalink

    The old adage holds true; there are few bad dogs but many bad owners.

  2. Moggsy April 24, 2013 at 08:18 Permalink

    I sometimes get the impression you just love to pidgeon hole people. Would I say it was “indicative of dog owners”? Hell no!

    Would you say it was “indicative of parents”? ‘cos much of your argument and train of logic can apply just as well to some parents. Or bike riders, or motorists, or men, or women, or teenagers, or …

    What it is indicative of… is that some people are just a*holes. who don’t train and bring up their kids right, or if they have dogs their dogs right, or take reponsibility for their kids, pets or their own inconsiderate or anti social behaviour.

  3. James Higham April 24, 2013 at 08:32 Permalink

    Are you a dog owner, Moggsy?

    The syndrome is well know. I know you like to personalize it and make it just me who says these things but remember, the only reason I say them is that many are speaking of them.

    Google “inconsiderate dog owners” and you’ll see what I mean. I’m just the messenger. :)

  4. Moggsy April 24, 2013 at 10:17 Permalink

    James, “Only the messenger”? when a person chooses to carry a particular selected message they are never _”only”_ the messenger. They choose the messages they carry, that makes the messages theirs too.

    I am not personalising except I did use your name in my reply and I don’t “like” to personalise, tho I do like to make simple concrete examples to illustrate points and things.

    No. I was stating a fact.

    The _fact_ is that I honestly do get the impression that generally you do prefer to order and pidgeon hole people into groups and categories.

    In a way it is a natural thing to do, but I just don’t think life is quite that easy, or neat, and maybe that can mislead a person. Like with the idea that dog owning is the problem… and not the person being an ass who also happens to own a dog

    I do own a dog. A trained dog who absolutely knows her place in the pack.

    Maybe you will like to make a point that I am therefore not objective, or maybe not? Maybe that I “would say that then wouldn’t I?”

    I am talking simple good sense. I have a cat lives with me also.

    The problem is with inconsiderate irrisponsible people whatever they do… and not with all the responsible, reasonable, considerate, people who also happen to own dogs, or ride bycycles, or drive cars, or have kids, or watever.

    I can find all sorts of stuff about all sorts of things by Googling. Some of it beyond reasonable.. raving fascist, or communist, or racist, or green crazyness.

    Try googling “Dog haters”, “inconsiderate cyclists”, “Elders of Zion”… or most any subject combined with inconsiderate or irrisponsible and you’ll see what _I_ mean.

  5. Don QuiScottie April 24, 2013 at 12:32 Permalink

    Moggsy says,

    “I do own a dog”


    “I have a cat lives with me”

    Ha ha. That is exactly the way it works with cats eh :) And even legally (at least in the UK) cats have the legal right to roam and to shit and piss wherever they want, whereas with dogs it is all the responsibility of the owner. Even our lawmakers have recognised that cats can do what they want.

    As for the categorisation and pigeonholing and sweeping generalisation, yes Moggsy, James is very prone to that, but then men of a certain age who live alone generally are :)

  6. James Higham April 24, 2013 at 12:44 Permalink

    No DQS, you’re the N1 detractor at the site with your sweeping accusations based on no actual facts so the latest is to be dismissed as well.

    I prefer to stick to the facts and base the case on that. And nasty dog owners are very much a fact – google inconsiderate dog owners and see if it is all my imagination.

    By the way, are you a dog owner? :)

  7. Don QuiScottie April 24, 2013 at 13:03 Permalink

    No. I am not a dog owner, nor keeper, nor anything. Can’t stand stepping in dog shit either – bloody dog owners eh? They are all bastards.

  8. Moggsy April 24, 2013 at 14:08 Permalink

    James, It is qute a thing to see; where you ignore my pointing out issues with the “google inconsiderate dog owners” line and Hey-Presto! Some glue and a bit of sting… then you recycle it to DQS.

    “Sustainability” in action ^_^

    DQS Google “dog haters” too while you are at it. it is instructive.

    I have to say tho I don’t think the generalisation about guys living alone of a certain age is necesarily be true.

    I Googled that and it just came up with stuff about being lonely, or being happy without being hastled, so it can’t be ^_^

  9. Chrysalis April 24, 2013 at 14:26 Permalink

    I’m an equal-opportunity pet lover, owning a dog, but also having previously owned cats, birds and we own a horse as well.

    There are responsible pet owners and irresponsible ones, regardless of the type of pet or the political bias of the owners – and I can tell you that as a former adoption coordinator for a pet store and shelter.

    I think the mentality you mentioned has more to do with the owner’s individual personality – and they tend to either overly identify with their pet and project all of their issues onto it, or conversely, impulsively and selfishly get the pet, not thinking through what’s best for the pet or those around them, they just want a cute plaything.

    I’ve seen the same with cats – running crazy on busy streets with a collar, clearly owned by someone, in between cars and even scratching neighbors when you try to pet them. (And yes, there really is such an ailment as “cat scratch fever”.)

    But I think the horse world is the worst, by far, because many buy them long enough to be financially useful or competitive.

    In fact, we just watched a sad situation where the horse owner spend thousands on a horse because he ‘looked like Icarus’, but when it developed botulism, was nowhere to be found when it became ill and passed.

    This is your classic, narcissistic “I want this pretty thing as an extension of me and to make me look good” mentality, but when trouble comes, the owners are nowhere to be found.

    And many horse owners tend to not have good boundaries, thinking what’s in the barn for others’ horses is fair game for their use as well – food, treats, equipment, etc., without bothering to ask.

    Hey, we’d be glad to share what we have, but ya know…ask:)

  10. Don QuiScottie April 24, 2013 at 14:48 Permalink

    You need to try harder Moggsy to knock me off my “N1 detractor” spot, which I feel is a truly honourable achievement since I don’t comment very often. He’s a surprisingly sensitive old lad, this “James” who has such sharp things to say about so many others in this odd world.

    I’ll check back in May to see if I have slipped down the charts.

    Bye for now.

  11. liz April 24, 2013 at 17:50 Permalink

    I was out with George one day and another dog came up to us. I stroked him and he bit me. I was so shocked I made only the briefest of comments to the owner who ignored it.

    I accept that it’s my fault for trying to stroke a strange dog but a small child wouldn’t necessarily know that rule. It was a small nip rather than big bite so didn’t affect me; again if it had been a child, it would have been far more serious.

    George gets sworn at by cyclists because he meanders across the path and while I accept we should try to teach him to avoid cyclists it’s also the possibly unwritten rule that cyclists going past children or dogs should go carefully – it may even be in the Highway Code.

    I do get cross with those dog-owners who make life difficult for the rest of us though by not clearing up poo etc.

  12. James Higham April 24, 2013 at 19:48 Permalink

    I do get cross with those dog-owners who make life difficult for the rest of us though by not clearing up poo etc.

    Thanks Liz – I know of George, of course. Some of the commenters above I think missed one key line I wrote: “Would you say it is indicative of dog owners?”

    That was a question, not a statement. The post was in the nature of a question as to how extensive the problem was.

    As you’ll see from the above, it’s been quite instructive.


  13. Moggsy April 25, 2013 at 07:16 Permalink

    DQS, I don’t aspire to be a detractor at all, just when I make a point to actually be taken seriously. Ha!

  14. Moggsy April 26, 2013 at 07:58 Permalink

    James, A teeny point about your last comment. You say the post was a question. and to that you got an answer from me.

    You do seem to take it, once written, as forgon conclusion tho, because you then accept that it is in fact a problem, when you refer to “the problem” and imply the only real question is how huge the problem is when you refer to “how extensive”.

    That seems on the face of it to negate the idea it was really a question.

  15. James Higham April 26, 2013 at 09:46 Permalink

    Yes, Moggsy.

  16. Don QuiScottie April 28, 2013 at 10:56 Permalink

    You may like this James, in a horrific way … and it is relevant to this post if you read on… Have you heard of the SureStart Maternity Grant of £500 of our money that the government throws with no questions asked at certain women on benefits if they get pregnant? I hadn’t heard of it, until told last week of a 16 year old of the locality who has got unexpectedly pregnant, received the unexpected 500 quid because she and the parent she lives with are on benefits, and has immediately used the windfall… to buy a very expensive pedigree puppy, leaving just a few quid left over for dog food. Astonishing.

    You do claim I am “of the left” (perhaps almost everybody is from where you are looking) but such things amaze and enrage me. So… One more dog owner out there for you, with a dog purchased by the taxpayer in these times of austerity. Enjoy :)

  17. James Higham April 28, 2013 at 11:39 Permalink

    That’s precisely the type of thing we’re referring to that’s going on. Let’s call it Statism instead.

  18. Don QuiScottie April 28, 2013 at 14:04 Permalink

    The problem with labels (and yes, I am as guilty as anyone of using them sloppily) is that they impose a false two-dimensional simplicity on a complex mutlidimensional landscape. As soon as someone is labelled as left or right, statist or ant-statist, even lunatic or sane… the person doing the labelling is no longer inclined to examine each issue on its own merits. Statism? Is the State or Society or whatever we call it best placed to run and influence some things? Or no things at all? I reckon some things, indeed many things, depending on how The State is organised, but certainly not all of the things it currently tries to influence and certainly not throwing wads of cash at pregnant teenagers to buy pedigree puppies or foreign holidays or waxing and tanning sessions, etc… The debate should be about which things. If I may indulge in a personal digression… You say I am “of the left” yet I feel politically utterly homeless, drifting about in a great sea of uncertainty that pushes me this way and that way depending on my mood, on who I am talking to, and of course on what the issue is. There is also a tendency (which I certainly have) to automatically oppose whatever argument another person is putting forward, in my case because I think most people of all points of view in most debates greatly over-simplify complex issues. You should hear me talking to what you would consider a typical “Lefty”, and you’d suddenly see a very different me. “Cussed” … now there is a label for me that I feel comfortable with… Which is some way away from talking about dog owners and shit on the shoes, I suppose, but it is where the seas have drifted me to today. Have a nice Sunday, I hope, and a good Spring.

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