Dogs – keep the lead on?

Another story in the news again of a terrifying dog attack.  I’m starting to get a bit pissed off now.  I mean – it’s happening all the time.  I was going for a run the other day and I bumped into a friend as I was setting off.  I told him my only concern about the route I was about to do was the amount of dogs running off a lead in the park.  It is a perfect track for a training run though but I could feel my stomach flip a little.  He told me to watch out though because a friend of his was recently bitten by a dog in the area, right in the back of the leg.  Let’s just say it was a quick run that day.  

I hear stories all of the time about this.  My fear comes from a bad childhood experience.  My daughter is also now terrified.  I remember we were out when she was 1 and a huge dog ran towards her Usain Bolt style.  She screamed and has never been the same around dogs since.  She is now 4.

Anxiety with dogs
Anxiety with dogs

So many nice family walks have been ruined by big dogs we don’t know running towards us.  So many runs I have been out on have been spoiled too.  I have had to change my route.

I get that dogs need to feel free.  I get that a very large % of dogs out there are wonderful. It doesn’t help my situation though and the thousands of others who feel the same.

I don’t know what to do about it.  It always really annoys me when dogs owners get frustrated with people who feel fear.  Or they take it as an insult when kids scream when a massive dog they don’t know runs towards then.  Put yourself in their little shoes!  I see this happening all the time.  Often if kids cry and scream, the dog owner gets annoyed and says:

“They are very friendly, my dog won’t hurt you”.

What about all the dogs who are not very friendly?  Is it safe to teach our kids to not fear dogs?

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