Off-Topic > General Discussion

Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners

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Hugh Westacott:
At the risk of of upsetting some of the responsible dog-owners on this forum, I have to admit to a great aversion to all dogs. I find too many of them to be smelly, ill-behaved, noisy, threatening, unhygienic and altogether unpleasant. I can see the value of working dogs for herding, search and rescue, and for the blind, but why anyone would want one in their home is beyond me.

Last Saturday I walked eight miles on the borders of Wiltshire and Dorset and had three unpleasant encounters with dogs:
1   I was walking across a field and saw a middle-aged couple with two dogs coming towards me. The dogs ran to me jumping up and licking my legs. I asked their owners to call them off, which they did, and assured me that ’They were only being friendly’ to which I replied that all my friends are human and none of the jump all over, me, sniff my private parts or cover my legs with disgusting slobber. They walked off in a huff.

2   I walked past a house on a bridleway and a very tall dog came out of an open gate and followed me for at least a hundred metres barking furiously. I was frightened and felt that I was in serious danger of attack.

3   I climbed a stile leading into a paddock and two dogs, one wearing a muzzle, rushed towards me and tried to jump up at me whilst I was standing on the step. Their owner saw what was happening but at first took no action even when I asked him to call them off. Eventually he did and as I passed him I heard him say in a singsong voice ‘That silly, nasty man doesn’t like you does he?’

Could someone explain why so many dog-owners seem to think that everyone loves dogs and welcomes their attentions? If I encountered a couple of strangers, danced round them, ran my hands over them, and licked them, I should be arrested for assault, but some dog-owners seem to think that such behaviour is acceptable in their pets

If a dog really is a man’s (or a woman's) best friend, then I can only feel sorry their impoverished emotional lives.

I’m considering getting a humane dog repeller such as [url]]. Does anyone have any practical experience of using such a device?


I grow old…I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled. T.S. Eliot



Irresponsible behaviour and a egotistical world view is nothing that is unique for dog owners. Irresponsible, egotistical and unempathic people come in all shapes and forms, it is just the manifestation that is different.

We have people who drive like lunatics without regards to other peoples' safety, we have smokers that smoke without regards to others wellbeing, we have cyclists who ride too close to pedestrians, we have people who play loud music in the middle of the night, we have people who let their kids behave badly without reprimands, we have cat owners letting unneutered male cats run free, we have dog owners not keeping their dogs under control, we have people who incessantly complain about other people, etc, etc.

Regarding the repellant, your URL seems to be incorrect. Is this the correct URL?

I am not familiar with that particular device, but other devices do work from what I've seen on other discussion forums. Note, those devices I've read about are said only to work at close range (up to 5 metres).

Hugh Westacott:
Thanks for the correction. Krenuaud!


Hi Hugh,

My daughter has a Dazer II, but she's never had to use it thus far.

On several (dutch) forums the Dazer II is said to work on only a part of the dog-population (people claim they tried it "for real" and it worked in some cases but not in other cases).

And here are a few "field tests" with the device:

Best regards,

Lyle Brotherton:
‘There is no such thing as poor weather, only poor clothing’. I believe the same with dogs: poor owners give good dogs a bad name and sadly there are many owners like this.

The only advice I can proffer Hugh when confronted by an aggressive dog was given to me many years ago by a military dog handler, and I can attest to its efficacy after being confronted by a large and aggressive dog outside a French farm.

* Be calm - an aggressive dog expects aggressive behaviour in return, by not acting in this way you will slow down the animals attack
* Do not look directly into the dogs eyes, instead look at the ground immediately in front of it
* Rotate your body to 45 degree, so you are sideways to the dog but still have it in full view
* If you are using a walking pole, put it in front of you and stand tall to appear as large as possible to the dog. This pose lets the dog know that you are in control, yet do not want the dogs space, only your own space.

Whilst this technique worked for me, I confess to being very anxious that the dog would attack, yet I managed to keep a calm appearance.

If this technique fails and the dog attacks:

* Gently and non-threateningly offer the dog something to attack, such as your walking pole, an anorak from around your waist or your rucksack, and keeping hold of it allow the dog to slowly pull it off you whilst backing away
* If you do not have anything like this at hand offer it your forearm, you vulnerable body areas are face, throat, chest & abdomen and thighs, as bites here can make you either bleed out or cause severe damage
* Don’t pull away your arm, this seems counterintuitive, but now you have the dog secured you can place your other hand on the dogs face and with your thumb push out its eye. This completely disorientates the dog and it will back away, giving you the chance to run away and, unless you have severed the dog’s optic nerve, it will not be able to walk or run in a straight line or pursue you.

A very unpleasent last action, however, you are potentially fighting for your life.


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