Walking Your Dog and People Afraid of Dogs

Today while I was walking my dogs at the park, I came across two women who were also walking their dogs. Rusty and Maggie, (one of the dogs with the other women) hit it off immediately. I love it when Rusty or Sadie finds another dog they really like to play with. They burn a lot more energy playing with another dog than just by simply walking with me.

Bidwell Park has a policy where if you’re walking your dog before 8:30am your dog is permitted to be off leash. We were walking our dogs, six in total, and they were playing and having a great time. Meanwhile, I was also having a good time chatting with the other two dog owners. We passed several joggers, people on bikes and other dog owners out walking their dogs, when suddenly this lady started to yell about how we needed to keep our dogs under control, and that we were breaking the law by not keeping our dogs restrained on leashes.

Now our dogs had not jumped on her or hurt her in any way. In fact, the moment we realized she didn’t like our dogs. I had Sadie and Rusty come stand next to me. We tried to tell her that dogs were allowed off leash until 8:30 and therefore, we were not breaking any laws, but our explanation fell on deaf ears. After I realized that talking was not going to get me or the women I was walking with anywhere, I decided to continue walking.

Have you ever had an experience like this? What did you do?


  1. Sometimes it is possible to have a chat what is the actual cause for this “doggie policing”. But usually people are far to emotional to have a conversation with, and I do like you do. Dont’t answer, and if they continue, walk away.
    It is also important I remain calm. My dogs, Kenzo and Viva, are Hovawarts, and natural watch dogs. And I don’t want to give them the impression that they would need to protect me, that would first cause a lot of problems … (and reinforces the wrong message with whoever was complaining).

  2. I agree people are often too emotional to talk about the “doggie policing.” Most of the time I think it’s best to just walk away and let the people continue to be disgruntled by themselves, especially if you own dogs like Kenzo and Viva which are natural watch dogs.

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