Lead and I will follow, or not

Just thought I would have a quick rant.

I have 2 dogs, I'm sure you have met them if you follow my blog.  They are cavalier king charles spaniels. Pretty much about the size of a cat, they are very friendly, overly so and this has caused me a problem.

When they were small I used to take them out on leads and try really hard to get them to walk to heel and ignore other people on the street. Unfortunately because they are cute nearly everyone wanted to stop and pet them so I have totally failed to get them to ignore people. They fully expect everyone to be happy to see them and want to play. I took them to puppy class and their solution to the problem was to ask people not to pet them but on a walk its too late by the time you can say anything and I don't want to seem rude. The puppy class also said that it wasn't so important for small dogs. Yeah right!  I stopped going after a few incidents / comments like this when I realised they were no help.

The biggest problem is kids. The vast majority of children absolutely love them. I often get home from work and get a flock of children following me wanting to see the dogs. I get worried because they follow me right up to my door. I'm sure if one goes missing I'll be prime suspct. Ohh the single woman with the cute puppies she always talks to the children. Anyway I digress that isn't todays problem.

When I get home from work these kids follow me to my door to see the dogs.  I have had them knock on the door to see if the dogs can come out to play.  They pick Star up and carry her around even though I have asked then not too.  They often pick her up before she has the chance to go to the toilet and I keep expecting one of them to get peed on.  One of them chased Sasha on a bike.  She was on the lead but the kid was coming straight at us so I dropped the lead in case it caught in the bike.  Sasha ended up squeezing under a fence to get away.

Anyway, because most of the children want to play my dogs now go running up when they see these children. They get really excited and when they are playing. But one kid along the street is terrified of dogs and runs away whenever he sees them.

So tonight I was out with the dogs, they saw a couple of the kids and went running off to play.  One of them was the little wimp and he went running home.  His tattoo encrusted dad was leaning out of the window smoking and said "you should have those dogs on a lead." 
I said "why? They're not doing any harm."
Tattoo man "it's the law, you have to have dogs on leads in built up areas."
Me "no it isn't, there is no law about keeping dogs on leads."
This went on for a while.  Incidently I'm right, the law just states that:
dogs must be kept under close control, but does not state dog must be kept on lead. If your dog responds to your commands and is kept close to heel, he can lie down or return to you on command, your dog would then be under close control. If you are not sure that your dog can do this the responsible thing is to keep them on a short lead.  Your dog must wear a collar with tag while in a public place.
To be fair one of my dogs was not really under control because she was ignoring me.  The excitment of seeing kids to play with had lead to temporary deafness.
So here I am in a situation where I have failed in my intent to train my dog because people want to pet them and make a fuss while I'm trying to train them.  I can barely leave my house without children flocking to play with them but because of this I am going to have to keep them on leads.
This is worse because my garden is open to the garden next door where the children (including the scared one) all play.  So if his dad is going to make a fuss can I even let them in the garden lead free?  Probably not because it is shared between 12 flats. 
My gut reaction is to tell all the kids they can't play with the dogs any more bacause their friend is frightened.  Even I realise that is really childish but it would mean I won't get harrassed by herds of children when I get home from work.  I actually watch out of my window some days when I'm in an unfriendly mood and wait until I can't see any of them before I take the dogs out.  After a day at work I don't really want to socialise with other peoples children.  It would suit me if they just left us alone but the dogs like to play with them and I would look like a right bitch if I told them to f**k off and leave the dogs alone.
Incidently the dog that caused the problem does agility and normally obeys every command.  She is scared of other dogs and cats.  It's just at home with these children around that she gets so excited.  I know she is my responsibility but I can't help getting annoyed that it is the children playing with her that has caused this.  Perhaps if they were better trained we wouldn't have the problem.


fizzee rascal said...

Difficult situation -and not one I'm likely to experience- I guess stopping the kids palying with the dogs is the most sensible solution if not a particularly satisfactory one.

Ps. Not a big fan of tattoos then?

Mrs Midnite said...

Yeah a staffie doesn't really attract herds of children in the same way does it. Poor Sasha is trailling round looking very sad on her lead today but suppose she will survive. Little Star is still free to roam but she just follows Sasha so is also trailing along.

No problem with tattoos in general, quite like some think others are awful. Just have a big problem with blokes shouting a me out of windows.

KBee said...

Your dogs are too cute. I hope they go and poop on that man's doorstep for being rude to you.

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30 something female, GSOH, independent, unreliable, seeks sanity. Must like dogs and handbags!