Monday, 7 June 2010

Dog Owner Training

A photo of the English Heritage Board

We live on the edge of the wide open space that is the castle mound, the field surrounding it and the river enclosing the whole in a semicircle. My garden hedge runs alongside the dry moat and footpath leading to the castle ruins. It's summertime and on sunny days the trippers come, bringing children and dogs.
Valley's End is far off the beaten track,  so the number of visitors is modest, by no means unpleasant. 

The excited voices of little boys who run ahead of their parents across the bridge,  and clamber up the hill, from where they get their first sight of the castle, always make me smile.  "Dad, Dad, there's a castle! I can see it from here, come quick!" Their delighted squeals echo across the greensward. Many of the visitors come from the cities of the Midlands and to have this amount of space freely available is a treat for many of the children.

Dogs get equally excited. The moment they are let off the lead, they start their mad games, running the length of the field, jumping into the river and generally behave in a doglike fashion. Which pleases me.

But there is one thing which really irritates me and that is dog owners who lack training.

The river in late Spring

They've crossed the bridge, and let the dog go. 
Almost instantly they shout the dog's name. The dog doesn't react, naturally.  So they shout again. And again; and once more, for luck.

The dog is off, taking no notice. I can hear the dog owner's voice go the whole gamut from a normal call, through frustration, resignation, anger, alarm and, finally, panic. The beast has gone awol, having the time of its life.

And still the owners call their dog's name, over and over, never once adding a command. Up until now I have been able to keep my tongue in check, but I can't promise the same for the future.

Untrained dog owners:

Presumably, your dog knows its name,
tell it what you want it to do!


  1. Do they not understand that the dog is going to run off the moment it is let off it's leash?

  2. I am surprised in such a lovely area that they do not require dogs to remain on are one lucky lady.

  3. Perhaps you could make a discreet sign that you could mount somewhere equally discreet, that says just that!

  4. I feel like this with some parents and children I see in town . Don't just repeat "Don't do-o-o that , don't make a noise , don't ..., don't ... " . Tell the child what you're all supposed to be doing and make him part of the undertaking . Treat them with respect and they respond in like fashion .

  5. ich liebe Schlösser und Burgen sehr und so finde ich, dass es traumhaft schön ist bei Dir. Ja, die Sache mit den Hunden... wie recht ich Dir gebe. Die Menschen sind generell so verständnislos und die Tiere müssen viel über sich ergehen lassen, Aggressionen, Depressionen, Dummheit, Ungeduld usw - und trotzdem sind sie immer treu..!
    Ich wünsche Dir einen schönen Abend, Ursula!

  6. Maybe you should run some classes in your local area. Perhaps train the dogs to sort their owners out?

  7. Unfortunately, some dog owners see the countryside as an extension of their garden. In fact, one local told me, "people shouldn't be allowed to walk hereabouts, if they don't own a dog. On another occasion, a dog owner (unable to control her runaway hound) ordered us to pick our granddaughter up, as though we were at fault for walking in the area where we live. Cheek!

  8. I agree with you but we do not have that problem here. We are next to a big Civil War National Park and dogs have to be on a leash, but I can see how frustrating it would be to hear that type of calls constantly.

  9. Too bad we can't mandate common sense. I wonder why some people have dogs at all - they complain about the work and exercise and then do stupid things like you've described.
    Good rant!

  10. I read this hours ago and have needed deep breathing and anger management to remain calm ever since. A pet peeve shared for sure.
    Max, come! Max, sit! How will Max ever learn anything without direction?

  11. I'm glad I'm not alone in this. People think dogs are like their children, I guess, where the calling of a name is sufficient. I've been guilty of this myself the odd time but you can be damn sure I won't be repeating my mistake after this!! I was once told by a dog trainer that the dog's name shouldn't even be used when giving a command but I dunno about that...

  12. I think dogs should be on leashes or behind fences. Period. There are too many people in this world for them to be running loose. I wonder why there isn't a leash rule around your castle.

  13. ellen abbott - probably not, some people are stupid. But the dogs aren't my problem, it's the dumb owners, who don't keep their dogs under control.

    Tabor - again, dogs under control, the bye-laws say, i.e. trained and obedient. And dog owners have to clean up after them, of course.

    Bonnie - I feel like shouting at them!

    S&S - couldn't agree more. common sense is what is needed, but there aren't many who possess that.

    Renee - danke fuer deinen lieben Beitrag. Man merkt, du liebst Hunde, vielleicht mehr als Menschen?

    Fran - Even I couldn't do that! But I'm good at complaining

    Martin H - How sad, I bet your granddaughter would love to stroke a well-behaved doggie! People really need to show more consideration for others.

    Vagabonde - I let Benno off all the time here, he considers the castle grounds to be part of his domain, but he definitely is trained and
    obedient and will walk at heel when told to.

    Pondside - I like ranting! I'm good at it!

    English Rider - Good, another sensible one. I could never abide an untrained dog. The hassle of it! Particularly with large, strong dogs.

    Deborah - Just remember it, what ER says is absolutely essential. I thingk that I need to get my dog's attention by calling his name, then following it up immediately with the command.

    20th Century Woman - I like dogs and wouldn't want to be without them. Therefore I also think of a dog's wellbeing. Dogs must be given space to run for the sake of their physical and mental health. This has to happen in designated areas or in the wild and the dog has to be under the full control of the owner at all times. There are bye-laws in the UK which make this very clear. But like all laws, bye-laws get broken and there are too many stupid people who shouldn't be allowed to keep dogs.


Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.