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Plea to dog owners in Dulwich Park


alji

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I would like to appeal to dog owners to stick to the rules about where dogs can be off the lead in Dulwich park. The path around the perimeter is where dogs can be let off the lead, but there are clear signs around most of the rest of the park indicating that dogs should be kept on a short lead.


I walk in the park with my toddler and baby most days, and almost every time we are accosted by dogs off the lead where they shouldn?t be. This morning a dog jumped up into my toddler?s face which was terrifying for him, but sadly not the first time this has happened. I asked the owner to put their dog on a lead but they walked away without doing so. The park is for everyone to enjoy and so I would like to plead with people with dogs to abide by the rules. My toddler has been jumped up on several times and now is starting to be afraid of dogs.


Thank you for taking the time to read.

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The OP makes a reasonable request and thare plenty of responsible dog owners that do but those that don?t can cause fear and extra restrictions.


From a dog owner point of view please remember you know your dog is friendly / will come when you call it but the person / child its running at doesn?t.


Also your dog could be playing but knock over the person / child and hurt them. We had dogs the whole time I was growing up but I?ve had a few dogs run towards me I was a bit concerned about now I can?t move as fast as I could.


Unfortunately there are people who think nothing of hurting dogs and you have no way of knowing if someone your dog is running at will hurt it. Children also need to learn how to approach dogs - we certainly had to ask a few children not to pull our dog?s tail or tell them it was better to approach quietly or let the dog come to you so as not to frighten him.


I?ve not had a dog since coming to London due to lack of space / not being able to walk one enough. If you do please bear in mind other people don?t know your dog like you do. If there are signs saying dogs on leads please put your dog on a lead. It might not always be necessary for your dog but there have been / are concerns there might be incidents if dogs are not on leads in that area. The next thing might be to ban dogs from the areas they are now to be on leads. We all need to share limited space and sometimes that means apparently unnecessary rules.

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Good post by OP, dogs should always be under control and owners have responsibility to ensure same.

Mishaps can happen though, quite innocently. My pup knocked over a 2yr old yesterday, the lead had slipped out of my hand and she?d run over to a couple of children and just as I grabbed her lead after following her she ran behind the little one and as a result the lead tightened and toppled him/her - fairly gently, but still a child went down. Complete accident which can happen.

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Not really sure that I see a problem. I've been going down the park for decades with friends, family, including small children and never witnessed anything like this. About the worst is almost tripping over a long lead. If you are afraid of dogs they may be attracted to you. When they come to you can you put your hand out for them to sniff and get to know you? And encourage the kids too if old enough?


I could be inappropriate and say that most people seem to have rats on leads rather than proper dogs. But that would be mean. I did grow up in a family with rescue dogs and have only been threatened once or twice in my life.

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The council has been given powers in the last few years so they can enforce where the police had to before. I recall a refresh of what?s expected - keep dogs under control, clean up after them, keep them on leads which most responsible dog owners do - when they got the powers.


You can download the park bylaws on https://www.southwark.gov.uk/parks-and-open-spaces/parks-information/dogs-in-parks. These are dated 1996 so nothing new but maybe the signs are newer.


According to schedule 3 dogs in Dulwich Park are to be on leads in the central area and sports pitches. As this is where there are people / balls dogs might chase that makes sense and is something most dog owners would do anyway.


The central area and sports pitches are a small area of the park so putting a dog on a lead, preferably short when passing other people so the dog doesn?t tangle the lead around their legs and knock them over, doesn?t seem a big ask. It?s what we did signs or no signs.


As has been said the park is for all and with a little give and take people, dogs and children can enjoy the park.


A few tips / a bit of context to consider


Dog owners remember others don?t know your dog is friendly / playing. Put the dog on a lead in areas with signs or when someone is nervous. If you have time show them the best way to approach your dog or tell them he doesn?t like strangers / men /noise if that?s the case. Quietly, hand out for the dog to sniff and come to you usually works.


Non dog owners be quiet and keep movement to a minimum around dogs. Listen to the owner they know their dog and its likes or how it might react. Leave the dog alone / don?t get between it and a toy / food / when its doing its business. Would you be comfortable if someone rushed up to you and did something unannounced if the answer is no the dog probably isn?t but has limited ways to show it. A dog approaching you that you are not comfortable about? Quietly ask the owner to call it back, stay quiet and still or move slowly. Don?t run. Have children with you? Teach them they don?t need to be afraid just act in a certain way. Just like learning to share we all need to be taught / learn. Like us dogs have different personalities watch and if the dog?s uncomfortable back off.


There are bad dog owners as there are bad drivers but they are a minority. The dog, like a child only knows what its been taught. This may seem to have more advice for non dog owners but these are things I?ve seen or experienced that people do that a dog might react aggressively to because its frightened or didn?t understand that could have been avoided.

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I fully support your plea alji and it is entirely reasonable. Too many dog owners don?t follow the rules and think everyone finds their dog as appealing as they do. Only recently a dog with muddy paws jumped up on my daughter, which startled her as well as smeared her coat in mud. The dog owner shrugged and gave a half hearted apology as if to say ?it?s out of my hands?. But if my child approached an adult at full speed which startled them and then smeared their muddy/ dirty hands over their coat, I wouldn?t expect them to be fine about it. Dog owners should have full control over their dogs and be able to call them back at any moment. If not, they shouldn?t be off the lead in public. Responsible dog owners understand this.




alji Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> I would like to appeal to dog owners to stick to

> the rules about where dogs can be off the lead in

> Dulwich park. The path around the perimeter is

> where dogs can be let off the lead, but there are

> clear signs around most of the rest of the park

> indicating that dogs should be kept on a short

> lead.

>

> I walk in the park with my toddler and baby most

> days, and almost every time we are accosted by

> dogs off the lead where they shouldn?t be. This

> morning a dog jumped up into my toddler?s face

> which was terrifying for him, but sadly not the

> first time this has happened. I asked the owner to

> put their dog on a lead but they walked away

> without doing so. The park is for everyone to

> enjoy and so I would like to plead with people

> with dogs to abide by the rules. My toddler has

> been jumped up on several times and now is

> starting to be afraid of dogs.

>

> Thank you for taking the time to read.

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Getting a bit hysterical now. This forum seems to demonise groups - joggers (lockdown #1), cyclists (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) and now dog owners. Bit of balance please. But also surprises me as the average person in SE22 probably has a dog, runs and cycles. Why is it only me who seems to stick up for some of these people? Apols, just the way that many of you post it is as if the groups above come from another planet.
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If this is how strongly you feel perhaps we can then, as dog owners, ask joggers, children or adults without dogs to not permit, use or access the dog walking perimeter? I am flattened by joggers when I go there, all trying to do their PB and striding past anyone without any care of sharing the path or social distancing.


No? I thought as much. Can?t have one rule and then ignore others. Let?s be respectful of each other, given the circumstances we are all facing.

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Just a thought.....


Could it be possible for some of you guys (dog owners or not) to possibly put notices up reminding people of the rules re dogs in the park?


Maybe on trees or even flags in the ground.....


Not sure it would make a huge difference but could help


I'm not a big user of the park so I couldn't even possibly begin to tell you which areas are often used by dog walkers 😬

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I'd be a lot happier sticking to the outer path if cyclists stopped treating the place like an olympic velodrome. Both my dog and baby nearly get decapitated by speeding idiots every time i try to walk around it. If it was a motorbike going around at that speed people would be up in arms but because its a lycra clad lunatic creating the speed rather than an engine, it seems to be accepted
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Another nice measured post "speeding idiots". I've never had any problems with cyclists, youths, dogs, foreigners, footballers, joggers, mime artists, stilt walkers or ducks in Dulwich Park. Are there other groups that I should be concerned about?


Not sure if I just have a different perspective on life.


Thinking about dogs the ones that tend to be more threatening are the staffies or eqivalent which are owned by aggressive looking blokes. But not sure if you get them in Dulwich Park. And the crusties and their doggies on a string, but again, that's not round here.

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ha ha - I used to drive the campervan in, park by one of the big grass areas, open the big sliding door, get the kettle on, play frisbee, cook a fry-up or a curry, and spend the entire day basically in/out of my home from home then headed out just before the gates closed !
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I used to take my mother and her sister to sit and people watch in those those years.


Times then were more mellow and consideration shown to all park users. Something I dont think would happen if cars were to be allowed to use as a cut through. Bad enough now with the lycra bandits.

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"Posted by rupert james Today, 04:41PM


Can anybody remember when you could go to Dulwich Park when there were no problems?


Seems to have changed when money invaded the area."



But what also "seems to have changed when money invaded the area" was that the fights every Saturday night in what is now The Actress and was then The Uplands Tavern stopped happening .....


Swings and roundabouts .......

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