Pet peeves

Wilson by a stream

Paws up who’s got pet peeves? You know, those things that other people say or do that just…grate on you.

One thing mum’s learned since she got me in 2013 is that virtually everyone has an opinion on dogs.

Your dogs.

Their dogs.


One of mum’s peeves is people who let their dogs approach me when I’m on a lead. I’m not that keen on them when on lead – which mum knows is her failing, not mine. Yet the number of owners who just let their hounds come running over is something to behold.

Once, I was having a drink from a water fountain when me and mum were mid-run. This other dog came over and it was nothing if not obvious that I was getting very lively as it approached. You know, my hackles were up and everything in my body language was saying: ‘Back off’.

And the owner just stood there apparently finding the whole thing rather cute – looking directly at mum and having a bit of a giggle to herself as I tangled myself and mum in my running line.

Wilson in grasses

I poke out my tongue to pet peeves!

And back in the days when mum rode her bike to work, she was heading along the cycle path near home when she had to slam on the brakes at the last second.

A dog owner was walking his dog using an extendable lead – only problems was, he was on one side of the cycle path and his dog was on the other. The thin lead itself was stretched right across the path and virtually invisible until the last nanosecond when mum was nearly sliced in half by it. All the owner said was: “Oh sorry, I thought my dog was next to me.” Really?!


It seems we’re not alone in sharing those particular peeves. I asked my Twitter chums what theirs were and the replies came in thick and fast.

Approaching dogs without asking, not clearing up dog poo and dogs with poor recall were all common gripes. Just imagine how much more enjoyable walks would be – for everyone – if owners heeded these nuisances.

Over to my Twitter pals for their take…

Wilson with a bag of poo

Me and a bag of my poo – bag very helpfully provided, free of charge, by Beach Clean Girl, who you can find on Instagram

Caroline – @Ambo_Girl

When the dog has NO recall but the owner still lets it run loose (and often out of sight). When they’re on such a long line they tie you up in a knot before their owners actually catch up. When people approach your dog to fuss it without checking because “they’re dog people”.

“Oh it’s alright, I love dogs,” when I’m trying to explain that my dog wasn’t used to complete strangers running up and hugging her (yes, that happened!!). Another put their hand in our car window then looked shocked when she growled!

Nicole Partridge – @NicolaPartridg2

Peeves: dogs off leads on main roads with oblivious owners. Owners who let their off-lead dogs just bound up to your on-lead dog and have no recall.

Pluses: well-mannered folk who are happy to help dogs socialise and people who just basically let me fuss their dog! I occasionally remember to acknowledge the human whilst I’m smothering their dog.

Jo W – @JoJow2497

My boy is nervous on his lead. I hate it when others say: “It’s ok, mine’s friendly”. Not the point! Also someone on our daily walk route picks up the poop but throws the bag in the hedge/trees/path. Preserved in plastic forever.

Kimmi G – @That_Girl_ATCO

Being lazy! Not bothering to recall their dog because “their’s isn’t the problem”…or worse, with a dog who WON’T recall but still thinking mine’s the problem. Rude dogs. Rude owners.

Good owners – ones who communicate with their dogs, are considerate of others, who ‘be’ with them.

Mags – @CowanMags

Hate it when other dog owners either pick up their dog or cross the road whilst you’re walking a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

And what makes a good dog owner is someone who doesn’t let their dog off the lead when they can’t control it, treats their dog with respect and picks up poop.

Trish Gray – @wurlybear

People who hang bagged up dog poo on branches or leave it next to a bin…also when meeting other border collie owners, their dog just happens to be or was a fly ball champion! Feel my boy was the only one who never was!

Neko – @Oceans1966

When my dog goes nuts trying to get to another dog (Molly is on her leash) and people look down on me because she isn’t perfectly behaved. I know I’m not great at dog training and that my dog is just doing what dogs do. I’m doing my best.

Ultimate Shepherd Dog – @ultimate_gsd

The “he/she’s friendly” zero recall owners. Dog shit baubles hung on bushes. Owners who let their wigs on leads jump up. Dog racists – it’s a GSD not a freakin’ shark, ya moron.

Ian – @cruciallyK9

The “My dog is scared of big dogs” tossers…no, you’re scared of big dogs and you socially and psychologically affected your dog too.

Danielle H – @Danielle2199a

When other dog owners cross the street to avoid me and Marmite (big black male lab) and shout out that their dog doesn’t like big dogs, but really all Marmite wants is to say a quick hello to both dog and owner, then walk on.

Wilson staring at the camera

The peeves just go on and on…

Bramber Bears – @TheWorldOfErynn

Biggest problem we have is other owners being unaware that not every dog is friendly. Phoebe is extremely nervous and wears yellow ‘give me space’ but they ignore it. As they always say: “My dog is friendly” – not the point if you have an anxious dog!

Wendy – @Nightfly28

People who don’t pick up their poo. And neighbour who lets their dogs constantly bark are my two BIG hates.

Misty Fleming – @MistyFI60439423

Respect. Dogs, like children, all behave differently and not all are bouncy and outgoing. Some are nervous and timid especially on a lead. It doesn’t take much to take control but it does take the will to do so.

Gill Russell – @Tarialnet

Uncontrolled dogs that jump up at you uninvited and cover you in slobber and/or muddy paws when you’re just out walking or even sitting reading in a park. I don’t care if he’s “just being friendly” or “does that to everyone” (99% not so much the dog’s fault but poor owners). I used to really dislike dogs. Now I’ve come to realise that what I mostly dislike is dog owners…dogs can be pretty awesome.

Jacqueline Mitchell – @jackiegrantahr

When you put your dog on a lead when you come across people and their dogs but they let theirs run up uncontrolled. Also little happy ankle biter dogs where the owners just say: “Oh she’s only little, she won’t really hurt”, as if that excuses the behaviour.

Eve Inglis – @EveInglis1

Owners who let their pooches run up to Mist on the lead, I explain he’s nervous and may snap. They say: “Oh that would do Fluffy good and teach him not to run up to dogs” (!) Until he does, and then they get offended…

A good owner realises that no dog is perfect and behaves accordingly.

Marion B – @choiyagal

Owner uses extension lead, fully extended and ignores dogs and people nearby – but still believes it is under control. Saw one dog go into the road and get hit by a car. Another was the shut other side of front door while the owner was at reception paying the vet bill. The owner was annoyed when asked to get the dog under control.

Small dogs sitting on owner’s lap, barking and staring out other dogs. Owner oblivious, if told to be quiet do so while cuddling it giving treats.

Big Head Bruce – @bighead_bruce

My mom says her biggest annoyance is the owners who let their dogs off leash in leash-law places!!! Some dogs (and people) don’t like random dogs running up to them, even if the dog is friendly!!!

cg – @Rapidolass

Owners who don’t respect you and your dog’s space. The don’t know much training is pushed back by their thoughtless actions. Again owners who think it’s ok to touch your dog without asking. Not picking up poo. To name a few…

Wilson laying on grass by cowslips

Late summer days

glendaventures – @glendaventures

MDIFs (my dog is friendly) are a source of constant anxiety. Along with people who complain their dog is hyper but who haven’t taught the dog to settle.

Good owners learn dog body language, listen to their dog and communicate clearly to their dog.

Grayson & Mum – @sheltie_grayson

Retractable leads…choke chains on 24/7…adults and kids not asking permission to pet me…not a pooper picker upper…I also carry extra bags and tell them it’s the law. Dogs on chains in backyards.

Jenny Cole – @JenandogsCole

Owners who don’t pick up. Owners with no recall. Owners who can’t be arsed to watch their dog(s). Retractable leads alongside roads. Owners who let their dogs mingle at the vet (we’re not all her for annual vacs, we might be germy or in pain). I could go on, how long have we got?

Sian Luker – @BlackDogVader

Owners who leave dogs in hot cars. Owners who see your dog on a lead but let theirs run up to you.

But I like people who clean up after their dog, and ask if your dog is on a lead for a reason before letting theirs go.

LeeBar #RoarForJess – @leezippyb (UK)

Idiot owners not clearing up after the dogs has done its business.


I’m not a dog owner but very much a dog lover – my family all have dogs so I’ve been around them for years. I walk a lot on my own and quite often a dog will run towards me, even though I’ve not got one myself. It’s really disconcerting when you’re on your own and someone’s dog just comes bounding over, and you don’t know if it’s going to bowl you over or not. I’ve done all sorts of things, from no eye contact and trying to ignore to trying to be friendly and encouraging. I probably became more aware of it after a couple of operations because I was so unsteady on my leg, but it’s really something I don’t enjoy!

So, definitely some common themes here don’t you think?

And finally…one of mum’s Facebook friends, H, is very wary of dogs and also had a bad experience recently. She was running in a park when a dog bolted towards her – she shouted at the owner that she didn’t like dogs and to recall it, but – you’ll never guess! – the dog completely ignored its owner, who had to physically stop her dog jumping up.

That would be bad enough – but it happened again minutes later and the dog managed to bite H despite having been put on a lead!

Why other pet peeves that haven’t been mentioned? Comment below.

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