Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.

Should dogs on a shared-use path be kept on a short lead

YES
26
68%
NO
12
32%
 
Total votes: 38

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2814
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Vantage » 19 Sep 2020, 3:28pm

Fellow dog owner and cyclist here.
Someone once said that accidents don't just happen. Someone is always to blame and on that view, as a cyclist you have a duty to be on the ball constantly. Expect the unexpected as they say.
Dogs should be treated in the same way you would treat a young child. They're plain stupid and prone to just dart off in all sorts of directions without realising the danger they put themselves in. When approaching either, slow right down so you can stop on the spot if need be. If there's an opening to the path from the side etc, slow right down so you can stop on the spot if need be etc etc.
Some dog owners are just absolute ****heads and will let an out of control dog loose to wreak havoc but they're rare. Nothing you can do about that short of reporting them.
I've been on two wheels the best part of 40 years and in all that time I've had one near miss with a dog. It was a joint fault between the dog owner and myself. I set off without thinking and doggy jumped in front of my bike without thinking. Owner apologised and I apologised. We both carried on with a smile.
There have been numerous similar threads about dogs on shared paths ove rthe years on this and other forums and the end conclusion from most people is the same. Cyclist needs to slow down.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2814
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Vantage » 19 Sep 2020, 3:35pm

flat tyre wrote:It's a shared use path so one would expect users to share the space. Letting your dog off its lead is not sharing the space as it is not only dangerous, it's annoying for non-dog lovers. If people want to let their dogs off the lead then they should find an appropriate large space where they can safely do so.


Why is it dangerous for a dog to be off its lead? I'm genuinely interested as most dogs I meet are perfectly friendly and not violent.
Where are these large open spaces you speak of? There's country parks of course but not everyone is within walking distance of them.
If someone isn't a dog lover that's their problem. Maybe they should stick to staying in the city/indoors where there no dogs. Or maybe we dog owners should just keep our furry friends locked in their cages never to experience freedom?
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16363
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby mjr » 19 Sep 2020, 3:46pm

flat tyre wrote:It's a shared use path so one would expect users to share the space. Letting your dog off its lead is not sharing the space as it is not only dangerous, it's annoying for non-dog lovers. If people want to let their dogs off the lead then they should find an appropriate large space where they can safely do so.

Just so. If I'm riding across a common or similar, I expect to give way to roaming animals, but if I'm on a highway, including non motorised ones like "shared use path" then animals should be generally under control. For dogs, that means most of them on short leads unless their owners are really sure they'll keep to their heels.

Please don't abuse highways and take advantage of our non lethal tendency and the current hatred of cyclists. Share the path. If you let your dog roam on motorised highways, it probably wouldn't survive the day and it would be your fault.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

rob_wales
Posts: 69
Joined: 27 Aug 2017, 11:58am

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby rob_wales » 19 Sep 2020, 3:49pm

Vantage wrote:
flat tyre wrote:It's a shared use path so one would expect users to share the space. Letting your dog off its lead is not sharing the space as it is not only dangerous, it's annoying for non-dog lovers. If people want to let their dogs off the lead then they should find an appropriate large space where they can safely do so.


Why is it dangerous for a dog to be off its lead? I'm genuinely interested as most dogs I meet are perfectly friendly and not violent.
Where are these large open spaces you speak of? There's country parks of course but not everyone is within walking distance of them.
If someone isn't a dog lover that's their problem. Maybe they should stick to staying in the city/indoors where there no dogs. Or maybe we dog owners should just keep our furry friends locked in their cages never to experience freedom?


OK, Bill. A simple question if you don't mind. As I said in my OP I previously counted a ratio of 2:1 on-lead against off-lead. Forget the 1/3rd off-lead for a moment, why did the 2/3rds on-lead not allow the dogs to run free?

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2814
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Vantage » 19 Sep 2020, 6:11pm

You'd have to ask them Rob.
Maybe they like the control they have over their dogs. Maybe they're training their dogs. Maybe they're not too confident with their dogs. Maybe their dogs are nuts. Or more stupid than others. Who knows.
We as cyclists expect the bigger, faster moving vehicles (cars etc) to be extra cautious around us. We as cyclists should extend that courtesy to slower moving people, dogs too.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

GeekDadZoid
Posts: 78
Joined: 21 Aug 2020, 7:01pm
Location: Stockport

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby GeekDadZoid » 19 Sep 2020, 9:26pm

On my commute home I head down a stretch of bridleway and every day so far a have come up behind the same elderly lady with the three dog which also look very elderly, none of them move very fast nor do they hear me approach even with a generous ting of the bell. I have absolutely no issue with stopping and waiting to get past when it is safe.

The same can be said for people with kids, groups walking or even the odd slower cyclist. Shared space is shared and in reality how much time does it add on to your journey if you stop.

However I do have a general dislike for out of control dogs in any setting, I would expect that a dog owner would be doing what they can to ensure the safety of their animal, unfortunately plenty of owners do not.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17877
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 Sep 2020, 10:35pm

You've already quoted the relevant legislation:

Out of control in a public place
Dogs must not be allowed to be ‘dangerously out of control’


I've known some dog *owners* who should be kept on a short leash, and many dogs who have no such requirement.

It's a shared path, and if you can't see that the path ahead is clear, and have confidence that it will remain so, then you should be covering your brakes and moderating your speed - which it looks like you were doing.

So why suggest that dogs should be penalised.

On the same token there is a difference between a shared path:
(~80cm wide, next to a 40mph road often treated as 60)

Screenshot 2020-09-19 at 22.32.40.png
One shared path
Screenshot 2020-09-19 at 22.32.40.png (114.95 KiB) Viewed 115 times



And another shared path:
(Rather more pleasant, varies between ~1 and ~3m of hard packed surface)

Screenshot 2020-09-19 at 22.33.37.png
Another shared path
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17877
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 19 Sep 2020, 10:38pm

mjr wrote:Please don't abuse highways and take advantage of our non lethal tendency and the current hatred of cyclists. Share the path. If you let your dog roam on motorised highways, it probably wouldn't survive the day and it would be your fault.


No - it would be the fault of the motorist (since that is what you are implying).
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16363
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby mjr » 19 Sep 2020, 11:37pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
mjr wrote:Please don't abuse highways and take advantage of our non lethal tendency and the current hatred of cyclists. Share the path. If you let your dog roam on motorised highways, it probably wouldn't survive the day and it would be your fault.


No - it would be the fault of the motorist (since that is what you are implying).

Doesn't contradict me. It'd be the fault of both.

Rule 56
Dogs. Do not let a dog out on the road on its own. Keep it on a short lead when walking on the pavement, road or path shared with cyclists or horse riders.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway ... s-47-to-58
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

andrewwillans49
Posts: 75
Joined: 11 Aug 2018, 7:38am

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby andrewwillans49 » 20 Sep 2020, 7:58am

In and around Letchworth we are fortunate to have the Greenway, 13 miles of gravel track shared use. Its very popular with walkers, dogwalkers, runners and cyclists. Dogs are by far the most hazardous things to come across. My wife has two dogs, (Im not a dog lover). Occasionally I accompany her, and as always they're let off the lead. They're not remotely interested in other people or cyclists, but seldom obey my wife's commands and so ihave to witness some hapless cyclists trying to avoid them. We end up falling out usually. I personally only cycle on the track if I m going somewhere specific. Share, that's the key word here. It works, but it's not great.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 5293
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Oldjohnw » 20 Sep 2020, 8:03am

Vantage wrote:You'd have to ask them Rob.
Maybe they like the control they have over their dogs. Maybe they're training their dogs. Maybe they're not too confident with their dogs. Maybe their dogs are nuts. Or more stupid than others. Who knows.
We as cyclists expect the bigger, faster moving vehicles (cars etc) to be extra cautious around us. We as cyclists should extend that courtesy to slower moving people, dogs too.


You are overlooking that as well as cyclists and people with dogs there might be non dog-owning walkers.
John

Postboxer
Posts: 1713
Joined: 24 Jul 2013, 5:19pm

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Postboxer » 20 Sep 2020, 8:52am

Vantage wrote:You'd have to ask them Rob.
Maybe they like the control they have over their dogs. Maybe they're training their dogs. Maybe they're not too confident with their dogs. Maybe their dogs are nuts. Or more stupid than others. Who knows.
We as cyclists expect the bigger, faster moving vehicles (cars etc) to be extra cautious around us. We as cyclists should extend that courtesy to slower moving people, dogs too.


Not quite the same, when I'm cycling I don't expect cars to take so much caution so that they can avoid me in case I decide to randomly swerve randomly all over the road, without looking or indicating, or cycle across a junction without looking, or from the pavement onto the road, or to chase cars etc etc. As that would mean they wouldn't be able to drive anywhere near me. It's shared so people with dogs should share the space by keeping their dogs under control. Cyclists should share the space by taking care around everyone else. Walkers should share the space by bearing in mind that it is a shared space, so pay some attention to what is going on around them and try to always leave space for others to pass, or keep a look out for others approaching.

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2814
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Vantage » 20 Sep 2020, 10:35am

Postboxer wrote:
Not quite the same, when I'm cycling I don't expect cars to take so much caution so that they can avoid me in case I decide to randomly swerve randomly all over the road, without looking or indicating, or cycle across a junction without looking, or from the pavement onto the road, or to chase cars etc etc.


I expect motorists to take such care that should I need to swerve unexpectedly because of a pothole/wandering dog etc there is room to do so without being hit by said motorist.
That level of care towards path users, shared or not should be taken by cyclists. It isn't difficult. My youngest understood that and practised it when I taught it her at 7 years old.
For what it's worth, pedestrians have priority on a path. We heel to them, not the other way round. Dogs are plain stupid. No one can realistically expect them to walk or run sensibly.
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2814
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Vantage » 20 Sep 2020, 10:50am

Oldjohnw wrote:
Vantage wrote:You'd have to ask them Rob.
Maybe they like the control they have over their dogs. Maybe they're training their dogs. Maybe they're not too confident with their dogs. Maybe their dogs are nuts. Or more stupid than others. Who knows.
We as cyclists expect the bigger, faster moving vehicles (cars etc) to be extra cautious around us. We as cyclists should extend that courtesy to slower moving people, dogs too.


You are overlooking that as well as cyclists and people with dogs there might be non dog-owning walkers.


As said earlier in bold italic :)
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

User avatar
simonineaston
Posts: 3789
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: ...at a cricket ground

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby simonineaston » 20 Sep 2020, 10:50am

greyingbeard wrote:Its a SHARED path - so SHARE it
Although the argument is somewhat under-developed, the text missing at least one apostrophe and a full-stop, and the appearance spoilt by unnecessary & unhelpful capitalisation, broadly-speaking, I agree...
byyeee,
SiE