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

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

Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby rob_wales » 19 Sep 2020, 9:46am

I am not a boy-racer. I'm a 68 year old medium speed, considerate cyclist. I ALWAYS sound my bell when approaching people/dogs/other cyclists. I always slow down, but only stop completely when I have no choice. I like animals very much.

Yesterday I was cycling on our local off-road coastal purpose built shared cycle/pedestrian path. In the space of 15 minutes the following happened.

1. Cycling at about 10mph when suddenly four off-lead dogs shot out from the right crossing the path to a grassy area to the left of the path. Hardly had any warning due to bushes. Slammed on the brakes and nearly hit one of them. The female owner shouted at the dogs (too late) but she said nothing to me.

2. Two minutes later doing about 7mph coming up to a tight RH turn with loose sand on ground. An off-lead dog which had been sitting next to a standing owner suddenly shot across my path. Slammed on the brakes, skidded a bit, but didn't come off.

3. Ten minutes later on a narrower part of the path came across two 'staffy' type dogs, off-lead. One was sitting in the middle of the path, the other was just wandering around. The owner was literally about 75m up the path walking away. I tried shouting to her but she didn't hear me. Managed to squeeze past the dogs and caught up with the owner. Stopped. Pointed out to her in a polite calm manner that what she was doing might be dangerous and inconsiderate. Her reply? "Oh, f*** off you stupid t***, you people *f****** annoy me". Carried on cycling.

Simple question. Should dogs on shared paths be kept on a lead. On a ride two days previous to this, on the same path I counted, over 10 miles, a ratio of 2:1 dogs on lead versus off-lead.

Just for reference https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/laws-all-dog-owners-need-know
relevant section reads...

Out of control in a public place
Dogs must not be allowed to be ‘dangerously out of control’, which means injuring someone or making someone fear they may be injured. This applies to any breed or type of dog.

Owners (or the person in charge of the dog at the time) who allow their pets to hurt a person face punishments of up to three years in prison for injury, or 14 years for death, an unlimited fine, disqualification from owning pets, and having their dog destroyed. It is also an offence to allow a dog to injure a registered assistance dog.

In cases where no injury is caused, owners can still go to prison for six months, be fined up to £5,000, be banned from owning pets and have their dog destroyed.

We highly recommend taking your dog to positive reinforcement training classes and making sure they are well behaved members of society.

Read our advice on how to approach a dog in a public place.

Law: Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, section 3
Last edited by rob_wales on 19 Sep 2020, 11:24am, edited 4 times in total.

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foxyrider
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby foxyrider » 19 Sep 2020, 9:54am

There are local bylaws covering some paths in this area, with signs advising that dogs should be on leads. Problem will always be policing it. Even the most well behaved dog can be a hazard and owners calling dogs to heel from across a path is one of my biggest gripes.

Of course, some dogs are bike savvy but it's still inconsiderate to have loose dogs on a shared path/space.
Convention? what's that then?
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rob_wales
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby rob_wales » 19 Sep 2020, 9:58am

foxyrider wrote:There are local bylaws covering some paths in this area, with signs advising that dogs should be on leads. Problem will always be policing it. Even the most well behaved dog can be a hazard and owners calling dogs to heel from across a path is one of my biggest gripes.

Of course, some dogs are bike savvy but it's still inconsiderate to have loose dogs on a shared path/space.


Yes, sorry, I should have said - there are no by-laws relating to dog-leads on this path.
Last edited by rob_wales on 19 Sep 2020, 3:19pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bikes4two
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby bikes4two » 19 Sep 2020, 10:29am

I'm a dog owner and a cyclist - when I'm walking my dog I have one paricular point of view and when I'm cycling, an opposite one - hmmm.

Dogs and bikes don't always mix amicably- a tricky one for sure!
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

rob_wales
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Joined: 27 Aug 2017, 11:58am

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby rob_wales » 19 Sep 2020, 10:44am

bikes4two wrote:I'm a dog owner and a cyclist - when I'm walking my dog I have one paricular point of view and when I'm cycling, an opposite one - hmmm.

Dogs and bikes don't always mix amicably- a tricky one for sure!


When you are in dog-mode, do you have your dog off-lead on a shared path? If so, what is your reasoning? If it's on-lead what is your reasoning? I'm just trying to understand why some dog-owners think it is OK to go off-lead. Are they not worried about their dog getting injured? I would be, if I owned a dog. I'd also be worried about falling foul of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act and causing an accident.

greyingbeard
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby greyingbeard » 19 Sep 2020, 2:05pm

Its a SHARED path - so SHARE it

rob_wales
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby rob_wales » 19 Sep 2020, 2:13pm

greyingbeard wrote:Its a SHARED path - so SHARE it

Sorry, but that doesn't make much sense. Did you read my OP? In item 1 when the dogs ran suddenly across my path, what was I supposed to do and why might you think I was in the wrong for not 'sharing'. Should I have walked my bike for the entire 29 miles just in case some dogs ran out? Could you provide more details of what you meant. Thanks.

greyingbeard
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby greyingbeard » 19 Sep 2020, 2:21pm

yeah, get off your high horse. Share the path, brake if something happens. Would you be so po faced if a child got in your way ?

Its a shared path, not your personal zoom-along track. That means people are entitled to walk on it, dawdle, stop suddenly and look at the view, run their dogs, etc. They even plug themselves in to their phones to be utterly unaware of whats going on around them. These are the hazards of the real world, learn to cope with them.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 19 Sep 2020, 2:25pm

I tend to take it easy around dogs, but sometimes they want to ‘play’, and sometimes they feel the need to attack cyclists. Nine times out of ten, if you just talk to them, say something like “hello mate how are you” they behave, the ones that go for you are normally deterred by a loud “NO”, failing that waving your foot in their direction and shouting “bugger off” or words to that effect normally works. The owners need to take responsibility on paths though. By all means let them run around in the grassy areas, but keep them on a short lead on paths.

Pebble
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Pebble » 19 Sep 2020, 2:31pm

Dogs off lead sympathiser here - it's their walk and they want to run about and have the freedom to stop and sniff and chase and socialise with their own kind. If cyclists want to ride fast then they can get on the road where they belong

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

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby rob_wales » 19 Sep 2020, 2:35pm

greyingbeard wrote:yeah, get off your high horse. Share the path, brake if something happens. Would you be so po faced if a child got in your way ?

Its a shared path, not your personal zoom-along track. That means people are entitled to walk on it, dawdle, stop suddenly and look at the view, run their dogs, etc. They even plug themselves in to their phones to be utterly unaware of whats going on around them. These are the hazards of the real world, learn to cope with them.


I am, as I already said, a very careful cyclist. I never 'zoom-along' as you put it. I ride carefully and never go too fast on a shared path. I am constantly on the look-out for hazards. I ring my bell constantly when there are others around. Why do owners of dogs that are off-lead not do the same thing? Would you call that inconsiderate on their part? You mention entitlement, who defined that dogs have the entitlement to run free? I know they want to and need to, but they should not be allowed to do it in on a busy path which has multi use. In the first two incidents I mentioned there was a very large open off-path space to one side. Plenty of room for dogs to run free.

I am not on a 'high-horse' I'm trying to be polite and reasonable.

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

Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby rob_wales » 19 Sep 2020, 2:44pm

Pebble wrote:Dogs off lead sympathiser here - it's their walk and they want to run about and have the freedom to stop and sniff and chase and socialise with their own kind. If cyclists want to ride fast then they can get on the road where they belong


Thank you for replying. Would you mind commenting on a few points.

1. If you do own a dog yourself, or if you owned one, would you worry that it might get injured by a cyclist if the dog runs in front of the bike?

2. Would you be concerned that if your dog caused an accident resulting in injury you could well be prosecuted, and heavily fined?

3. Do you believe that if an owner answered 'no' to both those questions then that amounts to negligence on the part of the dog owner regards both the cyclist, and the dog itself, both of whom could be hurt. or even killed.

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tykeboy2003
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby tykeboy2003 » 19 Sep 2020, 2:48pm

There should be a third 3 option; extending lead. Personally I don't mind either of the two options above, the one I really don't like is the extending lead.

I'm not a dog owner at the moment but was for 10 years and regularly took her off-lead on a shared use path. A path I often use now as a cyclist. I never had a problem either as a dog walker interacting with cyclists or as rider interacting with dogs. As a rider I've had more problems with pedestrians and joggers with headphones on....
Last edited by tykeboy2003 on 19 Sep 2020, 2:52pm, edited 2 times in total.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 19 Sep 2020, 2:50pm

It is a miserable business but one must realise that many dog owners let their pets run free, uncontrolled
The only thing to do is to go very slowly anywhere there might be dogs
..
There could be several other options: don't know, in certain circumstances..
You can change the poll, then the votes are zeroed I think, then we can vote again
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flat tyre
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Re: Off-lead dogs on shared paths?

Postby flat tyre » 19 Sep 2020, 3:26pm

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.