Most of you have heard me speak of my dog Sally. Sally is an eight pound yorkie (we think) who is so docile squirrels and birds do not move out of her way when she walks down the street: they just sit there and continue eating whatever treat they found on the ground.

Topically, there was an issue this week. I’ve mentioned (in passing comments) that there is a dog in my building who really doesn’t like my dog. Dog A is about twenty five pounds and obviously twice the size. When I say doesn’t like I mean dog barks ferociously and makes movements towards my dog, as well as other dogs in the building. When this dog is in this mode my Sally literally just sits and looks at it- not even a bark.

This dog has exhibited this behavior as long as the dog has lived in the building. As I like dogs and understand that they are animals, I have never said anything about the behavior.

Until…

On Monday I was outside the elevator bank (ok-it’s two elevators- I don’t know if you call that a bank) I was talking to a neighbor and we were to the right of the right elevator because we saw that the left elevator was going to be the first one down- because you move out of the way because people are going to exit.

Fine.

Dog A was in the elevator. When the door opened Dog A lunged at my dog and came so close to biting her that I needed to check Sally’s face. I yelled at the owner that she needed to muzzle the dog because this was the third time this week that the dog made an aggressive move towards my dog.

Fine.

Ten minutes after this incident and my yelling at the owner, the owner was taking the dog A up the stairwell to her apartment. She let this dog off the leash, and of course my neighbor was coming down the stairs with his leashed Maltese, who is quite possibly smaller and more gentle than my dog.  Dog A was off his leash, racing and barking towards the Maltese. Luckily my neighbor was able to quickly scoop up his dog .

Ten minutes after her dog lunged at my dog and I yelled, she had her dog off the leash in a common area of the building.

So yesterday my neighbor and I put in formal complaints with the board and the management agent. The building and agent agreed that the dog needed to be muzzled in common areas of the building, and a letter was sent to them yesterday afternoon.

Fine.

Except now the Husband of the women is claiming that we are unfairly attacking his pregnant wife. That we’ve upset her. There is nothing wrong with his dog. Yada yada yada.

So for today’s discussion:

What is the responsibility of the dog owner if the dog exhibits aggressive behavior towards other dogs and there is common space between your apartment and the outside?

Should I have yelled at someone who is pregnant, or is yelling at someone pregnant just bad form?

Should the onus be on Dog A’s owner to properly control the dog when in common building space?

or

Should the onus be on the other dog owners in the building to be hyper aware of their surroundings because Dog A might be around?

Side note: These people were not singled out. We have other dogs in the building that are/have been muzzled because of their aggressive behavior. This is protocol in the building.

 

87 thoughts on “Muzzle It

  1. OMG, what is wrong with people who feel that they have rights to live any old way they want?
    I’m taking a deep breath, because this post has clearly set me off, but geez…
    Of course this dog is a menace and should be muzzled before it maims someone or eats someone because it likely won’t stop with just a neighbors animal.
    I love dogs and cats, but if I had one that behaved this way I would be so appalled to think that it might injure a pet or person. And yes, I’m going to say it: Being pregnant does not give you extra command to act the victim in this situation. You have an uncontrolled animal. Fix it or move!!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Now, I obviously feel the same way as you do (in fact, I think it was you who I’ve mentioned this dog and it’s behavior) but yeah…..to be so clueless to your dogs behavior to multiple dogs! My husband was out fir work last night but the doorman said this woman’s husband was irate last night demanding to speak to my husband saying that I was horrible to yell at his pregnant wife, blah blah blah. Hence why I am starting to lose patience and tolerance for people because no one has any respect for anyone else anymore

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, that dog has come up in the conversation before. And now I’m even more irritated that “the husband” feels it’s imperative to speak to “your husband” rather than you directly because… you are not a person in your own right who can speak for themselves. Let the “men” handle this by all means…!!!!
        I was ticked to start with this morning after reading a FB post from a wonderful friend highlighting moronic male attitudes and behaviors so your post just added fuel to the fire! 🙂
        I am now going for my morning workout walk to channel my aggression towards health. I will return later though, because I want to read others comments 😉

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Excuse me? The husband wanted to talk to YOUR husband?!?! News flash…. if he has a problem with you, he should talk to you not your husband! What a male chauvinist ass! And, if the HOA has a policy, it needs to be followed by everyone! Once you make an exception for one, you no longer have an HOA. Pregnant or not pregnant…. rules are rules. Follow them. And, do NOT use the excuse that you’re pregnant. Done like the rules, then MOVE or get rid of the dog. I wonder what will happen when the baby is born and the dog does not accept the new baby?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Owners are responsible for their dogs. If you can’t control a dog with a leash and a command the dog deserves training (and the human requires it) and a muzzle can and should be used as a last resort (meaning, it’s not wrong to use a muzzle, but clearly the humans and dog require training in basic behaviour in common areas).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. This woman exhibits clueless behavior, and this started before she was pregnant. I feel for dogs, I love them, but the minute you come that close to biting my dog, I’m done

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m sorry to hear that you are encountering this problem. It’s frightening and puzzling, too, that some people have such little regard for others.

    Your questions, and my answers:

    What is the responsibility of the dog owner if the dog exhibits aggressive behavior towards other dogs and there is common space between your apartment and the outside?

    That’s easy. Muzzle it.

    Should I have yelled at someone who is pregnant, or is yelling at someone pregnant just bad form?

    Also easy. Completely beside the point – has no bearing on the discussion. As for your yelling? It’s hard to be calm when you are in an alarming situation.

    Should the onus be on Dog A’s owner to properly control the dog when in common building space?

    Another easy one. Yes, obviously.

    Should the onus be on the other dog owners in the building to be hyper aware of their surroundings because Dog A might be around?

    Unfortunately, yes, if they want to protect themselves and their pets, they will be wise to be alert and to take action.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you. Logical and well thought out answers. But here’s my big problem…..we all resort to excuses. And I mean all of us. We all want everything to be someone else’s problem. I don’t know where we go or what we do

      Like

  4. Being pregnant doesn’t give you a pass from being accountable as an adult. Unless you are in a high risk pregnancy or other extenuating circumstances. Plus, did you really “yell” or were you sternly lecturing but she “heard” yelling? The delivery of the message and her pregnancy are irrelevant. They are just sidestepping their fault.

    As for the dog, they need to be responsible pet owners. Some dogs are aggressive while on a leash because they feel constrained. It takes diligent patience to break that habit. If they aren’t taking steps to correct the situation, they have to muzzle because otherwise there is going to be an unpleasant incident resulting in someone (fur baby and/or human) being hurt.

    My BF has a dog that can be aggressive. He is very careful with him and spends a lot of time training him. It isn’t easy, but we understand what our responsibility is in this situation.

    I’m on your side. The hubby needs to chill. The dog needs a muzzle. There!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! There are times when I find it frustrating to try to coexist. I think we all say the words, but our actions are anything but. And I mean everyone, including me

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I had a dog who made other dogs nervous. One time we were walking around the neighborhood and two Alaskan Huskies came right out of their fenced backyard. I was terrified. Worse, my dog (who didn’t understand that she was half their size) made SOME kind of move and one immediately bit her on the back.

    I screamed and screamed. A neighbor of the neighbor came out and put them back in the yard.

    After the vet and such, I went to the Huskies house and told the owners what happened. They apologized profusely and paid the medical costs. If they hadn’t done anything, I would have reported them to our local animal control.

    You did everything right, and you know it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. LA,

    The husband obviously did that as a way of responding to the complaints about his dog by putting the onus on someone other than himself and his wife. There is context to your complaints (plural) so where is HIS context? Other than provoking a fight, he didn’t address the question. He simply stated that his pregnant wife is being harassed? Okay, where’s the proof? There is none, of course.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I want to say .” So…you’re going in record that women can’t make rational decisions, nor have anything negative said to them while pregnant?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have written about the aggressive dogs outside while I walk and I am worried about my pug. I understand. The problem is that some of the owners resemble their ferocious dogs and I am talking about the scary ones who walk pit bull dogs. So, walk earlier, keep an eye out and hope this breed stops moving to our neighborhood. Since 500 people arrive daily in Florida, I am hoping to opt out. Be on the look out. My pug is tenacious!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Had you reported it to animal control instead of being kind and only reporting it to your building manager, around here at least they would have received likely a visit from the animal control officer and a warning (because first reported incident with no actual contact) and reminders as per the law if it happens again they could be fined, required to muzzle the dog, required to prove training with a behavior specialist and or worse forced to relinquish their dog. So you were very kind only brining it to the building manager. Dogs are predators, with jaws strong enough to crush bone. If people are going to own predators it is their responsibility to ensure safety of those exposed to their animal.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love dogs and I’m willing to be reasonable, but the dog almost bit mine because the owner doesn’t pay attention. I don’t want to give the dog the chance to actually bite mine

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My mother is an obedience dog trainer, and still to this day at the age of 75 she runs her collie in agility competitions, mum would say it’s the owner who’s at fault and the owner who requires the training not the dog!!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. The owners of the aggressive dogs must be held responsible, and they should take appropriate actions to protect others from their dog’s’ actions. You’re totally in the right here. Our daughter was attacked and bitten by an aggressive dog in our neighborhood years ago, and she still has a sizable scar on her calf to show for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. In my opinion, you are totally in the right. They can let their dog have free reign in their place, but not in common areas. I do worry about an aggressive dog around a baby, but that isn’t my business.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Wow! You are absolutely in the right with what you did. I also LOVE Dogs, but I will protect my dogs!! That is totally carelessness , that the owner actually let the dog off its leash right after you yelled about it. Its almost like they wanted the dog to come attack yours! So glad that your dog and that the Maltese was okay!
    As far as yelling at the wife even though she was pregnant. The fact that he even seriously thought that had a bearing in this situation just kind of explains it all! CRAZY!

    On a side note, how on earth do you have a docile Yorkie! LOL! Our Yorkie LOVES squirrels and will sit at the tree for hours just waiting for one to come down so it can chase it. Plus when we first got our Yorkie she intimidated our Sheltie who is more than twice her size!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ours can be a little happy, and she does love people, but she’s actually oddly calm in many situations. She rolls over on her back so quick you think she’s on a spit…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Going to the board was the logical thing to do. Too bad that the man and woman have to know who “reported them,” but I guess that’s pretty obvious. Yelling at someone usually isn’t helpful, but you were upset, as most dog owners would have been in a similar situation. Barking is one thing, but lunging and biting is another. It’s up to them to do whatever it takes to get/keep their dog under control. Possibly the couple should feel lucky that they haven’t been asked by management to move with their aggressive dog!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I think if you have a dog, the responsibility is on you for the dog not to become a nuisance to others. I would also think that if one lived in an apartment building in a busy city, those responsibilities would potentially become more burdensome. I live in a single family home in a much less populous city so I can let the dog out into our fenced backyard to go potty. Even so I still need to make sure she is not being annoyingly loud while she is out there. When I take her for a walk I assume people that I encounter might not love her as much as I do so I give them a wide path and keep her on a tight leash.

    I would be really annoyed if someone had their dog off the leash in an apartment building, especially when my kids were little. The husband of the pregnant lady needs to get a grip. The muzzle seems like the right solution. If I had been in your shoes my husband would have told the pregnant lady’s husband where he could go with the whining. Agree with the earlier poster that it is the owners that need training.

    Slightly off topic, but my sister used to have two dogs in an apartment building. She ended up giving one away. I knew the one she gave away probably had behavior issues because she didn’t ensure the dog got enough exercise. Makes me sad when people impulsively get dogs but then won’t be responsible for meeting their needs or making sure they aren’t a nuisance to others.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. When I first rescued my dog she was dog aggressive and I went out of my way to stay out of the way of others. People would say “oh, my dog is friendly” and let them come up to mine. She felt cornered and acted out. I tried to explain. That being said that dog needs to be muzzled and obviously the owner is incapable of controlling the dog. A well behaved dog is the owners responsibility not those around him. Maybe his pregnant wife should not be expected to control an aggressive animal. Pregnant women are not china dolls.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. If you can’t control your dog, then it should be muzzled to prevent harm to other dogs or people. That’s that. Or, it could bite another dog and injure or kill it, the cops and animal control get involved, and they put the dog down. It’s a lot less fuss to simply muzzle an animal you can’t control when it’s around other dogs.

    And why should pregnancy give someone an excuse to behave badly?

    Liked by 3 people

  17. ALL dogs need to be leashed when you leave your home. End of story. Pregnant or not she didn’t leash her dog. What if your dog was a toddler who may have gotten bitten or hurt? Ugh. Tell this couple to watch just one Judge Judy episode and learn what happens to owners who don’t leash their dogs. (I watched countless JJudy shows while recuperating from a car accident a couple years ago.) It’s always the fault of the owner. Pregnant or not. And muzzles are used if dogs are aggressive. One of these days someone is going to sue the pants off these people and they will lose big time. People an be idiots.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. Definitely you are in the right, particularly in a building full of people and dogs.
    My situation of living in the middle of nowhere with my sweet, but loud dog off leash is quite different. He barks for one of three reasons.
    1. At other dogs: he wants them to play or chase him.
    2. At people approaching: he’s protecting me.
    3. After he has warned people, he expects them to pet him and tell him he’s adorable.
    ~~~~~~~
    I always say he’s friendly but I know his bark is intimidating even though he’s truly the happiest goofball on 4 legs.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My answer is the same as yesterday’s question, just for the dog lol MUZZLE the dog, please. I mean really? I’ve watched enough Judge Judy to know that should something happen to someone else’s dog, especially if the other owner’s dog is unleashed, then the unleashed dog’s owner is responsible for any damage. So, quite honestly, you’re helping them avoid any future situations/costs.

    Anyone can be yelled, pregnant or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I had owned a Doberman mix who was a fear-biter. I took her to obedience and kept her leashed at all times. It’s definitely not the dog’s fault — all fault lies with the owner. A muzzle for the dog, along with OBEDIENCE CLASS, should be the first step.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. While walking our new dog (small terrier mix rescue) in our neighborhood he is ALWAYS on a leash. We have leash laws in our city. There is a man who lives one block over who routinely walks his dog (also a small Pomeranian type) WITHOUT a leash and when walking the other day, his dog ran across the street to get to my dog. He said, “He just wants to be friends.” I picked up mine and said to the guy, “Your dog should be on a leash. I ran over a dog that way once.” He said, “Then you’re a bad person!” I just kept walking because there were no words…You were absolutely in the right.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Dogs are expected to be good citizens too. The onus is on every owner to have their dog under full control at all times.
    You were right to complain.
    Sally sounds like a beautiful, gentle, kind dog.
    Dogs often develop personalities just like their owners.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Here’s a thought, if this woman couldn’t handle her dog while pregnant, how the heck is she going to handle her pet with a screaming baby? She’ll be even more incompetent! Better she learn now safety rules before she has her baby. That dog might bite her little one.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. This is a no-brainer. What you did was perfectly reasonable. Both husband and wife were out of line in their behavior – no wonder their dog is a brute! I agree with the person who said you should call animal control to give them a warning. They need a lesson in responsibility.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. oh. if this happened in South Dakota and I was there then there wouldn’t happen more than once cuz the dog woulda ate lead and no court would have convicted me. but it’s NYC and you are more civilized. I think carrying an aluminum tee ball bat would be in order tho. but that’s just me.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. While I can certainly understand yelling, and could easily have done so myself, I wonder if perhaps it would have been better to tell her in a firm, but not yelling manner, that her dog needs to be muzzled. She should be able to handle this information, pregnant or not. (She is clearly being irresponsible!) And you certainly did the right thing by going to the board.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it was the first time, even the first time this week, as I’ve never said anything to her about it. It’s like I’m calm until I’m not!

      Like

  27. Oh – the pregnancy thing is just an excuse. Owners are responsible for their dogs. You and your neighbour have had enough trouble with this dog owner to warrant having put in a complaint. People are responsible for their dogs, or must be made to be. Simple (but not, I know.)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I’m catching up on blogs today. I read this yesterday, but didnt have time to write a comment. Now I see a part two, but wanted to give my two cents.

    If you own a dog, it is your responsibility to make sure that dog is safe. If the dog is acting viciously toward other dogs, people, etc, my first concern is, how is that dog being treated? Dogs are not born aggressive, they are taught that. Maybe it’s a rescue, not saying the neighbors are necessarily the ones that made this dog act this way, but it is extremely unlikely the aggression is coming from nothing.

    Secondly, as an owner, it is your responsibility to train your dog properly. It is also on you if that dog hurts someone. Just because she is pregnant, doesn’t give them the right to not get the dog under control. I don’t care that training is expensive. I have zero sympathy for someone who just let’s their dog go with no training, and wonders why bad things happen.

    I personally think people should have to pass knowledge tests of some sort before getting an animal. It is disgusting to me that when a dog exhibits bad behavior, owners don’t take responsibility for it. Ugh.

    I’m off to read part 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. If their dog is reacting aggressively toward other dogs (which it clearly is) then they need to muzzle their dog. Period. The fact that the woman is pregnant means nothing.
    You know I love my Finn, but when he went after another dog at doggie day care, he was banned. And I was okay with that….Just because he’s my dog, doesn’t mean he’s allowed to terrorize other dogs. People need to grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a point where we need to take personal responsibility. You have to accept your dogs behavior and deal with it. Please….I might pull out the menopause card

      Liked by 1 person

  30. These dog owners are assholes that need to do something about their asshole dog. The dog learned this asshole behavior from somewhere, and that somewhere ain’t you and your sweet doggie. If I know that I’m entering a situation that could get Mollie upset (she is protective of food), i make sure i head any problems off at the oass: pick up the food and remove it from the situation, move Mollie and the food to an isolated location, and so on and so forth. If a dog bites a child and the child needs stitches, the authorities rule that the dog’s owner is responsible and accountable and has to pay restitution. It’s very simple, really. You and your neighbors with your sweet doggies are doing the right thing with your dogs, your asshole neighbors with their asshole dogs need to get over themselves. I would have slapped the shit out of that pregnant woman, honestly

    Liked by 1 person

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