I love running and I like dogs.
Much of the time though, runners and dog walkers don’t go well together.
It’s a combination of things that in an ideal world could be ironed out.
But in reality runners come off worse when the two meet.
Paid Dog Walkers
Paid dog walkers are a great resource for many people who can’t take their pets out for whatever reason.
However, my experience of them isn’t great and not just from a runner’s point of view.
They often have several dogs with them of all shapes and sizes.
Once off the lead, they have little control over any of the dogs in their care.
The dogs roam all over the place and get under your feet. They’re unpredictable.
You never know whether they’ll jump up at you, trip you up, bite you or leave you alone.
And these paid dog walkers have little regard for anyone else around them.
To my mind, if you aren’t around to exercise your dog, don’t own one.
We recently had visitors to stay with us and they were keen to explore the local area on foot.
Whilst they enjoyed the local scenery they commented on how much dog poo was lying around.
And the lack of signs telling people to clean up their dog’s mess.
I come across this disgusting problem every time I go out running.
Sometimes you almost cause yourself a mischief trying to avoid it.
Then there’s those people that take the trouble to bag it up and then throw it in a tree.
Okay, so it’s not lying on the ground.
But as soon as it gets windy it’ll be raining down something rather unpleasant instead.
If you own a dog, it’s your responsibility to clean up after it!
Aggressive Dogs And Their Owners
Thankfully certain types of dogs are banned in the UK such as the Pit Bull Terrier.
I’ve still managed to fall foul of aggressive dogs when out on a run though.
This is where runners and dog walkers are about as far apart in their thinking as they can be.
I’ve been chased by several dogs with them biting at my heels and legs to try and trip me up.
I’ve been bitten on the legs a couple of times by aggressive dogs and even on the hip one time.
One dog walker shouted after me as her dog snapped at my ankles that it doesn’t like runners.
The expletives that came out of my mouth are unrepeatable here.
If the owner knows their dog is aggressive then they should keep them on the lead and have them muzzled.
That kind of behaviour would suggest the dog can be aggressive to anyone and everyone.
Everyone should be able to enjoy the countryside not just dog owners.
Runners And Dog Walkers Should Be Able To Mix
I think the onus is on dog walkers rather than runners when it comes to being able to mix safely.
They need to keep their dogs under control and always on a lead when they are likely to come across other people.
Cleaning up any dog poo and taking it away with them or finding a bin to put it in is also essential.
Paid dog walkers are a law unto themselves and should be banned from taking out more than a couple of dogs at a time.
Runners shouldn’t have to put up with being bitten by dogs or verbally or physically abused by dog owners.
Something has to give because runners and dog walkers are both here to stay.