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My daughter and I take our dogs (her lab my gsd) to a local dog beach regularly. We go early trying to avoid big crowds so we can focus more on playing in the water with our own dogs. However, both our dogs have had plenty of opportunities to play with other dogs of all breeds and have always done very well.

Yesterday, we had been at the beach with two other dog owners, and all the dogs were busy chasing each other in the water. Mind you there was a 15 pound poodle and my 90 pound German shepherd. Absolutely no problems.

Then an older guy shows up with a young lab on leash. (It's an off leash park on a small island). My shepherd and the poodle both ran towards the new pup to welcome him. The man kicked my dog as I was in route towards them. Started yelling that he was a "vicious" dog and threatened to kill him. All the dogs had done was try to smell his dog. My dog did not bark, I was completely taken off guard by this man's reaction.

I was so mad, my daughter and I leashed up our dogs and left immediately. Both the other dog owners left as well. So this jerk got to have his own private beach.

All the way home I just wanted to tell this guy off so much. What would have been the best way to handle this situation?
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Exactly the way you all did.That guy sounds like he was angry and unreasonable and no good would come from a confrontation.If he shows up again perhaps you could devise a way to keep the dogs safe while having a conversation while cool heads prevail.A GSD rushing at the guy probably scared the heck out of him.
 

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i won’t mention what i may have said or done in the moment... i’m a pretty cool and level headed person but i’ve yet to be challenged with witnessing someone kick my dog. the thought scares me. #mamabear

i don’t know that i would have left.....perhaps moved to another section of the beach?

also, even if the culture of the beach (or trail or park etc) is to have dogs off leash... i still don’t allow my dog to run up to leashed dogs (incl very small, young, old or timid seeming dogs). if the situation allows i may use the opportunity to educate the person on how their dog can likely be targeted or perhaps isn’t ready to be in an off leash environment..... but ultimately, knowing that many leashed dogs may become defensive towards the charge, it’s for my dogs safety to call him off as well.

it’s unfortunate that your dog was kicked and that a fun time was cut short.... but with a person who responds like this guy, i have a feeling it worked out for the better.
 

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What a great dog you have that it didn't go after that man after he kicked your dog. I've heard of more and more people now wearing cams like GoPros on themselves or placed on the dogs to legally protect themselves from confrontations that may happen at dog parks (or even on regular walks). It may be a little over the top but as litigious as some people are it may be a good idea to protect yourself especially if you continue to take your dog to "free run" places. I've got dash cams in my vehicles that already have saved me from someone who tried to get out of paying for an accident. I've got surveillance cams on my house that have caught 2 separate dog owners that didn't pick up after their dog on my lawn. So, why not have a "dashcam" on your dog or you when taking the dog out?

Btw, you've got more restraint than me. I would've confronted that man.
 

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Most teachers will tell you that they enjoy working with the kids, it is the parents that drive them crazy/
 

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Well done on keeping your cool. If I know my dog approaches another dog in a friendly manner and a person kicks him, I'll lose my crap. Dog owners have to realise that off leash dog parks have their risks. If you meet that person again and he still acts like that towards other people I'd confront him. But hopefully you won't need to do that, perhaps just move as far as away possible and play on the other side of the beach.

Beautiful dog btw!
 

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I think you did the right thing. I mean he could have been crazy and had a gun or something... I would have yelled at him and left. Unfortunately your dog "approached him" and was not on a leash like his dog so he probably felt as if you were at fault. Sorry to hear that happened but let it be a lesson to keep your dog away from strangers unless you are next to them to prevent that from happening again.
 

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I would have yelled right back a him, which probably wouldn’t have been smart, nobody kicks my dog. But you probably did the right thing. I could never keep calm like that, even if you said you were angry.
 

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I think I probably would have done what you did, but inwardly have been very mad.

Sounds like "breed profiling"**... he probably wouldn't have kicked your dog if it had been a golden retriever or a poodle!? His behavior was not only out of line, it was unsafe...he could have gotten bitten quite badly if your dog retaliated.


*On the "breed profiling" I do understand, sad to say...of the GSDs we pass, it seems that they are either very very good (well-trained, so smart, obedient to Heel and Sit) or they are very very bad (as in terrifying...lunging, snarling, reactive). After some of our experiences, I get a little wary when we have to pass a GSD...I am trying to guess, is this one of the Good ones or are we going to have to pass an 85 lb. lunging snarling monster...this guy may have had some bad experiences...(and I don't mean the dog is good/bad, I just refer to its behavior.)*
 

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A) after reading the very good post from Fodder, I will refrain from stating what I would have done had some guy kicked my dog. I think you handled it well. Good job. Note to self.

B) I don't do dog parks, off leash areas because it happens that you come across people and/or dogs that will just ruin it for your dog. I would rather put the dog on a long line and have an adventure through a normal park, field, downtown, airport, whatever, than deal with a concentration of dogs and CM wannabes.
 

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Yeah people are dumb....and I kind of hate them sometimes. I was at a trial once and I had both my boys on a leash. We had left home before dawn and drove 3 hrs or so and I had just got them out to potty and my lab was ubder a year and full of beans. Some lady started talking to me, I guess she also had a shepherd and a lab there. I was half asleep on the end of the leash, my lab started acting a fool. She decides she is going to pet my lab and wouldn't you know he kind of jumped straight up in the air with glee like lab puppies do. To which she screams at him not to do that. Like loud, harsh, discipline scream. He kind of deflated and went away from her real careful. I am glad my shepherd didn't haul off and bite her because he was right there. The whole thing was such a cluster of non awake non functioning dog handler (me), over excited been in the car too long lab, and pushy lady who decides she is going to pet my dogs without pernission and discipline them as she sees fit.

Her screaming finally jolts me into action and I say leave my dogs alone and walk away quickly. Which I should have done before she made contact. Lesson learned.

I saw her compete with her lab later and even the way she gave commands in the ring made me cringe. So she might not have even realized how she sounded to me and my dogs becuase her regular command voice sounded scary. You know the type. Her lab didn't seem too bothered by it but mine is pretty soft and I never talk to him like that. He will do anything I ask in a friendly voice so why would I ever scream at him and order him around.
 
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