Have you thought about HOW annoying your dog is for Runners?

Dogs are man’s best friend – what is there to not like about them that annoys me so much when I am out walking or running, on my own or with my children? Dogs have as much right to be out walking or running in the fresh air as us, right? Including at Parkrun and in races so what exactly is my problem?dog outdoors

My Problem with Dog Owners

Let’s first of all clear something up in that I do not actually have a problem isn’t with dogs it is their owners. Maybe it is all the judgement I have had as a parent of four boys but there certainly seems that some dog owners take absolutely no responsibility for their dogs when out and about.

Please Pick up Your Dog Poo!

I know it must be awful (one of the reasons I do not actually have a dog!) to pick it up, especially when it’s cold but do you know what is worse? Yes standing it – especially if out running! Then either skidding on it, or worse not noticing and getting in my car afterwards (squashing it into the pedals) or all over my house! And you know when it has been trodden in it is even harder to get to pick up!

So please just pick it up!

No my child does not have to like your dog

I know it is incredible to think that anyone does not absolutely adore man’s best friend but honestly my child is petrified of them. Yes obviously I wish he wasn’t but your dog just barking at him isn’t going to improve the situation. I am not suggesting that you stop your dog making noise but I can just imagine if my children came running up to you shouting and I did nothing about it!dog on the beach

I have actually had someone be disgusted with me for not liking her dogs come running at a group of 3 of us out running barking. She did not feel that she had to do anything – and the other two ladies actually are dog owners and were taken aback with how aggressive the dog was!

Please just say, “I am sorry, s/he’s only playing/no harm” etc – and if they are then hmm maybe keep them on a lead.

Please do not let your dog jump up at me

You may have dressed to get dirty knowing that you’re taking your dog for a walk or run but I haven’t! Chances are if I am running then my kit will go straight in the wash – but I still do not appreciate you just letting your dog, as friendly as they may be, jump up my legs. I am not scared (generally) but I am not their biggest fan either – and do not like the feel of their claws as well as all their mud and smell thank you.dog by the water

Watch what is happening with Your Lead and do not take up the whole path!

But lately the most frustrating thing for me is dog owners who really have no consideration. During a recent Parkrun I missed getting my PB because a dog owner just let their dog have a really long lead; this of course meant they were really spread out and unless I jumped during my sprint I could not get past them. In fact I am lucky I did not trip over it. I know Parkrun is a fun run and not a race but is it so hard to have some consideration?

The same happened the other night during my mile run every day in January (which I have failed at and only walked 12,500 steps yesterday instead) in that the dog owner was spread across the whole path so that I could not get past. Obviously I could just wait – but I was trying to do my quickest mile. This resulted me going around to the other side of a metal fence which was then the verge of a busy main road. The only thing more annoying than said dog owner then was that there was a car parked on the grass!

Please just have some consideration that other people need to use the path.dog at sunset

So there we have it my problem with dog owners is that some, not all, just have no consideration for how their dog is behaving and how they are impacting others.


These beautiful dog pictures of the property of Natalie from Plutonium Sox – who is a responsible and none of these things apply and who inspired this post from her post My dog doesn’t want to join your running club.

3 thoughts on “Have you thought about HOW annoying your dog is for Runners?”

  1. I totally agree and actually ended up reporting a dog owner to the police when he threatened to punch me when I was holding a baby because my friend asked him to put his dog on a lead. That said, I think if people like that didn’t have dogs they’d still cause problems because ultimately an arsehole is an arsehole with or without a dog to assist them.

  2. I am a dog owner and she is Giant, a 6 month old Newfie and I adore her but I totally agree with everything you have said! I am amazed at how much dog poo I have to navigate, not easy with a puppy who nearly weighs as much as I do, its just as awful getting it out of her paws, her own mess is fine, but I don’t want to be cleaning other dogs mess from her! The amount of tiny yapping dogs not on a lead that think its ok to come and try to run under her belly is unbelievable and the times we have both got caught up in other dog’s leads because their owners are too engrossed looking at their phone instead of what their dog is doing!
    But we’re not all like it and some of us are extremely considerate, if only there were more of us!!

  3. I’m probably very late to the party on this subject, but thank you very much for writing such a measured and honest account of annoying dogs – and owners! I’m not going to list my encounters and experiences, as it would be very long – boring- and only paraphrasing most of what you have listed. Suffice to say, where I go running, post pandemic, the rise of dog ownership has risen dramatically and sadly with it, a rise in out of control dogs with out of control owners. What really makes me angry, is when I make a conscious effort to not run near the the dog and its owner – when I can – and I still get chased when it senses me. What with all the poo bags hanging from branches, it’s becoming a stressful experience when it should be de-stressing. But hey! ‘he’s only playing’…


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