Sunday, July 13, 2008

Unsolicited advice

The other day, hubs took the dog out for a walk and was gone much longer than I had anticipated. As it turns out, he was in the little park near our house when one of the neighbours came out to talk to him about our dog. Background: we have a small park near our house with no school or playground attached, just a green space with a little path around it, and houses that back onto the park. Most evenings, we take the dog for a walk and when there are no dogs in the park and no people in the park, we will take her off leash and throw the ball around for about 5-10 minutes (she tires fast!) On one occasion, we met a nice fellow with his golden retriever and he asked if our dog might like to play. Which, if you've met our dog, is a silly question, of course she wants to play. So the dogs ran around off leash together for about 15-20 minutes and they had a great time. When a little dog came into the park with her owners, we put the dogs back on leash but those owners said it wasn't necessary. And true to retriever form, the two big dogs ignored the little one.

Anyway, said neighbour came out of her yard specifically to talk to the hubby. She told hubs that the dog shouldn't ever be off leash and that she had 35 years of experience training dogs, and that even her own dog (a Rottweiler) wasn't good enough to be off leash. She said a bunch of stuff and he relayed it to me. First of all, let me just say that yes, our 8 month old dog is not perfect off-leash. She is good almost all of the time, but there are times when she won't respond to "come!".... and there are also times when she is super friendly with people who give her attention. However, I took this lady's advice to be bordering on offensive. She talked about how we would have a lawsuit on our hands if our dog charged at a kid on a bike, and how she had years and years of experience, and she could tell that our dog wasn't ready to be off leash, after all, even her Rottie can't be off leash. (Her Rottie often barks at our dog from his backyard; our dog just ignores him. He instigates!)

I think I've talked about unsolicited advice before, so this is probably old. But what am I supposed to do with this advice from a person who supposedly has experience training dogs, but cannot train her own dog to be off leash? I'm sure I'm overreacting, but it would be like me stopping a mother at the grocery store and telling her how her kids should behave, and that she shouldn't let her kids run up and down the aisles. Even if I had children, and well-behaved children to boot, I don't think it would be my place to say anything to another mom. So why does this neighbour feel the need to step in and talk to us about our dog? I just don't know.

If I'm doling out unsolicited advice, just let me know and I'll stop... cuz wow.... how irritating!

1 comment:

Tree said...

I think you're right about this lady giving you the unsolicited advice. IF she had any sort of closer relationship with you and/or your hubby, MAYBE she could say something.