Reader Alleges “the man kicked my dog and swung a leash at his face”

by Prince Of Petworth December 8, 2015 at 1:05 pm 58 Comments

Update from WW:

“I entered the dog park at the small dog park where he urinated and then I opened the gate between the large and small dog park where two greyhounds attacked my 7 month old pup (who has not had a problem playing there until this). The greyhounds pinned him to the ground. He squealed and they would not let him up. I yelled for the owner, who was sitting on a bench with her brother, to call off her dogs. She informed me that was how they play. My dog yelped again. My “kick” was using my foot to be between her dog and mine as I freed mine and physically tossed him back into the small dog park. The greyhounds pressed around me, into that part of the park and more yelps and screaming before I could get the gate closed. I did swing the leash hand at them (happened to be holding it when the attack happened) to shoo the dog-aggressive dogs away from my dog who was trying to hide beneath me.

A witness sitting on the bench said to me she would have done the same and I shall gladly seek her out to respond to this post as well.

I was standing in the small dog park when this person took my pic threatening to call the police. When I told her to feel free to do so and that I would gladly wait, she decided she wanted a picture where she would “ruin” me “on all the blogs.” While I am disappointed in POPville’s willingness to engage the smear, I am glad to have my version published beside hers. Further, I challenge any user of the park to observe these dog-aggressive greyhounds OP brings and to observe mine as well as observe my in-park behavior As well as hers. I am quite comfortable with those conclusions.

“Dear PoPville,

Last week at the Shaw Dog Park (11th and R) between 10:45-11am the man above kicked my dog and swung a leash at his face while I was standing right there. According to him, he didn’t like the way my dog was interacting with his dog, which will happen in dog parks at times. It is perfectly understandable to be nervous or uncomfortable about how two dogs are playing or interacting. What concerns me is that this owner thought it was appropriate to become physically aggressive with my dog. Separating dogs is one thing, but hitting, kicking, or swinging objects at a dog is unacceptable.

When confronted about his behavior, he seemed to think it was totally acceptable that he could take any action to ‘protect’ his dog, who had not been attacked in any capacity and was not at all hurt, and kept swinging right in front of me. In fact the only reason he stopped swinging at my dog is that my brother stepped in between him and the dog. If my brother hadn’t stepped in, I can’t say whether or not he would have hit me with the metal leash as I tried to protect my dog. It was that aggressive.

I’m not writing to you for validation or to sling mud at another person, but rather because you have a big forum and this man made me fear for the safety of my dog and didn’t make me feel safe. My only goal is to inform other owners, who frequent the park, to be mindful that this man feels it is completely appropriate to hit and kick other dogs and will do so again.

He agreed to have his picture taken, which is why he’s smiling and waving, even when I told him that I was going to circulate it.”

Ed. Note: Per request the original photo has been removed.

  • anonymous

    *Grabs popcorn* Seriously though- I doubt you or your dog was in any danger. Exchange a few words and let it go. If you don’t feel comfortable then avoid the park when that guy is there with his dog. problem solved!!!!

    • U Streeter

      Really? If you don’t want to be assaulted, stay home. And you probably wouldn’t really be hurt anyway?
      Trolls gonna troll.

  • shaw

    I go to that park often – I’ll make sure to watch out for this guy! OP, can you please describe his dog? I often notice dogs faster than noticing people.

  • dat

    You never actually said what your dog was doing that upset this man. For example, was he/she barking/growling/snapping? Although I am not a dog owner, I know various owners with widely varying levels of tolerance for their dogs (and other dogs’) behavior.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. I’m sure the other side sees this much different. I can’t tell you how many times dogs get aggressive while owners are buried in their phones. I absolutely love dogs but would kick yours if it threatened my dog and you did nothing.

      • axp182


  • NWDC

    I’m surprised you posted this without hearing from the other party and just taking one person’s word for it. I’m not saying that I don’t believe that it happened, but it just seems a little bit unfair to take one person’s side and post a picture of someone else on a public website. Kind of uncool.

    • NWDC

      Sorry – by “you” I mean PoPVille.

      • Megan

        Agreed. I’ve had my dog attacked by dogs whose owners did not think their dog is acting aggressively (when it clearly is) – I’m not saying kicking the dog was right, but it’s quite possible that your “dogs just being dogs” statement isn’t the full story, and I find people with that attitude tend to have the worst behaved dogs. I don’t take my dog to the dog park anymore because it’s not worth the hassle of dealing with the other people or the other dogs.

    • Swdc

      If he was in public he had no expectations of privacy, so there’s nothing illegal about this.

      • Krampus

        No one said it was illegal. But it is unfair and mean-spirited. This guy may be a jerk – but so may be OP. We’ve seen enough posts like this where it turns out OP is the one who is unhinged from reality.

    • KenyonDweller

      I had the same reaction. As we have seen over and over again on this site, outraged postings often turn out to be one sided and full of half truths. Maybe this guy is indeed the worst thing since Trump, but I won’t believe it without hearing his side.

      • ebwhite17

        I am also disappointed by POP’ville here too. I know the dogs in question and the woman who wrote this is totally in the wrong. She has two greyhound type dogs – the older one is excitable but fine. The younger one – who wears a red harness – is not. He targets smaller dogs and he is about 30 lbs more than the puppy this guy was attempting to defend. When this woman and her dogs come to the park I hook my dog up and quickly leave. I tried explaining to her my dog – like this one in question – is a puppy and he dog does not seem to know how to moderate his play. She would shrug it off as just play and go back to sitting on a bench – why I just leave now when she enters.

        • Anon

          What do you mean by “he targets smaller dogs”? Like he’s acting aggressively towards them or just seeking them out for play?
          Regardless, you’ve managed to deal with this dog by not kicking it (which will only make its aggressive tendencies worse). I wonder why this guy couldn’t.
          Sounds like this park could benefit from a separate area for small dogs and puppies.

          • mcd

            Was that sarcastic? This park does have a separate area for small dogs.

          • Anon

            Wasn’t being sarcastic; I’ve never been there. So clearly the small dog area wasn’t being properly utilized in this scenario.

          • Anon Spock

            Greyhound type dogs like whippets are on the smaller side, so someone may put them with small rather than large. 30lb difference could easily be a small dog and a medium one.

          • mcd

            Fair enough Anon- sorry. There is an area for smaller dogs though I have never seen it used- even by the small dogs. I also think if no one was using the small dog play area, and you had a dog that you wanted to avoid, you could probably use the small dog area until someone with a small dog wanted to use it.

        • Rabiznaz

          ebwhite17 – The dog you are referring to as aggressive is also a puppy and excitable but he has never been in a fight or hurt another dog. Small dogs and puppies often can get overwhelmed and scared easily, but that doesn’t mean the other dog is necessarily being aggressive. But, regardless of my personal knowledge of the dogs in question the point remains that intentionally trying to inflict physical harm on a dog rather than simply separating them is not an alright response. If the shoe was on the other foot I doubt you would want someone taking a swing at your puppy…even once it grows out of its baby phase and is not the smallest kid on the block.


    You did the right thing in sharing. We will keep an eye out for this individual.

  • Anon

    Yes, what did the dog look like?

  • mep

    Some dog park people are the worst, including all in this post.
    “dog” problems are really people problems


      It is NEVER ok to hit, kick or threaten a dog, I don’t care how uncomfortable you are with their behavior. First of all, it’s abusive and illegal — full stop. Second, it probably won’t work and only scares the dog into being even more aggressive. It’s the worst response in this situation.

      • what the

        Sure it is if the dog is being aggressive, like it sounds like OP’s was (even if they are in denial about the behavior). Everyone has the right to self defense.

        • U Streeter

          BS. If the dog was sinking teeth into the other dog and won’t let go, then hit appropriate. I have done that once to save a dog (not mine) that was being attacked at this very park, and I literally thought it was life or death.
          Otherwise: NO.
          Any situation that prompted “leash swinging” could have been resolved by picking dog up and leaving park.
          Truth is, this guy’s dog was probably totally fine and the dude overreacted. I’ve seen that 1,000,000 times at dog parks. Dogs play and it isn’t always prissy. Some owners don’t get it.

      • 16.2

        + 1

      • SnoopyWasTrained

        Not true. In the hypothetical situation that you (or your dog) is getting mauled by another dog, still not OK to hit the attacking dog? Come on.

        • TFPSAFA

          No! You and the other owner pull the hind legs of each dog away from one another and physically separate the dogs. Hitting the other dog can completely backfire and they’ll start attacking *you*!

          • derp derp

            I think the key to your statement is “you and the other owner”. What happens if the other owner does nothing? Do you just drag your dog around by its hind legs as the other dog continues to attack?

          • wrong

            This is absolutely wrong in every respect. I occasionally get barked at and chased by off leach dogs when running in RCP and have no idea which are simply playing and which are legitimately aggressive. Running or stopping only encourages them, typically the only way to deter them is acting aggressively. And one one or two occasions I have had to kick one.
            In every respect this is the inevitable result of illegally letting dogs off leash and completely the fault of these dogs irresponsible owners. I feel terrible for these dogs, but the only human culprit in that situation is the idiot walking their poorly trained dog off leash.

          • dunning-kruger

            If you’re gonna give authoritative advice on the interwebs you could at least make it safe.
            If you grab dog that is fighting and pull back from its hind legs you are gonna get bit. This is terrible advice.
            You can grab the hind legs and pull UP and then away in which case it can’t bite you.
            I also disagree that it is never ok to strike a dog. Dogs aren’t people and lack the verbal skills to really understand when they have crossed an uncrossable line with verbal commands (hint: in nature alphas use force because dogs can’t talk). If I’m ever able to get a dog again and it nips/lunges at one of my kids I’m going to smack it. Based on the dogs I grew up with I might have to do this a few times while the dog is growing up and then I’ll have a dog that knows that is a line you do not cross. Meanwhile owners who don’t correct this behavior risk having their dogs euthanized or kicked by strangers.
            TLDR: hit your own dog sparingly so no one else has to.

      • dat

        Step off it. It is most certainly not either abusive or illegal to strike a dangerous dog.

        • U Streeter

          There is no indication that dog that was struck was agressive. We don’t know.

      • ANon

        If a dog ever aggressively lunged toward my child and was not under full control (leash) of its owner, I would not hesitate to kick/kill it if necessary. And I would be well within my legal rights in doing so, “Full stop”.

  • Anon

    I’m surprised so many people are so quick to defend this guy. If his dog was truly being attacked, his actions might be understandable, but it sounds the dogs were wrestling and this guy overreacted to what was likely an acceptable level of play.

    • Krampus

      “I’m surprised so many people are so quick to defend this guy.”
      I’m surprised so many are so quick to believe OP’s version of the story.

      • Duponter


    • U Streeter

      That’s my take. No idea what happened but I’ve been taking my dogs to this dog park since it opened (and other dog parks before that). Imperial evidence:
      2% chance OP’s dog agressive.
      13% chance OP not paying attention or otherwise in wrong.
      84% chance lease swinger is overly sensitive about his dog and/or doesn’t understand how dogs play.
      1% chance it’s late and I’m not reading carefully.

  • thedcyears

    For the OP, contact the Humane Law Enforcement and ask them if the situation was lawful.

    I agree with the other posters, we weren’t present at the time.

  • Anon

    Now what are the odds that a bicycle was somehow involved as well? Would that in any way affect the moral calculus involved?

    • textdoc


    • west_egg

      I bet OP wasn’t even wearing a helmet when all this went down…just saying.

  • Dan

    I run into Charlie Fog,
    Blacked my eye and he kicked my dog,
    My doggie turned to me and he said,
    Let’s head back to Tennessee Jed.

    • anon

      This comment might just get me through the day.

  • burninbuds

    That dog park is full of dog owners that think their dog did nothing wrong. Just because someone’s dog doesn’t seem like the aggressive one doesn’t mean the less aggressive looking dog didn’t do anything wrong. I avoid that dog park because it’s full of people who think their dogs are saints.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I don’t think we have good info on what OP’s dogs were doing NOR on what the guy in the photo did. The universe of possibilities is vast. It may have been that the OP’s 400 pound dog was mauling this guy’s elderly chihuahua, so this guy used his leg to gently push the OP’s 400 pound dog away. Or it may have been that the OP’s 7 pound Little Angeldog was playing gently with this guy’s Tasmanian Pitbull Devildog when this guy came out of nowhere and punted poor Little Angeldog like a football. I do suspect that the reality is somewhere in between with respect to actions of involved dogs and actions of involved owners, but we really don’t know much here.

    • FridayGirl

      +1. Also, thank you for your imagery HaileUnlikely — I just giggled at my desk.

    • Timebomb

      Reminds me of one of those 90s sitcom episodes where everyone tells their own side of the story that presents them as the angel.

  • anon

    Given this guy’s behavior I think we need to get rid of all dog parks.

    Lets give all the land back to the children!

    • AnotherBdaleResident

      Or, we could use it create more church parking.

      • dcd

        With bike lanes.

  • ohbrother

    Reading these discussion boards makes me want to kick myself and beat my screen with a leash.

    • Kate


  • Truxtoner

    It’s funny because I have a dog and am typically the opposite, where I overreact about how my own dog is behaving. I always think he is being too rough with other dogs and the owners of the other dogs are always like, oh it’s just play and my dog will let him know if he’s being too rough. But I am mortified that my dog might be an asshole and I am not doing anything about it so I overcompensate.

    Lately, I just avoid dog parks altogether.

  • reality

    I’m with the man. He told you to get your dogs off and you couldn’t control them. Grow up.

  • AsAMother

    Having heard the testimony of the plaintiff, the defendant, and one character witness, my verdict is: Not Guilty.

    Even if the woman truly believed that her dogs were doing no wrong, she still should have come and removed her dogs from the situation, rather than dismissing the man’s complaint that her dogs were playing too roughly with his dog. He was clearly struggling to separate her dogs from his own. Shirking her responsibilities as a dog owner so that she could continue to gab with her brother from the comfort of the bench was simply irresponsible. In her attempt to smear his reputation on the internet, she has instead rubbed her own nose in it. I suggest she take a break from dog parks for a while, and when she returns to be more observant when she returns. This is a community after all, it’s time that she start being a responsible member of said community.

    That is all.

  • Jared Ross

    Read this and find myself at that park with my dogs rather often so I hung out Saturday only to be blessed by a visit of two greyhounds matching what’s described and low and behold it took less than 5 minutes to certiglfy I needed to get my dogs out of there because OP is just wrong. Her dogs are quite aggressive and do not belong near others without close supervision

    • Timmy

      There it is…confirmation that both sides of the story are pretty damn important.


Subscribe to our mailing list