Small ads


From Rod B

Monday, 3 March 2014

I find it incredible the amount of times I see dogs running around the park in Hebden that aren't on leads whilst children are playing. It's totally irresponsible of the dog owners and they should be fined on the spot.

From Lorraine C

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

There are notices in the park which dictate where dogs are able to be off lead. I am a responsible dog owner and abide by these rules, allowing my dog off lead for a runaround. I don't check whether there are children around because my dog is no threat to them (I always clean up after her). For what reason should I receive an on the spot fine?

From Martin F

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


What do you think the dogs are going to do?

When I had a dog he used to love running around with the other dogs. He was playing too!

From Eleanor Land

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

In answer to the question "what do you think these dogs are going to do", my grandson was chased around the park by a dog last year. His father was told by the dog owner that he should have more control over his 6 year old, when the dog was the one doing the chasing. This has resulted in my grandson being nervous of all dogs. I do not want dogs to be prevented from being off their leads, but when your dog behaves in a threatening manner to a child, it should be kept on a lead and dogs should not be wandering around the park without their owners.

From Annie W

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My elderly cat was attacked by a loose dog last weekend. Luckily, we had left the door open and consequently heard the barking and yowling from the street, and so I was able to rush out and scare the dog away.

The dog's owner - a short-haired, middle-aged woman in a bright green jacket witnessed the attack -was clearly unable or unwilling to control her dog and offered no apology. In fact, she couldn't get away quick enough.

My cat had four claws ripped from her front right paw (as a result of her defensive actions) and she was clearly traumatised for some days afterwards.

So - obviously - I'm furious, particularly regarding the appaling lack of control or concern from the owner. I would like to feel that my animals (and children) are safe within a relatively urban environment, and understand that the dog's owner was acting illegally.

"It's against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control: in a public place" (See Controlling your dog in public)

From Kez Armitage

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

I'm always wary of people who are convinced that their dogs are no threat. However well you think you know your dog, there is always the possibility that its behaviour will not conform to your expectations.

Last year, I was walking to the railway station along the canal towpath, when two unrestrained dogs came bounding along towards me. As they approached me, one growled and sank its teeth into my leg ripping the fairly substantial denim and puncturing my skin beneath. The reaction of the owner? "Well he's never done that before! I don't know what got into him!" Quite.

The puncture wound on my leg was at the height that some toddlers' heads would have been. I dread to think of the consequences had the dog sunk its teeth into the soft unprotected skin of a child's face. As it was, my only inconveniences were having to buy another pair of trousers, and visiting the Health Centre for a precautionary tetanus jab.

So, as your dog is bounding around, don't for one minute think you 'know' it. Quite simply, you don't. And if you think you do, then you're sadly deluded, and should be asking yourself if you're a fit and proper person be owning a dog in the first place.

From Andy T

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Dogs are not to be trusted when in public areas terrifyingly running amok. There are countless tales on the news concerning 'safe family pets' that savage family members.

Too be honest, anything that eats its own faeces should really be kept on a lead. Go on dog owners, let your dog lick your face.

From Sharon Gibson

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

In response to previous dog post - how can you possibly know that your dog isn't a threat to kids? it's an animal! Animals can be unpredictable. They can also frighten kids when they run up to them /chase them. Of course the owner will say, 'he's just being friendly' or 'he won't hurt you'

My kids are terrified of dogs because of the many incidents of them jumping up and generally being a pain. Does something happen to your brain when you acquire a dog that makes you lose all sense of reality?

My daughter had a dog jump up at her in the little train park last week and now won't go in there! It's a dog free zone but the owner said it was just him and his kids and dog so thought that was OK.??!!

And don't get me started on dog crap.

From Anne Dan

Saturday, 8 March 2014

I have resided in Hebden all my life, my neighbours own cats and dogs, I know that it's lovely to have animals around. They should be looked after though. It breaks my heart to see the range of dogs people insist on keeping. Maybe that's why there is so much unclaimed poo on the streets. I blame the owners, not the dogs. I visited some family members earlier this week. My Grandson keeps a dog; it is viscious.

From Alan F

Saturday, 8 March 2014

I am saddened and disheartened to see so may dogs running around the parks and streets of Hebden that are not on leads. The dog owners are totally irresponsible and unreasonable. I have a fear of dogs and to see one hurtling towards me on the street or in the park is very frightening.

It actually deteres me from walking ion the park. I am seriously considering writing to the Town Council and our MP to put an end to this terrible behaviour of the dog owners. People of Hebden, I urge you to please do the same. Thank you.

From Dorren C

Sunday, 9 March 2014

An interesting discussion I must say. However, the threat of a dog savaging an adult or child is a serious issue and my thoughts are that irresponsible dog owners who let their pets run amok without a lead should be fined on the spot. A 75 pound on the spot fine will deter them and if they don't pay a prison sentence of a minimum of 3 months. Wake up good people of Hebden Bridge before it's too late!

From Norman Yeowart

Sunday, 9 March 2014

In April 2011 there were approximately 10.5 million owned dogs in the UK and 39% of UK households own at least one dog. On any street therfore you are likely to find at least 1 in 3 households who own a dog. 60% of single people in the UK buy a pet for companionship – 39% of whom have replaced their partner with a pet. (Veterinary Journal *)

Of course there are rogue dogs, just like there are rogue human beings, but the vast majority of dogs are friendly and affectionate - otherwise people would not own them. The bond that develops between dogs and their owners can be incredible. It is obvious to me from this selection of posts, that these people have never experienced this wonderful bond of affection. I feel sorry for them.

There are thousands of examples of how dogs (and other pets) have helped and indeed saved the lives of human beings (witness guide dogs, mountain rescue, police dogs, bomb sniffer dogs etc, etc) Very few people write in to say how wonderful these are.

Instead they choose to foster dog hatred by focussing on the bad examples - which are usually a result of bad owners. Anyone reading these posts would believe that Hebden Bridge is the dog hating centre of the country.

It's to be noted however, that it's the unhappy moaners who are usually most vociferous on here. The ones who happy with their doggy friends are out there busy enjoying themselves with their pets.

* A paper published in the Veterinary Record) by Dr Jane Murray in the Department of Clinical Veterinary Science at Bristol University and colleagues.

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Norman, people raise reasonable concerns about loose dogs annoying human beings.

I had to sit in the park today listening to a couple talking to their dog as if it was human. Now that made me feel sad for them.

In fairness they did have their dog on a lead and it was a Yorkshire terrier not a devil dog.

I think most dog owners are responsible and clean up after their dog which as a parent I really appreciate.

But there is no excuse whatsoever to have your dog off the lead in a public space and especially one where children play/congregate.

Norman, you have absolutely no idea how your dog with limited brainpower will react when off the lead.

Most of the people who have dogs that savage children/people say they were 'soft' until they strike.

It is sheer laziness as if dog owners want to exercise their dogs they can either walk the dog on a lead in a public space or go somewhere quiet where the dog can run free with no chance of scaring human beings/children or worse.

It is bogus to raise the guide/bomb dog argument as they are highly trained dogs and it is worth pointing out a guide dog not a lead isn't much use.

I'm not anti-dog as none of this is their fault as they are just following their instincts.

BTW . . . isn't replacing your partner with a dog illegal?

From Gary W

Monday, 10 March 2014

Paul, it is not sad to talk to another creature. We are all animals, and we should all aspire to respect non-human intelligence. Whilst they may not understand the words, they almost definitely understand sentiment. Well my sweet beautiful bird Ken does anyway. The problem here is covered by the law, it just isn't implemented. In public spaces dogs must be 'under close control at all times, and must not cause fear alarm or distress' . As a former fell runner & cyclist I have been attacked umpteen times by uncontrolled dogs.

From Kez Armitage

Monday, 10 March 2014

I think Norman Yeowart has completely missed the point.

I love dogs. They're great fun to be with. They can show affection, loyalty and unconditional love and trust. Quite simply, there isn't an animal like them.

But (and yes, it's a fairly hefty 'but') dogs are domesticated wolves. They are pack animals evolved to kill their prey. Sometimes something triggers those basic instincts. I can't say what that is - perhaps it's romping round with other dogs in the presence of something that potentially could be prey that sparks the pack running/hunting/killing instinct. However friendly and docile your dog is, you can never 100% guarantee that this behaviour won't, at some point, emerge. I had first hand experience of this, but have not suffered lasting harm. Others have been severely injured, or even lost their lives. And it's not just Pit Bulls, and other banned breeds.

What I find most disturbing is the attitude of most dog owners that their dogs are well behaved, and that it's the irresponsible minority of owners who are responsible for all this furore. It's always someone else's fault. Everybody's own dog is, it seems, fine, until it happens to attack somebody. "He's never done that before!" is the shocked response of the owner. I'm afraid that really wouldn't go down well as an excuse in a Coroner's court.

So what am I trying to say? Well, quite simply, why weigh a doubt against a certainty? If you're in a public place where there are other people present, keep your dog on a lead, or at the very least, under strict and close control. If you don't buy that suggestion, the consequences for you could be dire. Not only might your dog be put down, and you face a hefty fine, a criminal record, and even imprisonment, but could you seriously come to terms with being responsible for maiming or killing a child?

From Allen Keep

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

I suspect there are more humans than dogs around in this town that I wouldn't let my children be near and the dogs are probably a lot more predictable, but anyway, I wonder where Paul thinks you can take a dog and not come into contact with humans or even worse - as he puts it - children (a Freudian slip perhaps?). Whether one thinks it reasonable or not to have a dog off the lead in a park, for instance, is a matter of opinion generally (which will inevitably be divided) and judgement specifically - which happily most dog owners, like myself, use and use well. It certainly isn't illegal.

A beach is a public place but we often see owners chucking balls around for their dogs and kids alike without too much of a problem that I have witnessed and without adults nervously shepherding their children and making human shields in case a passing springer spaniel should actually remember that it's really a wolf and decide to graze on the nearest sandcastle-making toddler.

Interesting how much more nervous we are in an urban environment and while I don't want anyone to be scared of my dogs, even if they have no reason to be, I do sense that part of the homogenisation of society and the deadening of how we respond to the natural world (particularly amongst our young) leads to a level of mistrust and misplaced fear of dogs (amongst many other things) who are, after all, domesticated pets - albeit real ones and not from a computer game. I sometimes see children recoil from animals in much the same way they do from greens or orange juice with bits in - when I suspect the problem sometimes is that they haven't tried either (or maybe they have ingested the neuroses of their parents).

I do take exception to Paul's entirely misplaced sympathy for people who talk to their dogs - they are not sad at all, how patronising. People care about their dogs and have a bonded relationship with them - one that is reciprocated. Not much point having a dog if you don't talk to it. I'm sure Paul's new friends (nice people obviously, with only a small dog from Yorkshire and on a lead too) are perfectly - and happily - aware that their dog is in fact not a human. Unless he thinks they're thick?

From Andrew B

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A lot of beaches don't allow dogs to be walked on them from Spring to Autumn, for obvious reasons.

It seems a sensible solution is the assumption that in towns dogs are on a lead except in designated places (like arts of the park). That way everyone is kept happy. I wonder if the council has any interest in this solution?

From Norman Yeowart

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Personally I woudn't exercise my dogs in Calder Holmes Park. Too many noisy kids and dog fearing adults for my liking. Dogs are built to run - they need to be off the lead to race around to get exercise - otherwise they become neurotic and unhealthy (and incidentally dogs are allowed off lead in most parts CHP). There is nothing worse than a dog confined - chained all day long, devoid of human affection - as I've seen several examples in my walks around this valley.

Dogs in the main love nothing better than to give and receive affection from their owners, and in my experience are friendly to most strangers, and other dogs, who don't approach them with fear or aggression. Parents who teach their children to be afraid of dogs are not helping them at all - dogs sense fear and can react to it. I've had many instances of parents stepping into the road with their kids rather than pass near my dog - who is the friendliest most affectionate little dog you could wish to meet.

However, it's almost impossible - as Allen points out - to find places where dogs do not come into contact with humans. The hills around Hebden are as good as you will find - the steeper and more arduous the walk the fewer people who venture up there, and the ones who do are likely to be the rugged outdoor types - not the fearful over protective parents who appear to frequent the local park.

And yes Kez - dogs are domesticated wolves. Humans are domesticated apes. There are millions of years of symbiotic Darwinian evolution in both cases - which makes the typical domestic pet as much like a wolf as my lovely mother-in-law is to a gorilla.

From Dave J

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

I have lived in Hebden 15 years or so now and have spent hours walking the streets, parks, canal paths, hills, woods and the like with, and without my (now ancient) dog who is let off the lead in suitable places which includes CHP.

In all this time I have never once felt threatened, nor seen anyone else (child or otherwise) worried or intimidated or lunged at by some ravaging wolf as suggested by the anti-dog brigade.

I have been stopped countless times by parents asking if their little Johnny or Jemima can pet "the cute dog" to which the answer is almost universally yes, only for my poor pooch to sometimes endure having her eyes poked, tail pulled etc. Still, we all have to get along, share space and I think it's important that kids are taught how to interact with dogs.

I recall that part of the recentish review undertaken by Calderdale Council allowed dogs in the park, partially so that those with disabilities could have access to a place where they could exercise dogs off a leash. Perhaps those who wish to ban dogs from the park could suggest alternative accessible places for the less mobile to reach and let Rover have a run about.

Like Norman, I no longer exercise my dog in the park but in my case it's because there is a fair chance she could cut her paws on broken glass that gets left behind by the selfish people who can't be bothered to shift their rubbish after they've spent a summer afternoon on the booze. Still, that's a separate topic in itself.

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Alan, I have no idea if the people talking loudly in a sing song, child-like voice to a dog who was more interested in sniffing other dog's bums or where it could making a stinky deposit they may or may not pick up are thick. Just seems odd to me and I'm not sure they realised it wasn't a dog not a child.

It is arrogant to assume that because people move their children away from a dog on the loose there isn't a reason. Some people are scared of dogs and some have had unpleasant experiences....the owner might be 50 yards away totally incapable of controlling that dog.

I asked a dog lover I know what she thought and she says she hates it when a dog jumps up on her uninvited,

The comparison to being afraid vegetables and fruit is strange. It wasn't an orange that scalped a young woman this week or an aubergine that broke the arm trying to stop a dog out of control.

I applaud Dave J's generosity in sharing his pooch with people who make a choice to pet his dog. Big difference from dogs lumbering up to you uninvited.

But it does make me angry that irresponsible drinkers leave glass lying around.

I am not anti-dog or indeed anti the vast majority of responsible owners in this town. But I do not have to endure dogs running up to me. I am not scared of them but if I wanted to have that happen I'd buy a dog.

From Norman Yeowart

Friday, 14 March 2014

All my family members and my next door neighbours - and all the people we know who have dogs - talk to them. Dogs are part of the family. When they pass away, after their all too short life, we will grieve for them as for any other family member. It saddens me that people who do not own a dog and sound off on here about them, display such little knowledge of these extraordinary creatures.

A dog interprets the world predominantly by smell, and it's not just an interest in other dog's bottoms. When dogs smell something they are not just registering a smell, they get an entire story. The part of the dog's brain that controls smell is 40 times larger than in humans. A dog's sense of smell can be upto 10 million times more sensitive than a human. A dog has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million scent glands compared with a human's 5 million. This means when your dog smells another dog , they are actually reading a story, not just smelling an interesting scent - and certainly not just the other dog's backside.

They can smell pheromone, which is found in urine and fecal matter, but also on the skin and fur. From this they can tell a lot about another dog (or human) - whether they are male or female, what they ate, where they have been, what they have touched, if they are ready to mate, and what mood they are in. They have even been known to smell cancer on people, alerting them to it and saving their lives.

So please, next time you see a dog sniffing another dog or lamppost - don't just assume it is a dirty animal. It is collecting information from it's environment on a scale which humans can scarcely imagine.

Explain this to children and educate them - rather than teaching them to fear dogs - which can only lead to hatred and cruelty to these most trusting of animals

From Graham Barker

Friday, 14 March 2014

Dogs seem to be in a no-win situation on this thread. The more they run around happily and sociably, the less likely they are to be aggressive - but they're seen as out of control and potentially dangerous. The more restrained and unsocialised they are, the more likely they are to be aggressive - but that's OK because they're 'under control'.

I used to dislike dogs for many of the reasons given here, until I ended up owning one and realised how little I'd understood them. As Norman implies, dogs do everything for a reason - often to please or protect their owner - and it isn't too difficult to learn what those reasons are and make allowances for them.

Dogs have lived and worked alongside humans for centuries. It therefore seems perverse that while we want our children to respect, understand and protect animals, we teach them very little about the animal that interacts most closely with us.

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 16 March 2014

I must admit I didn't realise that when dogs are sniffing each other's bums they are passing on a complex narrative of eating, pooing, running aimlessly and sniffing lampposts. Or maybe they are merely mulling over the Higgs boson and passing on their ideas.

I did own a dog as a child and when it died I was sad, but not grief stricken as when my grandmother died.

Can we get back on track here. There are countless examples of where dogs of all varieties have turned on humans - some with tragic consequences. All the owners in these cases say the dog was docile until it turned which suggest no-one can predict when they might turn.

I don't think we are teaching our children to fear dogs but to be careful around them if they bound up uninvited in a public space.

From Beryl M

Monday, 17 March 2014

I do sympathise with those who are worried about their children's safety on the park. My dog is still a puppy so I only let him off the lead in the park when he is playing with his doggy friends or there are no children around. It really is important for dogs to be able to socialise so I hope that the Council doesn't make the park a no-go zone for dogs. Not every dog who uses the park is "just" a pet - remember there are medical assistance dogs who also deserve a bit of play time.

My puppy hasn't hurt anyone, although he has been hurt by humans - once by a man who just kicked him for no reason when he was on the lead, on the grounds that "I hate f***ing dogs", and twice by children. One jumped on his tail as he was sitting waiting to cross the road, and another threw those "throw down" explosive caps at him and his doggy pal as they were walking down Bridgegate. Both children had adults with them. Neither adult apologised or reprimanded the child. Luckily the puppy didn't retaliate in any of the cases. This hasn't led me to distrust all children or adults. By all means, call for on the spot fines for irresponsible dog owners, but can we also have on the spot fines for irresponsible and cruel adults?

Many of the dog owners I know will be completely avoiding the park in the summer. Last year there was broken glass and rubbish strewn across it every morning. We even found knotted condoms (water balloons we hope), plus a hypodermic syringe with a needle and a small envelope of white powder, which were disposed of safely. The cleaners do a great job but they can't find every bit of broken glass which is embedded in the grass. Then there were the people who set fire to all the rubbish bins and kept my neighbours up until 4am with their noise. I should point out that not all the poo you find in the shrubbery is canine - some of it is human (the production of this was witnessed by myself and a tourist on the tow path). If anyone does write to the Council complaining about the dogs, can they also complain about the behaviour of other humans? The park is the gateway to Hebden Bridge for a lot of our visitors and last year I was ashamed to live here.

From Meg Rumbell

Monday, 17 March 2014

For many years I was a volunteer with the RSPCA and have read this thread with some little interest.

I saw examples of ill treatment of animals on a daily basis - not just ill treatment, but barbaric mindless cruelty. For anyone with a strong stomach I would refer you to the following link.

The RSPCA gets vastly more cases of human attacks on dogs than the reverse. Dogs in the main are biddable and wish only to please their owners which makes them easy targets for the people who get pleasure from inflicting suffering on animals.

The sad people who complain about dogs off lead and dogs jumping up at them should spend a few days with the RSPCA and see the cases they have to deal with. Humans are far more capable of savagery than dogs - not just savagery but systematic prolonged abuse, as many of the above examples will illustrate.

From Andy M

Monday, 17 March 2014

But Meg - it's not the animals that people are really (rightly) complaining about; it's the attitude and lack of empathy of some owners. It's awful that people are cruel to animals but it's also exasperating that some are thoughtless when it comes to other people.

PS I'm a dog owner!

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

I am getting tired of the guilt tripping from certain (not all) dog owners.

What is sad is mixing up the abuse of animals with the common courtesy of controlling your animal

No-one in their right mind would excuse the abuse of animals either through the torture porn that has been shared or children throwing bangers at dogs. It is disgusting beyond belief.

I am disgusted that parents who allow their children to upset dogs haven't the common decency to get their children to apologise.

Equally we have already had an incident reported where a dog owner allowed their animal to attack a cat when off the lead and ran off with any apology.

Some people just don't have any idea of right and wrong. I am merely asking dog owners who do to control their animals when in public places. Simple.

From Allen Keep

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Paul Clarke brings the conversation "back on track" by continuing his rather unkind disparaging of dogs and their owners which appears to be perpetuating an interesting if not entirely helpful polarity between dog lovers and those not so keen.

Providing us with the somewhat unsurprising news that he preferred his grandmother to his dog doesn't really take us any further but more concerning is Paul's claim - made with no evidence whatsoever - that in "all" (not some) of the "countless" cases of dogs "turning" on humans the owners claimed the dog was previously docile. This "fact" then apparently proves that dogs are completely unpredictable -it's only a matter of when not if - a view that then renders all dog owners lazy and irresponsible, as Paul would have it, if they don't leash their dogs everywhere.

Of course one of the problems about understanding dog related incidents is that we actually don't know that much about them - there is no national data base for instance to record incidents and the features of them(including how dog owners explain them). Most of us gain our impressions of dog attacks from the media. Might I suggest that there is a degree and sensationalism in reporting such incidents? Paul for instance, refers to a "scalping" by a dog which sounds horrific (but unlikely) to me and I am confident that underneath the scary headlines different stories actually emerge on occasion.

I don't want to throw the baby (or the puppy) out with the bath water however - and there is no doubt there is a problem.

I am a dog lover and would want my pets to be treated,as all animals should, with understanding and respect. As a dog owner I am fed up being tarred with a very broad brush by crude and unsubstantiated opinions masquerading as facts. But I am also a parent who wants my and everyone else's children to be safe - especially as what we do know is that children, particularly those under 10, are far more likely to be victims of dog attacks than any other group. The evidence? -recently reported hospitalisation figures.

In the spirit of getting back on track it might be helpful to reflect on some of the statistics we can access. There have been 17 dog related deaths since 2008 in Britain. 6000 people were seen (no figures on admittance as far as I am aware) in hospital for dog bites last year (accounting for 71% of all such visits for animal bites). Perhaps someone can help but I don't know of any British figures for location and context of dog bites but I understand that American research suggests that 80% of dog biting incidents occur in owner's own properties with 75% of the animals concerned being known to the victim. All of which is open to interpretation but is, at least, factual.

My own view, which I hope won't be seen as "arrogant", is that we should avoid crude generalisations. I am sure it is not the case for instance that all dogs untethered are a threat at all times (actually the US studies revealed a very high percentage of dog bites made by animals tied up at the time). Nor is it the case that all dog owners are responsible or take care to control their dogs around other people - far from it.

But what is to be done? I wonder how appropriate, proportionate and effective it would be to oblige all dog owners at all times in all public spaces to have their dogs on a lead as a measure to stop these incidents -is that what Paul and others are advocating? Should we perhaps ban dogs from public spaces altogether on the basis that some people are scared (whether founded or not) of them?

One thing I do agree with Paul about and hope is something we can all do is educate and guide children and young people about dogs. My own view is that this should encompass encouraging children's respect and understanding of animals and the natural world in general and connecting them to it where we can (not going to mention fruit or veg!).

Whether others agree with that or not is fine but I think we all have a responsibility to teach our children to be safe in the face of all dangers. Specifically, there are a number of behaviours and responses to dogs we can discuss and teach our kids (and some great, child friendly advice out there on that) when they want to play with or stroke dogs, or if they are scared or feel threatened by them that, in my view, would seriously reduce those visits to hospital and make dogs and their owners happier too.

From Gary W

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

I have been attacked 4 times by dogs and i have been charged at, fangs bearing, by aggressive dogs on dozens of occasions. How would a dog owner like it if I charged at them as if to attack them, with my fists clenched? I was told by one dog owner that her dog was only behaving like this because the dog was scared!

I have also had dozens of dogs run up to me uninvited and jump up onto me, causing me alarm distress and leaving me muddy clothed. This is even more of a problem now as due to a health condition. It causes me serious pain to be jumped up at.

Dogs should be kept on a lead in public spaces if they are unable to be kept under close control at all times.

Muzzles should be used if the is dog is a risk to humans or other dogs /animals.

It is impossible to tell if a dog you have never met before might bite /attack, and it's often this that causes fear. Especially for young children. Remember, to a 4 year old, a big dog will look like the equivalent of a 10 foot, man-eating devil dog to an adult.

From Norman Yeowart

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Very strange. I've walked dogs all over the country over 30 years or so and met dogs of every shape and size. Never been attacked by a dog or had one bare it's fangs at me.

But of course I like dogs. Probably not a coincidence. Dogs can tell who their friends are.

From Helen Taylor

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

I would like to add my experiences with dogs on and off leads.

I have never been attacked or bitten by a dog. I've never been chased by a dog. I have on one single occasion been jumped up at by a dog bearing its teeth (in my teens). I don't recall ever being run up to by a strange dog and jumped on and having my clothes soiled (a few dogs I've known have done that).

I supply the following details to demonstrate that I have had what could be regarded as average or reasonable exposure to opportunities for difficult encounters with dogs: I am in my forties, a dog owner (and hence a regular walker in all kinds of places - admittedly not a mountain biker or jogger, who I know can have problems with dogs chasing them). I have lived in a number of places including for many years in the Moss Side area of Manchester.

The reports of multiple attacks and pursuits etc experienced by others I find extremely surprising given my experience and that of everyone else I know. I don't mean to imply that there aren't people who have had exceptional bad luck in their encounters with dogs. I do want to say that I believe that people who have had such bad luck are the tiny exception to what most people find their experiences to be with the dogs in our society.

From Tim M

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Its the dog that's frightened' - ha! How many times is that used to 'apologise' for being confronted with a barking, fangs out beast in the park - more times than i can remember.

Sometimes it's the baby in the carrier that is at fault. Once it was my umbrella. I'm sorry dog owners, yes some dogs off leads are well behaved, unthreatening creatures but not the majority. Further issues include (on our street - Eaves) dogs left to roam ownerless like cats, owners ignoring the ban from the childrens' playground - even walking the dog up the slide while our children are on (perhaps to prove a point?) as well as a regular supply of dog mess like it's the 1980s again.

Personally, I think one issue is that there are far too many dogs. Seriously, if you can't look after them (and control them) get a different pet.

From Meg Rumbell

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

To be bitten once by a dog could be an accident, twice - unfortunate, three times very careless and four times ... well ... supply your own description.

And continually being "confronted by a barking fangs out beast in the park more times than I care to remember". Sounds like a Hitchcock movie. Other contributors on here don't seem to have experienced such demented beasts in the park.

I'm surprised anyone so unfortunate dares to leave the house. If you are regarded as a ready meal by dogs - surely the sensible thing to do is to avoid them - not invite them to more tasty snacks by walking in the park "more times than I care to remember"

And a dog attacking an umbrella - was it being shaken/poked at the dog it at the time ?

I heard one story of a man trying to claim compensation for being bitten multiple times by dogs - it turned put he was in the habit of running away from police dogs!

From Gary W

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

All but 1 of the attacks happened whilst fell running or mountain biking (this discussion reaches far wider than dogs in the park). Check out the back pages of the HB Times, our local fell runners are some of the very best in the country. Running & biking are both very popular pursuits around here! We live in a stunning area that is perfect for these healthy pastimes. It is often impossible or not practical to stop still as a runner or cyclist every time you come across an off the lead dog. None of the attacks were my fault!!!

I can assure you that i love dogs. We have a beautiful dog that is part of my current family! I have even slept with one (a beautiful long haired chihuahua named named Miami) at a friends house & felt delighted & honored that the cute honey faced hound wanted to bed down with me, even though I'm generally against sharing beds with them.

From Felicia J

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Really, what kind of narrow minded unsympathetic arrogant attitude do some doggy owners have on this thread? It's quite shocking, confirms my opinions of dog owners, some are good but many are selfish and blinkered about their animals' behaviour.

So the poor person who has been bitten should remove himself from society and stay at home so they can indulge in giving free rein to their spoilt animals?

It's strange how it always seems to be the person who's been bitten/ bothered who is at fault isn't it when in fact they are just trying to quietly go about their daily business without being harrassed?

Listen people, not everyone wants to know or have anything to do with your pets. That doesn't make them wrong and you right

Contrary to opinions expressed on this thread most people I know have had problems like this with dogs being off lead , and BTW I have been a dog owner myself.

From Sarah M

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Is anyone else concerned about the man who takes a rottweiler and another massive dog for a walk along the cycle path to Mytholmroyd? Neither are on leads and the last time I saw him he was cycling off in front of them and leaving them to bound about on their own.

He had no control over them and wasn't keeping any kind of eye of them. Many people find these dogs intimidating - they should be kept under control on a lead. I'm having to avoid that walk now for fear of seeing them unleashed again - I saw them three times in a week.

From Alex Rudkin

Saturday, 24 May 2014

I saw him today and he stopped for a quick chat while my dog greeted his two dogs. The dogs are friendly but not intrusive, do not run up to strangers and jump all over you. He was a very pleasant gentleman, nice to talk to. Very surprised about your comment.

He was cycling slowly unlike others who use this cycle path (it is part of Route 66 Cycle Network). There is a lower route along the canal and higher route recently renovated by CROWS, so you can avoid him by not walking along the cycle path.

From David Kennedy

Saturday, 24 May 2014

I was beyond furious the other week. Me and my partner, who is seriously ill with advanced cancer were walking down the footpath next to the canal just before the horse sculpture bench and this pit bull ran towards my partner and jumped up at him. I told the women whose dog it was to get her dog off my partner as he had cancer and shocks can exasperate his illness all the more.

She got up almost as if it was a bother to her, took her dog and sat back on the bench continuing her conversation. No apologies, just continued as if nothing had happened. I love dogs, I've had dogs in the past but they should be on a lead at all times. Why should people who have nothing to do with someone else's dog have to bear the consequences of a stranger's dog being off a lead. It is an act of pure indulgent and thoughtless selfishness on their part and they have no right to do it.

Dogs should be on a lead in a public place full stop. If not, the owners should be fined. Where they take them for a walk, I couldn't care less, it's not my problem. My problem is when incidents happen to innocent people and to me it's a violation and an attack against them and that is wrong.

From Michael McGarry

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sarah M - just read your comment about my dogs of a lead while riding a bike. Both my dogs are very friendly and would never hurt or become aggressive to anyone. I feel that the media has a lot to blame for someone thinking every Rottweiler is the same. Just because one is on the news doesn't mean everyone of the breed is the same. (It's how you bring them up) and the massive other dog is a chow chow (only 9 months old and no where near the term massive, a lot smaller than the Rottweiler) would just like to say a thank you to Alex Rudkin who clearly has seen us and has seen how friendly my dogs are.

From James C

Monday, 26 May 2014

1. Overview

It's against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, eg:

1.1 in a public place
1.2 in a private place (eg a neighbour's house or garden)
1.3 in the owner's home

The law applies to all dogs.

Some types of dogs are banned.

2. Out of control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

2.1 injures someone
2.2 makes someone worried that it might injure them

A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if:

2.3 it injures someone's animal
2.4 the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

Point 2.2 is key as it is in the perception of the victim. All it may take is for someone with a fear of dogs to encounter a dog off the lead and yes, there may be a genuine fear that it might injure them.

As a matter of basic courtesy to other people it is only polite to keep dogs on leads in public places.

From Meg Rumbell

Friday, 30 May 2014

"Point 2.2 is key as it is in the perception of the victim. All it may take is for someone with a fear of dogs to encounter a dog off the lead and yes, there may be a genuine fear that it might injure them."

This comment is a gross simplification of the situation.

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act the dog has to be "dangerously out of control" before there can be "reasonable apprehension" of injury.

There is nothing in the Act about it being an offence if someone is simply scared of a dog - on or off the lead. Just because a dog is off the lead does not mean it is "dangerously out of control" which is a necessary condition for the "reasonable apprehension" situation to apply. This would have to be proven, and would be difficult if the dog was not obviously dangerous ie your average domestic pet.

It would be strange legislation indeed if an owner could be convicted because someone has a morbid fear of dogs. Cyanophobics in our midst, who are likely to be frightened of any dog, even a puppy in a box, would have a field day if this legislation was enacted as implied above

From Larry Kin

Friday, 30 May 2014

I have two large dogs bred for their muscular appearance. Were there not a market for these dogs they may well not exist naturally - but I paid a good amount of cash for these from a breeder who will, thanks to me, have the funds to go and breed some more of these beautiful, powerful animals.

I like to walk my two babies in the park. They strain at the leash so I let them off so they can run free. They are large and strong so need plenty of exercise. Though they are of a breed that has been much maligned in the media for attacking people my cuties have never hurt anyone. (They might jump up with their excrement covered paws and lick your face with a tongue which has recently pulled rotten meat out from their saliva dripping teeth - but they would never hurt you!)

The other day a parent with two toddlers came up to me and had the temerity to try to tell me off for letting my dogs enjoying their given right to run around the park unencumbered. They claimed that because my dogs were larger than their children that my two softies might frighten them when they bounded, slaveringly and in an apparently unrelenting manner towards them! They claimed that as parents they had no evidence that my two best friends had been sufficiently well trained to not attack a child that accidentally trod on a tail or fell against a nose or playfully patted them and so the rational approach for them as parents was to keep them away from a potentially life threatening danger! They then claimed that the pleasure I and my dogs took from their being able to run around the park was significantly outweighed by the reduction in pleasure that the myriad children and parents experienced as a result!


From James C

Friday, 30 May 2014

"A gross simplification of the situation"? No, just stating the facts.

Guidance on "Controlling your Dog" can be read here.

As described, you can report a dog (and its 'responsible' owner) if you are worried that it might injure you.

There's also Calderdale's guidance here, which mentions dogs behaving badly or causing a nuisance.

The words 'worry' and 'nuisance' are personal perceptions and unlikely to be shared by those in disagreement.

However, what surely can be shared, is that dogs on leads are far less risk to all parties concerned.

From Paul Clarke

Friday, 30 May 2014

All the various dogs killing /savaging human stories are by their nature different except for one thing - the comments by their owners.

in each and every case the owner trots out something along the lines of 'they were a big softy', they'd never a fly', 'they were one of the family' and so on.

The reality is those owners have no idea when and why dogs turn.

You many recognise this level of complacency from a mobile dog owner who can't see what his dogs are doing because they are behind him.

if there is one breed of dog that should always be on a lead at all times in public place - and under constant close supervision - it is a rottweiler. No doubt if that happens they are far less likely to turn but not in this case as they running loose.

Perhaps the old fashioned and responsible walking the dog rather than your bike might be a bit more civic minded.

I hope even Meg might recognise that a rottweiler running loose might represent something to be concerned about.

From Allen Keep

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Paul Clarke's assertion, which he has essentially made before, that "in each and every case" of dog "killing /savaging of humans" owners trot out the same line is quite incredible. What evidence does he have that this is the case? as far as I am aware there is no published research in this country, unlike the USA for instance, about the context of dog attacks on humans and what evidence there is, to my knowledge anyway, does not include what explanations owners gave for their animals behaviour. No doubt there are lots of accounts in the Daily Mail and the like but I don't recall Paul using sources like these in his attacks on whoever has annoyed him recently.

What his comments do . . . again . . . is slander dog owners . . . a tarring with the same unsubstantiated and stereotypical brush which as a responsible dog owner I find quite offensive. I would have thought someone with Paul's credentials would have avoided such prejudicial comments.

As for the view that dogs are inherently unpredictable, programmed to return to their wild ancestral behaviours at any point in time and for no apparent reason and therefore never to be trusted, always to be feared and in need of constant control and supervision - it's patent nonsense. Heard of evolution Paul? - one of the more progressive scientific theories of relatively modern times.

From Meg Rumbell

Sunday, 1 June 2014

I wouldn't get too exercised about Larry Kins post Paul. It struck me as quite a funny wind-up when I read it. The clue is also in the name. A "larrikin" has various meanings but the kindest ones are "a mischievous young person - an uncultivated, rowdy but good hearted person" or " a person who acts with apparent disregard for social or political conventions."

I suspect Larry Kin is rather more sophisticated than the post would indicate.

And yes James, you can report a dog if it only pees on a lampost - but even dogs have a right to burden of proof before they are convicted. The necessity of proof lies with the person who lays charges, or with the dog warden who might, or might not, follow up the complaint.

The law does not say that because someone is frightened by a dog that the owner will be convicted - which is what your comment inferred.


From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Like so many people in Hebden Allen seems obsessed with the Daily Mail as if this is the sole source of news. It is a something of a tired and cheap shot designed to paint anyone in town who dissents as a closet Tory.

My point is in newspaper report after newspaper report of awful tragedies when dogs attack humans - across a range of media - the same comments are made. Even the Lib Dem supporting Guardian - which I'm sure Allen thinks is reliable - report the same 'wouldn't hurt a fly' comments.

If your dog has savaged your child I'm not surprised you would say that. In fairness many of the dogs who do attack have been neglected, abused or badly trained which makes their owner's comments even sadder.

If Allen actually followed the debate he would see I have made it clear I think the majority of local dog owners are responsible so I'm not suggesting very many of them would let a big and - yes- scary dog like a rottweiler bound along without close supervision.

I'm glad Allen has noticed I'm not a creationist but despite centuries of evolution dogs are still simple creatures that are capable of attacking people unless supervised or - as is my preference - on a lead in shared spaces.

I could be offended by Allen's refusal to accept that dogs need to be controlled in public spaces but I'm merely bored by local dog owners refusal to understand we are not all dog lovers.

The irony of all this is I'm not even remotely afraid of dogs and there is nothing I respect more than those owners like Allen who pick up after their dogs and supervise them.

If any good comes out of this increasingly entrenched discussion it is that people will continue to at least supervise their dogs which I accept happens in the majority of cases.

From Lorcan O'Leary

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Can we please stop this thread? It has been going on far too long and taking up far too much space on Hebweb discussion forum. If you have a problem with dogs not being on leads please complain to your local councillor or MP instead of on here so that something may actually be done about it. I witnessed a dog off the lead in Calder park yesterday having a huge poo and the owner just walking up to it and patting it and walking off. What is the world coming to?

From Allen Keep

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Well, I've never been accused of being obsessed with the Daily Mail before nor as being an opponent of dissent (I like dissenters partly on the basis that they are, in fact, unlikely to be Tories-closet or otherwise-as a rule!!)

No matter, Paul's problem is he still fails, apart from vague references to reports from a range of newspapers, to substantiate his claim . . . let's have it right . . . of "each and every case" of dog attacks producing the same (irresponsible/complacent) response from their owners.

His statement remains, therefore, simply a prejudicial slur and precisely the sort of comment that has made this debate (which I have followed thank you) so entrenched - as I believe I suggested it would some moons ago. I'll wait (in vain, I suspect) for Paul's retraction.

Meanwhile I will apologise to Paul (perhaps on behalf of local dog owners whom he once again lumps together) for boring him. In return perhaps he could look through my posts and point out where I have "refused" to accept the need to control dogs in public spaces. That would be entirely irresponsible.

From Catie G

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Why Why Why do certain dog owners refuse to take home or dispose of the mess their dogs leave behind properly? Yet again bags full of dog mess left up Wood Top Road it is beyond believe that people have dogs take the dog or dogs for a walk then pick up the dog mess in a bag and leave the bag behind. Why bother picking it up in a bag?

Wouldn't it make more sense to leave it without a bag so at least then it has a chance to be washed away when it rains or even take a trowel pick it up off the road and throw it over the edge into the woods. No one walks in these woods on the lower side of the road so there is not much chance of it getting on peoples shoes. Just a message though for this particular dog owner or dog owners, if you can't be bothered to take the dog mess and dispose of it properly maybe you shouldn't have a dog.

From Paul Clarke

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Allen, my point with the Daily Mail is accusing people who might share some of your views of just taking our news from the Daily Mail is a tired and very, very lazy slur.

In relation to your retraction I would point you to your beloved Guardian who today reported the awful case of Liverpool who had his arms ripped off in a horrific dog attack. The owner described her dog as a 'loving family pet.'

So you won't be getting a retraction.

Catie, I am as mystified as you why would go through that disgusting ritual of picking up warm dog excrement in a thin plastic bag and then just dump the bag in the bushes when you've done the horrible bit. Are there any poop bins near by??

Mind you, although I might find picking up dog muck a bit odd but I am very grateful to the vast majority of local dog owners who do. Very much appreciated.

From Jon T

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

In case it hasn't been said already, if you have a camera phone take a photograph, noting place and time and if there is enough interest we could stick them online.

From Allen Keep

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The quote Paul refers to from the Guardian actually came from one of the defendant's solicitors and not, as far as we can see from the report, from the mouth of the defendant as a defence/excuse for the dog's behaviour - despite the theory that all culpable dog owners respond in irresponsible and complacent way to the behaviour of their animals.

Focusing on this particular quote glides over the question of why, as "a loving family pet", the dog had been treated so incredibly cruelly by the woman and her partner before the attack and whether this contributed to the dog's subsequent behaviour - but then this doesn't really fit with the notion that dogs just "turn" does it?

The report also referred to the terrible weight of guilt the owner felt and the subsequent mental health treatment she has needed. Not much sympathy from me I have to say, a life has been lost, but not the reaction perhaps we are led believe all dog owners display in such circumstances on each and every occasion such as this

I heard the victim's brother yesterday speak very movingly about there being no winners in the situation (including the owners of the dog and the dog itself) and how he had personally comforted the parents of the accused despite his own loss.

He then went on to argue, understandably, for the muzzling of all dogs in public places at all times. I don't agree with him - -my own view is that there certainly should be a degree of control of dogs in public spaces but that it needs to be proportionate and effective.

Others might approve of compulsory mass muzzling, which would be interesting to hear, but at least the poor chap has put forward a clear view on what he thinks should happen to stop dog attacks in future - which is more than has appeared in this thread - and he clearly has a much more sophisticated and empathetic understanding of dogs and humans than has often been expressed despite the tragedy that has befallen him.

From Meg Rumbell

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The dog was a Presa Canario - one of the dogs high on the dangerous breeds list (along with Pit Bulls, Rottweillers etc). This dog is banned in some countries but is still legal here unfortunately. These dogs should not be kept as domestic pets, and I've no doubt that legislation will sooner or later make this happen. The people who own such dogs very often own them for the wrong reasons - as macho appendages to bolster their own inadequate self image - and with little knowledge of how to train and look after them.

However, reference an earlier post - "American research suggests that 80% of dog biting incidents occur in owner's own properties with 75% of the animals concerned being known to the victim." This particular case was a dog on private property - it's own backyard, not chained in this instance, but owners were absent and the dog had not been fed or watered for two days. It went crazy, escaped and attacked the neighbour - who presumably knew the dog.

This is the classic scenario for serious dog attacks as outlined by the American data. Confined animals, particularly the dangerous breeds, whether starving or not, whether tethered or not, are likely to vent their anger and frustration when opportunity occurs.

But incidents of this particular extreme are indeed rare and should not be used as a stick to demonise all domestic pets. The average pet is light years different from these animals. Unfortunately these stories get headlines rather than the millions of interactions of humans with dogs which are totally friendly, beneficial and indeed health giving mentally and physically - both to the owner and dog.

As regards dogs on muzzles in public places, this would not stop this sort of incident. It would just penalise all dogs and their owners for the actions of a few. More sensible would be to ban these type of breeds as domestic pets. Only licensed owners using them for legitimate purposes should be exempt eg police dogs.

I would also ban dogs confined in, and used for, guarding premises - which is cruelty in my book. There are better ways nowadays of protecting property.

From Sarah M

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Micheal McGarry - I take it back. I have indeed just met your two dogs and they are both indeed very placid and lovely. I've changed my perception and meeting them has helped me with my fear of some breeds. Thank you for your understanding - I do agree that some breeds get a bad press. I try to tell myself my fear is the equivalent to assuming every bloke with muscles is going to come and thump me! Every 'big' dog is not necessarily going to attack me. Thanks again for being so lovely when I met you Michael!

From Jerry Fisher

Sunday, 27 July 2014

On a visit to Hebden Bridge yesterday I was appalled at the amount of dog poo around the place and had the misfortune to step in a huge pile of it just outside the square. I had walking boots on and it was a huge ordeal for me to clean them. Dogs owners of Hebden Bridge....please pick up the poo. It ruined what was otherwise a lovely day.

From Andy G

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sorry you had a bad experience with dog poo in Hebden this weekend, Jerry. There was a huge expanse of dog poo smeared across the cobbles on the old bridge last weekend. I suspect that a lot of the problem arises from visitors' dogs rather than those belonging to locals.

From Eleanor Land

Monday, 28 July 2014

A walk up Wood Top Road and Palace House Road would leave no-one in any doubt that locals are indeed responsible for much of the dog fouling around Hebden Bridge. The problems are even worse in the winter, when dog owners have the cover of darkness to get away without picking up their dogs poo, I very much doubt we can blame visitors for that.

Could contributors please remember the forum guidelines and please try to be courteous to other contributors - Ed.