Yeah, I know I'm too quiet sometimes. I mean, when I told my mum afterwards about the two staffies, she was glad I hadn't said anything as I was out on my own and she didn't want me to cause trouble for myself. My area is sort of reknowned for violence :/ recently an 11 year old girl was nearly abducted by an older man, but she had the good sense to walk quickly away. There've been numerous things like that, so I'm grateful my mum lets me walk there at all, and I don't want her to be pushed into not allowing me to do so (I may be 18, but an attack is an attack, rape is rape, whatever age you are, and she has to be careful)
The trouble is, the common is literally a GODSEND for us, it is one of the few spaces that is big enough that Monty can safely go off lead in deserted areas. I didn't let him off yesterday as there were a few people dotted around having barbecues (or Monty Grab n' Runs, as he likes to think of them
) but Woody has fantastic recall so he was fine. Yesterday, to avoid any problems like with the staffies, I took some cheese with me. And I was very successful in being able to get Woody away STRAIGHT AWAY from this dog who was growling and about to turn on him, before anything happened.
It's only going in and out of the common that I get the issues, so I'm going to stop letting Monts and Woods say hello to dogs at all when they're on the lead from now on. It's a shame, because it isn't really my fault, and most dogs they meet are really lovely, but it's sort of necessary to avoid the idiots.
My little dog attack rate may sound high, but you have to realise, that's actually quite a small number in comparison to the amount of dogs they meet every day, which is a lot because the park is so popular with dog owners. So the percentage of unfriendly dogs (or bad owners) is quite small.
Emma, in Camden Market in London, it was ok to take your dogs until a couple of years ago when we had Monty. He was young then, and we decided to take him to the market with us (because he loves meeting people and in situations like that, hustly-bustly, he's really well behaved) and after about an hour of us being in there a guy came up and told us that because someone was recently attacked, there was a new rule that if your dog was small enough to carry, it could be inside, otherwise dogs aren't allowed. So I promptly picked Monty up and the guard laughed. I don't know what breed it was that attacked the girl involved, but I think if you're going to ban dogs....ban them! There should be no grey area that segregates owners of big dogs from those of small ones. There's already often a rift between big and small dog owners, as you described in your scenario, Emma, and it doesn't need to get any bigger :/