I realize most dog owners follow the rules and have obedient pets that they keep on a leash. I run by 100s every week with no issues. But what do you do when you run across these other dog people who ignore the rules and get mad when you ask that they follow them? I walk away when I can, but when people's safety is in question I feel the need to speak. The response is almost always angry and irrational. I know that the owner is the problem, not the dog. Has anyone found a way to have a calm conversation with these type of people? A few real life examples below (over the past few years).
Off leash Dog comes running after me when I run by. I stop, walk slowly toward the owner to allow them to get the dog under control. Owner says "It's OK, he's friendly." City law requires dogs on leash, friendly or not.
The neighborhood Elementary school is open for people to use the field and playground outside school hours. Kids and I were leaving from the playground and a guy with dog off leash (against city law) walks in and dog starts barking at the kids. Guy says "He doesn't like kids". I get between dog and kids and we leave. Does it occur to this guy that taking a dog that doesn't like kids to a kids playground without a leash is a bad idea?
Same school: Lady puts dog on kids eating tables and proceeds to brush it. Dogs nasty bottom is on table top where kids eat. It is highly unlikely that these tables are cleaned before kids have lunch or snacks there.
In a store. Dog starts barking and bearing teeth at my kids. Owner says "It's OK, he won't bite". No attempt to discipline the dog.
At community pool, guy has dog in pool area and is drinking glass beers. Both are against the rules. Then he starts to play fetch with the dog jumping in the pool. I say "Sir, can you please keep the dog out of the pool?". Angry response follows including threats of violence and profanity in front of my kids and many others. Others back me up and this makes him madder.
Running down a dirt single track beside the bike path a guy with his dog was coming toward me. As they got close, I stepped to the side to let him go by. He put out his arm to block my way and told me he had the right of way because he had a dog and that I had to go around him to the other side of the path. I said "I stepped to the side to let you go by, there is no problem here." This sets him off somehow and he starts yelling and swearing at me and demanding that I go around him but he is blocking my way. When he drops his arm and I quickly sidestep him and keep running as he yells obscenities at me.
Many now get "service dog" vests and faux certificates to attempt to legitimize bringing their dog anywhere. Gives real service dogs a bad reputation and causes businesses to turn away legitimate ones and therefore their disabled owner.