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Before the pandemic started I would take my dog to go play at the dog park and when I go there, I would see a man with his dog sometimes and he would throw a ball for his dog.

the problem is that his dog wouldn’t give up the ball and would keep it in their mouth so the owner would hold the dog up by the collar until the dog let go. (I don’t remember if the dog’s legs were off the ground.

i felt myself boiling and uncomfortable but had no confidence to talk to the person about it. I can’t change what already happened but I can’t report the person as I have no details on them (such as their name).

what is the best way to go about this? Talk to the owner about it? Report them instead? Film them doing it?
Thanks
 

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This is a difficult issue that is a problem for the treatment of not just dogs, but children and even adults as well. At what point as a bystander do you step in? Each situation is different, but in all cases I think the most important thing you can do is to communicate that you, a stranger, have noticed their actions. Whether it's serious enough to involve the authorities depends on the situation.

Being angry/confrontational is probably not going to help, and may have the opposite effect in the long term. It's amazing how defensive people can be about how they raise/train their dogs (same applies to parenting as well).

Ideally, I think a concerned approach would work the best, something like "I see your dog really wants to hold onto that ball, but I'm worried that's hurting him/her". You could offer advice from your own perspective, like mentioning you knew of a dog that loved to play fetch but the only way to get it to drop the ball was to bring two balls and trade each time.

Good luck. I think in these cases it's always better to say something than say nothing, but it takes courage to do so!
 

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I don't know if there are rules on this, but I would probably in a friendly way say something like, 'hey can I swap him a treat for the ball? to the man and 'You don't wanna give it to your dad, without a good reason to do you?' and then say to man something like 'boy you don't want to start that battle, my dog will usually swap it off for a treat, and after a few weeks of swapping he is wonderful at releasing a ball.. your dog is so handsome, where'd you get him?'... in other words, 'you are so smart to get a handsome dog you complete idiot' running in my brain. But people do get offended and it might cost the dog more later..
 

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A touchy deal this is, as you never know how people will react. I like what Prism Goldens (above) recommends. Ask if you can help the dog learn by giving the dog a treat for the ball! Just be darn sure to have a 'great' treat, like cooked liver piece or chicken. Good Luck
 

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I once saw a mother slap her 3ish year old daughter hard around the face, whilst the kid was sitting in a shopping trolley, going into the local supermarket. I didn't say anything. I feel shame about not speaking up and challenging or reprting her to this day.
I also ended up in a physical tussle with a man who didn't stop at a zebra crossing when I was on it (to whom I confess I then gave a rude hand gesture), whilst I was carrying my 3 year old daughter. He got out of his car and chest barged me with my child in my arms. I put my daughter down, and my pensioner dad (who was with us) had to get between me and the man and separate us, before he got back in his car - with his wife - and drove off. It wasn't fun.
It's really difficult to know what to do, and what will happen if you intervene.
I decided that the best thing to do is not to get involved unless there is an immediate risk to a life, always do get involved if there is - but if it's blurry, ALWAYS report it to the relevant authorities. If he's a serial offender, the police will already likely know about him. Your report will add detail and context.
 

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I guess I would want to know a lot more about the owner's personality and demeanor. I've known a lot of smart, caring people who loved their dog who have chosen to listen to bad advice about how to train their dog or how to "dominate/alpha" their dog into doing what they're told to do. It could be that he's tried all the standard things and found that lifting the dog as you describe is the only thing that has worked for him. If you have the impression this is someone who has a "don't tell me what to do with my own dog" kind of person, then you would need to tread lightly. But if he seems somewhat approachable, you might want to strike up a conversation along the lines of "Wow. Your dog REALLY doesn't want to give up that ball, does he? What other things have you tried?" Then offer a few suggestions if he hasn't already claimed to try them. If he claims to have tried all the things you suggest, maybe say something like "I belong to a Golden Retriever forum and I know lots of members have had similar issues with their dog. Would you like me to post to see if someone can suggest something else that has worked for them? I'm sure playing ball would be a lot more fun for both of you if you can figure out how to get your dog to give up the ball of his own free will! [laugh]"
 

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In the past two days or so, I've seen the effects of taking video of the abuse and reporting it (or asking facebook for help identifying the person). The woman in Central Park and a woman here in Toronto - both were abusing their dogs, both were identified on social media, and in both cases, the dog was surrendered to a rescue. So that's how I might proceed - except that even as I say that, I have a really, really hard time seeing anyone mistreating a dog. I have left parks where people were (I forget the term) holding their dogs down on the ground to show them who's boss (it is power rolling?). It makes me physically ill to see, so I'm not sure how much I could just stand and take video on my phone without trying to interfere and help the dog. But there is always the danger of having the person turn on you or your dog. It might depend on if there were other people there to help.
 

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That woman in Central Park w the Cocker and the black man she was accusing of threatening her life for filming? She needs a dog like a hole in her head. I'm glad if it is her who surrendered that poor animal.. and I hope they fined her for making a false report too. Unhinged!
 

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I just watched the Amy Cooper video earlier today. I mean she was in an area where it said no off leash dogs because of the bird sanctuary or whatever it was and then she was dragging the poor little dog around choking it with its collar. In what way did the man threaten her? People are nuts. It takes some nerve to call the cops when you are the one breaking the law.

As to the man being mean to his dog, I think I would do it in a way he didn't see me as scolding him. I might even say, "My dog used to do that. I started exchanging a treat for the ball to get him to drop it and after a while he didn't even need the treat anymore." The worst that could happen (probably) is for him to tell you to mind your own business in probably not that nice of words.

I get the throat punch comments. I want to tase people sometimes.
 

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Picking a dog up by the collar... to get front feet of the ground is how you break up a dog fight. It's actually the only way to get a pit to let go of another dog. Could be this guy just doesn't really understand there are better ways to teach "out". Maybe provide a better example on how to achieve this :)
JMHO it's people like this that keep me out of dog parks!
 

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I like Prism's advice. Unfortunately some folks would not take kindly to any advice.
Once I saw a young mother with a cart full of groceries and 2 very tired, fussy little ones. I debated about it and finally walked over and said I remembered shopping with my children years ago and I asked if I could help put her groceries into the trunk, she nodded. I was happy to help and she was very thankful.
 

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That woman in Central Park w the Cocker and the black man she was accusing of threatening her life for filming? She needs a dog like a hole in her head. I'm glad if it is her who surrendered that poor animal.. and I hope they fined her for making a false report too. Unhinged!
Yes - the dog was apparently from a Cocker rescue and she had apparently had quite a strong social media presence where she talked about the rescue. So the rescue basically demanded the dog back after seeing the video, and she did give it back. Thank goodness. She also got fired from her job. Hopefully will be charged, too.
 

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Yes - the dog was apparently from a Cocker rescue and she had apparently had quite a strong social media presence where she talked about the rescue. So the rescue basically demanded the dog back after seeing the video, and she did give it back. Thank goodness. She also got fired from her job. Hopefully will be charged, too.
She also lost her job! Saw an article this morning.
 
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