We were confronted by an angry dog-walking couple in High Woods Country Park, Colchester and I want to remind people of what are reasonable expectations of fellow dog walkers.

My sister's dog, Otto, rushed up to this couple's dog who was on a lead.

Otto was not aggressive, did not bark, did not in any way look threatening other than he is a large dog.

His tail was wagging and he just wanted to say "hello".

However, this couple, who had their dog on a lead, immediately assumed Otto was going to attack their dog and demanded, quite loudly and impolitely, that she put him on a lead.

My sister called Otto and immediately went and took him away. This couple then launched in to a tirade telling us that all dogs should be on leads, that their dog is nervous and we should respect that.

While we fully appreciate their dog might be nervous and that is why it was on a lead, that does not, in any way, mean everyone else's dogs should suffer.

If Otto had been aggressive or barked they would have been justified but he genuinely was not.

People cannot expect others to know their dog has problems and although most people do keep their dogs under control they have to expect other dogs to come up to their dog.

It is a natural canine instinct to greet other dogs and if this is done in a friendly way there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Indeed, it could help nervous dog to accept other dogs and in the future they might be able to let them off the lead.

By transferring their nervousness to their dog they did not help their dog at all, they should have taken the opportunity to use Otto's interest to help their dog adjust and learn.

We tried to talk to the couple and explain that Otto had done nothing wrong but they would not listen.

My sister would have been more than happy to put Otto on his lead and introduce him to their dog in a relaxed and calm manner but they would not listen to us.

I would appreciate it if you could publish this letter to show others that not all dogs are bad, however big and hairy they are.

Otto would not hurt a fly and it should not be expected that he would.

Please let dogs be dogs; do not expect everyone to keep their dogs on leads just because yours is and listen when people try to talk to you about their dog.

Katrina Cooke

Tall Trees, Colchester