How do I protect my pup when we are are walking on leash and an off leash dog runs at us.

Sometimes there is an owner, sometimes there isn't. This is an on leash area. What if my dog bites the invader? Am I at fault?

Asked by Obi on Jan 15th 2012 in Laws & Legislation
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First off I would use a harness on your dog. Obi is small; collars & chokers can hurt little ones. Once Obi is on a harness & leash, it would be fairly easy to pick him up, even if it's by means of yanking him off the ground by his leash. It might hurt him but not as much as another dog attacking him. (I'm assuming Obi is a boy; forgive me if I'm wrong). If this is truly a possibility, I would also us a walking stick. They make great defense weapons. If this is a chronic problem, maybe you should find somewhere else to walk Obi.

Ruby answered on 1/15/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Depends on the size Dog that's attacking (and are you sure it's actually "attacking")
YES YES YES on the Harness, that's SO much safer.

First of all, I'd pick Obi up an get an arm wrapped around him. (he doesn't look all that big)
Turn around and start walking away.
Then, get the Pepper Spray out of your pocket, and just spray some behind you.

You don't have to hit the other Dog with it, just the mist in the air should be enough to deter any further advance.

I KNOW that sounds terrible, but, it's either him or you and Obi. A no brainer for me.

SNEAKERS answered on 1/15/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Bruno CGC

I really wouldn't recommend pepper-spraying a dog for merely approaching you- it's easy to misuse it and end up getting it on yourself and Obi, which would suck. Save the Mace for when you're sure the dog is attacking, not just over-friendly.

Most dogs can be intimidated into leaving if you make it clear they're unwanted. A loud "HEY!" or "GO HOME!" with aggressive body posture often works ("Aggressive" means arm up, leaning forward, strong eye contact, etc. Make yourself look large and scary.) Carrying a stick makes you look more threatening as well, even something like a lightweight ski pole.

You would likely not be at fault if your dog bites an offleash dog. The law usually allows for provoked dogs, and being quickly approached by a loose dog, while trapped on a leash is provocation in my book. Plus they're already breaking the law by being offleash, so I doubt they would press charges and have to reveal that.

Bruno CGC answered on 1/16/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You can often tell by a dog's body language whether or not their intent is aggressive. Here's an article I refer to if I'm wondering why my or another dog did what it did.

This one has a great written description, but the pictures are pretty similar to one another, which I think is kind of comical.

In the event of a fight, I think the onus is on the dog owner who does not leash his or her dog because he or she is are not complying with the leash law. More importantly, Obi's a little guy and you want to protect him from harm. I would talk with the dog owner who is disregarding leash laws. If that was ineffective or not possible, I'd call the ASPCA or Animal Control for your area.

I have a neighbor who lets his dog out unrestrained for hours at a time. It's a hassle and it can be uncomfortable, but talking to him has been effective. Best of luck!

Libby answered on 1/17/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Mischief BN

If the other dog really is aggressive, picking up your dog puts him in a higher position, which can actually make the other dog want to get him more, and encourage the offending dog to jump on you to get at him. It also means your hands are full and you are less able to protect yourself if he does jump on you. However, it would likely minimize damage, so well worth it. Alternativly, I've heard of putting a small dog in say, a trashcan, if you're in a park so that the other dog can't get it, and then chasing it off. Sounds gross, but it could prevent an injury.

Mischief BN answered on 1/20/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You are following the rules so you have nothing to worry about. If someone is allowing their dog to run loose in a leashed area, they are the one's to blame, NOT you. If your dog bites an off leashed dog, you will not get in trouble because the dog who is off leashed is not under control. It is against the law to let your dog off the leash in a leashed area. The law clearly states to keep your dog under control at all times.

Member 930032 answered on 2/23/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer