meeting a stray pit bull while walking my dog

Yesterday I was walking my dog. Out of nowhere this pit bull came running to us and started sniffing my dog and jumping. I freaked out and grabbed my dog in my arms. I thought the owner was behind him and I started screaming “who’s dog is it?” but nobody was around. The pit did not have a normal collar on him – but he had like a plastic cord that was around his neck. I held my dog in my arms so he started jumping really high and I got panicked and started screaming “stop ….”but he didn't. He did not growl or bite in anyway but it was a loose pitbull on the street and I did not know how to read him or how to react to that. I was terrified.
then finally a guy came to take him I asked him if it was his dog and he said yes. That he was tied up and got loose.
I think i should have reacted differently... I was scared and panicked . what would you do ?

Asked by Member 1143617 on Dec 4th 2012 in Other Behavior & Training
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!


Kali earned her wings 10/21/14

I think the worst thing you can do is panic. I've never had a Pit Bull run out at me, but I've met plenty that are the sweetest wiggly butt dogs I've ever seen. I had a Husky chase me on my horse as a kid once, and I told it to sit and stay. To my surprise it did. I slowly walked my horse away and it did not continue to chase us. It looked kind of confused. :)

Kali earned her wings 10/21/14 answered on 12/4/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


It's scary when a dog approaches like that! If he's mostly chained, he was probably just looking for some freedom and to play. A dog who plans to attack usually runs with its head down (back straight) and tail straight out. I usually just yell NO! In a commanding voice. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Libby answered on 12/4/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Guest should have pretty much done the opposite of everything you did. lol
Don't freak out
Don't grab your dog in your arms
Don't panic & scream
DO...stand your ground
DO...stay calm
DO...body block the dog..put yours behind you
DO read up on dog body language. An excellent book is by Coren..."how to speak dog".
It can be scary to run into a loose dog, regardless of breed.

Member 904338 answered on 12/4/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You've gotten some great answers. I might just add that when you're taking your dog out, you could have a plan in your head re: how you're going to handle possible situations.
For example: loose dogs, cats, excited children, mail carriers, your dog slipping it's leash, etc.
I find that if I've rehearsed things in my head, when or if the time comes, I am able to react more effectively because I'm prepared.
BTW I have a gregarious pit bull & I can understand how scary it would be to see her running up to greet a dog. If someone stood with their hands on their hips, legs apart & body calm but firm & told her sharply "HEY!" to get her attention & then "NO" to make her stop, then "Sit" she would be smiling big & dusting the sidewalk with her happy tail. She would just want to know what you expected of her.

Chianti answered on 12/6/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I had a chihuahua charge at me once while i was walking the guy was on his phone saying stop it stop it like wtf come get your dog i kicked it because it was biting my pants so yeah i could kind of feel his teeth i didnt kick it hard but just a lil tap to scare it but all it did was bark then the guy just picked up his dog and sat down i was beyond mad. But yeah you should stay calm at all times i stayed standing there and didnt make any sudden movements.

Member 295994 answered on 12/7/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer