Taking little dogs out for walks and stuff..how to protect them..

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Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 5:19pm PST 
I have been occasionally coming across some really sad stories of small breed dogs being attacked by large dogs, etc..

Looking for suggestions on how to protect the little guy when we go out for walks.

We also live in an area where hawks are spotted frequently, although I can't imagine a hawk attacking a dog attached to a leash with his/her owner behind it, but sometimes those birds of prey are quite bold and agressive!

I did remember reading about some type of spray to deter dogs..anyone know what it is called, or have some other good ideas...? I am getting older and not really able to fend off an attack if it should happen or break something up, which could be dangerous for anybody..

Thanks for any and all awesome ideas!! smile
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 5:36pm PST 
First, take a deep breath, and relax. Stay calm.

There's a risk of a big dog attacking, yes, but really, it's a very low risk. Working on Frankie's socialization so that he's familiar with "big dogs" and is calm and appropriate around them is the biggest contribution you can make to keeping him safe. When I first got Addy, because of her prior experiences (or lack thereof), she was terrified of everything and had no idea how to react to bigger dogs except to try to scare them off. The only truly dangerous situations we encountered were because she thought her only alternative was to attack first, and the other dog was off-leash, making it very hard for me to put distance between us.

My neighbor has two Rotties, and they want nothing more than to be friends (and they are now.) At the beginning, though, Addy was terrified, and responded with fear-aggression. Ivy (the one he already had; Diesel came later), would bounce over wanting to be friends, and I'd be desperately trying to keep Addy far enough out of reach so that she (Addy) couldn't bite and start something that Ivy, if forced to defend herself, would have finished. [Let me also add that her owner worked very hard on both perfecting her recall, and teaching her boundary limits. He was also very helpful with controlled meetings etc., as Addy reached the point where that was helpful.]

If Frankie is already good with bigger dogs, you're ahead of the game.

There's a pepper spray you can carry, but you need to remember that breezes can affect the direction in which it actually disperses.

You can also carry, and I strongly recommend, a walking stick. It will give you more confidence, be a visible means of defense (and yes, most dogs do understand), and you can use it as a barrier without actually whacking a person or dog with it.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 6:34pm PST 
I'm pretty sure you are thinking of Spray Shield, a citronella based dog deterrent spray.

If you live in an area with a decent chance of coming across a loose aggressive dog, then it would be something to consider carrying.

Princesse- Lily CGN

I am RoyalChi!
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 7:13pm PST 
I agree with Addy's advicesmile I do carry a walking stick. It has come in handy a few times just as a blocker with loose dogs that I didn't know if they were friendly . I have had to pick Princesse up from an aggressive seeming dog once. She is on a harness, I saw the dog bounding towards us with body language that concerned me, so I just pulled her up in my arms with the leash. The chance of your dog being attacked is pretty small. Just be aware and ready to react if need be smile

Edited for grammar

Edited by author Thu Aug 23, '12 7:14pm PST


Use your nose!
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 7:17pm PST 
An umbrella is also nice to have. It is like a stick, but you can pop it out (especially if it has a button on the handle) making you look so much bigger, so much faster. It is also something the dog can attack instead of you, especially if it is really running to get you. However, most dogs will at least stop when an umbrella pops up, if not run the other direction with their tail between their legs.

One thing I have found is really important is to keep the walk at a heel and not let them get ahead of you. No flexi-leashes, no pulling, etc. This might not apply to you depending on where you live, but I was traveling and stopped to see the sights in a recreational area. Daisy was right next to me, but if she had been 3ft, 10ft, dog forbid, 15-20ft, she would have ran right up to the rattle snake laying in the middle of the path ahead of me that I couldn't see because of a slight slope. She is so tiny and lightweight I doubt the snake would have noticed her until she was in strike range. Thankfully he noticed me and slithered off, but I was very shaken at the thought of what could have happened.
Walking at dawn/dusk increases the odds of running into coyotes, but unfortunately, the weather often dictates that is the only time to go for a walk! People have had dogs taken off the leash, but again, I have to wonder if that leash let the dog be so far away from the owner. And a calm dog that walks by your side is less likely to draw the attention of other dogs than one who is pulling.

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 10:52pm PST 
Sooo much excellent advice, thank you all!! big hug

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '12 8:02am PST 
Can I add a bit different perspective. I would try to focus on your walk with Frankie & not expect trouble. Dog walks should be fun & relaxing..not some treacherous trek through enemy lineslaugh out loud If you look for trouble, you'll probably find it. Yes..be aware of what is around you, but if Frankie is on leash, you can always pick him up, if need be.

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '12 3:22pm PST 
Squ'mey, totally know that and agree..I just want to be prepared should something come up..better safe than sorry!! wink

Like I said, I am not capable of handling something if it were to come up by myself, and picking up the dog likely would mean I may get mauled as well..

Just trying to go the safer than sorry route!! wink