6 Ways to Thwart an Off-Leash Dog Rushing You and Your Dog

The more you know, the better you'll be able to protect your dog and yourself.


There are countless reasons your dog may not like being rushed by an off-leash dog when he’s on-leash. And senior dogs, those recovering from injuries, and shy pups or fearful dogs may find the attention of off-leash dogs upsetting or overwhelming. Even friendly dogs may not appreciate interacting with another dog in such a socially unequal situation. Leashes can cause a lot of issues.

When you encounter an off-leash dog, keep these things in mind:

  • Know that it is always okay to protect your dog: Most urban and suburban environments have leash laws, and if your dog is on a leash you are right in keeping your dog safe. You are also completely within your rights to report off-leash dogs to your local authorities.
  • Evaluate the situation to see if the owner is nearby: If he is, tell him to call his dog. Many people will respond by telling you that their dog is “friendly,” but regardless of their dog’s behavior, if their dog is not under their control and is upsetting you or your dog, it is a problem.
  • Remember, you can choose whether to let that dog meet your dog.

So, how can you stop a dog that’s charging you? There are several different strategies, and I choose the method I think will work best for each individual situation.

1. Give the loose dog something better to do

Dogs who seem happy and bubbly are often easily stopped by asking them to “sit.” If the dog complies, you can toss a handful of treats to him and make your escape while he’s vacuuming them up. Even if he doesn’t listen, toss a handful of treats cat his face (with the intent to startle, not hurt). When he stops to see what hit him, he’ll realize that there’s food on the ground and devote his attention to eating instead of rushing your dog.

This method has worked really well for a few overly exuberant dogs in my neighborhood. It doesn’t stop them from approaching in the future, but it’s the kindest way to give your dog space without the potential fallout that more forceful methods may cause.

2. If that doesn’t work, try to startle the loose dog

Step in between your dog and the oncoming dog and use a body block. Square your shoulders and hips, and hold your hand out like a cop stopping traffic while saying “no,” “stop,” or “stay” in a firm, low voice. Alternatively, you could carry an umbrella and open it in the direction of the rushing dog, which will both startle him and provide a physical and visual barrier. One of my clients painted large eyes on her umbrella, which would pop open explosively at the push of a button. This so startled an aggressive Puggle in her neighborhood that he never again went after her dog.

3. Use a spray product if he comes close

Spray Shield is a citronella product manufactured by Premier/PetSafe. It is aversive to most dogs without actually harming them, and can be sprayed directly at an oncoming dog. I carry this product on walks and use it to keep back especially determined dogs (including those who mean to attack my dog). Some people have also reported success using compressed air in the same way. Spray Shield has the added benefit of working to stop some dog fights, so if things do get out of hand you have a safer way to break up a fight than trying to forcibly remove one of the combatants.

4. Don’t use pepper spray

Not only can pain make some dogs more aggressive, but if the wind gusts the wrong way the spray could end up getting into your or your dog’s face and eyes, leaving you incapacitated with an unknown dog rushing you. Not a good situation to be in! Running away is also generally not advised, as it will just encourage most dogs to chase you. Picking your dog up is usually not a good idea, although in some situations you may decide it’s a calculated risk you’re willing to take. Doing so may put you at greater risk and can intensify the off-leash dog’s interest in your pup.

5. But if you must pick up your dog …

While cases of truly aggressive dogs intent on bodily harm are rare, they do happen. If your small dog is rushed by an aggressive off-leash dog, you may be able to pick him up and toss him somewhere safer, such as in a nearby garbage can, inside a fenced yard, in the bed of a truck, or on the roof of a car. You can also take advantage of some of these safety options. If you have a bigger dog or if no other options are available, you may need to assess whether your dog would be safer if you dropped the leash so that he can try to get away from the other dog or defend himself.

6. Protect yourself

If the loose dog redirects on you (which is rare, but does happen), protect your head and neck. Spray Shield will stop all but the most aggressive dogs, and generally these dogs are only stopped by physically separating them from their victim. One of my clients carries a walking stick on outings after one of her small dogs was killed by a much larger dog who jumped his fence. While the stick may not have saved her dog, it makes her feel more comfortable to have something to use to keep an aggressive dog back.

While no single method will work in every case, the more tools you have in your toolbox, the better able you’ll be to protect your dog. Remember that it is always okay to stand up for your dog. After I sprayed an aggressive shepherd who was charging Layla off-leash, Layla’s reactivity towards other dogs on walks actually decreased significantly. Instead of snarling and lunging at other dogs, she began to put herself behind me when she was charged by an off-leash dog, trusting me to deal with the situation.

Have you or your dog ever been rushed by an off-leash dog? How did you handle this situation? Please share your stories, tips, and questions in the comments below!

More by Sara Reusche:

Sara Reusche is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Veterinary Technician who owns Paws Abilities Dog Training in Minnesota. She has worked as a groomer, dog daycare attendant, animal shelter caretaker, adoption counselor, and vet tech. Sara currently writes, speaks, and teaches. Her goal is to help people enjoy their dogs, and she has a special fondness for anxious and reactive dogs.

60 thoughts on “6 Ways to Thwart an Off-Leash Dog Rushing You and Your Dog”

  1. Kristi Sandberg

    There’s a lot of talk here about big dogs attacking little dogs. Little dogs are not innocent. I have a 65 pound German Shepherd and we were walking today in a campground. A lady open the door to her trailer and this little dog rushed out and started attacking my Dog. My girl is pretty docile and while she snarls and let’s a dog know she doesn’t like them; she has never attacked. This little dog would not back off and the owner seem to be too afraid to pick it up. I am pulling my dog away trying to get away from the little terror but it’s small and is able to dart in and around easily. The leash gets wrapped around me and I fall to the ground on my knees, still trying to control the situation. Finally the woman picks up her dog, mumbles that she is sorry and rushes back into her trailer leaving me still on the ground. So, please know that this is not just about big dogs attacking little dogs.

    The last thing I wanted to do was hurt a little dog, or have my dog hurt it. Difficult situation for sure.

  2. Today a dog approached my dog on her leash with no ill intentions. My girl was a little uncomfortable but dealing ok with the presence of a dog twice her size. However, when the other dog jumped on me she attacked the other dog. No injuries for either dog. There is a leash law in the town and his dog was off leash. (He refused to put his dog on leash)..Was my girl to blame and in need of aggression training, or should I notify animal control or both?

    1. Depending on the state you’re in and the Laws of that state. I would say you are very much in the right. It sounds like A horrific incident to me. To be on the positive side of a very bad situation. The woman did get the dog and said sorry and left. Which is more than I can say to the incident that happened to me and my dog. I got people not wanting to cooperate to get their dogs. Allowing them to act out and climb all over me trying to get to my small dog, that I picked up and it’s in my arms protecting my puppy . Try very hard for him to never have to experience a bad situation. By always try to keep him up in my arms from any harmful effects . The owner always acts like everything ok, but never sorry. They think it’s my fault getting belligerent and angry at me because I want the dog off of me and my dog. Which at the time was a medium size dog against my 8 pounds puppy. Which was in my arms at the time to try to keep them apart. I was shaking up from the incident. All the owner had to say was it was no big deal the dog was friendly. No not in my book and gave me a nervous break down and made me shaken up and sick from the experience. People just don’t care about the effects it has on the other dogs and other people that are doing what they’re supposed to do according to the law. Those kind of owners are neglectful and shouldn’t have their pet. I would say you did absolutely nothing wrong. I’m sorry to hear about your horrible experience in that situation. Their dogs run loose, I don’t think they will ever understand. The situation that is very disturbing for not only their dog but for other people and their dogs they disrespected. Owners of unruly dogs they should respect others. The respect they show others is pretty much nonexistent. This happens all the time to me. I really don’t know what to do about the situation except for carry mace. Hope I don’t have to use it but as a last resort. Only as a last resort for protecting me and my dog, sadly must be done. Of course the owner’s of unruly dogs without a leash still keep thinking it’s all my fault. Even though I mind my own business and taking my dog for a walk. Not even near their property but across the street even from it. Which the dogs always run across the street toward me with no help from the owner. They never apologize and always complain and get belligerent toward me. Some threaten to call the cops on me. I ignore it because I know I’m in the right. They’ll get a shock and a rude awakening when the officer informs her it’s her fault. So If the cops do getting involved, it wouldn’t bothers me a bit on that. Because I know I’ve done nothing wrong. And I don’t want people like that to ruin the time I have with my dog. That I’m giving him his daily exercise with a nice supposedly calming walk. I’m not gonna let them take my freedom away to walk my dog. It’s my right, it is a public sidewalk. It is even across the street from any potential incidences, when I am able to do so. I don’t think they’ll ever get it that their dog is not allowed to do whatever it wants off leash. With no repercussions and no concerns for what it may do to the other person an their dog. They think that since their dog is friendly that anything happens out of it, it’s automatically the other person’s fault. I just wish someone could get it through their heads. They could be properly educated and properly train their dogs and keep them on a leash. Not an open yard off leash. I wish you the very best to you on this. I only know that, yes it’s going to happen. There is not much people can do about them. So try to have a nice walk and hope today is not the day macing a dog, that happens to have a neglectful owner happens. Wish you best of luck and a lot of peaceful calm walks with your dog.

    2. You and your dog are not responsible. It is the other dog and the owners fault. If you choose to call animal control that’s up to you. You would be within your rights to do so. By no means would you or you dog be blamed for that situation and you shouldn’t blame yourself either. It’s always the fault of the person letting the dogs run loose with no control with or without a Leash. You do not go to them to try and cause any sort of incident. Their dog came to you and caused a situation. Fault always lays with the other owner in that situation.

  3. I was recently walking my 18-pound Poodle-Bichon mixed male dog in a newer, residential, neighborhood. We came to the end of a block, about to go around the corner, when we came across an adult man standing in his front yard with his unk. mixed-breed dog, approx 30-pounds, walking around unleased. We were on the sidewalk and his dog began walking toward us and then switched to a gallop, barking & growling. I think that the man tried calling his dog back but this effort was clearly insufficient and too late. With my dog my dog trying to evade, I was unable to get between the two dogs and the attacking dog went directly for my dog's neck, trying to get a grip. My dog was somehow able to spin loose and the attacking dog backed off several feet – then began to charge again. This time, I stepped into his path and was able to get one, hard, soccer type kick to it's head/neck area, sending it several feet off of it's path. Only then did the man get his dog.
    I thought it so ironic that the man said to me in a sullen way that, I "did the right thing". While I truly hope that his dog was not injured, and I also pray that I won't have to encounter another such situation. This all could have been avoided by him simply having his dog on a leash. I hope that this was a lesson learned for him.

  4. Bless you all for the horrible attacks you and your pets have suffered because of careless owners. I have seen the most aggressive dogs of every breed rehabilitated by loving owners who treat them with discipline and love. My husband repeatedly kicked with all his might at an off leash dog in the stomach who rushed at our dog. It was the only vulnerable place that kept the dog off as he went for our dogs throat until the owner called it back. I was so proud of him keeping our dog from getting bit. If I were alone it would have been a different ending 🙁 panic set in and all I did was watch helplessly. Have a plan

  5. Walking in a local park with my 10yo mini Aussie on leash . Large off leash pit bull comes running at us . Owner yelling ‘she just wants to play ‘ . Dog jumps on top of my dog and starts ripping him . I am trying to pull her off . Owner could not get her off . I’m hitting her , throwing things , watching her gnaw on my dog’s leg and body . Owner could not get her and was getting bit .I’m screaming , pounding and pulling her from behind . Finally got her off . Owner then said she only went after little dogs , thought they were prey . I thought my dog was dead . He was seriously injured . Turned out this dog had a history of attacking other dogs and was supposed to be muzzled and leashed . The owner disregarded any safety rules . The dog was 8 months old .
    The police and animal control confiscated her, and she will be put down
    A reckless , stupid , careless owner condemned her to death by not protecting my dog and his dog by keeping her leashed and muzzled . I had to carry my bleeding pup for about a half mile to my car. That was six days ago . Both my dog Toby and I are still traumatized.
    I still have horrible visions of that dog chewing on his front leg .
    He has a long recovery in front of him . Multiple stitches, puncture wounds , and drains and splint . I feel lucky he’s alive .
    His agility runs and our hikes are on hold for a long while .
    When we walk again I’m carrying bear mace, pepper gel , and trekking pole with pointed end . I will not be afraid to use it .
    This 67 yo woman will not let this happen again !

    1. Pamela S Schmidbauer

      You are my new mentor! I hope I can feel that way soon. We were attacked 4 days ago. I have over 20 punctures in my body, I held my dog in the middle of the air. The golden retriever mix bit my back and knocked me down and he wouldn’t stop until his owner pulled him off me. I have ordered the stun gun and the pepper spray and I am thinking about a walking staff too.

    2. That’s heartbreaking, I’m so sorry! Ok folks remember those four leggeds are our responsibility NOT vice versa. Putting a muzzle on them when needed is just what you do or… face being responsible for killing your own dog and often times someone else’s. For God’s sake just get the f…ing muzzle and/or leash and use them. Been there done that. The vet really appreciated the muzzle during shot time for my one dog. Bet that dog owner just stepped right up to pay for your vet bills too and retraining to heal the emotional crap your four legged will go through for…ever. What a bummer, people’s pride, I swear. Get yourself the BIG can of spray girl. I’m liking the stun gun idea others have mentioned, this my dog gets to bust up your unsuspecting leashed dog cause I think he’s just a big sweetie is getting REALLY OLD! Go girl!! Best wishes for a healthy recovery.

  6. I walk my beagle daily (leashed) around my neighborhood block. One of my neighbors has a boxer who roams freely around their unfenced yard. On 2 separate occasions the boxer has literally come out & attacked my dog in the middle of the road, it’s owner telling me that I am putting off bad vibes???? I now walk very cautiously with an umbrella & Animal deterent spray. Hope I don’t have to see if they work!

    1. I would definitley call authorities on them and report their dog off leash and attacking. Its unacceptable and you should feel safe in your neighborhood or anywhere for that matter.

      1. I was walking my terrier 17 pounds on
        His leash when out of no where a Hugh pit bull came running to us all the owner said was his dog was a puppy not mean

  7. We were walking our dogs tonight in our neighborhood. The pet owner was working on the yard and their midsize mastiff looking dog ran over to us. We put our dogs (dachshunds) behind us and made a lot of noise – screaming – at it to keep it away while we yelled at the owner to recall their dog. The dog was within a foot of us before the owner was was able to call it back. No apologies were offered only the ‘he’s friendly’ mantra.

    I don’t feel that the dog came over with ill intentions as it wasn’t barking or snarling or growling, The fact that we did not ask for this dog to come over, it fired up our dogs, and we don’t know how that dogs attitude could change once it gets into the same space as our dog was distressing enough.

    I’m researching my rights to protect ourselves from any dog regardless if it appears aggressive or not.

  8. There have been occasions where I’ve had to use the body block, worked on an overly aggressive whippet that was wanting to fight my whippet girl. And it was aggressive, not horny! On our way home, my friends staff got out of her garden and rushed at my dog, and yes, I did pick her up because I know this staff is a nasty piece of work! Now I take a stick, because the next dog that tries that will be launched! Every walk is like rolling the dice. My previous big lad (rescue)was very dog aggressive and a big stamp of a Rottweiler. I had eyes in the back of my head and straight on the lead as soon as I spotted another dog. Why people can’t be responsible for their dogs is beyond me! No such thing as a nasty dog, just idiot owners!

  9. I have been attacked multiple times by aggressive dogs while walking my 2 harmless dogs on leash. I even put my arm in a dogs mouth to prevent my dog from getting harmed. I now carry a stun gun and pepper spray everytime I walk my dogs for safety

  10. I have been attacked multiple times by aggressive dogs while walking my 2 harmless dogs on leash. I even put my arm in a dogs mouth to prevent my dog from getting harmed. I now carry a stun gun and pepper spray everytime I walk dogs for safety

  11. Pingback: Will A Stun Gun Work On A Dog? – Taser Guide

  12. I have a nabor that likes to control all the dogs including my 3 with a dog whistle. What I like to know is this aloud by law.

    1. Hi there,

      Sorry to hear you’re dealing with this. Dog laws vary by area, but this article might provide some insight:

    2. My border collie cross Husky was attacked from behind on lead by a rotty x lab who I didn’t even see coming. Now these dogs are neighbours and have a go through the fence, so I feel this dog was saying got you now. I am having nightmares about it, one as I hated kicking the other dog off, but I felt powerless and didn’t know what to do, I was getting spun around and was screaming, a lady stopped and beeped her horn but I didn’t even hear her. My dog now has anxiety and starts crying as he nears the house and I feel anxious too, to the point I don’t want to walk him. He is also lunging and barking if other dogs are near.

  13. Whether we are with our dog or not, a neighbor’s german shepherd comes running at us barking and snarling. I am fed up with this and ready to try the spray. All I have tried so far is avoidance ( ridiculous and hard to do) and yelling Go Home. It is complicated because the dog belongs to neighbors who are also relatives of my husband. Awkward. We keep being told “I don’t know why he does that.” Ugh

  14. Four days ago I was walking my dog in my neighborhood. Out of nowhere a dog escaped his yard and went for my dog, a boston terrier pug mix. I instinctively tried the body block but the loose dog grabbed my dog from behind and literally tried to RIP his back leg off. I knew he was trying to kill my dog so I punched him as hard as I could then kicked him. The dog didnt budge. He suddenly let go for some reason and ran off. I will get that spray but i will be carrying some sort of stick from now on

  15. You can train a dog to do almost anything. You can rarely train it’s human. This is a problem with people that dogs pay the price for.

  16. My golden was attack by a pitbull
    So now when i walk my dog i carry a stick and i will hit or hurt any dog that comes at me. I have no sympathy for a dog that is loose and trying to hurt my dog
    And less tolerance for irresponsible owners

    1. Danielle the Doodle Mom

      I wholeheartedly agree. We were rushed by a pit mix who escaped from his house. My sweet labradoodle would have been a snack for that vicious beast had his owner not come running after him. Two days earlier, and a block away a friend’s rescued greyhound needed 10 stitches after being attached by a pit who was being walked off-leash by “the owner’s roommate”. I respect the fact that people rescue animals to give them a second chance, but certain breeds are as dangerous as loaded guns. They make the owner feel safe at the expense of everyone else.

      1. Pitbulls are not as ‘dangerous as a loaded gun’ -Its ignorant statements like that,that perpetuate the stigma that all pitbulls are vicious, bloodthirsty beats-this is simply not true. Pitbulls are loving, affectionate dogs-in fact throughout history they were known as Nanny dogs because they were so wonderful with children. I have two pitbulls and they have been attacked by off leash German Shephards, huskies and once by a Lab on walks–they never fought back or bit a single dog—its the people who create ‘bad dogs’ not the dogs. I pray that you keep an open mind and understand that all dogs are inherently good and stop spreading misinformation.

        1. Good for you for defending Pitties. I have been rescuing Rotties for 30 years. When I volunteered at a local shelter, I used to bring the Pitties home for play dates and overnights. There was also a Staffie who stayed overnight with me and made such good progress that he was adopted and is having a great life with his new owner. I will always blame the owner before blaming the dog. Always.

        2. My dog and I were the victims of an unprovoked vicious attack by a pit mix. They are very dangerous dogs. The dog was so large and strong I was unable to beat or kick it off my dog. Had it been a beagle or something similar I may have had a chance to get the dog off of my dog. At the end of the day pits were bred to attack other animals. They may be lovely to their owners or even those animals in their own pack-but facts are facts. Same way my border collie wants to herd everyone…

        3. Yeah. I have an Australian Shepherd and after my mom’s friend and ex boyfriend moved in, we got a pitbull. We didn’t introduce them for 3 days so they already smelled each other but than when we found out Rocky (Aussie) was aggressive towards Thor (Pitbull) and attacked him, he didn’t really try to fight too much and it took a lot of fights for Thor to become aggressive and he still wouldn’t hurt a fly. Would happily accept to chase our chickens though. Never hurts them unless he trips, and would never hurt you unless he gets horny and 😉 or if you’re playing and he jumps to grab the toy and you move your hand and he ever so slightly bites it.

        4. All dpgs can potentially end up in s fight…it is the nature of the beast. Tje difference between most dogs and pitbulls ot staffys etc is hoe they fight. Most dogs have the instinct for self preservation and wish only to ward off thr other dog. So they worn by growling first and then they bite release /bite release continually until thr other dog backsdown and runs off. This allows time for human intervention to stop the fight before too much damage is done. Pitbulls and Staffys dont fight thay way…they do not foght with Self Preservation at all which os precisely why they use them to bring down wild boars. They will grab hold and not let go no mayyer what and the boar can be digging a whole in them and they still will not let go. So much that they btoughy out bodu armour fpr them when using them for pig hunting. It os alsp why they are the dog of choice for dog fighting. Instinctively WHEN THEY FIGHT they go fot thr throat / kill at whayever cost…so once they go ofg yhey are very difficult to stop. Sp whilst loys of them do jave lovely natures as with all dog breeds…the prpblem lies when they are havong an off day or do takr a particular dislike to someone or another dog…they isially seriouslu injure or kill their target…whereas most other dpg breeds wont. Short stpru os potbulls/Staffys probably dont bite or attack anymore ofyen than other dpg breeds bit statistically speaking the world over they only make up around 10% of the dog population yet make up more than55% of fatal dog attacks on humans and as hogh as 90% in some countries on humans and other dogs. We as humans bred pitbulls and staffus to kill…sp ues its npt there fault its ours…biy jisy likr huskys pull sleds sutomtically even the first time they arr connected yo one and a botder collie tha6s nevet even seen a fatm will round up sheep on sight…a pitbull of 9n a f9ght goes for the kill.

          1. Barbara Hendricks

            Jeesh, maybe try typing with your hands instead of your feet….maybe someone could decipher that mangled paragraph.

        5. Attacked today by a pitbull that went after my 7 lb pom. You are an idiot. There is something wrong with this breed and the people that have them. They are a danger!!’

        6. It sounds like you’ve done a great job working with your animals and maybe choosing the more docile lines but don’t kid yourself . Dogs are dogs! They all have a history, they all have tendencies. Some break out of the mold from the litter order or from the breed lines, some are trained to be polite. But aggressive is aggressive. Same goes for the old easy going golden retriever. Sweet is sweet but every once in awhile you meet a not so sweet one. Pits are most likely going to be aggressive but every once in awhile you meet a sweet one. I’ve also seen the sweet one kill a dog that left it’s owner’s vehicle while visiting the pits property. Bottom line is remembering we have a responsibility when we home a pit or GSD or a Golden for that matter. They NEED our leadership not the ‘oh poor little helpless baby/sweet little thing would never hurt a fly’ attitude. That attitude is how pits landed in the hot seat, I kid you not! Own/lead your animal! They need you to or they’ll own/lead you! Grizzly bears are cute too until they’re ripping your back off and burying you so they can come back for more. This isn’t preschool, this is how the animal kingdom rolls! Remember all dogs’ eyes are on the front of their heads like other predators, not on the sides like prey. Sorry your pit was attacked by other dogs but my dogs have been attacked numerous times by pits so I’m not feeling the love. Often times other dogs don’t like pits, they’re not stupid.

      2. I have to differ with you, ‘loaded guns’ are not dangerous, not one of mine has EVER just gone off by itself, I carry daily,
        You all may jump all over me for my point of view, so go ahead, if I’m being attacked by a dog or human, my self-defense weapon is coming into play,

        1. I agree totally, i am standing my ground and will protect my Lab on leash. I came very close today, I was reaching for my weapon when the owner of the pit bull tackled his dog that was off-leach.

      3. Pit bulls are just like any other dog. Some are aggressive but most are not. I walk my dog on a trail that leads to the park, a lot of homeless people live on the outskirts of town on this trail and I have encouraged many off leash dogs. I have encountered one territorial female pitbull who I have no doubt would have bit me or my dog had I not ignored her and walked away. And I have met large male pit bull who was as friendly and submissive as a puppy. Both were pit bulls off leash in a homeless area and both had very different personalities. Not all pit bulls are dangerous and agressive, my cousin also has a male pit bull who is so super sweet and gentle to everyone.

    2. This same thing happened to me and my 1 year old collie shepherd mix dog. I now carry a baton and a stun gun. I’m not a violent person but if I have to thwart off another pitbull I will use the stun gun.

    3. Hey Ann
      I’ve had numerous incidents walking my 2 timid rescue Greyhounds. Now I carry a pointed trekking pole. Nothing else can stop a rottweiler pushing through a door to attack us. And now certain neighbors are scolding me, saying I’m carrying a deadly weapon and they’re going to call the police! These are people who never walk or socialize their animals and would laugh if their dog hurt yours. Bullies! And BTW I’ve never heard from the cops…..because it’s perfectly legal to protect yourself from dangerous dogs by any means necessary. Good luck and take care.

    4. My pitbull was attacked by 12 different dogs in my neighborhood over the 13 years I had him. My dog never returned the attack. It is my responsibility as a dog owner to make sure my dog is safe, and that is what I did. When the attacks began, I positioned my dog behind me, put my hand up and yelled for the dogs to stop. Most of the times the neighbors would hear me and come to get the other dogs whether it was there’s or not. Now I have a Catahoula Leopard Dog. She got attacked 2 weeks ago by a much larger dog. I could not get the dog off my puppy. I was literally screaming for someone to get their dog, but no one came. Finally, I pulled the dog off my puppy and picked my dog up. The other dog crossed the street dragging its chain and tie-out stake. My dog and I were both shaking. I again yelled for someone to come get their dog since I didn’t want it to attack us again. A neighbor came out and then the owner. She called the dog over and flippantly said, “Sorry.” I returned home, checked out my dog for injuries then went to the town offices and filed a formal complaint against the owners. They will need to appear in court and face a fine of at least $100. I hate that pitbull get a bad rap because even when provoked, my dog never fought.

    5. You are weird, put your dog on a leash or don’t go anywhere dogs area or parks, so you don’t hurt people’s dogs

  17. What do you do if the dogs immediately runs up and bites your dog and won’t let go? Or you are walking more than one dog and have your hands full and an aggressive dog runs up and attacks and there is no owner nearby?

    1. I ran into this the other day. A large loose dog with no owner around attacked my two smaller dogs. One of my dogs reacted violently and a fight ensued. I instinctly reached behind the larger dog with my free hand and pulled him off my dog. With the leash of the other dog, I led and tied him to a tree. My smaller dog suffered a minor bite mark on his back. I took him to the vet and he gave him some antibiotics. Don’t know what happened to the loose dog but I felt blessed by God that nothing worse happened. I started carrying a switch blade in case a dog also attacks me. I may look into the spray. I think it’s ok to defend yourself. This was the first time in 15 years that something like this happened so it is rare but pays to at least be mentally prepared. It’s always ok to protect yourself and your dogs from harm.

  18. I used a body block and the loose dog lunged at my dog, missed, and rammed his head into my shin, breaking my leg. I still walk with a limp. This was a non aggressive but stubborn lab. I would not recommend a body block.

    1. I was walking my border collie mix down a new street. Turned a corner and before we knew it we saw a black and white pitbull charging at us full force without hesitation or “curiosity”. This dog went out of it’s way as we were across the street on the opposite sidewalk than its home it sprinted away from. It intended to attack from the beginning.

      I tried yelling firmly and standing my guard as he got closer charging us “NO! SIT! NO!” While gently pulling my good boy behind me because he is afraid.
      The dog lunged at ME not my dog and grabbed ahold of my leg. As I’m screaming for the owner they’re nowhere to be seen. My angel of a rescue border collie had enough and jumped in front of me to protect me starting to defend us himself. The dog let go of my leg and went for my boy. He had my boy in a throat grab and no matter how hard I punched and kicked that pitbull did not release its jaws. The owner finally came outside strolling across the street and prays his dog off us. The dog was still snarling and lunging as the owner was pulling it away.

      It’s interesting all of the ideas to throw treats or be friendly to some of these attackers. I’m sure they work on other friendly dogs. This dog charged at us reminding me of a police dog, lept through the air and lunged laching onto my leg – there was no time for treats or other interventions.

      The only thing I’d say is if I had spray or a weapon i wouldve used what I could to defend us and my sweet angel who defended us and saved my leg.

      We called the cops who seemed uninterested but hopes are they took care of talking to the family.

  19. Thanks for the tips on this topic. Now with the knowledge of what to do, I can be well prepared and less worried. I happened to encounter the same situation with my 5 month old puppy leashed on the stake in an open yard. Without a second thought I ran into those giant pit bulls out of my maternal instinct while repeatedly shouting No at them. They immediately left my puppy and redirected to me. Luckily they were not as aggressive as I thought, just sniffed my feet a little bit and the owner came up and called them back at that time.

      1. Judge much? Obviously this is a concerned pet owner comment. She said it was an open yard. For all you know she had the dog leashed to a stake while she was in the yard with the dog. Clearly she saw the pit bulls so it’s not like she just left the puppy outside alone to defend itself.

        1. You are right. Some people don’t have a fenced in yard. Wanting to give your dog some freedom while you are with them is not cruel. If you left your dog out like that by itself, that would be cruel.

      2. Mr.Productivity

        You are very right. Aggressive dogs will absolutely dig or jump fences if necessary and you’ve left your sweet pet at the mercy of the tether.

        Anyone who tethers their dog to a stake is a baiting misfortune. They would rather not make an effort to supervise their pet rather than proactively deal with the probability that their pet may be attached.

    1. My 8 month old 70lb puppy has been attacked twice by off leash dogs.It happens very fast and action is required immediately to protect your dog from physical harm and a trip to the vet.I appreciate opinions,everyone has one.Trowing treats ,startling an already excited and focused dog ect will not work.Kicking the dogs that are attacking and yelling help ,loudly, will maybe get the owners of the off leash dogs attention.I have known many people who were injured and required medical care trying to break up dog fights with their hands.I now carry a stun gun when I walk the dog.It is our job as pet owners to protect our dogs,especially puppies,from what is a traumatizing unnecessary event.Please keep your dogs on a leash.

  20. Pingback: Fetching! – Daily Dog TagDaily Dog Tag

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