What do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog? This is a stressful situation for most dogs and most owners so there is a clear need for this guide. Below we will help you understand the complete set of things needed to be done and why they are so important. Yes, you two can do this and it is easier than it sounds.
Look at your dog first
Your pet will likely see the other dog sooner than you. He can smell it from a distance as well. You will have to look at the behavior of your pet. If he keeps his tail between his legs and he looks scared, move away and if he shows teeth and starts growling with a firm body style, go away as well. If he starts pacing and he moves his tail quickly, he may want to play so there is no need to worry about the second dog.
What do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog? This is the first and the most important thing you will have to do.
Start talking to the owner
If you can see a person next to that dog, now is the time to start talking. You can tell him to call his dog, to leash him, or to come close to him. This obviously works only if the owner is present. But, in many cases, he will be. Don’t be shy and try to prevent the need to use any of the steps or processes we will cover below. You should avoid physical conflict at any cost and do anything you can in order to eliminate the need to use more advanced steps from this list.
Calmly walk away
You never know the intentions of the second dog. In most cases, it is better to just walk away. But, there are a few things you need to know and do in this scenario. The first one is to walk calmly and never make sudden moves. Running is a huge mistake. It can tell the second dog that you are scared and that you are prey. He will probably start chasing you. Walk under a 90-degree angle so you can see the dog with your peripheral vision. Walking in that way so you cannot see another dog is the same as not looking at a possible threat.
Direct the second dog using vocal commands
You will have to talk to the second pet using a calm voice. Issue commands such as walk, stay, or go away. This will usually work and most dogs will understand you but not all. You still have to be cautious and stay alert. But, never use a high voice or yell. This can scare you and the other dog and this is not a good idea. Yelling for instance will provoke both dogs and you are looking at a more severe issue than before!
Now you can see why carrying the treats with you while walking the dog is so important. Treats can be used to calm the other dog and as a ruse. Of course, you will have to carry a few of them and you will have to throw them far away from the approaching dog so you two have the time to go away. Hungry, friendly, and even aggressive dogs will fall on this and you will have time to go to safety. Once you are safe give your dog a few treats as well.
Look for a shelter
This is a more complicated thing to do and it is usually used when nothing from the above works. For instance, the approaching dog didn’t like the treats and he is showing the teeth. You may want to carry your dog and run away. This is a common thing when the dog is small. But, it is a mistake. The second dog will consider this as a sign that he should start chasing you. Your dog won’t be able to defend himself which is another issue. You should only pick up the dog if you can place him in a car or somewhere safe.
Ideally, you will find a shelter where the approaching dog can’t reach you two. If you have an umbrella, open it in front of the approaching dog. This usually works well and it literally creates a border so the dog can’t see you two.
If nothing from the above works, you will have to get a physical. This means action! The first thing here you must do is to push the approaching dog on his chest. This will distract him and you will have the time to go away. You can use your leg or anything you have to do so. If this doesn’t work or the dogs start fighting, you will have to break them apart.
Moving in the middle of the fight is never a smart thing to do. Here you will have to move behind the approaching dog, grab his rear legs and pull him. This does work and the dog will usually run away. He will think that your dog has a friend, which is actually true. If you must, inflict the injury to the second dog. This is mandatory to protect your dog and most dog owners will do it.
The final word
What do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog? As you were able to see there are a lot of things you can do and each one is important in its own way. Each one can help and the best thing is to use all of them and find which one is the most effective. The main goal here is to protect your dog and yourself. Worrying about the approaching dog is a less important thing at the moment.
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