View Full Version : What to do if an off leash dog looks to attack you or yours?

25th March 2007, 12:26 AM
The thread about the roaming Pitbull got me thinking about this....

In the past all my walks were with my Boxers, and though they are the sweetest, most gentle, dog friendly breed, I think there is something about their faces that freaks out other dogs. They just give them a very wide berth, so I've never had a problem with aggressive roaming dogs.

However, now that I have the 2 little CKCSs to walk, I am wondering how you go about protecting yourself & your dogs in the event of an imminent attack, especially if you are walking multiple dogs, and can not scoop them up?

25th March 2007, 12:38 AM
Pick them up before the imminent attack!! Sorry, re-read your post after posting this, try the lemon juice in second post AND still pick them up, one in each arm. Then yell for help....

There have a been a couple of Cavaliers "eaten alive" by large dogs in Toronto in the last few years.

When I used to pick up my daughter, there was a guy who always left his large dog off-leash and it would run at Charley.

The first time, I picked up Charley and asked him to please keep his dog on leash. (As required by law and posted as such)

He swore at me and told me where to go.....so after that, I carried a heavy walking stick and told him, that I wouldn't hesitate to protect my dog.

Each day, he'd see me coming and call his dog away from us.

When we go to the beach, we always carry the same stick. It works. :D

25th March 2007, 12:43 AM
Another good idea from our self defense course, for kiddies and dogs.....
for children, it gives them time to either run or start yelling.

Carry one of those plastic balls of lemon juice and squirt it into the other dogs eyes.

It will make them run off but won't do permanent damage, the acid just stings. :D

25th March 2007, 04:22 AM
Hey I like those, lemon juice balls & a walking stick. Here in Australia we are not allowed to carry weapons of any sort, but a walking stick is not a weapon, nor is lemon juice. :D

25th March 2007, 06:29 AM
When Wesley was attacked at the dog park, the only thing that saved him from the grip of a pitbull was punching the dog square in the jaw. He had locked his teeth around Wesleys neck and had lifted him in the air. Wesley was screaming, and my mil was kicking and hitting the dog. The sweet spot was the jaw, and it instantly released.

I now carry pepper spray and a walking stick, just in case.

25th March 2007, 06:54 AM
He had locked his teeth around Wesleys neck and had lifted him in the air.

Good gods!

So what kind of walking stick do you guys carry? Is it the short, hook shaped one like granny uses, or is it one of those really long ones used for bushwalking?

25th March 2007, 08:00 AM
After our two boys were attacked (not hurt just shook up) I can no longer walk our dogs, my fear is so high that I just about shut down if I see another dog and am really scared all the way round the walk just incase. My boys have picked up on my fear and that combined with a lack of socialisation has created some demons when walking them and if they see another dog they start to do a very high pitched bark which often provokes even the most obedient off lead dog. I am tearing up just writing this, this situation is my worst possible fear. My brother now walks the dogs everyday and although I play ball with them in our reasonably big back garden I really feel I am missing out, I have tried to work with a trainer (probably need a pyschologist) but I don't think I am going to overcome it and have decided therefore to just not walk them. :(

Anyway I have seen some people carry a choke chain to swirl in front of the aggressive dog. I think this is something that unfortunately everyone should plan for and this way you can be as ready as you ever can be as it all happens so quick and is so difficult with multiple dogs.

Very good suggestions and post :thmbsup:

25th March 2007, 08:51 AM
Our "walking stick" is just a piece of thick branch that we found at the beach.

It "could be" a walking stick...you could use a regular cane if you have one around.

I also now carry pepper spray but that was because of an incident with a two-legged dog with road rage! :shock:

For regular dogs, the lemon juice is the best bet. :)

Claire L
25th March 2007, 10:04 AM
I find that a loud HUP!! will stop a dog in its tracks, then I raise my hand and tell it to go. So far this has worked for me. I honestly don't think that I could spray lemon juice in a dogs face,but that's just me....


25th March 2007, 10:10 AM
if i feel a bad situation is coming i use alot of swear words that seems to work well.i also carry a riding crpo as they wont break and they sting real bad.

Bruce H
25th March 2007, 10:57 AM
I'd be tempted to use the pepper spray on the dog first, then the owner if the owner didn't do anything. About the same intelligence.

25th March 2007, 11:10 AM
yer i agree pepper sray the b........s.i am so sick of nasty dogs and the owners are worse,i carry my mobile with me now and the police no is on it i am not taking any more c...p.

25th March 2007, 12:48 PM
my old cavalier lost an eye and had to have it removed when he got attacked by a German Shepard when he was 11 months old. :(

Pepper sprays are illegal here, but sounds a nice idea.

25th March 2007, 12:53 PM
my old cavalier lost an eye and had to have it removed when he got attacked by a German Shepard when he was 11 months old. :(

That is so sad :( :( :(

Pepper sprays are illegal here, but sounds a nice idea.

Yeah, all that sort of stuff is illegal here in Australia too. So far I'm stil going with the walking stick (for my rickety old knees of course) and the lemon ball (to put on my chips, of course).

Joanne M
25th March 2007, 02:27 PM
I think lemon juice is an excellent idea. Have you ever had lemon juice squirt in your eye? It happened to me once while dining out, I had to excuse myself instantly from the table. It's painful, you cannot see out of the eye and you tear up insanely, I had mascara running down my cheek in no time. I think that would stop anyone. Why not put it in a squirt gun, it may offer better aim than the lemon ball, or would that then be considered a weapon? Any squirt bottle with a nozzle and handle that has a long stream setting would be extremely helpful with aim. Jeez, I think I'm enjoying this arming ourselves discussion too much, but I'm fed up with these marauding beasts!

25th March 2007, 02:38 PM
This will either make me a very good or a very bad doggie daddy... but if our little guys were actually being hurt by another dog, I would use whatever I could put my hands on to ensure it would be the LAST time the other dog attacked anything.


Cathy T
25th March 2007, 03:35 PM
I'm with you on that one KC!! Sorry but when it comes to my kids...well you get the idea!

Karen S.
25th March 2007, 03:38 PM
Use pepper spray to ward off attacks. Put it on a chain or bracelet around your wrist where you have easy access to it.
I am usually walking 3 Cavaliers at a time and would not have time to get it out of a pocket or purse.
Thankfully we have never been attacked and live on a private country road but it is better to always be prepared.

25th March 2007, 03:55 PM
We frequent a dog park which has a small dog section. The small dog side is full of gentle, sweet dogs. On the large dog side, there is always at least one scuffle everytime we are there. And most of the time a pit bull is involved. Recently, it took 3 men punching the pit to get it off the lab that it had pinned. The lab was taken out to the vet screaming and bloody. The men then turned on the owner, kept him there and called the police. Very scary.

For all the new puppy owners, if there is a dog park near you, please make sure it has a small dog section before you take your dog. We carry a chain dog leash. It makes a good weapon when you spin it. The lemon juice spray bottle is a great idea.

25th March 2007, 06:41 PM
I'm glad that you started this thread because after I saw that scary-looking pitbull type dog in my backyard eyeing up my little dogs (thru my patio doors) I was wondering what I would do if we ever happen upon a loose dog on one of our walks now. I guess since my other dog is a small 6 lb. Poodle, I would be able to pick both of them up, my Cavalier weighs 19 lbs. so I can pick him up too. I could grab one in each arm IF I had the time to do it, and if need be then kick the loose dog if it was still coming at us. I was also thinking of getting pepper spray too (I like your idea Bruce!) and keeping it wrapped on something around my wrist so it was very handy. I won't do the dog park here because it doesn't have a small dog area. So, I take my two for walks on the leashes. I like the idea of a stick too, but with 2 dogs and 2 leashes, that may be a handful for me....but I like the idea of pepper spray.

25th March 2007, 06:55 PM
me, my husband and daisy were walking yesterday and some aggressive dogs came charging up to her, i bend down to show that i was there and they were far to pushy, so i picked her up and then they were jumping up at her. i didnt like it so we walked away with me carrying her, after a while i put her back down and the same dogs came back, so up she came again. they were jumping up really high trying to get her, so i yelled at the owner to "please can you control your dog" and they werent even bothered. it is a shame that you have to be so careful when out walking your dog. i think if you have no control over your dog, then have it on a lead.

25th March 2007, 10:21 PM
i'm really liking the walking stick/lemon juice idea as well. my hubby suggested carrying a large umbrella as well as that's reasonable enough to do every day in ireland.

i am so disgusted at how irresponsible owners can be about letting their dogs run around out of control. there are a couple of rottweilers around us that are often off lead and i'm terrified of them. oddly enough, indy has been attacked three times (thank god he wasn't injured!) by the same little terrier that's not much bigger than he is. the owner isn't at all bothered by it and when it happened to the two of us i went ballistic...kicked the dog, swooped indy up and started screaming like a crazy person at the guy. it just came out....i then walked back to our apartment shaking like a leaf and burst into tears. i'm horrified to hear how many of you have had the same experiences, especially those of you with injuries.

i don't understand how people can be so thoughtless.


26th March 2007, 02:36 AM
I am to the point now, where, if my dogs get bothered by loose dogs when we are out walking, I will either kick that loose dog in the face if it tries to get at my dogs, and then I will get the police after the owner of that dog. It is a city ordinance here that dogs cannot run loose. maybe if the owners of these loose dogs have to pay enough fines often enough they'll get the hint.

26th March 2007, 02:52 AM
Just with regards to carrying a stick, there are a lot of big dogs that when in attack/frenzy would not even feel or be bothered by the blows of a stick. You would have to poke it up its bum or eye probably for it to be effective.

It would however be useful for beating the owner round the head if near by.

26th March 2007, 03:17 AM
You would have to poke it up its bum or eye probably for it to be effective.


All jokes aside, you are quite right about that Luvzcavs! Back in the days when we had 7 Boxers & a Great Dane icon_whistling two of my bitches got into a blew! I was shocked at how difficult it was to break up the fight, whilst not placing myself in undue danger. When they are into full-on kill mode their brain just gets short circuited and they feel no pain. A stick did nothing, a rididing crop did nothing, and it was only when I had the presence of mind to pick up this huge empty 40 gallon drum & throw near them did the fight break up. Even then, it was just the curiosity of the noise of the drum that gave me the winow of opportinity to grab one of them & drag her into the dog run, becuse they would have continued.

I think this is why the stick and the lemon (or pepper for those who are allowed to carry it) would be a good idea.

Though the area I walk in, there are usually no dogs, but there are also usualy no humans. So for me, if we were attacked, I'd have to be able to defend us on my own, as it is unlikely there would be anyone around to help.

Don't get me wrong, I would hate to have to hurt another dog, but I am thinking that if you do carry that stick, you'd have to be willing to whield it to the death if necessary. All rather grim, but I think we do need to be prepared & have a contingency plan.

Obviously avoiding an attack in the first place is the way to go. Someone else earlier said they lunge at the dog and say a loud HUH. I guess this would probably be my first approach. I sure wouldn't want to be injuring a dog that was just an overly enthusiastic nuisance, rather than an aggressive dog. But like most everyone on this list, I'd do whatever was necessary to protect mine.

26th March 2007, 09:37 AM
Bella has been attacked albeit not seriously by two dogs as a puppy - a Jack Russell and a Cocker Spaniel. Fortunately we managed to get her out uninjured each time but what scared me is that we were unable to protect her as we weren't expecting the dogs to go for her.

Now I always take a rape/personal attack alarm with me, i'm hoping the noise would be enough to stop a dog attacking her and I can scoop her up.

Have to admit that this always worries me though and I am wary of other dogs as I don't want Bella hurt. When she was a puppy we met another cavie that had been savaged by a Greyhound of all things, the poor little mite was in a real mess although he was going to fully recover.

26th March 2007, 12:15 PM
jadan used to play with a doberman pup my sis used to have (he got too big but had a heart to match his size!!) so when the two dobermans that live near us came into the park jadan went straight to them to play...luckily the nasty one (he has been known to shake small dogs before!!) had his muzzle on but still went for jadan who cowerd between my legs....sorry to say i wasnt much use as i was scared sh**less myself!!! the owner had trouble himself getting him away. he had been seen without his muzzle after this but i would put jadan on lead unless he was too close then i would have to let him off just so i know he would have a way of getting away, jadan was sooo much faster, otherwise he wouldnt have stood a chance. picking him up would served no purpose...have you seen the size of these dogs!!! the owner does keep a look out and will take his dogs mainly when he knows other have been but theres always a time when they are out together. i think he may have moved to australia as we havent seen him for a while. sorry folks out there. most of the owners round here who have nasty dogs do tend to keep them on leash and jadan i think can sence not go near as he will go around them and not even attempt to sniff. i thought being shaken up like that would have put him off dogs, but he lives on the park and i thinkit was a case of getting back on the bike after falling off. he had to go and great other dogs again and realise they are ot all the same :flwr:

27th March 2007, 01:19 AM
I just read "The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell, and she does not advocate picking up a small dog when faced with a loose dog. I believe she advises letting go of your dog's leash so that your dog can flee. I'm not sure how practical this advice is, as your dog could end up lost or in more danger from vehicles, etc. If I was out in an open field, maybe....

When we were approached by two aggressive dogs who broke through their chainlink garden fence to get at us, my husband picked up one dog and I picked up the other. We kept walking on by, but when the shepherds got close, I gave them a deep reprimand "AEHHH! Noooooo go home!!!" I don't know if what I said made a difference, but they stopped. I thought perhaps they stopped at the property line, but after we passed by I looked back and they were running out in the street, etc. One almost got hit by a car. :(

Ian Dunbar says that if you are approached by an aggressive loose dog that you should stand like a tree. Wrap your arms around you and look down at your feet. This way, you ignore the dog (which is top dog behavior) and you don't give eye contact, which can be interpreted by the dog as a challenge. Dunbar also says that you should have a sacrificial object, like a jacket or purse, should the dog lunge and bite. Let the dog bite into the sacrificial object (and kill it) while you get away. Again, don't know how practical the advice is. It certainly doesnt take into account what to do if you have another dog with you.