6 Ways to Keep a Dog From Charging You and Your Dog
One of the biggest problems pet dog owners have when walking their dog, is having off leash dogs rush toward them.
Often these dogs are aggressive.
Or at least covering ground so quickly it can be deduced that aggression may be an issue
The Truth Is…
Not all dogs are friendly
Even the dog running toward you and your dog wagging may not be friendly
Dogs tend to be territorial
And, a dog on a leash should not be rushed and attacked by a dog that is not on a leash.
Let’s face it; the dog on leash may have dog aggression issues that the owner is trying to maintain therefore keeping their dog on leash and being the responsible one in the equation.
1. First Things, First
The ONLY thing you have control of in this situation is YOU and YOUR DOG!
You have control over how you handle it, your ability to maintain calm and composed when faced with a probable emergency situation.
And, you have control over your dog’s training and his ability to deal with a potentially emergency situation.
If you lose your temper, and yell or scream or otherwise look like you are out of control to your dog; your dog is likely to step up and try to take control of the situation.
The last thing you want is your dog losing his temper, lunging on the end of the leas and pulling himself and you into danger!
I teach my dogs to sit or lie down behind me.
I think lie down is a stronger safer behavior but it takes a lot of trust for your dog to due in impending danger.
So, if you want a well trained dog you must practice!
2. Second Idea
The next idea sounds trite, but it has actually been proven that it works on a large amount of dogs.
If the dog is not severely aggressive this is likely to work because a large number of dogs would prefer a handful of hot dogs to sniffing your dog.
And, let’s face it; dog’s aren’t the greatest multi-taskers so his mind goes for “OMG DOG!” to “OMG HOT DOGS”.
I wouldn’t use low level treats! I would splurge and use chicken or hot dogs or something that is more likely to work and I would toss the initial toward his face and then scatter another round as you turn and go another way.
3. Stomp and Yell
I, as I mentioned, have my dogs do a down stay behind me.
Yes, we practice and yes we practice with me going out and stomping and yelling at nothing.
But the majority of dogs who see a large human stomping and yelling toward them will put on the breaks.
I have always figured I would rather deal with the threat head on than have to worry about a severe dog fight.
I might get bitten either way I suppose, but I will probably be more severely injured if I have to try and break up a fight.
4. Air Horn
Air horns are a god send!
They startle just about everyone and everything!
Don’t believe me?
Just shoot one off at work sometime and see the reaction ha ha ha.
Just kidding, don’t do that!
But it will usually startle and send the dog in the opposite direction.
This is also something you should get your dog accustomed to and practice.
It won’t be nearly as helpful if your dog runs the other direction too!
I often use the air horn and toss great treats for my dogs.
Then if you have to use it; you can reward your dog after!
Yes, an umbrella.
How many dogs are going to fly through an umbrella that has just opened up toward them.
Not only is it hopefully terrifying for the other dog….
It should break his visual on your dog!
Again, this is something that you will need to practice with your dog.
Open an umbrella, click and reward!
Pretty soon your dog will welcome the sight of an open umbrella!
6. Mace or Dog Stop
The final step for me, is mace or dog stop spray.
I don’t want to mace any dog.
“Dog Stop Spray” is high powered citronella and it works in most cases but not all.
I would hate using either.
But I would rather use these than have a dog fight.
I once, a very long time ago, when I had a dog aggressive Rottweiler, pepper sprayed both my dog and an oncoming dog. I didn’t want her to kill or injure a dog and it was not stopped by my yelling (I wish I had had some of these other ideas) so I opted to spray them both to keep them from seriously injuring one another.
In my opinion at the time, it was a better option.
Honestly that is the only time I have ever had to use that option.
They key is to carry the tools you need, train for an emergency and have a plan!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.