A few tips for protecting your dog from attacks on walks (especially a smaller dog):
- Choose your path deliberately and avoid venturing into unknown territory with your dog. This isn’t a sure-fire way to avoid dog attacks, as accidents happen and loose dogs can be where you least expect them. But generally speaking, if you know the 80-lb. unfriendly mastiff mix behind a rickety, 3-foot fence lives to the right, turn left. If you want to scope out a new walking area, do so without your dog in tow first.
- Train your dog not to pull, bark or lunge on leash when it sees another dog. No leashed dog should be the victim of an attack by an off-leash dog, but if your dog is playing it cool and paying attention to you rather than the other dog, you have more opportunity to control the situation. Also, your dog’s chill attitude could influence the other dog to take it down a notch.
- Call out. If there is somebody with the loose dog, call out and ask them to please leash his or her animal. You can say your dog isn’t good with other dogs, if you need an excuse. If I request the other person’s dog be leashed, and they refuse, any offense should I have to use physical means to protect my dog is unwarranted.
- Premier Pet Products offers a citronella spray product, “SprayShield Animal Deterrent Spray,” sold in a can. If you must walk through a sketchy area, dog-wise, carrying it clipped to your belt couldn’t hurt.
- Carry a bunch of tasty treats… for the other dog. A handful of liver in an approaching dog’s face may be enough to stop the dog in its tracks.
- Start an initiative in your community to get dogs off chains and loose dogs accounted for. The fewer of these dogs available for attack incidents, the safer everyone will be.
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: _Bunn_ via Compfight