Wondering how to handle dogs that are loose and charge at me while walking my dog, she is not dog friendly. Should I have her wear a wire muzzle? Carry a big stick? I was "ambushed" one evening while walking, I heard folks talking on their porch and decided to cross the street. Before I could get to the other side their dog charged out of the yard towards us. It was dark and I was attempting to move on quickly. Not fast enough and my dog locked onto this other dog and it took a while to get them apart. One other time my neighbor had her sister over who brought her dog, she had no control and it charged into my yard before I could get my dog Tyge back into my house. Same situation, however they filed a police report, lied saying that the incident occurred on the boundary of the properties, anyway they were threatening and verbally abuse. I walk my dog in a prong collar and she walks very well, generally if I see a another dog I will just change my direction. My dog gets excited most times if she sees another dog passing us on the opposite side of the street. I correct her and look straight ahead and keep moving forward and then she settles. I don't want to encounter another loose dog who gets up close and personal with my dog...and I cringe when they yell...don't worry, he is friendly..... She is a Pitbull mix about 7. I adopted her from shelter when she was about 1yr old. She coexisted with my sheltie mix who has since passed on. I used the Leerburg site about introducing a second dog and it work so well.
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
As a fellow pit bull owner and lover, I am hyper aware that no matter what--it will always be the pit bill's fault when an incident happens. I hope you understand this sad fact too.
Can you find somewhere else to walk the dog where there is less chance of running into unleashed dogs?
Barring that, I like the stick idea.
When you have to, put yourself between your dog and any oncoming dog. Behave in a way that signals you will deal with the intruder--and then actually do it. I've hollered "No! back off!" more than once to somebody else's dog--and if you act like you mean it, it works pretty well. And you earn some leadership cred from your own dog.
I'm also a fellow pit bull owner. I try hard to avoid high-density walking spaces, but when we do get charged, I just straddle my dog with one hand on his collar and one hand under his jaw. They I yell at the charging dog and direct it away with my feet. My dog is comfortable with me standing over him and has learned to love collar grabs and has no worries. He remains very calm during these encounters and just walks off after like nothing happened.
Tracy and Holly I appreciate your feedback and suggestions. I do really try to avoid high traffic areas as best as I can. I like the stick idea also. And if anyone asks I just say it is my girl's favorite fetching stick!! It is too bad that Pitbulls get such a bad rap, esp when with my two incidents she was minding her own business and we had to deal with intruders. Thanks ladies!!
It sounds like your task ahead should be to train your dog to not engage, or at least to out. My recommendation would be to think about Michael Ellis DVD about the Power of playing tug with your dog, then from there practice with squirrels and e-collar.
Having a slight reactive dog myself (he got bitten as a puppy from a Shih Tzu, and since then being reactive to dogs he doesn't know), i can only recommend practicing the out on a daily basis.
An then also having a terrier myself, and i know how hard it is for them to get out of prey drive, i practiced to leave squirrels alone, when walking in a park off leash (e-collar).
At that point you have your dog under control. When another dog approaches, you can down your dog, and you yourself can deal with the other dog. If the other dog still makes it around you towards your dog, than it is just out of luck and doesn't deserve better.
Prong collar - depending on how it is being used it could be 'amping' up the situation especially if you tighten up when seeing another dog. You should always have a slip chain on a pit bull besides the other collar.
You need breed specific information - see below.
For pit bull specific information, the Ultimate Pit Bull Forum site for information is great. There are many folks at that breed specific site with great information. Different situations with terriers and with that breed need to be handled differently. Some typical techniques used for other breeds will make the situation worse.
I would put a muzzle on her and depending on what the law is in your area use whatever I could to deter dogs coming at you. I would NOT use wasp spray. Most dogs I have run into literally are big talk until my dog actually looks at them. Then when they see she will actually back it up they kind of back down. I have never had her start a fight although she will give another dog the evil eye.
You will need to take 2x the precautions of everyone else, which is a PIA, but really is worth it. It is all in management.
Boy, is this ever a pet peeve for me also. Our mal, Bailey, seems to attract dogs who want to pick a fight with her. We've been charged, menaced, and attacked by more dogs than I can remember. We've worked hard to make sure she has a solid "leave it" command so she's not the offending party giving the other dog the stink eye and causing the confrontation. We've also made sure we get her to sit and allow me to deal with the other charging dog.
What's been pretty successful for me when I know an out of control dog is going to charge us is to, as I indicated, first calmly but firmly put your dog in a sit. That's key because the last thing you want is to be wrestling with your dog while trying to fend another one off. Your dog needs to trust you to keep it safe. Then I put myself a couple of steps in front of my dog and plant myself in the other dog's path. I'll usually stamp my foot, point my arm at it, and firmly yell "no", followed up with a command such as "down" or "sit". That usually stops most dogs in their tracks because they are expecting you to back down or run. Hopefully, by then, the clueless owner has arrived in time to look stupid and try to gather up his/her dog. In some cases, I've also resorted to carrying pepper spray if I feel a need to be especially cautious but, thankfully, haven't had to use it yet. Our local police have told me it's perfectly legal to use for defensive purposes.
I failed one time and the other dog didn't fare as well as he expected, between running into a scared Malinois and a ticked-off owner trying to drop-kick it to the next county. Then all bets are off. A walking stick or pepper spray are good suggestions.
We run into this often, though a dog has not yet gotten close enough for a bite to occur (or for me to kick it) and yelling 'MY DOG IS NOT FRIENDLY' at the owners doesn't usually do much. The next time this happens, you may need to be the one that contacts the authorities first.
Wow, so much feedback, experiences and suggestions. Thank you all so very much. I suppose my first task is to get my girl a bit better or should I say focus on me and not the offending dog. I do now carry a stick. There a definitely leash laws in my town. Never even thought to contact Animal Control in this area and touch base with them. The Pitbull info site I will surely check out. She is most definitely terrier with her prey drive. Whenever we are out she is on leash and yes I do have to be quite vigilant but hey, that is OK with me. I love my girl and want to keep her safe! Thanks again!!
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