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How to Deal with Loose Aggressive Dogs

Nov 26, 2010

photoSome dog owners sometimes encounter this problem: a loose dog approaches them while they are out walking their dog. What do you do in case this happens to you? The situation can be rather intimidating especially if you have a small pet, and the loose dog is larger and/or seems aggressive.

I was on an online forum about dogs recently and had read the heartbreaking story of another forum member. This poor lady held her dying dog in her arms after he was attacked by a loose dog – and the tragedy happened right before her eyes.

I do not always keep my dog Cupcake on a leash, but I follow these two rules whenever we are outside. If she is off her leash and I see another dog with his owner and also off his leash, then I keep Cupcake off hers. I assume that the other dog’s owner knows that their pet is okay with interacting with other dogs.

However, if I see that the other owner has their dog on a leash, then I put Cupcake on hers. My reason for this is that if the other owner is not sure how their dog will react to mine, then I should do what I can to help put their dog at ease.

If you come across an aggressive dog off his leash but with his owner, then it might be a good idea to have a quick word with the owner and suggest that he keep his dog on a leash when other animals are around.

Sometimes, however, you might meet a dog whose owner is either irresponsible or nowhere to be seen. If you are likely to encounter aggressive dogs on your walks, here are three things that you can carry with you to prevent a potential attack.

* Dog pepper spray. This will cause discomfort in the aggressive dog and stop him from attacking but not hurt him.
* Ultrasonic alarm. This device produces sound that is audible to dogs but not humans. It will distract the dog but not cause any permanent damage.
* Walking stick. You can wave this at the dog to drive him away.

Whichever approach you decide to take, you should call a dog warden or animal welfare as soon as you can. The attacking dog just might have gotten lost or is hungry. Reporting the incident could help save him and reunite him with his owner.

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