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I have two large dogs, a white shepherd and white shepherd cross. This afternoon I walked with them on leash to a park near us that I dont usually go to. I say on leash because around here it's not that unusual for people to have their dogs off leash.

I went into the park, keeping my dogs on leash because it is not properly fenced off and there is a busy road just next to it. Then I saw a large pit bull approaching. I got a bit worried because my dogs were recently attacked by a large staffie, and also there are guys who walk around my neighborhood with pit bulls and when they see you, the taunt you to try and get you to let your dog fight theirs.

Not sure if this was one of these guys though because the dog's owner was all the way at the other side of the park, quite far away. There was no one else near me.

The dog saw me and almost instantly started storming towards us. I've been attacked by pit bulls before and I know what that looks like. He was "locked on", eyes focused staring at my dogs, mouth open and teeth bared, ears forward, running hard, silently.

I did not want my dogs attacked again. Previous time my Pippin's leg got torn up badly enough to need many stitches. And the owner was too far away to help and was just standing there, looking, not doing anything.

I'm a fairly slight woman, tall and thin and not physically intimidating. I stepped forward between my dogs (who were barking) and roared as loudly as I could at the dog NO! NO! NO! And advanced towards him with the full intention of kicking him. Both my hands were occupied holding my dogs on leash.

He glanced up at me and checked, backed away, and came again, storming. I repeated my screaming and stomping performance. The dog checked again, turned, and ran easily back to his owner, who was still doing nothing.

I left the park while I still could! No way of talking to the owner and I would not recognise him - he was too far away.

I know that I am very lucky I did not get bitten. I would have tried to kick that dog and that would have ended badly. Luckily he was cowed by my behavior. Possibly he is used to being punished by humans, I dont know.

But what else could I have done?
 

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That's really scary. We've been charged by loose dogs too. I do have pepper spray, but have found it most effective to snap an empty poop bag. I use grocery bags, so they are big and make a good "snap" if you can do it right--usually scares the dogs into backing off. If the bag is loaded with poo, shoving the bag in the dog's face will cause it to back up as well (lol). Another option is to go to a hiking/outdoors store and buy a walking stick. Or carry an umbrella.

If your town has a leash law, I would definitely report the dog to authorities or to the park rangers!

Jen
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Poop bags! I love it. In this case both my hands were occupied with controlling my own dogs, but I guess I should be more prepared -


We do have leash laws but I'm not sure how to report this. I dont know who the guy is - also, its so common I dont think the police take it seriously at all.
 

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You did the right thing in this situation. I've had to do similar things in the past with other loose dogs that have charged us. I'd start carrying a can of mace or something similar from now on.
 

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I would start carrying "weapons" with you on your walks, something you can carry easily with one hand. I take pepper spray, and now I'll have to start carrying an empty poop bag, too. :) I've heard that electric cattle prods are good, but they may be considered an actual weapon in some states (and so illegal to carry). Maybe upgrade the pepper spray to a "bear" spray. I heard there's a chance of it blowing back into your own dog's face, but it would still make me feel safer than regular human pepper spray with a short, narrow spray area.

There's a park by our house where nobody follows the leash laws. It's so, so frustrating.
 

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Yeah, definitely check what's legal in your area. I'd love a prod, but anything "tazer-ish" seems to be illegal here.

And if you get spray, BE CAREFUL of which way the wind is blowing, or it may end up in your face instead of the offending dog's. :)

Jen
 

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And if you get spray, BE CAREFUL of which way the wind is blowing, or it may end up in your face instead of the offending dog's. :)

Jen
That's why I don't do pepper spray. If the wind shifts suddenly, you have sprayed yourself and your dog.

I carry a bite stick on walks, but I do have a hand free in that I only have one dog. Also, I start with what you did. I get in between my dog and the charging dog, stomp forward and yell NO! I'm sure it looks ridiculous, but it usually works on dogs, despite the fact that I, too, am a short, slight woman. I've also kicked dogs off my dog.

If you have issues with stray or off leash pit bulls in your area, I'd get a bite stick and learn how to use it. That way, if your dog is bitten, you have the best possible tool to get the other dog off of your dog, instead of risking your fingers or screaming ineffectually.
 

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Who cares if you end up spraying yourself, so long as the "attacking" dog gets the majority of it? I've been sprayed with the law enforcement-level stuff for training. Yes, one of the worst experiences of my life, and yes, it still will light up again multiple times randomly even hours later, but it'll do the trick, I guarantee you of that. And in your situation as described, you really did all that you could, however, I'd have put my dogs in the car and proceeded back to have a good "conversation" with the other owner, despite the loose dog.
 

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No offense, but from what you described I doubt that the dog was approaching to fight. It sounds like he was just coming over to greet you and your dogs in a rude and inappropriate (dog language wise) manner. Sorry that this happened to you and that you were able to keep your cool, but I think that you might have overreacted out of fear because you had been attacked by a dog(s) before.
 

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Sorry that this happened to you and that you were able to keep your cool, but I think that you might have overreacted out of fear because you had been attacked by a dog(s) before.
I don't think the OP over-reacted at all. Open mouth, bared teeth? Nope, no way. I'd never let a dog charge up to us that way--aggressive or not, charging dogs puts MY guys in a reactive/defensive situation and I don't like that. And anyway, I'd rather be safe than sorry!!!!

Jen
 

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I don't think the OP over-reacted at all. Open mouth, bared teeth? Nope, no way. I'd never let a dog charge up to us that way--aggressive or not, charging dogs puts MY guys in a reactive/defensive situation and I don't like that. And anyway, I'd rather be safe than sorry!!!!

Jen
I feel the same way. Even if my dog wouldn't react badly, I would rather scare the dog off and look like an idiot than take the chance that maybe it wasn't going to hurt anyone.

Not to mention that all the OP did was yell/stomp at the dog. Didn't do anything to hurt the dog. I don't think I would call that an overreaction.
 

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You did fine IMO. I've never actually experience a charging dog before coming at me, so I wouldn't know how I'd react. You went with your instincts, nothing wrong with that.
 

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No offense, but from what you described I doubt that the dog was approaching to fight. It sounds like he was just coming over to greet you and your dogs in a rude and inappropriate (dog language wise) manner. Sorry that this happened to you and that you were able to keep your cool, but I think that you might have overreacted out of fear because you had been attacked by a dog(s) before.
The OP most certainly is NOT overreacting even if the dog wasn't about to attack and was just rudely approaching. A dog that approached my dobe that way would rev her up and she'd ready to fight due to her reactivity. As an owner it's you DUTY to do what the OP did to avert a fight.

OP I would start carrying a walking stick and possibly a break stick. I also do NOT like pepper spray for the reasons given above.
 

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I think your reaction was spot on. I don't like giving the suggestion to use force, since the dog may just be rude and not mean any harm. However, I have a reactive dog, and I have had to come in between him and other off leash dogs before. I do pretty much the same thing you do, and I don't really care if people think I am crazy. I can't afford to take the chance that the offending dog is just friendly, because, well, mine's not.

carrying a walking stick isn't a bad idea, though.
 
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