How do I handle unleashed dogs rushing aggressively at my leashed dogs?

Meghan GiacopelliMeghan Giacopelli WashingtonPosts: 445Member
edited 31 March, 2011 in Behavior & Training
This is the second time this week my leashed dogs have been surprised by an unleashed dog rushing at them. Minding our own business, licensed, leashed, neutered/spayed...today it was two large dogs that came rushing around the corner, unneutered males, dominant postured (we were walking around the corner of their territory), invading my dogs' space. They knocked over my 12 yr old Min Pin, which ticked off my Jack Russell/Cattle Dog mix. I almost had a dog fight on my hands and no one stopped to help - I was in the town square yelling! Finally, some of my yelling "Go home" and stomping toward them made them back off & not follow us. When I see dogs off leash in our neighborhood, they are generally about their own business and I walk to avoid them so as not to sress out my dogs. But when an unleashed dog comes rushing or charging at them, I feel completely helpless. People look at what is going on & won't help. I had to call the police once because an unleashed dog had me & my dogs trapped on a stranger's porch. I want to be able to at least distract another dog to show it shouldn't come any closer. Yelling & stomping isn't always effective (especially with the notorious rat terrier/chihuahua mixes on Van Buren street). Citronella? Pepper? Ultrasonic? Super powers? Magic? It will have to work on tiny dogs (the above I mentioned attacked my mom's Great Pyrenees mix) as well as large dogs.

Comments

  • Lya AshleyLya Ashley SmethportPosts: 5,878Member
    edited 17 March, 2011
    Pepper spray does not work on all dogs - citronella spray will work on all dogs! Screaming at them to re-direct their thoughts from your dogs is a start. Spray them with citronella and they should leave you alone.... Good luck!! =;
  • Lacey KingstonLacey Kingston Posts: 7,527Member
    edited 17 March, 2011
    I carry pepper spray, I find it much preferable to my dog mauling them for their ill manners. Lots of neighbors carry golf clubs when they walk too.
  • Brian KeeneBrian Keene PlainfieldPosts: 391Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    Bear spray is supposed to work well. I also had two unleashed dogs this week run at me and Bam while walking leashed in our neighborhood. The first was an English bulldog which ran from a 1/2 a block away at us while the owner took her time walking along. Bam gets in a very defensive posture and gets between me and the dog, hair up and in the "lets get it on" stance. The EB has his nose up Bams butt and I'm trying to speak in a playful tone to keep things calm. The lady gets close and says that her dog plays great with the mastiff next door to her, I reponded thats great but Bam doesn't always play well with others. She noticed his stance and leashed her dog. Today a chihuahua comes out of nowhere, yapping and snapping at Bam. Bam lunged at the dog and I corrected him and made him sit, while the rat dog jumped at him barking like crazy. A kid ran out smiling and I told him that Bam didn't eat dinner yet and he needs to get his dog out of his face. The thing that upsets me the most is that there is no responsibilty taken by the unleashed dogs owners. They give me a dirty look half the time. Excuse me but I am walking a bullmastiff, not a toy poodle. Be a responsible owner and keep your dog under control and out of my dogs face!
  • Chrissy BChrissy B Posts: 1,138Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    I agree, it's most upsetting when you are trying to manage your own reactive dog responsibly and people don't do the same with their dogs. I had a very leash aggressive dog who I had to stop walking altogether because lose dogs would always run at her, or people would let their leashed dogs approach despite my warnings. As for dogs running at you, is it practice for you to carry some kind of walking stick or pole? That can often be a good deterrent. You don't need to actually hit the dog, but you can use it to create some space for you and your own dogs. Or even an unopened umbrella.
  • Jessica GardnerJessica Gardner Middle of nowherePosts: 5,375Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    "I carry pepper spray, I find it much preferable to my dog mauling them for their ill manners." Ditto. Just go with a canister that has a direct stream option to avoid a mist spray that could also effect you and yours. Practice with it so you know what to expect if forced to use it. Always consider the wind direction and speed. I personally like the ones with the color dye so if I need to call and report a dog attacked me or mine I can say more than just it was a yellow lab. I can say it was the yellow lab with the entirely blue stained face. Owners cannot deny their dogs involvement then and its easier to start wracking up a nuisance record that'll eventually get the owner fined or worse, which typically inspires more responsible ownership practices.
  • Brian KeeneBrian Keene PlainfieldPosts: 391Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    I agree, it's most upsetting when you are trying to manage your own reactive dog responsibly and people don't do the same with their dogs. I had a very leash aggressive dog who I had to stop walking altogether because lose dogs would always run at her, or people would let their leashed dogs approach despite my warnings. Bam isn't leash aggressive and will walk politely past other dogs being walked. It's the dog running at us puts him in protective mode. I am working on him reacting in these situations, it's hard when the other dog is in his face barking and being threatening. He did sit yesterday with the chihuahua in his face, after an initial lunge when the dog came out of nowhere charging us! The dog was about 10 lbs and Bam is around 125 lbs. Sometimes I wish Bam would pick the offender up in his mouth and hold him while the owner comes to retrieve their dog. I will not stop walking my dog because of others not controling their dogs. I'm going to call the police and ask them what the outcome of me macing a dog would be, I'm also going to contact my homeowners association. The owners will have a reason to give me attitude but it's better than their dog getting eatin.
  • Chrissy BChrissy B Posts: 1,138Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    That is a good plan about calling the homeowners association. Where I lived before we didn't have anything like that, it was very rural and letting your dog roam was the norm :(
  • Halo HuthHalo Huth Posts: 482Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    I use party poppers and those snap pops you throw on a hard surface. Hit a dog with either and, though harmless, the dog thinks it's been shot - once or twice and said dog is terrified of you and will avoid you at all costs.
  • Sara FrakerSara Fraker WaukeshaPosts: 298Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    If it is one dog approaching stand big and tall facing the dog. Try to ensure your dog is too. You are showing that the two of your are ready to protect yourselves. 2 against 1. If that doesn't work pop an umbrella at the dog as it charges. You can also pop then toss the umbrellow towards the dog. It's better to scare them away if you can. Swinging a golf club can increase the dogs aggression. Although if the dog is already charging and ready to go he's an 11 out of 10 anyway! Air horns can work too.
  • Brian KeeneBrian Keene PlainfieldPosts: 391Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    I called our police non-emergency to ask about leash laws. All dogs must be leashed I was told. I was told to call the police and they will be given a ticket. I will take a picture of the unleashed dog with my phone for proof to show the police. I also asked about macing a dog. I was told that if I am threatened by an unleashed dog I have to do what I have to do. That little white chihuahua is going to be sorry if it charges at me and Bam again. I'll call police on the first offence, on the second offence with the same dog I'm macing the sucker!
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    Seriously? You and your Bullmastiff are threatened by a Chi? What damage is it going to do? Doesn't sound aggressive in the slightest from what you described, rude mannered? yep, out of control? yep. But does that really require macing? I thought the things that people use/carry described in this thread were used in emergency situations if you was confronted or god forbid your dog was seriously attacked by another?
  • Brian KeeneBrian Keene PlainfieldPosts: 391Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    I've been charged by two bulldogs, a lab, a cocker spaniel, a pekinese, THE chihuahua, a cocker spaniel, a golden retriever, a mastiff and a couple more in the last few months. 4 dogs ran at me all in one evening! Is that OK? My dog is ALWAYS leashed and my yard is fenced, its my responsibilty to control my dog. When my dog does react and grab one of these yapping dogs that are in his face who is in the wrong, the big bad bullmastiff. That's not right. Like I said I will take a picture of the unleashed offender, I will call the police and have them ticketed. I will warn the owner that I will mace the dog if runs at me in a threatening manner again. They are now warned and ticketed. I dont care if you have a chihuahua or a rottweiller, keep it under control. Am I threaten by the chi, I was bitten by a dachshund as a child. That chi could take a chunk out of my ankle. It's the point of it, control your dog or get rid of it and get a goldfish.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ✭✭
    edited 18 March, 2011
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    No, i agree entirely Bam-Bam that people should be controlling their dogs more. I mean what responsible owner would allow or not be overly concerned that their dog keeps running out into the street? None. There is a massive difference though between protecting your dog through absolute necessity in an emergency and just macing or doing what ever because you're annoyed at loose dogs.
  • Brian KeeneBrian Keene PlainfieldPosts: 391Member
    edited 18 March, 2011
    Tyler - I mean what responsible owner would allow or not be overly concerned that their dog keeps running out into the street? None. They are not responsible owners, thats the problem. If you are going to sit in your garage or in your front yard with your dog offleash then you better have a good recall or have that dog unreactive to people walking by. Overly concerned, their not that either. They give me a dirty look or walk over smiling like it's OK. And getting annoyed, yeah I think so. I have every right to walk my dog who is not reactive to other dogs, unless they are charging him! I would rather mace the chi than kick it. I feel if I call the police, warn you, and your dog STILL runs at me I will probably mace the dog and the owner when they run out screaming. I have a couple dogs that have ran at me on numerous occasions, one right down the street. Maybe I will shop dog repellent-OK I found some that looks like it will work! HALT, its what the postal workers carry. More humane than human pepper spray and stops dogs in their tracks!
  • sarah lyonsarah lyon Posts: 22Member
    edited 21 March, 2011
    I say mace it! If it continually charges and the owners have been warned then you have every right. And maybe that experience will teach it to not run up to every dog it sees, which will probably protect it from an actual dog that will attack it.
  • SayaSaya Posts: 3,981Member
    edited 21 March, 2011
    I agree with Bam bam's owner on this little dog or not I'd rather warn the owner on first offense then second offense mace it. Little dog or not I mean kicking the chihuahua even a light kick can cause it to be more aggressive or if you kick too hard it can hurt the dog really bad. Maybe bottled skunk juice will work nicer then the owner of the dog will smell it nicely. A big dog acting like the chihuahua coarse could be considered aggressive, but a little chihuahua acting this way is just rude behavior? Small dogs can do just as much damage too.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ✭✭
    edited 21 March, 2011
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Brian KeeneBrian Keene PlainfieldPosts: 391Member
    edited 21 March, 2011
    I was thinking mace originally but I searched dog repellent and found Halt, it says that it's what the postal workers carry. It sounds like it is very effective and when the police show up it will look better than using the teargas/mace spray I got for my wife on the dog! There was a note in our home owners association newsletter asking people to keep their dogs leashed since their have been numerous complaints.
  • Renee BelloRenee Bello Posts: 193Member
    edited 22 March, 2011
    I see where Bam-Bam is coming from and it doesnt matter the size of the dog. If the chihuahua attacks bam-bam and he hurts or even kills the chihuahua, the owners will cry bloody murder and they're the ones that have their tiny dog running around without a leash.
  • D GarmanD Garman RichmondPosts: 745Member
    edited 25 March, 2011
    Having had Piper for a few years (Chihuahua mix) and seen first hand how easy it is to hurt these little dogs, I have to say I would MUCH rather see you spray a dog repellant at this Chi than kick it. If I understand these dog repellants, they would cause temporary pain and discomfort. Even a "light" kick to a Chi can cause some pretty serious damage. Much more than just temporary pain and discomfort. If I had to choose between my little dog being sprayed or bitten by a dog as big as yours, I would always pick the spray. The little ones can have big attitude but they break easy. Too bad you can't start off by macing the owners of these dogs.
  • Brian KeeneBrian Keene PlainfieldPosts: 391Member
    edited 25 March, 2011
    After I mace the dogs I will probably have to mace the owners.
  • Lacey KingstonLacey Kingston Posts: 7,527Member
    edited 25 March, 2011
    Tyler - in response to you commenting about why all the force was needed, in my case I feel justified. If a dog is stupid enough to run up and challenge a healthy young human and a healthy young dog 10 times its size, it is a threat to the neighborhood IMO. What if instead of Tanuk and I walking down the block it had been an elderly person with their dog? Or a child? One time a yorkie got a hold of Tanuk and I tried to pull him off, but he redirected on me. Not worth it, next time I'm going to mace the sucker before he can latch onto my dog's neck and myself. For an annoying yappy dog who just circles you like crazy but never moves in, I like Halo's suggestion of the pop rocks.
  • Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
    edited 26 March, 2011
    This is a reminder that some of the people walking, with or without dogs, are disabled and/or seniors. I am both and must walk in order to continue to be able to walk. Use it or lose it! I must walk with a cane and using that cane against an aggressive dog can easily cause me to fall. Balance problems. One of my neighbors has a very nasty, aggressive Chi that often escapes their back yard somehow. Before I walk I have to check for him, and somehow get back in the house if he appears. Talking to the neighbors does no good, he is a spoiled little "sweet baby-kins" who "would not hurt a fly." Even a rush and a bump/bite from that Chi can cause me to lose balance and fall. So I should stay in the house and not walk? I really like the spray idea. Particularly one that leaves some "marker" so that the owner is forced to realize what is going on. Specific suggestions please as to the most effective product for this situation. By the way, dog owners, I have been bitten three times in my life, two from Dachshounds, one was running free in their farm yards, the other bit me when the owner opened the front door for me, "Sorry, he somtimes does that," one from a Chi that sneaked up on me from behind. I am not proud to say that I killed that Chi with a defensive kick. At the time I was a collegiate football player and in very good shape. It was an immediate reaction, again, attacked and bitten from behind, I was completely startled. The owners of the Chi "freaked," wanted me to pay the vet's bills, wanted me arrested, threatened to sue. I was a "dog murderer." Sanity ultimately prevailed.
  • Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
    edited 26 March, 2011
    some of the people walking, with or without dogs, are seniors and/or persons with disabilities. I am both and must walk in order to be able to keep walking. Use it or lose it! Unleashed, aggressive dogs are a very serious problem for people like me. I walk with a cane but if I use the cane to protect myself from the aggressive dog, I stand a very real chance of falling. So, I have been avoiding areas that have unleashed, aggressive dogs. One of my neighbors has a nasty Chi that often escapes. People like me can fall just because of a Chi rush, balance issues. So, I have been staying in the house, not walking, when I see the Chi. No more. I'll spray the nasty little creature. With what? Recommendations for the most
  • Jacqui MoreJacqui More ClevelandPosts: 167Member
    edited 30 March, 2011
    Sorry, Tyler. After this morning, mom is getting mace or citronella spray. A jack russell got loose and didn't attack, it was just a friendly little bugger who got loose from his owners. However, _I_ am reactive and fear aggressive and intolerant of dogs coming at me and shoving their noses in my business. Mom and I are working on this and I'm getting a lot better but unpredictable is unpredictable. Mom almost had a stroke when this dog came out of nowhere and she held my leash tight and wedged herself in front of me to block the little dog. I'm 40lbs. Trust me, I could have taken that little thing down with one bite. And THAT is what mom didn't want to happen. We were lucky the the JR was pushy like JRs are but lucky that my fear aggression and reactivity are improving because a month ago, I would have panicked and bit that dog no matter how my mom wedged herself. The owner apologized and my mom said "get your dog because mine is reactive" and all this owner could say was "oh it's ok, he's just old and stupid, he wouldn't hurt anyone!" ugh. We're not afraid of little "harmless" dogs, but their inability to logically see their size like our humans can are what gets them in dangerous spots and if I would have bitten the little guy, even if he startled me, I bet I would have been the one in big trouble.
  • Jacqui MoreJacqui More ClevelandPosts: 167Member
    edited 30 March, 2011
    what's Halt? Too bad that sour apple stuff wouldn't be much of a deterrent... I don't want to hurt even a dog that's in attack mode, I would rather it just backed the heck off and go tazer the dog's owners for being irresponsible.
  • Leah StratesLeah Strates Posts: 2,684Member
    edited 30 March, 2011
    I have had so many problems with this too. I carry a staff but have not been forced to use it - yet. I stand tall, make myself look like a big, imposing alpha, stare the dog in the eye and shout loudly, and sometimes I rush at the dog too. I am a strong, young woman, with a strong, muscular young dog at my side, and often times this is enough. I am very careful about the posturing of the dog I do this to, however. If the dog is on full attack mode, I would never do that; if the dog was not scared of my authority, or wanted to challenge me, I could end up seriously injured if it chose to take me on. That's when I would just turn around and walk away, and if the dog followed, hit it hard. I would kick, punch, and do whatever necessary to protect my dog, even if it meant I had to hurt or kill the other dog to make it stop. Jack and me are more important. But if the dog is just approaching quickly and doesn't look overly aggressive yet I've found making myself look big an imposing works a charm. It also works on my dog too, to stop him trying to attack, as he knows I am doing the job as the leader, and leaves me to it.
  • Pamela SpinkPamela Spink Posts: 1,429Member
    edited 31 March, 2011
    I almost always wear steel-toed boots nowadays. When a dog rushes at me and Conker, I do the make myself look big stuff, strong posture and whatnot. If that doesn't work I'll stomp a boot loudly on the ground (they are VERY loud, I can't sneak up on anything with those on) and sometimes say "GO AWAY" in as manly as a voice I can muster. If that don't work and the dog is still coming, if they show the right aggressive signs I give them a good kick in the nose or whatever's closest. Some dogs only seem aggressive while they're running and turn into wusses when they get up close. It's risky but I take the chance to see if the dog is really going to attack before I potentially break it's nose. On the other hand, I prefer my dog to not be harmed by someone's dog that I don't know, have no idea on the vaccination history, temperament, whatever. I'd rather damage an illegally loose dog and potentially pay for it's vet bills than have mine get ripped up or killed. My Grandma lost her dog to a loose dog, I take this issue seriously with mine. Conker doesn't like strange dogs running up to him. He gets real nervous and I don't want him to react badly to one of them so I try my hardest to stay in between him and loose dogs just in case one decides to "say hi". I do run into the genuinely friendly loose dogs and if Conker is fine with them, I catch them and try to find their owners if they aren't obvious. I'm usually nice with those people but the mean loose dogs, not one bit. Especially if they play the "Oh don't worry! He's friendly!" line. That drives me up a wall.
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 31 March, 2011
    I guess living in a country where it's illegal to use/carry the stuff you guys advocate forces you into dealing with things in a less threatening manner. I would be scared stiff walking my dogs if such things were legal here.
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