What to do when an off leash dog approaches? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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What to do when an off leash dog approaches?

I have dealt with this on more than a few occasions and each time I freeze with fear. It's always with negligent dog owners. It happened s few times since we moved to our new neighbourhood in the summer. The first was in the summer, there is this little nasty dog that lives near us. The little girl who lives there and this dog is always out front unsupervised. This dog is super nasty and every time we walked by it would run up barking and growling. Twice it ran up to Nyah and attacked her. The little girl yelled at it but of course it doesn't listen to her. It grabbed on Nyah's lip and was biting her hard. Nyah will not defend herself and simply stands there in fear. The second time it happened I kicked the dog hard and it wouldn't stop attacking until I dragged Nyah away and kicked the dog away. I told the girl to tell her mom if it happened again I am going to get the dog taken away.

The other incident happened two days ago. I live In a townhouse complex and not all yards are fully fenced. Those who aren't typically tie the dogs up on a leash. Well we were walking home and this big mixed breed dog(some boarder collie mix) charged Nyah growling and barking. It must have been nasty cause Nyah tucked her tail and froze, panicked I froze too. The woman was yelling at it from I'm her house but it kept running. I held Nyah tight and it was sniffing Nyah growling. A car came and almost hit the dog. I managed to pull her away and it eventually went back home.

My question is what do I do in these situations. I panic and its difficult to drag Nyah away since she stands there in fear

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 07:51 PM
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I have only encountered this at parks (not off leash) and luckily all I have had to do is yell at the owner to get their dog. Otherwise I honestly don't know what I would do...

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 07:55 PM
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This has happened to me too LOTS! Hubby and I had a pitty cross and a lab charge us from out of nowhere on the dyke we like to walk on. The dyke spans across a couple farm properties and when we were approaching this one property I thought it would be good to leash Brew up until we passed it, it's a good thing too. Hubby was trying to put himself between Brew and the two dogs, poor Brew was terrified, tail between his legs and in total flight mode, the pitty cross you could tell was waiting for an attack opportunity while the lab was more "Who's this guy and aloof" I was so scared for Brew. This woman then came running from the property appoligizing and trying to call her dogs back who were not listening at all. It sucks, because you're right, what do you do?? It's not safe to put yourself between the dogs, but our protective instincts tell us too because we love our dogs and want to protect them.

In your case I would tell the girls parents, maybe they are not aware the their dog is aggressive.

I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks, and how they handle these situations, because it's more then scary.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 08:00 PM
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Unfotunately I've dealt with this a number of times over the years, and it is never fun and always scary. (In fact my brother's dog is dog aggressive - so I know it well) I will typically put myself in between the aggressive dog and my dog. I stand very tall and straight and tell it "NO" very firmly. If that doesn't work then I have every full intention of kicking the poop out of it if it attacks.

With my boxer girl this was easy because she would run behind me to hide. Remy makes it hard because while he will never start a fight, he won't back down either. I have no clue what would happen if a dog actually got to him - thankfully I've never had to see that.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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About the little dog.... I'm sure the parents know. I'm pretty sure it was the same dog but I see the same woman walking a dog that looks just like that dog and every time we pass it lunges and goes nuts on Nyah and the woman screams at it but it doesn't listen. I'm not 100% sure it's the same dog but it looks and acts like it. I'm sure ill have the same issue come summer again.

Every time this happened it was a dog either escaping from the owner, running out of a yard or off leash at the park. There are houses backing a park we walk through and a few times a gate was accidentally open and this collie got out and charged us, luckily it is friendly. It's still scary though if you don't know the dog. What happens if it attacks ? If its a larger dog chances are both me and Nyah will get hurt if I try and stop it. Like I said most of the times there's no owner around and just me. It's very frightening.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 09:19 PM
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It's a tough situation that most of us have encountered probably more than once. My best advice is avoid the routes that lead to these encounters. Unfortunately in order to do this you must first have the encounter to begin with. Possibly you could walk the route without the dog first but even then you never know what might appear when you've got your dog with you.

I've always got my walking cane with me when I take Woody out for what most people think is to help me with my back but truth be told it's really for any encounter with unfriendly dogs.

Old Woody loves to play but if there's any sign of aggression Woody's not about to back down. I will stand between the dogs as best I can and let the other dog know he's got to get through me before he's got a shot at Woody.

There are plenty of dog deterrents which can be used to help keep the other dog at bay just google dog deterrents. But again I think the best defense is to scout the area first. If it means having to drive to a new area then I'd make the drive.

Walking your dog should be a pleasant experience not a what if experience! I would also not be hesitant about letting neighbors know if I had bad experiences with their loose dogs. Most area's have leash laws and there is a good reason they do.

I hope you're able to overcome the problems you've encountered and enjoy walking your dog...it's supposed to be a pleasant experience!


Sonny, the black lab, ran ahead to make sure there were no gophers or jackrabbits in the way. If you don't give a dog a specific job, he'll improvise one for himself and it will invariably be fun. There's a lesson there.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 09:28 PM
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It happens to me all time. I live on a 40 acre park, and half the people feel the need to unclip the leash once they enter the park, even though we have leash laws here. It just happened three days ago, but we've had the same encounter with that dog at least 10 times. His owner is a jerk, and refuses to train or leash his dog. This time, his dog came charging at us across a field from about 150 yards away. I saw him coming the entire time, and his owner did NOTHING. I had a verbal altercation with this guy sometime last fall over this. This time, it was light out. Usually it's in the dark, and you can't see or hear him coming.

Anyway, the other day, I put Bella in a down stay (unfortunately, she broke the stay), and stood between the dogs, and yelled "get out of here." after about 30 seconds, the dog left. I have pepper spray just in case, but this particular dog is not dangerous.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 09:56 PM
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That's a difficult situation, and I think I would avoid those areas at all cost honestly. I used to walk in one reservation that has unfortunately attracted the regional idiots who let their dogs run loose and crazy. If one came up charging, I got in front of Cookie and blocked access to her with my body. This is as much to let Cookie realize that I am in charge and she need not worry, as it is to keep the other dog away. If that didn't work, then yelling usually did the trick.

The last time I went walking at this place, I really let a woman have it. Her dog was going crazy trying to get through me to Cookie - and this was in the parking lot. We don't go there any more...not worth the risk at all.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well I can't exactly avoid the area since this happens in the immediate area where I live and even in my survey. We have a condo bored that doesn't allow off less animals or roaming cats but people still do it. Most people are compliant but there are always a few that don't care. As well the park near us, people do that to where they walk them off leash. Most of the time I know the dogs/owners and don't have an issue, it's the few that arnt careful that I have an issue with. Most of the dogs that run up to us off leash though happen randomly. It's hard to be prepared.

I wish I could carry pepper spray but you can't even get it here and it's considered an illegal weapon here.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 10:27 PM
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We've had it happen several times when walking Ben. It changed him from very dog friendly to fear aggressive. Our problems have usually been while walking around the neighborhood, though we've occasionally run into loose dogs at parks as well. A lot of people are careless about their dogs at home, sometimes because they assume the dog will obey their commands, sometimes because they just aren't paying attention while they are doing yard work or unloading the car.

My husband will usually body block the oncoming dog. I will usually tell both dogs "STAY". Surprisingly, it usually works pretty well. When I was younger and hiking on country roads where farm dogs woudl come racing out at me, I would usually reach down and pick up a stick or a few rocks. That would usually keep the dogs back. I rarely had to throw the rocks, just threatening was enough.
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