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My Rocky died of old age last October and I’m actively looking for another Golden. One thing has been on my mind lately so I thought I’d ask the forum: How aggressive can I get with a dog that attacks my Golden? I carry a real nasty pepper spray and have had to use it twice when 2 big dogs jumped on Rocky, (2 different occasions), but there are lots of Pit Bulls around and I’m not sure Pepper spray is enough. I am very protective and would kill a dog that attacked my dog, but that’s a bit much. Is there anything I can carry that would keep me out of the fight but would absolutely protect my new Golden?
 

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The first step would be identifying and avoiding situations where your dog can encounter aggressive dogs. Where was your previous dog attacked? Was it at a dog park? Leashed walking down the street in your neighborhood? Early in the morning or late at night? Figuring out when these dogs are most likely to be around and then avoiding those parks, or streets, or times, would be helpful. If you live in an area where stray dogs roam freely, this may mean putting the dog in your car and driving to safer place to exercise. If these are owned dogs, you can take steps to get them removed from the street, including reporting any off leash dogs to animal control, and if you know the dog is aggressive, the police. If you know who owns the dog, that’s even better.

In terms of breaking up or preventing a fight if it happens, you might want to consult an animal law attorney in your area who will be familiar with state and local statues regarding your ability (and limitstions to defend yourself and your dog.

Pepper spray is probably your best weapon without getting close to the fight yourself. You could also try carrying an air horn or similar that you can use preemptively to hopefully scare the approaching dog into turning away. But weapons that preemptively harm the dog before an attack might not be allowed (hence the need for the attorney consult) and you would only be permitted to use them once the threat is imminent which may be too late to fully prevent an attack. Avoiding situations where you might encounter these dogs is the best way to avoid an attack.
 

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I have a large walking stick I always use when walking our Golden. It is around 5 foot tall and made of hardwood. If a dog approaches us all I have to do is point the tip of the stick at them and they back off. Most all dogs fear a person with a large stick, they know it can hurt them. I bought my walking stick, but one could be easily made. My dog heals on my left and I use the walking stick with my right hand as I walk. It all works very well...and the added protection is nice to have.
 

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I have been lucky to never need to use this stuff, but when my friend and I walk our dogs in the woods and fields around our houses we bring "Halt! Dog Repellent" with us. Its like a stop fight. We do this because sometimes even though there is a leash law, dogs will come out of no where with no leash or human around. Luckily we are able to control our own dogs and can get them to listen to us, but its nice to know we have this stuff on us incase of attack:


Halt! Dog Repellent 1.5 oz : Home Pest Repellents : Pet Supplies (amazon.com)

I do not know how legal it is or whatever but she used to run a doggie day care and the staff kept it on them in case of dog fights at the day care as well.
 

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Agree with others avoid situations at all costs. Thank goodness we did not have our golden with us ( we were inbetween pups ) 😣at the time. We have had a scary encounter with a pit- it came out of nowhere! I do not know a walking stick or pepper spray that would have stopped this one. I jumped up on a car for safety and my husband was beating him off with a piece of concrete with rebar in it. It did not phase this dog at all! Fortunately the owner came out and was able to get the dog off my husband who was keeping it back with this piece of concrete ( yes my husband is very large and strong ) the police were called and they were sited for not having control of their dog. After that we always walked with a weapon or stun gun. If a dog that is aggressive and large like this one was , it is no match for a golden or human for that matter .
 

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I think pepper spray would be pretty effective in the eyes of any attacking dog. I carry bear spray when I’m up in the NC mountains — that would work also. I do worry about blowback getting on me and Logan — plus, if the dog is on top of Logan and there’s a fight going on it may be difficult to shoot the dog in the eyes. I wouldn’t mind having a stun gun or wand.
 

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Maverick was attacked by a pit that got out of its collar on our usual route. It wasn't too bad, but left him with two puncture wounds. I was luckily able to pull the dog off. The pit was smart enough to back up and slip out of its collar, the other owner froze, and luckily I was able to pull the pit off by grabbing its hind legs and then laying on top of its with a grasp on the skin of its neck. I was walking with my mom at the time at she had Maverick on the leash and to the side on someone's driveway already as I already had bad vibes.

I now carry a taser. I like to think it would stop an aggressive dog but will never know, and hopefully don't have to find out. I have yet to use it or take it out as I use other measures such as crossing the street first or turning around. At this point I don't care if the other owner sees me turning around and walking away from them, I care more about the safety of Maverick.

Pepper spray should be effective enough, but if it isn't then what's your plan B? I have dog spray and that would be my first defense, but if the aggressor is already on top or near Maverick, I'm not using it, I'm going to the taser. I also started carrying a folding knife and hope I never have to use it, but yes I'd go that far if necessary. I refuse to let Maverick go through the pain of having to have a drain in him to drain out excess fluids and a long recovery time. The attack didn't leave any lasting effects on him, but it sure did to me (and my wallet). I'm just glad he doesn't fear any dogs still.
 

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As a cyclist, I have a lot of experience getting chased by aggressive country dogs while riding gravel roads. I've found that most dogs back off if you squirt them in the face with a water bottle -- at least long enough for the owner to come out and deal with their animal.

That being said, my puppy and I were recently charged at by a "friendly" pitbull that lunged at my dog's neck, then knocked me over when I tried to pick up my dog resulting in a bloody knee and foot. I think the only thing that would have deterred that dog is pepper spray or bear spray. I might start carrying some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks all for your thoughtful responses, . . . BUT:

a) “Avoid dangerous situations . . . ” * * Well or course, but I always took my dog to a beautiful safe beach in an upscale area but dangerous, stupid dogs, (and their owners), are everywhere. There is no avoiding ‘dangerous situations.’ It’s called life.

b) Air horn? Squirt with water bottle? Consult with an attorney? All theory when a big mean PitBull is intent on attacking and killing your best friend. I was walking Rocky one day when a girl came down the trail with a PitBull puppy - probably not more than 4 months old. Rocky and the PitBull started ’playing’ and it got too rough. (I hate those dogs anyway). I told her to call off her dog but she had no control of him so I grabbed him first by the collar, which didn’t work, a leg, then around the neck and finally got him off Rocky. You can’t imagine how strong those PitBulls are. I could barely handle him and I’m 6’4”, 210 lbs and in great shape.

I like and will check out some of your good suggestions - Stun gun, bear spray, stun baton, walking stick and one I particularly like - a taser. But I know one thing for sure - if I thought Rocky was in real trouble and in danger of getting mauled or possibly killed by a stupid, savage PitBull I would kill that dog in a minute. I don’t care about the owner, lawyers etc. etc - I only care about Rocky, - I’m his protector.
 

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First my apologies to the OP for hijacking your thread.. I'll be moving to the US with my golden and husband from France... I know I am going to sound ignorant and dumb here so I hope nobody takes offense.. I appreciate anyone who can educate me 🙏🏽 I have never lived in a country with pitbulls. I'm very scared of them and I'll admit I am not sure I can do much in a dog fight 🤦🏽‍♀️ I'm not the biggest and strongest of people , my husband would be better in these situations... We have leash laws in quite alot of places and sometimes people do not follow them - but generally it's labradors who are just running around (our neighborhood back in France has alot of labs). My golden has only ever interacted with labs and sled huskies in Norway that's it.

Do you guys really think I should be taking pepper spray around with me when I move to Portland, Oregon? Tasers? Stun guns? I'm not even sure I know how to use any of these things properly... The beaches and streets in your country are so beautiful, I never knew there could be potentially issues with pitbulls... 😟

Btw we can't carry pepper spray in France, and Norway it's illegal apparently... 😬
 

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My Rocky died of old age last October and I’m actively looking for another Golden. One thing has been on my mind lately so I thought I’d ask the forum: How aggressive can I get with a dog that attacks my Golden? I carry a real nasty pepper spray and have had to use it twice when 2 big dogs jumped on Rocky, (2 different occasions), but there are lots of Pit Bulls around and I’m not sure Pepper spray is enough. I am very protective and would kill a dog that attacked my dog, but that’s a bit much. Is there anything I can carry that would keep me out of the fight but would absolutely protect my new Golden?
Hopefully you already have, but if not, Quit going places where you know there are aggressive dogs.

I am always armed with at least a 9mm handgun, which I am proficient with.
Very nearly had to use it on a dog several months ago. A pit bull mix of course.

Better be certian it is justified if you ever shoot a dog.
 
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First my apologies to the OP for hijacking your thread.. I'll be moving to the US with my golden and husband from France... I know I am going to sound ignorant and dumb here so I hope nobody takes offense.. I appreciate anyone who can educate me 🙏🏽 I have never lived in a country with pitbulls. I'm very scared of them and I'll admit I am not sure I can do much in a dog fight 🤦🏽‍♀️ I'm not the biggest and strongest of people , my husband would be better in these situations... We have leash laws in quite alot of places and sometimes people do not follow them - but generally it's labradors who are just running around (our neighborhood back in France has alot of labs). My golden has only ever interacted with labs and sled huskies in Norway that's it.

Do you guys really think I should be taking pepper spray around with me when I move to Portland, Oregon? Tasers? Stun guns? I'm not even sure I know how to use any of these things properly... The beaches and streets in your country are so beautiful, I never knew there could be potentially issues with pitbulls... 😟

Btw we can't carry pepper spray in France, and Norway it's illegal apparently... 😬

You probably don't need to start off carrying protection devices in my opinion.

If I were you, I'd walk around the neighborhood frequently right when you move in to get a feel for things. Since it's summer, you'll quickly meet neighbors who are out walking their dogs and/or see people's dogs in their yards. Goldens are very popular where I live and all of the golden retriever owners in my neighborhood know each other and each other's dogs. We also know which houses have aggressive dogs and how good they are about leashing them or keeping them contained.

Portland is similar to the city I live in so I assume they have laws about keeping your dog contained in your yard so just keep in mind that, if a dog does escape and attempt to attack you or your dog, you can (and should) call animal control and report it.
 

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Thank you for being both snarky and entirely unhelpful.
Allow me to spell it out for you. Laws, city ordinances, rules, etc. are violated every day. It is up to you to ensure the safety of your dog.
You're welcome.
 

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Allow me to spell it out for you. Laws, city ordinances, rules, etc. are violated every day. It is up to you to ensure the safety of your dog.
You're welcome.
Again with the snark...I don't know what your problem is with me or why you've felt the need to be rude to me in several threads but I'd seriously appreciate it if you took it down a couple notches and tried to act civil.
 

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Again with the snark...I don't know what your problem is with me or why you've felt the need to be rude to me in several threads but I'd seriously appreciate it if you took it down a couple notches and tried to act civil.
Can’t promise anything. In fact, I predict my poor behavior continues. You may want to consider placing me on your ignore list.
 

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Consult with an attorney? All theory when a big mean PitBull is intent on attacking and killing your best friend.
My apologies, I thought it was clear I was suggesting you consult with an attorney in advance of choosing and using defensive weapons so that you understand your rights and limitations of the law. Not that you pull out your cell phone to dial a lawyer while an aggressive dog is approaching you.
 
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