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Took my 8 mo old (spayed) baby for a walk on leash. 30 ft in front of us a man not paying attention has his maltese off leash and it comes charging at us. Man freaks out and starts yelling at his dog (which probably made the situation worse).

I froze... my baby is not aggressive and in fact is a wimp :( She doesn't know to growl back to defend herself yet. Man comes running up and dog freaks out more and starts to growl and try to bite (it sounded like an actual dog fight). He gets tripped up on leash, apologizes, and we walk away (my baby whimpered in shock I think).

I need to plan for next time. In the quick 10 seconds it crossed my mind to spray, kick, or pick up the dog. Luckily it was a small one. Need to plan what to do next time an off leash dog comes charging at us.

What would you do?
 

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Two things. One, carry pepper spray and warn owners that if their dog approaches you will pepper them. Secondly if you can, pick your dog up. Now, this is not necessarily advisable if the other dog is overly aggressive because you do not want to hurt yourself...but with a maltese you are fine. ;)

Seriously though, be very careful about this. My dog has been attacked by two dogs in the past year--one of them even giving her cuts on her neck and ears. This has not had a good effect on her and she is now a little more wary of others dogs when she on leash (she was on-leash and well-behaved in both instances). It sadly has put me in a position where I will be super careful about where I take my dog--and when I do I will have pepper spray and I will use it.
 

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I did have pepper spray and thought about it. The Maltese was jamming with its little legs! I tried to stay calm (per caesar millan shows) but I think it's the owner that freaked his dog out by yelling and running after it. Thought bout picking up my baby but she's already 55lbs.

I am sorry your babies got hurt :( At least we know to be more careful now and plan aheah...
 

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I have experienced this more than once in the past, first step is to move between your pup and the charging dog with shoulders back and stare the approaching dog down. 8/10 this will intimidate the dog enough to not approach any further.

If that does not work another approach is sound aversion, be aware though that this will scare your own pup as well so retain tight grip. A sharp high pitched 'woop woop woop' or sudden loud clapping will often work.

If that fails then you have two feet and hopefully decently heavy boots. I have never had to kick a dog, and hope never too, however faced with a truly aggressive dog and protecting a puppy I would not hesitate.
 

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The charging dog was a Maltese and your "baby" is an 8 month golden retriever !!!!! I don't think I would have been unduly worried and I certainly wouldn't have kicked the little dog. With the vast majority of dogs these things are usually bluster and bravado which often fizzles out if you can let the dogs meet. If it had been a rottie I would probably have been more concerned and if all else failed used the pepper spray.
 

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This happens to us quite a bit which has lead me to discover my inner ninja. I've been able to step in front of my boy, yell at the dog to stop - which helped in two charges - but I've had to kick one crazy Pom mix and tap another Terrier dog with my chuck-it stick to get it to stop.
I did feel badly after the last two instances mentioned above but I will do it again to keep my boy safe. Any dog bite can lead to an infection and these charges have led to my boy becoming dog aggressive. I'm sure the other owners aren't happy that I've taken action but they'd be even less happy if my boy decided to defend himself.
 

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This happens to us quite a bit which has lead me to discover my inner ninja. I've been able to step in front of my boy, yell at the dog to stop - which helped in two charges - but I've had to kick one crazy Pom mix and tap another Terrier dog with my chuck-it stick to get it to stop.
I did feel badly after the last two instances mentioned above but I will do it again to keep my boy safe. Any dog bite can lead to an infection and these charges have led to my boy becoming dog aggressive. I'm sure the other owners aren't happy that I've taken action but they'd be even less happy if my boy decided to defend himself.
Good on you, the owners of charging dogs should not be angry as you have taught their dogs a lesson they hopefully they will not forget the next time they decide to charge another dog.
 

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We had a lab charge us while walking. My husband just stepped in between and body blocked the other dog. Some neighbors who knew the dog said he wouldn't have attacked, but it sure looked like he was attacking. I was very proud of my husband. I usually just yell "NO!" and "Down". Usually that works, but sometimes it's better to just physically block them.
 

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I yell the basic commands "stop", "no", "down", and "easy", hoping the dog will respond to one of them. 9 times out of 10. That, or the owner finally catches up and realizes what's happening. If the dog gets within a few feet, I'll jump down and pick my guy up if need be.

There has been one time though where I had to kick a dog quite a few times, with all my might, to finally get him to run away. The dog wouldn't stop charging. I was just strolling the streets myself, without a dog by my side. So I knew this dog was after me and nobody else. I yelled all the commands before finally turning my back as the dog leaped in the air towards me. He bit my ass (still got the scar) but didn't latch down. As he dropped to the ground, I quickly turned around and kicked him in the neck area as hard as I could. That, of course, didn't stop him, and rather then jumping at me, he was now going after my feet. So I just kept quickly kicking him until he let off and ran away. He also grabbed my foot a few times. I never saw an owner to confront. I stumbled back home in extreme pain and carry the vision of the incident with me forever. It changed how I view dogs off-leash in a big way. I work for a septic tank company now, so I spend a lot of time on peoples properties. If I see a dog approaching off-leash, I have my shovel in my hand, ready to swing at his head to protect myself if need be. I was never like that before. It's a shame really.
 

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JDK just curious...are you going into people's private property without permission? I would be pretty darn pissed if you hit my dog with a shovel on my property when he is defending it....

I am sorry to hear about all of these instances of rushing dogs. I have not had any aggressive rushes, just excited but with Angelina being shy in the old days would put myself between her and the dog. Actually, she would try and get between my legs which doesn't help the balance! I also make sure I do not have tension on the leash and let the dogs sniff. So far I guess I am lucky no one has ever attacked my dog.

I did get chased to the top of a car by a very aggressive 'guard' pit bull who got loose once and after I made it back to my apartment call the cops. They refused to come until I told them the rich opera goers walk right in front of where the dog is and if they get bit I'll be sure to let them know I had called. The cops came and were very disrespectful about it (I was in my 20s and not in a good part of town) until the pit walked by, looked at them and growled....
 

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I recommend Spray Shield (citronella spray) rather than pepper spray. It is harmless to dogs and people. It diverts the dogs because they don't like the smell. It was very effective to stop fights during our off-leash play classes.
 
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Never pick your dog up - if another dog is intent on attacking your dog you are going to get caught in the middle and likely to get bitten.

If you are very concerned then carry a spray as jimla has suggested
 

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JDK just curious...are you going into people's private property without permission? I would be pretty darn pissed if you hit my dog with a shovel on my property when he is defending it....

I am sorry to hear about all of these instances of rushing dogs. I have not had any aggressive rushes, just excited but with Angelina being shy in the old days would put myself between her and the dog. Actually, she would try and get between my legs which doesn't help the balance! I also make sure I do not have tension on the leash and let the dogs sniff. So far I guess I am lucky no one has ever attacked my dog.

I did get chased to the top of a car by a very aggressive 'guard' pit bull who got loose once and after I made it back to my apartment call the cops. They refused to come until I told them the rich opera goers walk right in front of where the dog is and if they get bit I'll be sure to let them know I had called. The cops came and were very disrespectful about it (I was in my 20s and not in a good part of town) until the pit walked by, looked at them and growled....
Of course not. Permission is always granted, and times when we'll be there are always scheduled with the customer in advance. You call us to schedule an appointment. The secretaries mention something about dogs too, about how they should be kept inside when we're there. Not just cause they may attack, but cause there will be a big open hole in the ground a dog could fall in if nobody's watching him. It's not our job to watch your dog. I guess some people just think their dogs are more tamed then they really are, don't remember we're coming, or, they don't think of the fact that we'll be pulling up in a 10-wheel tanker truck and will be carrying shovels and bars to do our job. As I'm sure you know, all this combined could easily frighten a dog if they've never experienced it before. The truck is loud, the vacuum pump on it is even louder, shovels are clanking around, and this and that. That's why we suggest dogs be kept inside.

Don't get me wrong, I would be mad too if somebody hit my dog with a shovel on my property, but then again, my dog probably wouldn't be left outside with all that going on. Some dogs could care less we're there. We come across a lot of those. But there's a few times here and there when you got this big German Shepard coming at you. Gotta look at it from both ends I guess. The customer was warned about the dogs and scheduled us to be there. So if the customers dog charges and looks like it's about to attack the guys they hired to be there, the guys are going to do what they have to in order to protect themselves. If you can run away or are close enough to jump back in the truck, that's great. But it doesn't always work out that way. Luckily, I haven't had to whack one, but I can't say I'm not prepared if need be. I would hate doing it and I'm sure it would be real unsettling for me, but it's me or him at that point. The breed plays a factor too, I'm of course not going to swing at a toy dog or something that's like 30lbs. I've had a few of those bite me in the leg already haha.

Edit: the company has discussed sprays for situations like this, but it was decided against cause not everybody is a dog lover and some people are just scared of dogs. It was mentioned that these types of people could and may possibly spray a dog that means no harm, just cause they don't like dogs or cause maybe the dog was pestering them while they were trying to work, doing it just to scare them away.
 

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Get between your dog and the on-coming dog. Stand tall, be confrontational and speak firmly with authority (drop the pitch an octave or so) No No Bad Dog, Go Home! And carry spray deterrent.

With the horses on the trail, we'd face the dog and in some cases go after it. They'd still bark at us but from a more respectful distance.
 

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JDK, thanks for the clarification. What the pg&e guy does (the electric department) is carries a stick with a ball on the end of it. He says it has saved his butt soooo many times. Changes the dogs demenor immediately. But of course with a truly aggessive dog it probably won't help.
 

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I've resorted to a number of things, depending on the dog and the owner (if present). I will either tell the owner of a small dog my dog snacks on small dogs or my dog isn't friendly, or I will YELL something to the effect of get off your duff and come get your dog. Sometimes I'm able to body block them or use my arms to flap at them and scare them away. Larger dogs present a bigger challenge. I've grabbed sticks, bellowed commands (NO, Go Home, things like that) and in a few cases I've kicked them away. I've used a high beam flashlight in their faces and sometimes it works. My latest weapon of defense on walks (to fend off humans and animals) is a combo LED flashlight/stun gun. I've only used the noise from the stun gun, which worked. I used to have a battery powered hand held stunning device that I used to defend a friend's dog from an attacking golden retriever. It worked--the golden went back home and we continued our walk. I've also screamed bloody murder at 5:30 a.m. when a neighbor's two "friendly" lab mix dogs attacked my dog (as this neighbor was telling me they were friendly and just wanted to say hi)--it was surprising how many neighbors came running to help me. These "friendly" dogs viciously attacked and injured a smaller dog owned by another neighbor a few days before our unfortunate encounter. I called Animal Control, reported it (as did the other neighbor), and the dogs were taken away for quarantine--the owner, an ER doc, hadn't kept their vaccines up to date. He didn't reclaim them after.
 

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JDK, thanks for the clarification. What the pg&e guy does (the electric department) is carries a stick with a ball on the end of it. He says it has saved his butt soooo many times. Changes the dogs demenor immediately. But of course with a truly aggessive dog it probably won't help.
A stick with a ball on the end sounds like an option as something I could make to bring to work with me. These days, having a dog again, I usually have treats on me. Not cause I intended to bring them, but cause they just happened to be in my pocket from training JJ before work. I hope the day never comes where I have to hit or kick a dog, again. The one time I had to, I felt horrible afterwards. I had to keep reminding myself that it's not something I wanted to do but HAD to do to protect myself. The part I hated most about it was that it wasn't the dogs fault, but yet he still had to suffer for it. If his owner had trained and socialized him more, or didn't let him roam off-leash to begin with, the situation would of never happened in the first place. It's sad when the dog has to suffer cause his owners didn't train him. Like many people here, I cringe at the taught of animal abuse. If the owner is home and the dog is inside and they assure me Fido is tame and trained, I always welcome them to let the dog out. It makes my job enjoyable, being able to play a game of fetch with somebody pooch. Actually, it's the highlight of my day. I'm out there with my camera phone and everything.
 

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Thanks for the great suggestions! And to clarify, yes it was only a maltese this time but I felt a bit guilty for "freezing" when it happened so fast. So...now I can plan for future events. Also, the owner was freaking out chasing & yelling which is something you can't always control and definitely makes the situation worse. I kind of think the 2 dogs would've played if it weren't for the crazy owner stumbling us to us yelling. a
 

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Great advice how to deal with unleashed dogs - Ocean is always super friendly and excited to see other dogs, I am more cautious and suspicious.
 

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I step between the dogs and stay between the dogs. I will take a bite for my dogs and I think this translates into my body posture...
 
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