A few weeks ago, I was out walking my dogs. Both dogs were on leash. And out of nowhere, a neighbor's dog came out of the yard snarling and barking at my dogs. We had no time to react.
We were already in the heat of the moment, and my mind was swirling with calculated thoughts of what I should do. But the ultimate thought I had was how do I keep my dogs safe when the other dog was unleashed.
I kept yelling, “NOOOOOO!” And with the dog continuing to lunge at us, I was scared to bend over to pick up my dogs. I lifted my dogs by their leashes about a foot off the ground so they weren’t in direct eye contact with the aggressor. It wasn’t the best idea but it confused the other dog. The attack was over as soon as the owner’s shouted the dog’s name.
I led my dogs out of the area and around the corner until we reached a safe place. I inspected every inch of their faces to make sure they were ok. And when I realized they were unscathed, I rewarded them with lots of head rubs and treats.
I felt defeated even though my dogs were ok. I knew that I didn’t handle the situation as well as I could have. So I began researching this topic to be better prepared the next time a dog attack happens.
How can you keep you and your dog safe during a dog attack?
If you have an object nearby, throw it in the direction of the aggressive dog. Sticks, rocks, or a trash can all be deterrents.
If you have a whistle or air horn, blow it.
Compact air horns are available online and can fit in waist packs during walks.
Throwing treats towards the aggressive dog can distract. But don’t do this if the attack is already occurring. Food could further escalate an unsafe situation causing more harm.
SEPARATE WITH OBJECT
This can be difficult to execute during an attack. But if there is an object nearby (like a trash lid or cardboard box), put it between the dogs to break eye contact and distract.
If extra people are around, grab the dog’s back legs and walk backwards to separate the dogs. Isolate dogs after breaking up the fight.
Walking your dog should be a fun and enjoyable experience. No one wants to think about the “unthinkable” happening but it can happen. Buy a waist pack and fill with the essentials to keep your dog safe. And if a dog attack happens, the most important thing is to keep you and your dog safe!
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