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 Post subject: Off leash dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:13 am 
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When I walk my dog, I worry about coming across agressive off leash dogs. We've been safe so far, but how can I prepare to protect us? I'm considering either a walking stick or maybe pepper spray? Any suggestions? Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Off leash dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:18 am 
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I'm eager to hear some suggestions as well. I've been concerned for a long time when I take my boy "Ghost" to a nearby park. It is clearly posted that dogs must be on leash, but many owners allow their pets to run free. When I'm there without my dog, some of the owners of these dogs have politely used the excuse, My dog is always friendly, they don't need a leash. I'd like some defensive options for the day when one of these friendly dogs has a bad day.


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 Post subject: Re: Off leash dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:47 am 
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One of my friends recommended carrying a small spray bottle with a 75/25 mixture of water and vinegar. She said to spray it right in their face. It doesn't harm them permanently, but does irritate them and they will stop to clean it off. I haven't had to use it yet, though, so I'm not sure it really works.

Susan


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 Post subject: Re: Off leash dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:19 pm 
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I have a zero tolerance policy with off leash dogs approaching mine as I live in an area with a lot of morons who think it's amusing to fight their dogs and let them run lose to maul other animals.

I have bear spray, a knife and if need be a firearm for stubborn cases (all are legal where I live). Most off leash dogs will leave you be if you firmly tell them to go away but every now and then you get a more aggressive one and you need to protect your own dog by any means necessary. If you live in an area infested with pit type dogs (and before I get jumped on by the pro-pit people, I said pit-type, not solely the American Pit Bull Terrier), learning how to use a break stick should one latch onto your dog is also helpful, I've never had to use one myself but I've seen more than one person have to use them when a lose dog of this type attacked their on-leash dog.

If you don't live in a lousy area like mine, air horns, fire extinguishers, a walking stick or popping an umbrella in their face can also deter/startle an approaching dog if they are mild mannered. I've seen people also carry treats and throw them in the opposite direction so when the approaching dog goes for them you have time to move to safety.

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 Post subject: Re: Off leash dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:23 pm 
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Having had Teddy and myself attacked by an off-leash dog when he was 10-months old, carrying stuff for protection became an issue several yars ago. Since in my area pepper spray is against the law, I carried a spray bottle of the vinager/water mix. I also used lemon juice in the bottle at times.

I prefer the spray simply because I walk with a crutch and can hold a leash and a spray bottle in the same hand. If you decide to do something larger/more, it sounds silly but practice. If you're a tanked the last thing you want to do is get tangled in your own leash or trip on your stick and wind up on the ground.

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 Post subject: Re: Off leash dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Meant to add, times like this are when teaching your dog a solid sit/stay are a benefit. If your dog is straining and bouncing around on the leash it can escalate a situation.

And Terry, I've had my leashed dogs snapped/bit at too many times by 'oh don't worry he's friendly' types so now my dogs are only allowed to meet other dogs if I can control the interaction. I do not allow other dogs near mine, if I have to nudge them away with my foot or worse so be it. My cockers are small and could easily be seriously injured by a large dog coming up to them so I do it for their safety. For the Akita (who is always on leash) if a lose dog comes up an starts something and he happens to defend himself, he will always be blamed because of his breed. It's never 'aggressive and rude lab ran up to leashed Akita and Akita was defending himself" It's always 'vicious Akita attacks poor little lab". You can replace the word Akita with any of the bully breeds, German Shepherd, Rot, ect. It's a no-win situation that aggravates me to no end.

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 Post subject: Re: Off leash dogs
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Most parks in the UK are off-leash, which I think is actually healthier for dogs in it allows them better exercise and teaches them to socialise with other dogs and people off-leash. Or course, there are scary incidents with off-leash dog attacks, between dogs as well as dogs biting people, but that is a relatively small percentage vs the majority of dogs which manage very well in parks off-lead since dogs easily become used to roaming free and socialising with strange dogs they meet.

Saying that, I'm always mindful of bully type dogs or suspicious looking owners with dangerous looking dogs and try to stay clear of them. After one of my cockers was attacked by 2 stray pitt bulls a few years ago, I also tried carrying around a small fire extinguisher. However, that became very heavy, and I worried about the chemicals in the extinguisher hurting my own dogs, so now I just carry around a bottle of bitch spray (using tear gas is illegal in the UK) and extra loop leads in case the other dog is off-lead with no collar. The thing is, dog attacks can happen so suddenly and quickly, it's really hard to prepare against despite all one's well-laid plans and preparations. I just try to remember to keep calm, as screaming or shouting can actually make the situation worse. Also, if a dog clamps down on another and won't let go, one must be careful about pulling them apart as this can cause ripping and more damage than if the biting dog can somehow be persuaded or forced to just let go. In my case, I had a couple of good samaritans who came by and hit the more aggressive attacking pitt bull on the head with a branch to force it to let go of my poor dog's head then sat on the dog, upon which I picked her up and ran as far away as possible with her. So, carrying a stick may be a good idea too.


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