Loose dogs

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Loose dogs

This is a discussion on Loose dogs within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; How do you guys protect yourselves/ your dogs from loose dogs while walking ? I have five BC's that I tend to walk in areas ...

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Old 08-06-2018, 01:52 PM
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Loose dogs

How do you guys protect yourselves/ your dogs from loose dogs while walking ? I have five BC's that I tend to walk in areas and at times I've found to be as safe as possible. But today my neighbour came back from having been to BSR and told me that shortly after arriving that heard someone screaming, when they went to look they found an elderly lady who had been walking her two little yorkies being attacked by two Pit bull or similar type dogs.
The old lady, her dogs and three other people who tried to come to her aid were badly bitten, to the point of being rushed to the hospital.
I have seen several people carrying sticks while walking with their dogs, I assume it is for protection against both the two and four legged kind of trouble. But I as wondering what else is there? How do you protect yourself/ your fur-kids?

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Old 08-06-2018, 02:06 PM
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I would choose a spray, never go for dog treats (indisciplined dogs who are tossed dog treats will continue to jump on you, follow you, and attack your own dog as a "competitor" for the treats), or sticks, that will probably make the dog way more aggressive.
I have googled it and I've found some sprays that can be bought at Amazon.
I've also heard of people carrying a squirt gun.

Is this a rural area? Off-leash walking is really not OK if you're in an area with other people and dogs. I would check local regulations.
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:46 PM
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@gattymu, this happened in town. Although as a beach town we have our fair share of loose dogs, usually so called "beach dogs" but they are usually not aggressive. Oh they'll bark at you, but they don't attack people. These two were pet dogs that got loose from their owners yard and attacked the old lady's Yorkies and then turned on her when she tried to save her doggies. They then proceeded to attack two more people, an elderly neighbour and another lady who tried to lend assistance, among other things breaking her arm in the process.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:18 PM
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If the dogs that have caused the aggression have owners I would certainly go talk to them, threatening with calling the police if they don't take mesures.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:16 AM
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The dogs were surrendered to the spca for euthanasia. SAPS (South African police service) and spca were called to the scene along with the ambulance.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:35 AM
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Where I live animal control will not come out here. Strays and unwanted dogs get dumped in the area and, neighbors let dogs run free.

With neighbor dogs, the five families out here have a mutual agreement, we can use pepper spray or a BB gun on dogs that are loose and are a problem but, we cannot kill a known dog. Some of the dumped dogs do get killed for chasing livestock or, because they are clearly ill, have mage, or are aggressive.

Not much else we can do, call the sheriff and you get "If you don't know who owns the dog, catch it and post an ad or, just shoot it. If you know the owner, tell them to keep their dog at home." If we do manage to get the sheriff out here over a dog, he will just shoot it so, no point calling over dogs.
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Old 08-07-2018, 09:59 AM
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I've seen sticks but I've also heard large golf type umbrellas. Umbrellas not only can work for knocking or hitting the dogs but they can be opened at an approaching dog to startle them away. May take some desensitization for your own dogs to limit chaos.

I've heard some suggest spray but when the chaos is in a small pile you risk yourself and your own dogs being effected.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:51 PM
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I sometimes pick up a stick but in my experience strays / street dogs tend to be extremely skittish. Usually an aggressive kick in the air towards them on my part will have them back off. Or if I'm walking Leia, sometimes I'll let her chase them off.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:06 PM
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I've been very lucky to so far be able to stop the potentially aggressive dogs and get myself and my dogs out of the area before they made contact with me. There was one time a smaller dog did not completely stop, but I kept it from biting me.

The first time, I spotted the dogs, there was 3 of them, before they got to me and told them, "NO, go home!" in a loud deep voice while making myself as tall and big as I could, and keeping my dogs behind me. When the dog stopped I started backing up and looking around for a nice, thick, stick. They started coming towards me again and I repeated stopping and telling them to go home. Then started backing up again. Luckily I managed to get out of their territory. I should say, those dogs were a still a good 50 yards away when I spotted them coming towards my dogs and I.

Another time a teenaged friend and myself were walking past a neighbors house on the dirt road. Their dog started trailing us keeping a good distance away. When we got to the open gate the dog came charging. I faced it, started talking softly to it, and told my friend to stay behind me. That dog put the fear of God in me as I could tell it was really thinking of attacking and one wrong move on my or my friend's part would have set it off. The dog calmed down a bit and I started backing up with my friend behind me all the while talking softly to the dog. My friend and I managed to make a very slow escape.

I think what helped both times was knowing whether to be loud and stern, or soft and gentle. Another thing that stopped the dogs from attacking was not turning my back on it and stay facing them when I was retreating.

The dog that did not stop got to me before I spotted it, and proceeded to bark and snap at my ankles while I was swinging my umbrella at it to try and get it to stop (I was not hitting the dog. Eventually I got fed up and told the kids who were a little way off and obviously knew the dog that they better call the dog or I was going to beat the heck out of it. They knew I was serious and they called the dog.

I've found that most dogs will stop, but the ones that are seriously aggressive it's hit or miss. Most of them do have a perceived area that they've claimed and if the person can get their self and whomever they are with out of the area the dog will usually stop and let them go. It's keeping the dog from reaching you, or starting the attack that's the problem.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:46 AM
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I’ve posted before about this. Most people can’t strike a moving target very hard when excited. Even aiming a spray so you don’t spray yourself or your dog is hard when under attack. It takes extensive training to develope the mind so you can think clearly in these situations.
The best defense is to pay attention to everything when you are out walking. Especially when the is possibility of loose dogs. Dogs can run very fast and have far better reaction times than we do. If you see a problem it’s best to go a different direction. Retreat before the situation goes critical. However many times these events happen totally unexpectedly. Then you need to react with your protection instincts.

So I ask this question, can you get to your spray in a second or two and reliably aim it? Try it. Have a friend walk with you and unexpectedly say “spray” . Can you turn and aim it in a couple seconds? Not if it isn’t in your hand. I have one hanging from my wrist. I can flip it in to position but aiming takes a couple more. Even with practice. An attacking dog can run 40 feet per second or faster. If it is already coming after you or your dog you are out of action time.
An umbrella is not a good club. Opening it will stop some dogs. We use this as a test in evaluating our sport dogs right from puppies. My Aussie doesn’t even blink at a popping umbrella.

I carry a stun device. It has an extremely nasty sound and the spark is like hand held lightening. Most dogs will stop dead in their tracks when they see it. A couple didn’t and learned the hard way that I have a short fast burning fuse when it comes to dog threats. No I can’t get to it much faster than the note above but if I see a situation that could go critical, I have it armed and in position before the event happens.

I won’t hesitate for a moment if a dog injures me to contact an attorney as the areas we live in are strict on leash communities.

As a side, us older people even those who are in good shape simply can not handle a serious fall. Bones break easily and we can be internally injured even worse. A dog bite will rip our skin that in younger days would be just a bad cut.
I’m in top physical condition yet a fall and face plant into soft snow resulted in a week in ICU and a six figure medical bill. Fortunately insurance paid most of it. They are doing the legal part of it.

At this age fighting off a dog attack is like a knife attack, you are going to get hurt even if you win the event.
Best to retreat and go someplace else. Keep the phone in your pocket and no smoking. Pay attention all the time.....it is good exercise for your brain too.
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