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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was just scrolling through some old threads when I found one regarding off-leash dogs. The dog owner expressed his opinion about off leash dogs, and whatever that's neither here nor there. BUT He even said he would go as far as to PEPPER SPRAY a dog!
And here's the part that kills me.
SO, SO, MANY PEOPLE AGREED.
If a dog is running at you? That does not justify pepper spraying someone elses dog!
Yes some dogs are not friendly, and yes a fight could break out. If you're dog isn't too small, then he will probably take a lot less damage from a few bites than the other dog would take from being pepper sprayed.
Throw yourself in the middle, pick you're dog up, grab one or both collars, hell it'd be gentler to kick the other dog.
There are so many reasons why a dog could be running up to you; The owner could have simply dropped the leash, the dog slipped out of the collar, etc. And even a fight doesn't usually end with a serious injury with at least one person there to interfere.
I dont care how well versed you are in dog body language interpretation, you (almost) NEVER have any right to pepper spray someones dog.
If my dog's collar broke and he ran up to you and you pepper sprayed him, I would do anything I could to make you regret it.... (obviously not in a violent way seeing how you have pepper spray and my dog is screaming in pain)

how about you switch out for citronella, or carry and umbrella to pop open, theres so many other ways of dealing with these things, and you're already going through the trouble of carrying pepper spray so why not just switch out? Something STARTLING and UNPLEASANT. lemon juice! a can of coins! carry a large jacket or a small blanket or towel to throw over its face. throw your own body in the way. Theres so many alternatives!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I'm actually very upset that I have to worry about my baby getting pepper sprayed in the face for running up to someone if I should happen to make a mistake like clipping the collar wrong. Mistakes happen, and I can't believe there are people out there who may actually do that to my dog some day

IMO You should only ever pepper spray a dog if it is bigger than you're dog, attacking, notjust running - ATTACKING, and you are unable to pick up you're dog, or the strange dog is attacking you as well as you're dog and there's literally not any other way to stop it.

Dont get me wrong though! I understand being protective..I would tackle a mastiff with my entire body if I had to. In fact thats why this made me so angry. I'm getting protective over something that hasn't even happened to me (yet?)
 

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I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I don't think it's inappropriate for someone to pepper spray a loose dog that approaches them, straight as that. It's not their responsibility to clip the leash on correctly or hold on to it properly- it's YOURS. If you're so concerned about it then I'd get a hands-free type leash that you can wrap around your waist. I have one that I generally only use for hiking, but it would work perfectly as a backup. If you're STILL concerned about it then use a backup collar and another clip on the leash. If your dog has a habit of getting away from you I'd be much more concerned about the possibility of them getting killed by a car than some pepper spray in the eyes.

Grabbing one of the dogs by the collar, kicking them, etc can and does put the person with the on leash dog at risk. You can spray pepper spray at a distance and not have to touch the dog. Also consider that your dog could have run up to a dog aggressive dog. Would you rather the person (whose aggressive dog is properly contained by a leash and YOUR dog approached it) let their larger dog attack yours as it comes up or spray it? It'll be unpleasant for your dog, but much less unpleasant than being attacked.

Oh, and you can bet your butt that if your off leash dog came up to me and I had occasion to pepper spray it (for what it's worth I don't carry pepper spray) and you "did whatever you could to make me regret it" then that same sentiment would be flying right back at you, probably in the form of me calling animal control on you and reporting that you had an aggressive dog off leash. I say that because the only way I'd use the pepper spray is if your dog was behaving aggressively towards mine and wouldn't back off. I'm not for using it willy nilly, but if I have to then you and your dog have done something wrong.

It's also worth noting that many people carry pepper spray to ward off human attackers as well. I advise you try shaking a can of pennies or spraying citronella at a human assailant and see how that works for you ;)

THAT SAID, I think it's a tool that should be avoided if at all possible. The first rat terrier I had was a BYB bred, very undersized 8 pound representative of the breed with funky teeth, horrible conformation, and a host of health problems. She was an extremely sweet dog, loved everyone, but was a good watch dog and had the highest prey drive I've ever seen in a dog. If someone entered her house or yard she would definitely sound the alarm. Back when she was very young and still living with my ex boyfriend's family the dogs were hanging out in the backyard while his mom was doing something in the kitchen. She heard the dogs barking loudly at something, so started making her way towards the backyard. As she approached the window she saw the meter reader running backwards from the dog as she was chasing him spraying pepper spray at her and she was literally drenched in orange liquid. She came busting outside with a "What the **** do you think you're doing?!?!", grabbed the dog, and the guy said "Uh, I had a bad experience with dogs".

This was an 8 pound creature who I NEVER saw behave aggressively towards anything that wasn't a prey item. The family was home and instead of knocking on the door and asking if he could enter the yard he just went in with the dogs. I'm sure what happened was the dogs started barking, she ran up to him, he took that as her being aggressive and sprayed her. She then saw him as a threat because he was spraying her with pepper spray so chased him. Beyond wildly inappropriate IMO. From that point on the dog had horrible food allergies that required a very specialized diet and regular allergy shots. My guess is that because of her poor breeding it would have happened at some point, but I don't doubt that being completely coated in pepper spray helped trigger them that first time.

It makes two points- the first is that pepper spray won't necessarily stop an attack in process, and could indeed just get the dog more worked up. The second is that I don't think it's completely harmless. A quick spray probably won't do anything other than stop the dog and cause some burning, but I do think that a lot of it helped to cause our dog's problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I don't think it's inappropriate for someone to pepper spray a loose dog that approaches them, straight as that. It's not their responsibility to clip the leash on correctly or hold on to it properly- it's YOURS. If you're so concerned about it then I'd get a hands-free type leash that you can wrap around your waist. I have one that I generally only use for hiking, but it would work perfectly as a backup. If you're STILL concerned about it then use a backup collar and another clip on the leash. If your dog has a habit of getting away from you I'd be much more concerned about the possibility of them getting killed by a car than some pepper spray in the eyes.

Grabbing one of the dogs by the collar, kicking them, etc can and does put the person with the on leash dog at risk. You can spray pepper spray at a distance and not have to touch the dog. Also consider that your dog could have run up to a dog aggressive dog. Would you rather the person (whose aggressive dog is properly contained by a leash and YOUR dog approached it) let their larger dog attack yours as it comes up or spray it? It'll be unpleasant for your dog, but much less unpleasant than being attacked.

Oh, and you can bet your butt that if your off leash dog came up to me and I had occasion to pepper spray it (for what it's worth I don't carry pepper spray) and you "did whatever you could to make me regret it" then that same sentiment would be flying right back at you, probably in the form of me calling animal control on you and reporting that you had an aggressive dog off leash. I say that because the only way I'd use the pepper spray is if your dog was behaving aggressively towards mine and wouldn't back off. I'm not for using it willy nilly, but if I have to then you and your dog have done something wrong.

It's also worth noting that many people carry pepper spray to ward off human attackers as well. I advise you try shaking a can of pennies or spraying citronella at a human assailant and see how that works for you ;)

THAT SAID, I think it's a tool that should be avoided if at all possible. The first rat terrier I had was a BYB bred, very undersized 8 pound representative of the breed with funky teeth, horrible conformation, and a host of health problems. She was an extremely sweet dog, loved everyone, but was a good watch dog and had the highest prey drive I've ever seen in a dog. If someone entered her house or yard she would definitely sound the alarm. Back when she was very young and still living with my ex boyfriend's family the dogs were hanging out in the backyard while his mom was doing something in the kitchen. She heard the dogs barking loudly at something, so started making her way towards the backyard. As she approached the window she saw the meter reader running backwards from the dog as she was chasing him spraying pepper spray at her and she was literally drenched in orange liquid. She came busting outside with a "What the **** do you think you're doing?!?!", grabbed the dog, and the guy said "Uh, I had a bad experience with dogs".

This was an 8 pound creature who I NEVER saw behave aggressively towards anything that wasn't a prey item. The family was home and instead of knocking on the door and asking if he could enter the yard he just went in with the dogs. I'm sure what happened was the dogs started barking, she ran up to him, he took that as her being aggressive and sprayed her. She then saw him as a threat because he was spraying her with pepper spray so chased him. Beyond wildly inappropriate IMO. From that point on the dog had horrible food allergies that required a very specialized diet and regular allergy shots. My guess is that because of her poor breeding it would have happened at some point, but I don't doubt that being completely coated in pepper spray helped trigger them that first time.

It makes two points- the first is that pepper spray won't necessarily stop an attack in process, and could indeed just get the dog more worked up. The second is that I don't think it's completely harmless. A quick spray probably won't do anything other than stop the dog and cause some burning, but I do think that a lot of it helped to cause our dog's problems.
I'm going to number my responses according to the paragraphs you wrote; just to keep it from being rambley and just so you dont think i'm being passive aggressive (when people number things i always think of an elderly woman telling someone off)

1) About it being the owners responsibility to clip the leash properly and stuff... What I'm saying is, accidents happen to everyone. Anyone who's owned a dog in their life has almost definitely had an incident where the dog got out without the leash. Weather he dug through the fence or the front door wasn't shut or maybe you tripped and let go etc. I'm not arguing in favor of off-leash dogs or talking about dog manners or anything. I'm just saying it happens from time to time.

4) "It's also worth noting that many people carry pepper spray to ward off human attackers as well. I advise you try shaking a can of pennies or spraying citronella at a human assailant and see how that works for you"
...hahahaha! okay that put me in a better mood :3

6ish)" I'm sure what happened was the dogs started barking, she ran up to him, he took that as her being aggressive and sprayed her. She then saw him as a threat because he was spraying her with pepper spray so chased him. Beyond wildly inappropriate IMO. "
I'm glad you said that.
I know theres cases of really aggressive dogs and stuff. I just can't stand thinking about someone spraying my dog :( Pepper spray should be an "only if you have to" thing. I was more angry about how the person in the thread I was reading talked more about off-leash dogs running up to his dog. That made me really upset because he didn't say very much at all about being attacked. Almost as if any dog off leash that comes up deserves it. I sure hope thats not what he meant but it sounded like that to me.

Yes, having a dog off leash is bad mannors and illegal in most parts. But that alone doesn't qualify them for a spray in the face. And on the other hand that one experience could turn a friendly dog into a fearful dog, who then will become aggressive, like a viscous cycle.

However, I do understand that it is necessary sometimes
 

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Normally I never carry anything like pepper spray or umbrellas...so it wouldn't be an issue with me.

But...if I did...pepper spray would be my choice, since it could be used on human attackers too - where as an umbrella isn't going to do jack against a human, or some dogs for that matter. So, yah, if a large dog I've never seen before is running full out at me like it's going to attack, or even jump on me...I would have the pepper spray ready. You should realize too that a large dog, even if being friendly...can harm a person...fragile backs, or people who've been being treated with chemo for cancer...and who have to avoid scratches that cause infection...ect...just can't take the chance of having a dog ruin their back, or mess up a new hip implant...or cause a scratch even.

I've had plenty of loose dogs run at me and only once did I think a dog meant to do me harm...and guess what...He did mean to do me harm. I was lucky enough there was a good sized stick near by that I picked up and was able to thump him a few times as he tried to rip into my leg. The owner was no where in sight...and it was only me and a stick between me getting hurt that day. It was a good thing the dog wasn't persistent and finally backed off and growled and followed me for some ways before turning and leaving when it realized I wasn't an easy target/and or/ out of what he considered his territory.

Reading a dog's body language isn't that hard if one is experienced enough with dogs. I am not one to stand by and do nothing while a dog warns me first then bites me.

It's a harsh lesson, but it might teach a dog from rushing up to people too. But then...I once had a dog that got skunked 3 or 4 times every spring....lol.
Some dogs never learn...while others do, because that dog's mamma was only skunked once in her life and it never happened again.

Stormy
Edit to add...some of the other suggestions...are just not that practical...the umbrella, and who wants to carry a small blanket or a can of coins around on a nice walk...especially in the summer.
 
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After having my dog killed by an off leash pit bull that ran up out of no where, immediately chomped on her neck and killed her...you bet I would.

If your dog is off leash and attacking my dog, and it's either your dog or my dog, it's gonna be your dog. I would shoot a dog before I let my dog get killed by an off leash dog again.

5 people tried to free this dogs jaws from my dog and couldn't. She was dead as soon as he got hold of her. 3 of us had to go to the emergency department to treat the lacerations on our hands and one of my neighbors lost part of his finger.


You. Bet. I. Would.
 

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Tackling a Mastiff that may be aggressive (for the sake of this debate) might either get you killed or severely hurt. Add in the fact that Mastiffs are very large dogs, unless your 500lbs of muscle, I highly doubt tackling will help at all.

You need to think of things logically. How do you propose to stop an attacking dog while holding your own dog on a leash trying to keep him out of the cross hairs? I'm talking about if the dog is a big one. Have you ever been in a compromising situation before with your dogs?

When I first moved to where I am now (rural) I had Beagles. I was walking them on leash along the road when 2 huge dogs (about 150lbs) came charging off their property and were trying to attack my 2 Beagles. My dogs were running in circles around me while I had to keep spinning to keep them from tangling me because then the dogs would have surly gotten a hold of them. I am screaming for help and thank god the owner was outside as he came running down a very long drive way that felt like forever for him to get to his dogs. I was in shock and simply walked back home without saying a word. The owners got in their truck and drove up to me while I was hurrying to get home and basically told me that their dogs would have killed mine. So you can bet your ass I would have pepper sprayed those dogs in a heartbeat and I would pepper spray you too if you thought it was unnecessary force to use it. I will protect my dogs and it is everyone's responsibility to keep their own dogs under control, it's not my responsibility. Yes mistakes happen but i'm not going to let my dogs pay the price for your mistake.

My dog Timber is a great dog, very social and loving but you do not want to mess with this dog. I have seen him angry with another dog (my own) and he took down a 170lbs dog with little effort while he's only 110lbs. Now, I know of he were to find himself in a situation where another dog is attacking him, he will finish the job. Would you prefer I let them at it and have one dog killed or my dog/other dog/or both severely hurt?

Surly pepper spray is much better than carrying around a gun and shooting a dog dead like I've heard people/police have done on the news. While I understand why you would be upset, seems like you are thinking with your heart instead of your head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After having my dog killed by an off leash pit bull that ran up out of no where, immediately chomped on her neck and killed her...you bet I would.

If your dog is off leash and attacking my dog, and it's either your dog or my dog, it's gonna be your dog. I would shoot a dog before I let my dog get killed by an off leash dog again.

5 people tried to free this dogs jaws from my dog and couldn't. She was dead as soon as he got hold of her. 3 of us had to go to the emergency department to treat the lacerations on our hands and one of my neighbors lost part of his finger.


You. Bet. I. Would.

I'm so sorry to hear that :( That really is terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stormy
Edit to add...some of the other suggestions...are just not that practical...the umbrella, and who wants to carry a small blanket or a can of coins around on a nice walk...especially in the summer.
Hhahaha okay I knew my ideas weren't great, but theres gotta be some good ideas out there somewhere.
 

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I've had my dog attacked by an off leash lab before, and it was horrifying. He picked her up and shook her, and i had to pull her out of his mouth by the leash. Luckily she was ok and just had a few scratches, but it could have been much worse. So yes I would. Not saying I would do it to any dog that ran up, but if I thought they were attacking then yes I would. If you let your dog off leash in a place they can run up to other dogs/people, you're taking that risk.

If it saves a life or prevents injury, I see nothing wrong with it. I don't put my dogs in a position that they will run up to someone or their dog.
 

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I think I speak for all when I say that none of us are for dog abuse. That being said I feel that pepper spraying a potentially dangerous dog is much more humane than beating a dog with a stick like some would suggest. yes the spray might irritate and sting their eyes but if you research it you will find that there is no lasting effects from it. I feel that even though I personally would never want to do that to another dog I would if it meant safely disabling the dog so that no one is hurt in the situation.
I also understand that you would feel very offended if anyone did this to your dog but as you've heard people have been in bad situations do to dogs getting off leash and have had to do some serious stuff to get the dog off are have lost a pet. I would much rather have my dog pepper sprayed then potentially hurt another dog or person , or causing damage to himself by fighting another dog or the other owner hurting him severely by trying to get him away. People are just thinking of effective yet humane ways to disable a dog from attracting and causing way more damage then pepper spray would ever do. So I agree with pepper spray as a safe method if it is needed and think that many people should carry it and use it in the right circumstances, not just every dog that runs near them , especially police officers instead of shooting the dog like we see on the news a lot lately...
 

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I think it really depends on the dog's body language. It's pretty obvious if a dog is approaching in an aggressive manner vs approaching in a friendly manner. I would likely see the dog running, and put myself between the dogs before the dog gets anywhere near me, if that did not deter the dog, and the dog was running at me and my dog aggressively, I would do anything to protect myself and my dog. Kick, hit, pepper spray, etc. Ultimately my responsibility is to keep myself and my dog safe.

Also I would be leery about waiting until a dog gets bit before stepping in. Leaving out the emotional and behavioral damage a dog can have after being attacked, the physical can be long lasting. Not to mention if the dog is loose you do not know what possible illnesses that dog might have. And to let myself get bit? Not a chance. Have you heard about what the treatment for rabies is? I would rather pepper spray an unknown dog then deal with those repercussions.

If this is that much of a concern for you then do double duty. 2 leashes. Latch harness and collar together, get a properly fitted slip lead. It's your responsibility to keep your dog contained.
 

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Whether I think it's appropriate really depends on the attitude of the approaching dog. If it's giving me reason to think it will behave aggressively, barking and growling and not backing off when I yell at it, etc. absolutely I would pepper spray the dog. In fact, I generally like the idea of people with dog-aggressive dogs keeping spray on them for warding off other animals while on walks. Better stinging eyes than a torn up ear, etc.

Most of the time, though, I would not, and if I saw someone pepper spraying a non-threatening off-leash dog that came up for a sniff I'd get onto them for overreacting as well. I'm guessing > 90% of the time there are better ways to handle a situation with an approaching off-leash dog; most dogs are not so human or dog aggressive that they will just jet up and attack some unfamiliar person or canine with zero provocation.

Of course there are gray areas. My dog, for instance, is not dog aggressive - he loves to play with other dogs - but he is reactive on leash and will initially bark/lunge/growl/raise hackles when we come into too close a proximity with another dog unexpectedly. Although I know from experience that coming nose-to-nose with another dog in that state has never actually resulted in him biting, I would not blame someone else for pepper spraying him if I accidentally let go of the leash while he was acting a fool. Especially if their dog is touchy with other dogs, too - because his body language alone might be enough to set another dog off.
 
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I kicked a dog in the face about a week ago. German shepherd that was going after Hank very aggressively. It's not a thing I'm HAPPY about doing but I will do whatever I can to protect my dogs. I ended up having to pull the dog by the collar and choke it. Actually immediately after I realized how dumb I was to reach my hand in the middle of it. It was all adrenaline and I didn't even think. The shepherd's owner did NOTHING. Did not even say sorry or leave the dog park. Hank I left immediately. This dog caused issue with many other dogs.

I have seen some bad dog fights....I've also seen 2 dogs go after people unprovoked. I see why people would carry pepper spray.
 

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I'm going to number my responses according to the paragraphs you wrote; just to keep it from being rambley and just so you dont think i'm being passive aggressive (when people number things i always think of an elderly woman telling someone off)

1) About it being the owners responsibility to clip the leash properly and stuff... What I'm saying is, accidents happen to everyone. Anyone who's owned a dog in their life has almost definitely had an incident where the dog got out without the leash. Weather he dug through the fence or the front door wasn't shut or maybe you tripped and let go etc. I'm not arguing in favor of off-leash dogs or talking about dog manners or anything. I'm just saying it happens from time to time.

4) "It's also worth noting that many people carry pepper spray to ward off human attackers as well. I advise you try shaking a can of pennies or spraying citronella at a human assailant and see how that works for you"
...hahahaha! okay that put me in a better mood :3

6ish)" I'm sure what happened was the dogs started barking, she ran up to him, he took that as her being aggressive and sprayed her. She then saw him as a threat because he was spraying her with pepper spray so chased him. Beyond wildly inappropriate IMO. "
I'm glad you said that.
I know theres cases of really aggressive dogs and stuff. I just can't stand thinking about someone spraying my dog :( Pepper spray should be an "only if you have to" thing. I was more angry about how the person in the thread I was reading talked more about off-leash dogs running up to his dog. That made me really upset because he didn't say very much at all about being attacked. Almost as if any dog off leash that comes up deserves it. I sure hope thats not what he meant but it sounded like that to me.

Yes, having a dog off leash is bad mannors and illegal in most parts. But that alone doesn't qualify them for a spray in the face. And on the other hand that one experience could turn a friendly dog into a fearful dog, who then will become aggressive, like a viscous cycle.

However, I do understand that it is necessary sometimes
I do understand where you're coming from when you say that accidents happen. They do, and bad things can happen as a result. I don't want this to come off sounding the wrong way, but the fact that it's an accident isn't someone else's problem. By default if you're walking around the sidewalk or in an on leash park and another dog off lead runs up to you they're doing something wrong. You may have not meant to, but that doesn't change the fact that a loose dog is running up to someone. IMO that person isn't in the wrong for spraying your dog if they have a good reason. I don't think they necessarily need to justify that reason to you- explain how they have a dog aggressive dog that was about to tear yours up, that they have a physical condition that could be made worse by the dog jumping up on them, something like that. For ME it would have to be the dog approaching in an aggressive manner, but other people have different ideas. For that reason someone's idea of spraying your dog may not have been necessary for you.

I guess the long story short is that most dog people certainly don't take great joy out of pepper spraying dogs, but are willing to do it if necessary. However, there are some people whose reasons for spraying a dog may not be the same as yours. For that reason (and a whole host of other reasons) you should be very careful about keeping your dog on lead and under control when out on walks. Be that by double checking to make sure the collar is attached properly, attaching the leash to yourself, making sure the collar is properly adjusted, even wearing two collars in case the dog breaks or slips out of one if you're that concerned about it. It's your responsibility to keep your dog under control. Sometimes accidents do happen, and the people out in the world need to do what they can to protect themselves and their animals.
 

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I would never pepper spray a dog unnecessarily, and would try my best to first get the dog to stop coming at me and my dog.

I can read dogs very well, and know enough about dog body language to be able to gauge whether a dog is friendly, wary, cautious, uncertain, unfriendly, or aggressive. The last two are the ones that would get pepper sprayed by me, if I carried it, if I could not get them to back down by other means. If I kicked a dog I'd do so with the intention of making darn sure that the dog ran off, in other words I'd be causing a minimum of bruising, that's because anything less would likely just tick the dog off further and cause it to turn on me. I weigh around 100 lbs, a medium sized dog weighing around 50 lbs would be very hard for me to fight off, if I could accomplish it, no way do I want one attacking me if I can possibly avoid it.

I don't want to break up a dog fight, I definitely don't want to break one up by myself. You mentioned collars, what if the other dog doesn't have one on? You mention pepper spraying the dog after a fight breaks out, how do you know you aren't going to also spray your own dog? Dog's sometimes redirect onto whatever touches them so you run the chance of either dog latching onto you as you try to break them up. You also have to pry apart jaws that may be clenched onto the other dog. Then there's the vet bills, take to long to break up the fight, or have a couple of very ticked off dogs, and they can do major damage in a surprisingly short amount of time. Pepper spraying the aggressive, charging, dog before a fight breaks out saves a whole host of trouble.

I recently had a loose large, bully breed, dog come up to me and my boy, she was non aggressive, curious, and friendly. My dog is 10 lbs and he was going ballistic, I had picked him up to keep him safe. The dog followed me and my boy, never trying to attack, never once acting aggressive. Meanwhile my dog nearly squirmed out of my arms as I was trying to unlock my door and put him inside. I never did anything to that dog, simply because I knew she was not aggressive, she was a pest, but friendly.

Back when I had my two other dogs I had a group of 3 dogs appear while I was walking my dogs. Those dogs were giving serious thought to fighting. They had stiff bodies, were slowly creeping forward, and had hard stares. I bluffed them by making myself look big, speaking sternly to them, and slowly backing out of what they considered their territory. Luckily it worked, but if they had kept coming, and I had pepper spray, you better believe I would have sprayed them. As it was I was looking around for a thick stick to start swinging if they kept coming at me. If I had to beat them off I would have done a heck of a lot more damage then their having a stinging eyes, and a burning nose.
 

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I usually walk around with a 4 year old and a 6 year old in tow. I never go in off-leash areas with them. Even if a dog is not aggressive, one jump from a big dog at my 4 year old could really hurt her, even if it is a friendly 80lb dog, if it is undisciplined enough to run away from its owner and at me and its children, it could be undisciplined enough to jump at my kids (and dogs do tend to jump up at kids more than grownups), so yes I would pepper spray any dog that comes running at me at my kids if it either

has an aggressive stance (regardless of size)
or is big enough to cause substantial harm to my children just by being "friendly"

If I was on my own or just with my dog I would probably only spray an aggressive dog.

TLDR: If your dog is undisciplined and big enough to cause harm to a child by being friendly, you had better keep it on a leash around me! I don't care if your collar slipped, I am not having my kids being sent crashing to the sidewalk
 

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Would I pepper spray a dog running at me without bothering to think "Is this dog friendly?" first? Yes, yes, I would.

Here's why:

I owned a severely dog aggressive 90 lb GSD mix. He really liked people. He really hated dogs. He did not bark at or posture at or even growl at other dogs. He would act friendly, or at least calm, until he got within striking distance and then go right for the throat.

Having owned a dog like that, I have to consider that any dog could be like that. Muggsy was not the world's only DA-turned-up-to-11 dog. I'm not going to risk Kabota's life trying to be nice to a stranger's off leash, uncontrolled dog. I'm sure as hell not risking my fingers or arms or legs or face trying to grab a collar. Without my fingers (and arms), I won't be able to be a legal secretary. There is no other job I can do that would pay half what I make. (I get paid a stupid amount of money for being a secretary. DC is a hell of a drug!) Without my legs, how will I get around? I don't even own a car. My face? C'mon. I'm not gorgeous or anything, but it's my face. I like it.

I love dogs. I really do. But I'm not risking my own dog, or my life, to avoid pepper spraying a potentially dangerous dog. I'm just not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I may have chosen my words wrong. I didn't necessarily mean wait until a fight breaks out, even though I probably said that exact thing XD What I was trying to convey in my early-moring-pre-coffee-angry-on-the-internet state was that I feel very very strongly that you should be certain before pepper spraying. It was the "running up" part that got to me earlier. Like Rain said, if I found myself in a situation with three huge dogs around me and Dexter, stiff and definitely aggressive, I would do the exact same thing and try to back out slowly and if three dogs attacked my Dexter, Its true I'd do whatever it took to keep him safe.

The part about "running up" which seemed to be the main focus on the last thread I read about it hit home to me. Dexter very friendly and we're working on ignoring other people unless I say its okay. But he'll definitely try to run up and say hi if he were not on the leash/if i wasn't around. (Also.. He weighs 10lbs)

Maybe they were just using "running up" as a way to convey the entire situation of "running up, lunging, attacking" with less words.

Dexter always wears a harness and a collar that is 1/3rd chain and 2/3rds regular collar so that it will tighten enough to keep him from slipping out when he pulls, and I always attach the leash to both of these. When we sit out in the yard we have two leashes at once. That way at least I'm comfortable enough to look away from him and read or something while i'm out there with him.
 
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