What to do if an unleashed dog starts running at you - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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What to do if an unleashed dog starts running at you

Hi all - I"m looking for advice from all of you. I've had 2 situations (luckily with good outcomes) over the last year with other dogs, and I'd like some advice. Last summer, I had one of our dogs on a beach, on a short leash and was taking a nice walk. Out of no where, a huge dog came running at us (unleashed and against the law). I didn't see him until he was on me. He was fortunately friendly. but scared the heck out of my dog. She was 6 pounds and he was like 70 pounds. I put myself between them and kept positioning myself as my dog was acting scared and the owners were taking their sweet time coming over. In the end, my dog was okay. I didn't want to pick her up once the dog was on us, in case that would cause the bigger dog to attack.

A few nights ago, I was at training with my other Hav and we were all outside doing leash work. Apparently, someone was at the dog park next door (past dark and against the rules). As she was coming out, her pit bull (she had 2) saw the dogs and went under the fence and started running at the group. I shouted loose dog to the trainers and picked up Bodi. The dog heard me and started running at me. Fortunately the movement of another dog got its attention and by then the trainers were up to us and chasing it back so the owner could get it under control.

The dog wasn't able to make contact with any of us, but it was scary. So my question is - If this happens to me again - An aggressive dog running at me and my well behaved, properly leashed dog, what do I do? My instinct is to pick them up, but I'm thinking that may cause an attack on both of us. Any insight would be appreciated. It is SO frustrating to run into people who don't leash their dogs and don't have them properly trained. Both my dogs are well trained and I'm very aware to make sure they don't approach other people or dogs unless it is welcomed.

Thanks for you input






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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 10:44 PM
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Beth,

You had two scary situations and handled both much better than I would have during the encounters. I'm interested in responses, too, since we had a big dog encounter last week.

Maggie and I were at the dog training school, walking inside to class. I opened the door, Maggie on a 4' leash, walked ahead of me. Once we walked inside, there's an alcove area to the right. Another lady with her Old English Sheepdog- about 80 lbs and on long leash, jumped out and tried to grab Maggie. The Sheepdog came with a few inches of Maggie's neck. The owner just pulled on her dog's leash and kept talking to her friend. I would normally have a few words with the person but I was in shock, it happened so fast, and didn't say anything. Our instructor was late for class and I didn't have a chance to tell her what happened earlier. The owner and her sheepdog are in the same class

During class, the instructor strongly suggested Maggie needs to wear a collar instead of a harness to keep her from looking left and right while walking the course. I knew what Maggie was doing. Smart little girl checking her surroundings and knowing where her enemies are at all times. The instructor knows about the incident now and has separated the small dogs from him. I'm expecting the Sheepdog won't be in future classes since he tried to bite two other small dogs.

I now carry pepper spray and a fair warning.
I also mentioned the situation to my vet last week. He said it's a common problem, big dog going after small dog, and Vets see it happening too often. I didn't think to ask what to do if the situation happens again.

Jeanne & Maggie
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 09:42 AM
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as I mentioned on the other threads about Prince went to the puppy I class a month ago(14weeks and weighed 5lbs), the trainer placed a 73lbs/18weeks German Shepherd at the same class, and this big guy was handled by a 5 years old girl with retractable leash which is not appropriated. (the parents were standing next to the trainer)
I was holding Prince most of the time during lesson, and accident happened when I just put him down and let him walk/learn, the big guy jumped at Prince's back and luckily I can picked him up fast enough to avoid any big injured.
Guess what? both parents and the trainer didn't say anything.... it's make me so mad

Prince is now very cautious about dogs , and will growls at any big dog when they trying to approach him.

after knowing all the accidents about crazy dog attacked, I bought a dog repellent ( HALT ) and will bring it with me while walking Prince at neighborhood, and my daughter will walk with a walking stick just in case.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Good advice - thank you to both of you. I will get some kind of repellent. I feel for you in your puppy class. My Hav Maggie went to a puppy class last year and she was the smallest in the class. At "playtime" they let all the dogs just run free. I had to pick Maggie up because all the big dogs wanted to chase her. Needless to say I ended up not finishing that course or returning to that training establishment.






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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 10:49 AM
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I carry bear mace. It has a dual purpose for when I'm hiking in the woods. I can use it agaist animals and any crazy physchos I might encounter!





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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 01:10 PM
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Ther are several issues in this thread. Re: picking a small dog or puppy up when a large dog is approaching unleashed... I would ALWAYS pick my small dog up if I can. Nowadays, I carry "Halt" spray, which gives you quite a bit of distance between you and the advancing dog.

Before i learned about the spary, Kodi and I HAVE been attacked by larger dogs a couple of times. If the dog still comes at you, it most probably is still going after the dog. (If it is human aggressive, and truly after you, it's not going to make any difference whether you are holding the dog or not). If the dog still comes at me I kick the dog as hard as I can, if possible in the soft part of the belly, if that's not possible, I kick at any part of the dog I can contact. The owner might get mad at you... There is even the (small) possibility that you will injure the dog. Tough luck. As far as I'm concerned, it's their problem for not controlling their dog. No court is going to blame you for defending yourself against an attacking dog.

Re: Puppy classes. We hear this over and over again on the forum. I am beginning to think we need a "sticky" for choosing a Puppy Kindergarten, just as we do for choosing a breeder. Peopel have to check out training facilities and puppy classes BEFORE subjecting their puppy to something that is going to have a lasting negative effect on their ability to socialize well with other dogs. This is part of our responsibility as dog owners. We need to protect our puppies from situaions that will cause them harm (even if it is emotional harm) while building as many positive experiences as possible. Don't LET your puppy get jumped on by a large breed puppy. A good training facility won't allow Flexi's on the property, and won't allow small children to handle dogs (large breed or otherwise) without an adult using a second leash on the same dog for safety. Some large breed puppies are low energy, and FINE playmates for small breed puppies. These pups are a GREAT way for our little ones to learn that just because a dog is big, doesn't mean he's scary. Conversely, a tiny rat terrier pup could EASILY overwhelm a larger Havanese puppy, and their interactions would need to be carefully monitored. All this means you need to have scouted out a good quality training facility and instructor before you even sign up.

Re: walking though a door with a small breed dog. Whether you are walking into your training establishment, or a Petco, Petsmart or anywhere else that you might come face-to-face with another dog, never allow your dog (large or small) precede you through into an unknown situation. You are just asking for trouble. Even many well socialized, dog-friendly dogs have a problem with a strange dog coming face first into their space, especially if they are feeling cornered.

We have a GREAT training center. Even so, the door, office and entryway to the rings are bottlenecks. This is a competition training center, so many of the dogs are highly trained. But we still have young dogs, and even reactive dogs who are coming in and out... And Kodi is invariably the small dog in any face to face encounter. So, Kodi always waits behind me as I open the door and check things out. If the coast is clear, or if any dogs present are ones I know won't be an issue, we procede in, with him in heel position, never ahead of me. Until he was trained well enough to stay at heel, we went through with him on a short enough leash that he remained at my side. If I have any question about the safety of the situation, whether it is dogs I don't know, pet owners who are oblivious and not handling their dogs well, or just that there is a lot of congestion as classes are changing, I pick Kodi up and carry him in.

I guess my overall message is, we need to be PRO-ACTIVE to keeping our dogs out of situations where they can either be hurt, traumatized or practice behaviors that we don't want to develop. We can complain as much as we want about the owners of other dogs, but the fact of the matter is that we can't control them. So we have to think and act defensively to keep our own dogs safe.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 02:02 PM
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We also carry HALT.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 02:40 PM
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I just posted about an incident Henry and I had (we have had 2 total in his life).
First scream "Help!"
Then start screaming. Hopefully the owner will get control of their dog.
A stern "No" to the on coming dog might help.
Picking up your havanese might not help as the dog, once it gets to you might go for your arm and dog.
It's all awful
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone for all the great advice. That's why I love this group so much I am definitely more "aware" then I use to be and have learned some great new tips in the above responses. I am definitely going out this weekend for some Halt or similar dog repellent "spray".






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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebean28 View Post
Thanks so much everyone for all the great advice. That's why I love this group so much I am definitely more "aware" then I use to be and have learned some great new tips in the above responses. I am definitely going out this weekend for some Halt or similar dog repellent "spray".
Then, if you're like me, the biggest challenge is remembering to put it in your pocket when you go for a walk!


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