What to Do If You’re Approached by a Dog Without a Leash If You’re Walking Your Dog

Few things raise your blood pressure when you’re enjoying a walk with your own pet like seeing a dog run toward you off its leash.

Many states have laws against this occurrence, but it happens all the time. Either a dog escapes from its yard or an owner is overconfident in their pet’s capacity to behave off the leash.

Whether that dog is friendly or not, there are ways to protect yourself and your dog when you’re approached. Use the strategies below to keep any unexpected  encounters low-key.

1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Instead of scrolling through your phone or listening to a podcast on your walk, remain engaged and aware of what’s going on around you.

You’re more likely to see escapees before they’re right in front of you and your pet.

Photo Credit: Pxhere

2. Lure Your Dog Away

Before your dog engages with a strange dog, use treats and praise to lead yours away.

You want to create enough distance that they lose interest in each other. Easy to do when treats are involved.

3. Use Barriers

If possible, put something large between you and the approaching dog.

Stand behind a parked car or structure to make getting to you and your dog more difficult.

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4. Use Commands

Many dogs know the words sit or stay and will obey even if you’re not their owner.

Try, “go home.” That may work too for a strange dog.

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5. Know How To Pick Up Your Own Dog

You may feel like snatching up your own small dog when a big one approaches. This will work if you do it right.

Turn your back before scooping up your pet. Otherwise, you may unintentionally invite the bigger one to jump or pounce.

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7. Look for Signs of Dog Aggression

All dogs are different, but erect ears and low growling while running straight at you will generally tell you what you need to know.

But, even if the dog seems friendly, it’s best to put some distance between you two.

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8. Report the incident

To prevent injuries to dogs and people, report any encounters with off-leash dogs.

Someone may be looking for them.

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9. Don’t Panic

Don’t run away or let your dog know you think something is wrong.

Create distance and if the other dog is following, have yours sit or lie down.

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10. Avoid Dog Sprays

Depending on the wind, you may only end up fumigating yourself or your own pet.

So what if the worst happens and the dogs begin fighting? NEVER try to pull them apart. You may get seriously injured.

Instead, call for help and try to spray them with water or putting something large between them.

Please, don’t worry… these encounters rarely become too dramatic. But, it’s always good to know the ways you can keep yourself, your pet and other animals safe before an accidental meeting.

Do you have any tips you’d like to give? Let us know in the comments!