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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My SO and I were sitting at a public park on a bench and the breed that shall not be mentioned ran up to us and our dog. It was friendly at first but then it decided it wanted my GSD’s toy and went after her. My dog wasn’t injured but my SO has a bite on his leg. It’s not bad thankfully. The owner had just rescued the dog and I don’t really blame him. He was horrified.

It really just pissed me off though. Our dog was doing nothing wrong and this is the second time she’s been attacked while on leash by an off leash dog. This time we let her go to run. I didn’t the first time she was attacked in a different city and traffic was around. What can I carry around to help prevent this? A stick seems insane. Pepper spray?! A spray bottle? A taser?!

On the flip side, I wasn’t sure if my dog would defend herself or run. She’s not a runner when her family got attacked that’s for sure. After my SO was bitten, she saw red and held her own against this massive dog in the fight. It would have been better for her own safety if she ran but she didn’t. 😕 Ugh. I’m so frustrated and mad. I feel so powerless to protect my dog. I’m tiny and it was horrible to see my SO get attacked while I was just yelling at the dog and trying to kick it away
 

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I am so sorry you have to deal with this. Here's my advice from another thread:

Always take a very sturdy wooden shepherd's crook or blackthorn walking stick/cane with you. Get one that is comfortable for you to carry, easy to swing and bang on the ground, and strong enough not to break if you hit the ground hard with it.

Always take Spray Shield, a citronella spray, with you in a way that makes it easy to grab and use in a hurry, like in a holster. You can get it at amazon or chewy.

When a dog charges, spray him right between the eyes if you can. Best results if you hit the face. It has no red pepper in it and will not hurt you or your own dog if it hits you, even in the eyes (which I know from personal experience).

As you spray, loudly holler, "Get the f-word outta here!" It's important to sound contemptuous and not at all panicked. It's also important to cuss--it works a lot better if you do.

This spray is surprisingly effective and worked on most--not all--of the dogs I had to use it on.

If you can't get the spray out in time or it doesn't work, bang the crook/walking stick/cane hard and repeatedly on the ground in the charging dog's path. If he keeps coming and gets a good crack on the head, too bad, so sad. Do not hesitate to whack the charging dog as hard as you have to in order to make him stop.

Since you deal with the breed that cannot be named, I strongly recommend that you also make and carry a very strong 6-foot length of parachute cord with a sturdy steel ring securely attached at one end and a loop for your hand at the other end. If a dog clamps down on you or [your dog] and won't let go, loop this around the attacking dog's neck like a slip lead, wrap the cord around your hand and haul up with all your strength to choke the dog off. It will really hurt your hand but never mind. Put the leash over a low tree branch or whatever is handy if available and necessary. Do not stop choking the dog until he is clearly totally unconscious. There are breaker bars to make a dog release, but the dog will immediately bite again unless someone else is there who can immediately control the dog when he releases.
If you do not feel up to any of this, you might consider taking a serious self-defense class. The most important thing a good class like this does is give you a righteous don't-mess-with-me attitude and the willingness to do whatever is necessary to stop an attack on you, your SO, or your dog.
 

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Hornet spray or bear spray shoots a thin stream at a good distance.Pepper spray tends to waft back at you.I'm glad you folks and the dogs are ok.I'm fortunate to live in a rural area and don't have to deal with too many dog fight ordeals.Porcupines are our biggest problem.
 

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I never give another off leash dog the time to make contact with my dog but step in front of her and act as if I am warding off a cougar. I don't care what others think. My referee whistle has been 100% effective in this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am so sorry you have to deal with this. Here's my advice from another thread:

Always take a very sturdy wooden shepherd's crook or blackthorn walking stick/cane with you. Get one that is comfortable for you to carry, easy to swing and bang on the ground, and strong enough not to break if you hit the ground hard with it.

Always take Spray Shield, a citronella spray, with you in a way that makes it easy to grab and use in a hurry, like in a holster. You can get it at amazon or chewy.

When a dog charges, spray him right between the eyes if you can. Best results if you hit the face. It has no red pepper in it and will not hurt you or your own dog if it hits you, even in the eyes (which I know from personal experience).

As you spray, loudly holler, "Get the f-word outta here!" It's important to sound contemptuous and not at all panicked. It's also important to cuss--it works a lot better if you do.

This spray is surprisingly effective and worked on most--not all--of the dogs I had to use it on.

If you can't get the spray out in time or it doesn't work, bang the crook/walking stick/cane hard and repeatedly on the ground in the charging dog's path. If he keeps coming and gets a good crack on the head, too bad, so sad. Do not hesitate to whack the charging dog as hard as you have to in order to make him stop.

Since you deal with the breed that cannot be named, I strongly recommend that you also make and carry a very strong 6-foot length of parachute cord with a sturdy steel ring securely attached at one end and a loop for your hand at the other end. If a dog clamps down on you or [your dog] and won't let go, loop this around the attacking dog's neck like a slip lead, wrap the cord around your hand and haul up with all your strength to choke the dog off. It will really hurt your hand but never mind. Put the leash over a low tree branch or whatever is handy if available and necessary. Do not stop choking the dog until he is clearly totally unconscious. There are breaker bars to make a dog release, but the dog will immediately bite again unless someone else is there who can immediately control the dog when he releases.
If you do not feel up to any of this, you might consider taking a serious self-defense class. The most important thing a good class like this does is give you a righteous don't-mess-with-me attitude and the willingness to do whatever is necessary to stop an attack on you, your SO, or your dog.
Thank you very much! I didn’t even know that spray existed and I’ll purchase some right away. The stick as well. The loop I also had no idea existed and I will 100% get that. My SO is huge and he separated the dogs but I would not have been able to do that if I had been alone. 😕 I can’t even imagine what would have happened to my dog
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I never give another off leash dog the time to make contact with my dog but step in front of her and act as if I am warding off a cougar. I don't care what others think. My referee whistle has been 100% effective in this.
I think I’ll start doing that and never risk it again. My SO did today and he got bit but it probably saved our one year old GSD. I’ve had a similar situation before and my screaming scared off the dog but this dog didn’t care. It was like it was possessed and so quickly as well. I have NO clue why someone would let a dog like that off leash ever
 

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I am not blaming you, but there may be some things you can do to prevent issues before they happen.

Lots of dog parks have rules against bringing toys, as toys can spark squabbles, and squabbles escalate. I'd play with toys at home, and not bring them with you to a park.

Avoid some dogs and people. Keep your eyes open and if you see Trouble coming, get up and leave. No, that's not fair. No, you shouldn't have to. But it will keep your dog safe.

You do not have to allow your dog to "make friends" with ANY dog, but you can with dogs that seem ok. But it's totally up to you. If you do not trust a certain breed or breeds, than don't allow those breeds to interact with your dog. If the owner comes up and asks if your dog is friendly, just say "No." You can say, "No, she is in training." if you want to be nicer.

Judge people by how they are interacting with their dog and with other people before they get to you. If you think they will not respect your wish not to have an interaction between the dogs, get out of Dodge.

Trouble may be a particular breed or breeds, it may be how the dog is behaving, whether it is under control or not. It can be just something about the dog's person. It can be nothing but a bad feeling about a person or a dog.

If your pup gets attacked enough, she may lose confidence in your ability to protect her, and when that happens, she may feel it necessary to attack first and ask questions later. You need to decide to be a hag, to say no, to diss people or dogs by how they look or how they act or what their breed is. The only person you have to answer to is the one in the mirror. In protecting your dog, by acting before anything happens, you can prevent having to react physically. And by action -- walking away with your dog before a problem happens, you don't have to exhibit those high emotion moments where you or your dog is getting hurt and you are trying anything to get it go stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is the best solution to also avoid anywhere dogs might be off leash? Like hikes or near public parks? We live near a few open fields that I feel safe at because I go off hours and we’ve never had conflict there. Just a few neighborhood labs on occasion.

I seriously lost it a few months ago when my dog was on leash and she got attacked. I was screaming at the owner like a banshee and he got his dog and ran. I don’t even care that I screamed bloody murder. I just can’t watch my dog get hurt again. Dog owners can suck. 😞 The ones outside this forum anyway!!
 

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My SO is huge and he separated the dogs but I would not have been able to do that if I had been alone. 😕 I can’t even imagine what would have happened to my dog
Or to you! Attacks like this are extremely dangerous and you are absolutely right to take them seriously. If you have the right equipment, tactics, and attitude, size matters not, as Yoda says. The fact that you were kicking the attacking dog tells me that you have the guts you need here, even though it's not an effective tactic for a tiny person. But it's just plain nuts that you have to deal with this.
 

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Living in a fairly populated area I have to have my head on a swivel. Dogs on flexis, dogs out of control and strong enough to pull their owner to where they want to go, people that run up squeal and hug strange dogs. My dogs learn to deal with the latter.

I recommend bear spray (on charging dogs, not overly affection people lol) because it has range and the stream delivery is not as subject to wind redirection as a spray. I also carry a bite stick. I got a nice wooden one off Amazon. Important to know how to use it.
 

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Don't be lulled into a false sense of security because a dog is on a leash. I have personally witnessed three separate incidents where certain breeds pulled their owners over and dragged them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am not blaming you, but there may be some things you can do to prevent issues before they happen.

Lots of dog parks have rules against bringing toys, as toys can spark squabbles, and squabbles escalate. I'd play with toys at home, and not bring them with you to a park.

Avoid some dogs and people. Keep your eyes open and if you see Trouble coming, get up and leave. No, that's not fair. No, you shouldn't have to. But it will keep your dog safe.

You do not have to allow your dog to "make friends" with ANY dog, but you can with dogs that seem ok. But it's totally up to you. If you do not trust a certain breed or breeds, than don't allow those breeds to interact with your dog. If the owner comes up and asks if your dog is friendly, just say "No." You can say, "No, she is in training." if you want to be nicer.

Judge people by how they are interacting with their dog and with other people before they get to you. If you think they will not respect your wish not to have an interaction between the dogs, get out of Dodge.

Trouble may be a particular breed or breeds, it may be how the dog is behaving, whether it is under control or not. It can be just something about the dog's person. It can be nothing but a bad feeling about a person or a dog.

If your pup gets attacked enough, she may lose confidence in your ability to protect her, and when that happens, she may feel it necessary to attack first and ask questions later. You need to decide to be a hag, to say no, to diss people or dogs by how they look or how they act or what their breed is. The only person you have to answer to is the one in the mirror. In protecting your dog, by acting before anything happens, you can prevent having to react physically. And by action -- walking away with your dog before a problem happens, you don't have to exhibit those high emotion moments where you or your dog is getting hurt and you are trying anything to get it go stop.
Thanks selzer for your detailed and thoughtful post!

It feels so helpless because the only times she’s been attacked is when we’ve literally been blindsided by a dog running from behind us from behind a large building or house or trail. 😞 One was in a very rich neighborhood while she was on leash and the dog ran out of its house from behind us. I think that’s why I feel so defenseless and powerless. I’ve yelled at owners and dogs before when they’ve approached and avoided issues. But now three incidents this YEAR alone where my dog has been attacked out of nowhere with no provocation has made me furious. I’m just steaming mad. I’ll never go to that park again which sucks because it’s usually empty and we usually know everyone there too.

I love what you said about the only person that I have to answer to is in the mirror! Love it. My only lucky part in this is that my dogs confidence is unshakeable. She immediately shook it off and was ready to continue walking. I love that dog so much even though she’s a goof. I wish I could shake it off. Lol. I’ll be mad about this for days.
 

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I am so sorry you have to deal with this. Here's my advice from another thread:
Excellent advice, JonRob! I've been in a situation where a GSD attacked one of my dogs and wouldn't release the bite, and ohboy, wouldn't wish that situation on ANYONE!! She was on a prong collar so choking her out wasn't an option, and she totally ignored me yanking as hard as I could on the collar, and kicking her as hard as I could. I finally sat on her, planning to choke her with my bare hands. Fortunately, my weight on her body made her release - I'm not skinny!
 

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Is the best solution to also avoid anywhere dogs might be off leash? Like hikes or near public parks?
As much as you can. But sooner or later, this will probably happen again no matter where you go. So be prepared. And yes, it truly stinks that you have to do this because there are so many jerks in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My SO is huge and he separated the dogs but I would not have been able to do that if I had been alone. 😕 I can’t even imagine what would have happened to my dog
Or to you! Attacks like this are extremely dangerous and you are absolutely right to take them seriously. If you have the right equipment, tactics, and attitude, size matters not, as Yoda says. The fact that you were kicking the attacking dog tells me that you have the guts you need here, even though it's not an effective tactic for a tiny person. But it's just plain nuts that you have to deal with this.
Thanks JonRob! Hahah! Size matters not!

Just purchased a few of the things people recommended here! Thank you. I feel safer already and I could honestly kick myself for not purchasing these earlier for prevention. I feel awful.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am so sorry you have to deal with this. Here's my advice from another thread:
Excellent advice, JonRob! I've been in a situation where a GSD attacked one of my dogs and wouldn't release the bite, and ohboy, wouldn't wish that situation on ANYONE!! She was on a prong collar so choking her out wasn't an option, and she totally ignored me yanking as hard as I could on the collar, and kicking her as hard as I could. I finally sat on her, planning to choke her with my bare hands. Fortunately, my weight on her body made her release - I'm not skinny!
That is horrific. I’m so sorry! I can’t even imagine.
 

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Just purchased a few of the things people recommended here! Thank you. I feel safer already and I could honestly kick myself for not purchasing these earlier for prevention. I feel awful.
You shouldn't. How the heck would you know? A long long time ago, my girlfriend and I lived in the big city (New York, God help us) and we had to figure this stuff out the hard way. She is tiny and I am not, but she can be even more ferocious than I am when it's necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Don't be lulled into a false sense of security because a dog is on a leash. I have personally witnessed three separate incidents where certain breeds pulled their owners over and dragged them.
Ugh I’ve seen that as well and it makes me so mad. I used to live in an apartment building with a nice couple that had young children that had a GSD that would try to kill any dog it saw. They thought they could manage it and they were deluding themselves. I had to check the halls and call out before we even left our apartment.
 

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Just purchased a few of the things people recommended here! Thank you. I feel safer already and I could honestly kick myself for not purchasing these earlier for prevention. I feel awful.
You shouldn't. How the heck would you know? A long long time ago, my girlfriend and I lived in the big city (New York, God help us) and we had to figure this stuff out the hard way. She is tiny and I am not, but she can be even more ferocious than I am when it's necessary.
Hahah I love that! I hope I can become more ferocious. Thank you so much for your kind posts :’) I’ll try to feel less bad about this mistake
 

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Excellent advice, JonRob! I've been in a situation where a GSD attacked one of my dogs and wouldn't release the bite, and ohboy, wouldn't wish that situation on ANYONE!! She was on a prong collar so choking her out wasn't an option, and she totally ignored me yanking as hard as I could on the collar, and kicking her as hard as I could. I finally sat on her, planning to choke her with my bare hands. Fortunately, my weight on her body made her release - I'm not skinny!
Awesome job, Sunsilver! Yoda has taken note of the fact that sometimes size does matter.
 
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