If you’re out walking your dog it can be quite unnerving if a dog off his leash approaches you. It’s perfectly normal to start to wonder if the dog is friendly or whether it may be aggressive.
Unfortunately, it’s more common than you may think to come across a dog off its leash and it’s not a nice experience. Particularly if your dog can be reactive and suits having his own space or have had a previous negative experience with dogs off their leashes.
Regardless of the reason why the dog is off a leash, you want to try and avoid getting in this situation where possible as the way a dog behaves differs depending on whether they are on a leash or off their leash.
If you do find yourself in a situation where a dog off its leash approaches you. You need to ensure you are prepared and know what to do. Take a look at the advice below which will help you to be prepared and know what to do in this scenario and help you to keep your dog safe from harm.
Although it may be tough to do this, if you remain calm, it’s more likely that the dog that has approached you will be calmer too. When you see a dog off its leash approaching you, be aware of the dog’s body language.
If the dog is bouncy, has an open, panting mouth and seems loose in its body, then it may have friendly intentions. However, even if the dog may seem friendly, you still need to be cautious and avoid your dog greeting the dog. If your dog behaves negatively, a dog that seemed friendly may soon turn unfriendly.
If you end up in a situation where a dog approaching you seems less friendly i.e. staring at your dog, ears pointing forwards, a closed mouth and a tail that is tight and up in a high position, then it’s clear to see why you may feel a bit more concerned.
In this instance, you may need to use a startle or block technique in order to keep your dog safe.
If you have the opportunity to walk in a different direction then do so. Make sure you keep an eye on where the loose dog is and avoid any contact with the dog.
If you can’t get away from the loose dog, see if you can see anyone who may be able to help. Alternatively, try and see if there’s a place where you could put your dog to keep him safe.
It is worth making sure you practice a safety stay with your dog in case you ever need to resort to this option. If you know that you can trust your dog to remain in his safety spot, this will help you to deal with a potentially daunting situation.
If you have any dog walking tips, leave a message in the comments below.
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