How can you keep yourself and the dogs you are walking safe when out and about? Please read on, my methods are proven for well over a decade!
As a professional Pet Sitter/Dog walker, have lived on Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad CA for 20 years ~ never had an issue with safety when walking dogs and here’s why. Not that I didn’t encounter loose dogs ~ but I know what to do if I encounter one or if I can clearly see someone walking their dog on leash is out-matched.
I hope these tips help you ~ they have worked for me as a professional dog walker for 12 years as owner of DivineCaninePetSitting.com …. and as s dog owner for over 50 years. Be safe out there!
#1) ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings.
#2) Get OFF your cell phone.
#3) Have the dog you’re walking on a 6′ or shorter lead. Never use Flexi (extendable leads).
#4) Observe the dogs approaching … ask yourself “Is that person in full control of that dog”? If not, turn around, take alternate route. Don’t run … running makes you prey.
#5) Is the dog approaching visually “Locked on” to your dog? (head down, eyes fixed on your dog) … If so, chances are, it WILL lunge and go after your dog as you pass. TURN AROUND, or go way up off the trail and create a lot of space between you all.
#6) Train your own dog to not set himself up as a target ~ no lunging at other dogs, no screaming (makes your dog appear as prey to an aggressive dog) or intense barking. Keep him at your side, or behind you.
#7) If a loose dog comes at you and is fixed on your dog in an aggressive manner ~ put your dog behind you … take a straight on stance and point at approaching dog and stomp your foot and lunge towards approaching dog pointing at him and FIRMLY say “NO!” ~ “GO BACK” or “GO HOME”!! You will appear as a threat to the oncoming dog and typically they will retreat. If this doesn’t work ~( if you can lift your dog) … put him on top of a parked car, in a trash can/dumpster … anything to create space between the two dogs.
#8) As a last resort ~ Carry a collapsable walking stick with Taser on the end ~ just the sound of the taser will ward off most attacking animals. (They are sold on Amazon, about $70). I don’t recommend pepper spray for this as if you are downwind … YOU will get sprayed and not able to see or walk, or get away!
#9) If you spot a loose dog with owner nearby, stop … raise your hand high over your head so owner can see you and point at your leash. Don’t yell at them unless you have to as that is only going to attract the loose dog. If they don’t leash up, then say “Leash your dog Please”! If that doesn’t work ~ say (and I rarely use this one but it’s a doozie) “This dog is contagious!” (the one you’re walking) and watch them scurry to leash up their dog.
I hope this helps ~ it’s proven effective for me all my life as I, or the dogs in my care, have never been attacked. Hire an insured professional like Divine Canine Pet Sitting and KNOW your dogs will be safe!
Sincerely, Carrie Seger/Owner Divine Canine Pet Sitting, Carlsbad CA.