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 How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?

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habsfan
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PostSubject: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:47 pm

I live in what I guess most would consider a pretty rural area. You'd be surprised how many people do not have runs, tie outs, or fences (actual or invisible) for their dogs. Many people simply let their dogs out the door. Personally, we do live a ways off the road down a private lane, but I wouldn't chance it, we have an invisible fence.

Anyway, people tend to be pretty aware and drive relatively slow, so we feel comfortable walking on the road some of the time. We also have some access roads/4 wheeler trails near us, but you do need to walk on the road, by people's houses, in order to get to them. There are four different directions we could go and literally every one of them has off leash dogs!

I'm lucky enough that my Ryder doesn't have a mean bone in his body and just thinks these other dogs want to play. But, a couple of these dogs come charging out in the road (not even a collar on!) with the hair on their back raised, growling! One lady told me her dog was just 'protective'. This dog, I'm not joking, weighs more than I do... Hun, my dog is protective of me and he's NEVER growled at anyone, not even another dog!

I'm sure they're all lovely dogs, but really, I have to deal with this ever. single. time. I walk my dog?... I feel like an idiot, because I make Ryder sit and wait until the owners get them under control (rather than have them chase or follow us if we keep walking). I always apologize (which makes me feel even more like an idiot because MY dog is the one under control and on a leash...) never once have any of them apologized. Two of my neighbors, who also keep their dogs fenced at home, have told me they have the same problem when passing these houses.

So how do you handle seemingly not so friendly dogs that are off leash when you're walking your dog? Do you ignore them, acknowledge them, chew out their owners?...
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:04 pm

We've run in to all sorts of off leash dogs while we're on a leashed walk. I would usually take out 2 of my dogs at once. Eventually these "encounters" will turn negative, and your dogs will get attacked. The fact that they're on a leash means they know if it comes to fight or flight, they only have 1 option, as they cannot flee due to the leash. They will have to attack to defend, unless they are naturally submissive. You, as the one in control, should keep those dogs away from yours. It's different if yours is off leash too, like at a dog park. But for us, after so many attacks from both tiny toy dogs and big pit bulls, I learned to not let any dog approach, and if it does, it has to get through me first before it can get to my dogs. These negative encounters have turned my dogs somewhat aggressive against strange dogs, which is NOT what I wanted to ever happen. We no longer go to dog parks. I no longer allow any dogs to meet and greet with my dogs, like at Petco or Home Depot. I take my dogs out to be with me and me only. I don't know the temperament of an approaching dog, so better safe than sorry. I've had to break up fights between my Paw Paw and a mastiff, my Paw Paw and Nara against an oversized off leash pit bull, and my Beowulf against 3 Rottweilers and a Siberian. Those were the biggest "fights." There are plenty that I was able to contain and control before it got to be a dog fight.

Over time, I realized a walk does little to nothing in terms of exercise for my dogs. I tried running with them, but as good of a runner as I was, there was no way I could keep the pace of my Paw Paw for such a long distance. That's when I discovered bikejoring, dog scootering, carting, and all of the other dog powered urban mushing sports for when there is no snow to sled in! I could exercise my dogs, ALL OF THEM AT ONCE, in 30-45 minutes, versus a 2-3 hour walk or 1+ hour run. I found a local sled dog club, which I'm sure you have in Vermont, and I got outfitted with all of the gear. I already had a mountain bike. And I found a closeby cemetery that allowed pets, so I could be in there on a bike with my dogs and not have to worry about cars or people or other dogs. It worked out great. The cemetery staff and security appreciated my presence, especially with a German Shepherd and knowing I am in the military, as they were having a problem with thieves stealing the precious metals from the grave stones. They also knew that I did not allow my dogs to alleviate themselves on the graves or bushes and flowers.

But to answer your question, when I was a new dog owner, I was of the mindset that these dogs were great for my dogs to do a meet and greet with. Over time, I noticed my dogs changed and did not like off leash dogs running up on them. Now, when I see an off leash dog, I yell to the owner to please recall and leash their dog, and if that doesn't work, I maintain strong control of my dog's leash, and put my body between my dog and the incoming off leash dog. If it continues to come close, I will use the necessary force to block or kick or hit (as a last resort) the dog until it turns and runs away. It sucks to have to do, but I don't want my dogs to get attacked, nor do I want them to have traumatic experience after traumatic experience, all because other dog owners are not as responsible as I try to be.

PLUS, I don't want my dog to attack their dog in self defense, and based on the breeds I own, I get blamed and my dogs get put down, when we were breaking no laws and the other owner/dog was. Defense of my dogs is of the utmost priority and urgency to me! So in a positive light, I see it as I'm actually helping the other dog by saving its life from my dogs, because they're sick of it at this point and they're not playing around anymore. They're big and mature and have little tolerance for these crazy out of control dogs constantly running up on them. That's why I found it best for my own stress levels to find a new form of exercise in a location that minimizes the chances of these encounters.

Hope that helps! Sorry it was so long of a rant! Haha.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:17 pm

I too live in a rural area where everyone seems to think that because the houses aren't built right on top of eachother that somehow makes it okay for them to let their dogs run loose all the time. My dog is leash aggressive and a dog whether leashed or loose will set her off and she will become extremely aggressive. This is most likely due to what Kevin explained with his dog about how they changed over time. She is a dangerous example of what can happen if off leashed dogs reoccur too much and you do nothing or other owners do nothing. I am pretty small and don't usually have long enough legs to kick a coming dog before it can get to Kenzi, especially since Kenzi is headed for them just as fast as they maybe headed for her. I am a rock thrower. If an owner doesn't get the hint and get their dog then they are going to witness their dog get pelted with rocks or whatever else happens to be close at hand. You may also consider pepper spray, but watch the wind or you'll get your dog. You might also look into the dog ordinances of your county. Even in rural areas you may be legally protected from off leash dogs if your county has a leash ordinance. If this is the case you might inform owners that this does exist and if you have to use excessive force to protect your brood you will be further backed up by county law. Usually law will scare most people into straightening up.

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ZiggyStardust
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:56 pm

Near me is a 125 acre farm land that is used a dog walking place. A lot of the dogs are off the lead, mine included. My two are great off the lead and are always under control, they do go to see other dogs however they are both puppies. The only problem I've ever had was with small dogs. The small dog who have small man syndrome, who are always off the lead. I've always had a rule, if you can't handle the dog off the lead, or they are going to attack other dogs, then they shouldn't be off the lead. Yes my two will go and see other dogs but those dogs are also off the lead and are well trained. The occasions when the other dogs are on the lead the owners usually stop walking and allow me to get them and take them away.

What also bugs me is if my dog goes over to you and your dog, which is on the lead, they don't stop so I can apologize and put my dog back on his lead.

Also, went for a walk with my friend who has Ziggy's brother. On this walk they went over to a small dog who was barking and attacking them, also off the lead. The owners of the little dog then blamed our huskies for attacking his dog! I couldn't believe it.

Sorry for the rant but it winds me up
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:23 pm

@ZiggyStardust wrote:
The owners of the little dog then blamed our huskies for attacking his dog! I couldn't believe it.



Big dogs will always get the blame over small dogs. Huskies will always get the blame over most other breeds, as our beloved Sibes appear on a lot of the "aggressive dog breeds" lists. The last thing you want is for someone to report you and your dogs for an "attack" and animal control takes your dog away and euthanizes it. As we know, Sibes play rougher than probably any other dog breed, so even in play, it can look like an attack to an owner of another breed who doesn't "get" our breed. Your best bet is to be careful and keep your dog on a leash, or keep it away from strange dogs, and then only let it off leash with dogs that you know and that you know play nice with your dog. Also, with certain breeds (*cough*Sibes*cough*), sometimes the little dog will start it, but the big dog WILL end it if it wants or feels it needs to, so again, you'd be at fault.

And be careful with your dogs off leash. If you're constantly working on recall and they obey, then that's awesome for you! However, I'd say 90-95% of Siberian owners understand that no dog has 100% recall in every situation, especially when they are out in nature surrounded by wild smells, sounds, and critters to prey on. As puppies, a lot of Sibe owners seem to have success with their dog off lead. But once the dog begins maturing and prey drive and independence kick in, POOF and your dog is gone, recall training or not. Many Sibes get run over by cars because they run off chasing rabbits or squirrels or whatever, or they get shot by farmers who think they're wolves, coyotes or wild dogs trying to harm their farm animals.

Not trying to sound critical one bit! Just trying to warn you, or warn others who might come on here and read your experiences and think they could have a similar experience letting their Sibe off lead in nature or around other dogs. We all care about our dogs, and I personally care about other people's dogs too, and only want the best for you and your pup! Good luck, and keep having fun!!!
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:56 pm

I hate that, I have on more than one occasion had to deal with it, no fights(knocking on wood) but I've had to pick my dog up, because I am not about to let someone's off leash dog attack mine!
My dog thinks all dogs want to play with him, but here recently has become a little territorial! His dominant side has really proven strong since he came into his manly hood, lol. But it's not a good feeling, I honestly don't think he would take the flight route, even if he were allowed off leash ( he isn't) but he is very protective over me when it comes to unfamiliar dogs, he wants to put himself in between the dog that is coming towards us! So I have no option but to pick him up and fend off the other dog, not an easy feat at all! And that is crazy about the lists I have been turned down on a lot of places here in the south because he is second on the dangerous breeds list here!
I have seen more ankle biters be more aggressive than any huskies I have met and mine!
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ZiggyStardust
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:09 am

@counter wrote:

However, I'd say 90-95% of Siberian owners understand that no dog has 100% recall in every situation, especially when they are out in nature surrounded by wild smells, sounds, and critters to prey on.

Not trying to sound critical one bit!

It's fine, I do agree that it isn't 100% which is why they are only off when there are only one or two dogs around.

Luckily my two haven't had any fights yet, other than there own play fights, but am dreading the day if they do. Have seen one dog fight, don't want to see any more
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:50 am

This happens to me a lot as well and it drives me crazy accept I run into people where there are signs that says keep your dogs leashed and they just keep walking by them like it doesn't apply to their dog. I normally yell and say to put them on a leash, or I would agree to potentially carry something with you in case it gets out of hand.

Where do you live in Vermont?
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tolbert.chad
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:55 am

I don't live in a rural area, but there are people around that don't have their dogs on leads even though we have leash laws. I've been lucky and only had to deal with 3-4 dogs off leash but if they are acting aggressive I have no issues putting myself between them to keep the other dogs away from mine. I do enjoy yelling at the owner for being irresponsible and telling them that if they can't leash their animals they don't deserve to own one. One lady got really really upset about that (not my problem!).
For me also I try to walk early in the morning and later at night to avoid people and dogs.
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:56 am

I have the same problem with Nala that Jen has with Kenzi, they seem to have the same temperament but I live in the suburbs and the same things happen dogs get out of the fences or hop the fences, a few months ago I was walking Nala and all of a sudden a smaller min pin came running up to Nala barking and I was by myself I didnt know what to do so I started walking away faster luckily the owner was outside but she didnt even apologize how do you let your dog out of the fenced area when you are outside watching the dog!? Nala doesnt like small dogs she plays way to rough and Nala was on a leash, but if I were you I'd call the city and make a complaint or warn the neighbor that if it happens again you will make a complaint, because otherwise it will more than likely happen again.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:45 pm

I'm out in the country as well, most dog owners here do contain their dogs, on few occasions we've had small dogs come over and as soon as they see Miya they run away, lol. We walk early or late and we never see any dogs, we're lucky, except for our neighbors husky, who Miya is totally in love with. We did have a problem in our yard about 3 weeks ago. Husband thankfully came home early. I'm small and have a hard enough time with Miya, I would never had a chance without my husband being there. A 90-100 pound pitt/mix silently approached our yard, Miya and husband's back was to this dog, before I could say more than 'there's a huge", he was on my girl. No growling, snarling, silent. He put her face down and had her at her neck. Poor baby had no idea what was going on. Husband kicked and punched this dog several times to no affect. Finally put the dog in a choke hold, and i grabbed Miya and brought her in. Thank God she has a double coat, no puncture wounds, her neck was sore for a couple of days. There was no way I could have stopped this. I now carry my pistol when we are out without my husband. Miya is much more alert as well. She chased off a small dog the other night. Makes me sad in a way that Miya's innocence is gone so to speak. She always thought dogs were to play with. Out here I can carry my pistol, if I couldn't I would carry a water gun and a bat, heavy stick, crow bar, something heavy to put the hurt on if the water gun didn't work and a dog that was to big for me to protect Miya and myself.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:46 pm

That is horrible, would hate to have that happen to mine. I've always been told that if my dogs are on the lead and getting attacked by dogs, to just let go. But I'm sure I would have got in the way, can't see anything hurting my babies. Then their dog gets put down, not mine.

Since Ziggy is now getting a bit much for me to handle on the lead, my partner is always with me which I am grateful for. We've had a lot of dogs getting taken where I am lately and always worry that they will get taken from me when I'm out with them.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:14 pm

I totally agree about small dogs sometimes being worse than big dogs. I have Ryder, he's a year old, 55lb, husky. My fiancé has Taylor, she's 6yo, 15lb, shih tzu. I trust Ryder in any situation! I feel completely comfortable taking any food/toy/object he's not supposed to have, directly out of his mouth. Taylor will nip you when you're GIVING her a treat!... Ryder is great with other dogs of all sizes, cats, kids, my 95yo grandfather, and every one in between. Taylor is very territorial and she's, what my fiancé calls, 'selfish'.

Now that schools out for the summer we can walk over at the high school, which is only 5mins from us. So this has definitely helped with the off leash dog situation...

Siku&Nikolai, I'm from north west Vermont. About 5 minutes north and I hit Canada, 20-30 minutes west and I hit New York.
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mishkaanfwolfgirl
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:02 am

I have problems with a very terrible owner down the street who has 4 extremely large mutts (I'm not sure what they are) they know how to open the door and the owners invisible fence system sucks! These dogs basically bust through the screen door and one has gotten a hold of my little brother before, charging at mishka then this other one bites me,also one more thing the owners have no control whatsoever and they let their kids who are like 4-5 and 6-7 run around town. I've ended up picking mishka up and carrying her down the street and another time its happened was when I was bikejoring and one popped up out of no where and it ended up as a small dog fight, but now mishka is sort of dog aggressive and she's scared I know she is. A friend of mine has a dog and we've been slowly introducing them so they can play (but this is a reason I'm going to get another husky XD). Sorry I thought I share a story too c:
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:24 am

I would not get another dog while this is going on. 4 on 2 will only be a bigger fight. Right now you have the ability to pick Mishka up and carry her down the street. If you get another dog you won't have that ability and you will just have to deal with the dog fight and likely death of both of your dogs. If these dogs have attacked you and your brother, you need to file complaints and video these dogs behavior to turn into the authorities.

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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:08 pm

I've filed complaints the humane society came and said that if they had one more complaint the dogs would be taken away recently I haven't stopped going through that route just because of those dogs and I know, me and my friend are working on mishkas aggressive issues atm she's gotten a little bit better but I know I'm not ready for another dog plus I wouldn't put it through that but I'm waiting for when those dogs do something else I warned an elderly lady with a small dog not to go down that way I'd hate to see her get hurt because of those dogs but currently I haven't seen those dogs so I'm not sure if they are better contained or what. I'm just really tired of people who don't know how to well train their dog and properly contain them,Mishka use to be the best with other dogs until these incidents
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:34 pm

Jenn is right, we were going to get a second, like you skye, and everyone said the problem would be worse instead of better. Miya is too big for me to pick up, with 2 it would end up have one or both dead, not worth it. Miya is now skiddish towards other dogs, she will sit on my feet and shake her whole body when she encounters a new dog. So we decided to wait on a second dog. Update on Miya's attacker, he was put down the next day by his owners, they didn't want a bad situation worse, in our 40 person community.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:06 pm

The dog down the street honestly I hate to say it but they need to be put down. Also mishka seems to be doing better today on our walk an unleashed dog(of course) approached it was a very friendly dog and mishka sniffed it and slightly growled and it left but I still don't trust other dogs and I'm deciding to wait on another one hopefully in the next year or two mishka will be better with other dogs and we can get another one to keep her occupied.
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PostSubject: Re: How do you deal with off leash dogs when you're out for a walk?   Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:52 am

Frigga is like all of everyone's Huskies. She thinks all dogs are for playing with. I live in the county; but, it is very urban. Frigga and I have had dogs hold their ground. I throw rocks and start yelling. Trust me, someone hears me. I am deaf to myself and give it both lungs. I might sound funny; but, I get the job done. As for when I am on the ocean beach, I am now carrying a cattle prod. That was after 3 loose dogs surrounded Frigga while their GD owner had her phone up her rectum...Opps sorry, she was yaking on the darn thing. My boyfriend and I were kicking them off of our baby. Yep, I probably damaged their mouths, all three were bleeding; but, the owner saw that happening and called them off. Now, any dog does it; nothing that alittle electric shock therapy will not fix. By the way, I grew up around horses, we had Arabian show horses; and I have seen numerous dogs get shot/killed from chasing them. I have no problem with doing that.........
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