Walking Your Dog: What To Do In An Emergency

What do you do in an emergency with your dog? Like an off leash dog running up to you on your walk?

Oh gee, I know how stressful and scary that can be. I do!

And when it comes to off leash dogs it can take us by surprise and it’s not our fault. But it can really throw you and your dog in the deep end, especially if your dog is reactive towards other dogs.

Here’s some quick tips (general advice only and I am not liable for your safety):

– If it’s a person with a dog, speak up and tell them to “STOP! UNSAFE!” as you move away at the same time. Don’t stop to tell them to stop. Keep moving. Try to move with your dog’s head facing towards you so it’s harder for them to pull towards the other dog

– If it’s a loose dog, try to stay calm and keep your leash loose. Do whatever it takes to get the dog away. This is where carrying a pet convincer or even an extra leash can be life-saving. A pet convincer can scare the other dog away and even stop dog fights. A spare leash can be used in multiple ways – you can either tether your dog then tether the second dog if you have time, or you can helicopter the spare leash towards the loose dog to scare them off. You can even whip it on the ground in the loose dog’s direction.

– If there’s a dog fight: (hopefully this never happens to you). Protect yourself first. Call for help. Don’t stick your hands near the dog’s teeth. If you have a pet convincer, use it. If you have a spare leash try to noose it around the neck of the attacking dog.

Dogs are very hard to get apart if they’re fighting. It can feel like forever and often we act out of panic without thinking.

But although it may take a little longer, one technique is to walk towards a fence, tree or post and tie your dog to it, then work to pull off the attacking dog with a second leash or worst case scenario, by the top of the back legs with your hands, tipping them upside down as you walk away from your dog.

Dogs in fights are highly likely to bite. As you can see, carrying a spare leash can make things quicker, safer and easier. The best way to separate fighting dogs is a controversial issue with many opinions.

No matter what you read to do, I believe you’re still likely to jump in without stopping to think. Always put your safety first and then see what is around you that you can use to help.

What NOT to do: don’t just relentlessly pull your dog if another dog has hold of it – the other dog will fight it like a tug toy and pull and tear. Don’t take your dog to high risk areas like dog parks, especially if your dog has any reactivity or aggression.

Yucky situations huh!

Prevention is better than cure, as they say and there’s some training you can do with your dog to prevent this situation. For example, what if your dog would hold a stay position no matter what, while you stood between them and the other dog and could focus on chasing it off without worrying that your dog will run over and get involved?


This is why it’s so important to have some sold basics in place when it comes to training your dog and taking them out in public.

Teaching your dog to trust you and listen to you is really so that you can keep them safe.

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