What Do You Do If an Off-Leash Dog Approaches You While You Are Walking a Dog?

Photo by Artem Beliaikin


If you’re walking a dog and you come across an off-leash dog, it can be scary. Your instinct might be to pick it up, or to put up a physical barrier between you and the dog. Regardless of the instinct, it’s important to remain calm and continue walking.

Keeping yourself calm in an off-leash dog situation

The first thing you should do when your dog is on the loose is to remain calm. Try not to react to the dog’s sudden barking or lunging. Instead, block the dog with your body and walk away. The distance will help the dog calm down and move away from you.

dog attack

It is also important to stay calm when your dog is off-leash. Off-leash dogs are unpredictable and might want to greet you. Trying to engage the dog will only cause a possible altercation. Instead, try to stay calm and move away slowly.

If you are in an area where bears live, make sure your dog wears a bell. If the dog does not have a bell, it may be a good idea to use an extra-large bag or sturdy umbrella to frighten it away. In case the dog does bite you, try to keep your hands away from the dog’s face and try to remain calm. Don’t run too fast or yell at it; a dog is more likely to bite you if you make sudden movements.

Book: Methods of Protection Against Aggressive Dog Attacks

Using a physical barrier

Physical barriers can be very effective for preventing a dangerous situation from escalating. A good barrier can be an umbrella or other piece of clothing. In many cases, a physical barrier will deter the off-leash dog and cause it to back away.

If an off-leash dog approaches you while walking, the best way to protect yourself and your property is to use a physical barrier. If your dog approaches you while walking off-leash, you should make sure that the dog is aware of your physical barrier, and you should not engage in an interaction with it.

Another physical barrier is an umbrella or push button. The umbrella will provide a physical barrier that will scare the off-leash dog away. Another effective physical barrier is a walking stick, which can be used to intimidate the dog while preventing it from harming you.

Avoiding an attack

dog attack spray

Dog repellant spray

If you see an off-leash dog suddenly walking towards you, try to stay calm and avoid interacting with it. It is important not to initiate any interaction with the dog if you are unsure of its intentions. A dog may be nervous about being approached and may even back away if the owner approaches him. Avoiding any confrontation with the dog will save you both time and money.

The best way to avoid an attack from an off-leash dog is to move out of its sight and stand as still as possible. If you are unsure about the situation, you can hold a stick or move behind a fence or gate. If you are alone, you can walk away from the dog by turning sideways and avoiding eye contact with it. The dog may be intimidated and may growl, but try not to anger it or make it feel threatened.

Many dogs get into fights with off-leash dogs, and if you see a dog fighting with another dog, you may want to step between them. Then, be prepared to separate them if necessary and to call emergency services. While most off-leash dog encounters end peacefully, the dog’s anxiety level will increase if the encounter escalates. A dogfight can end in a serious bite, so you must be prepared with tools for disentangling the two.

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