Dog Training Tips: Unleashed Dogs
Though many places have leash laws in place, it is still not uncommon to encounter loose or unleashed dogs. Even for people who love dogs, this can be an uncomfortable experience – you don’t know the temperament of the dog, and if you’re with your own pup, you can’t always tell if the unleashed dog will react in a friendly manner to you or your pet. So what do you do?
Number one is to keep calm, as panicking, flailing, and running can escalate the situation, either by frightening the strange dog, or triggering its desire to chase. If the dog seems merely curious, you may choose to remain still and avoid eye contact, which can be seen as challenging. If you have a small dog with you and the strange dog is not acting aggressively, picking up the small dog may make them seem like a toy – if there is a real clear signal that the dog is going to go after your smaller pet, I would try and find a fenced or barricaded area and place her on the other side where the strange dog will not have access.
If you have leash laws in your area, it is perfectly acceptable to sternly tell the dog’s owner to grab their pet when you see it coming. Leash laws protect owners, the public, and dogs alike.