What do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog?

What do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog?

Wondering what do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog? This is a question every dog owner asks. Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to this question because each dog will behave differently when off-leash. It is even more complicated in scenarios where you approach an off-leash dog while walking your dog which can be more reactive when on a leash.

Before we write about how to deal with off-leash dogs or stray dogs, it is important we know what we should avoid when we approach a loose dog.

Things not to do if an off-leash dog approaches you

Never do the following when an off-leash dog approaches you unless there is an immediate escape, otherwise, it can be very dangerous.

  • NEVER run. If an unleashed dog approaches you, never run. Even though it is the first thing that will click in your mind first. In case you run, the stray dog will also run after you because you will appear weak and act like prey. Calming the dog once it starts running after you can be hand.
  • NEVER turn your back. If off-leash dog charges towards you, turning your back will mean that, you do not want any confrontation, therefore, you are running away because you are afraid.
  • Do not pick up your dog. Picking up your dog makes you and your dog an easy target for the charging off-leash dog. Give a chance to your dog to prepare for any threat by leaving them on the ground.

How to deal with off leash dogs approaching you

Offleash dog approaching
Off-leash German shepherd attacking a person

I cannot assert that these strategies will work for you because every dog has different temperament and levels aggressiveness, however, they are most commonly used ways to deal with loose dogs.

Find out  Best dog training collar under 100.

Try calming the dogs

Always avoid such encounters if you can

For the physical wellbeing of your dog and yourself, avoid taking routes that your aware has loose dogs. It is sad that you are taking all the responsibility because somebody somewhere is not a responsible dog owner.

If this does not work, you can report the owner to the animal control board so that the owner can be kept is dogs on leash.

Stay calm and try to calm both dogs (your leashed dog and off-leash dog)

In case you are unable to avoid a loose dog, remain calm and try to calm both dogs. This will tell the dogs that things are okay and no need to start a fight.

If the being polite and remaining calm will not help, try these other methods to stop aggressive stray dogs.

Dealing with aggressive off-leash dogs.

Try the following methods if above do not work.

Stay focused on your dog and surrounding.

In a situation like this, do not try to reason with human beings who do not care about their unleashed dogs. You will feel like beating the hell out of the dog owner because there are laws governing walking dogs with leashes.

You may also feel like screaming but this will even complicate the whole scenario. Stay focused on your dog and have some treats with you. Throw a treat like a meat chunk on the oncoming dog, turn your back, and walk away.

In case the owner of the off-leash dog is around and does not stop the dog, have him/her on camera so that you can report to concerned authorities.

Use your umbrella 

Animal Deterrent Spray with Belt Clip
Click here to check prize on Amazon

If you are carrying an umbrella, push the button and unleash the umbrella on the oncoming dog. Our aim is not to hurt the off-leash dog but put a barrier between your dog on the leash and the stray off-leash dog.

After opening the umbrella, throw a meat treat or use citronella spray to keep away the unleashed dog. Using the citronella spray should be the last option because you can get into a fistfight with the off-leash dog owner like it once happened to me, therefore, you should be ready for anything that pops up.

Frighten the loose dog with an air horn.

Blowing up loudly an air horn can frighten a loose dog that is charging towards you and it will turn and go back. If you prefer using this method, make sure your dog is used to the loud blast because he can also run away and the leash will snap off. Purchase Air Horn Noisemaker.

Brandish a weapon.

Most people especially elderly ones love to carry walking sticks with them whenever they are taking a walk. Not a must you buy a  walking stick; it can even be a golf club or even a golf bag. You can use these as a weapon not to hurt the loose dog but to scare him away.

What to do if a dog attacks you

If an approaching dog bites and hold you, never scream or shake your body trying to escape because the dog will bite you more and tear your muscles. Instead, remain calm, go for the dog’s eyes, and pierce them with your hands. If it has a collar, grab it and choke him. Definitely, you will defeat him and he will run to save his life. Never panic so that you can put a good fight.

What to Do If an off-leash dog attacks your dog

In case an off-leash dog approaches and start attacking your leashed dog, let free your dog leash so that it can fight back. You can help your dog by going after the attacking dog back legs, lift them up and kick his stomach.

If you can find a rope or belt, use it to choke the attacking dog. In such situations, things can get messy if you do not act accordingly and neutralize the attacking dog so that you and your dog can be safe.


Animal control laws do not allow leaving your dog off-leash; however, there are dog owners who are not responsible. Some even enjoy watching their dogs fight others. As a responsible dog owner who walks his dog on the leash, we should be ready when an off-leash dog approaches us. Always remember to stay calm and never to run unless there is an immediate way out. Fight back if being polite to the loose dog makes him more aggressive.

Kindly leave a comment telling me about your encounter with an off-leash dog.

Do you own a senior aged dog with joint and muscles problems? These products can help your dog age comfortably

Best Orthopedic Dog Bed    and Best senior dog food


1 thought on “What do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog?”

Leave a Comment