Being Charged by a Dog

We have finally found a nice walk in our new neighborhood! We moved from our other house to the house we live in now back in March. So it’s only taken five months, but we’ve finally done it! We had tried a variation of other routes, but there were a number of things wrong with those routes-including walking through thorns and brush or the walks weren’t long enough or we didn’t see any dogs or people. While we made it a point to get out of the house for walks down by the river or up the mountain, still we continued to search for a regular daily route. We tried a new route and were so impressed with it! While we have to walk by a busy road for some of it, there aren’t endless prickly plants, there are a few yards with barking dogs (which is great socialization), and the walk is about the same length of time as our old walk (roughly half an hour unless we walk briskly).

The barking dogs are a huge plus. This is something Bella grew up encountering on her daily walks her whole life and she soon learned to ignore the dogs and instead enjoy her outing. Kronos and Terra are still learning this. Terra gets excited and she wants to go greet the dogs. Kronos gets riled up and before he would even bark back. After quite a few walks around our old neighborhood, they had both gotten better and are getting used to it.

The walk around the neighborhood at our old house

In our old neighborhood, we’d also gotten charged by a big black lab mix. This was back before Terra and Kronos. And this
happened multiple times. The people would leave their gate open and the dog would come out. This dog wasn’t looking to attack though-he seemed to want to say hi. When I intercepted him and got ahold of his collar before he got to the dogs, he simply wagged his tail and let me lead him back to his house. From these experiences Bella learned not to become too worried or fazed and let me handle a situation.

Kronos learning that he can be interested when he sees or hears other dogs, but to stay calm and go about his own business

Well, on our second night trying out the new walking route, the neighbor’s dogs came out to the fence to bark at us. It didn’t bother me a bit-we just concentrated on continuing our walk. But two of the Pomeranians managed to skirt under the fencing and they came toward us barking. Bella just stood there and stared at them. Terra looked a little confused too though she did strain forward a bit. And Kronos ran forward to see what they were doing. I got the dogs behind me to block the Poms from getting closer. When it seemed they had backed off, we went to return to our walk, but then they charged forward again so I again went between the dogs and my own. I pressed forward more and told the dogs to go home. By then their humans had come out and were yelling to their dogs to come back in. So we turned and went on our way-making sure the walk wasn’t very interrupted and the dogs wouldn’t be fazed by the encounter. I also had to be somewhere at a certain time and was running a bit late, so I didn’t have time to stop or talk with the people.

Have you ever had any experiences of being charged or attacked when out on a walk? How did you handle it or how do you think you would?
Next week we’ll be sharing a few top tips on ways to either avoid or manage the situation.

11 comments on “Being Charged by a Dog

  1. That’s really good that you found a route that works for you and your dogs. I’m still trying to figure this out. When I lived in Oregon I never had any problems walking my dogs now that we are in a more rural setting in the mountains in California we are having a lot of problems. People just let their dogs out and at every house there’s a scary dog barking it’s head off and charging the fence. Both of my dogs get really stressed out when they are barked at aggressively. One of my dogs is reactive to it as well so it’s been rough. I ended up having to stop walking them in the neighborhood. 🙁

    1. That’s really too bad! We also have that problem in our new neighborhood-the neighbor’s dogs aren’t kept in their yards and every day the Pitbull goes on a jaunt around the block. The Great Dane also likes to go around and it’s not friendly at all-it tried to come after my dogs through the barbed wire fence when they went up to say hello and sniff noses. Hopefully we’ll be getting the bigger yard fenced and then we won’t have to worry about the other dogs anymore. We hope you find a normal walking route that works for you and your crew too.

  2. We have been charged by a couple dogs!

    The first time was with Mikey – he was getting stalked by a dog that had every signal going that it was not going to be a friendly encounter had they met. Mikey was doing the best thing a dog could do, sniff the ground, act boring, and not make any eye contact. It was my job to keep things safe – and what did I do? Work every acting muscle in the book to woo that dog away from mine. I was throwing a party away from my dog, super positive “Hey bud oh my gosh are you the best dog ever?! Oh my it’s SO FUN OVER HERE! Do you like TREATS? I don’t have any but oh my gosh you are the most handsome dog in the world!!!”, and working to gain that dogs attention away from Mikey. And it worked! First little glances at me, then finally a look, and then what I would describe as “complete dog decompression” – a giant sigh, all muscles lost tension, and he wandered away. Whew.

    The next time was fairly recently when we chance encountered herding border collies, real working dogs. They were offleash in a public open trail space of all spots (assigned to herd goats that were in a completely different section of the park, and they were by their trailers – no clue why they weren’t tethered, and I thought they were until it was too late). Sneaky pups waited until after we passed and my back was turned to run up behind us and start being a**holes to my dogs (full hackles and I believe one nipped Tig’s heel). So I whipped around, stared the border collie that was the closest in the eye, threw my shoulders back, and said firmly and calmly CUT IT THE HELL OUT, WE ARE FINE HERE. The look on his face was “holy f***” and he and his buddy further back skulked off immediately. It worked because of fear and the fact they waited until my back was turned to do the bum rush on poor Tig who always walks behind me, so I think my gut must have told me it was the thing to do. And thank goodness Mort realized by my tone that the situation wasn’t one to get punchy in.

    Thank goodness we haven’t had anything worse than that, but I also hope that it’s teaching my two that they don’t need to get involved and I have their back. 🙂

    Now if only I could do the above to the jerk toddlers that keep running up to my dogs in our neighborhood. I don’t think the above would be appreciated by the parents… I have to be so nice when telling them to back up and get the heck away from my dogs 😉

    1. Wow! It’s awesome that you remain so calm, cool, and collected and diffused both situations! Mort was probably thinking “Yeah, mom’s got this-I DEFINITELY don’t want to mess with her!”

      Kids can be tougher-their parents would probably not appreciate that 😉 lmao I always appreciate the kids who come up and ask instead politely of rushing the dogs. We’ve had mainly either the kids who ask politely or the parents who won’t let their kids near other people’s dogs so far (that was a very strange experience for me! I’m not used to seeing people drag their kids as far away as possible from me with my furkids). If we had the rushy kids, I’d probably have to step in and intercept them to ask them to calm down and politely approach. And if a kid asks to pet my dogs, I always thank them for asking instead of just running up and doing so. I have had a girl want to say hi to Kronos, and I explained to her that he probably wouldn’t let her touch him, but that if she wanted to give him a treat she could. She was an older kid so she listened nicely. And she was so happy that he would do a few tricks for her (sit, sit-up, and shake), that she kept coming over and asking to give him more treats and do tricks with him while we were shopping. It was kinda cute. Bella has had quite a few kids come up, pet her, and then just kiss her on the forehead at events. And one toddle screamed near her ear and tugged on her lead. She was so extremely patient and just looked at me-she is the best with kids since she grew up with them. The other two are learning to accept the strange, loud, and noisy creatures lol 🙂

  3. Sounds like you handled it just right, keeping your dogs calm and under control is perfect. We’ve been charge before (several times unfortunately), Dante does best, Ziva on the other hand needs some work. On one occasion we were charged by a Labrador on a leash. Thankfully, we had seen him coming and I had noted how little control his family had over him so we politely stepped off of the biking trail and I had my dogs sit so as to let the lab pass by. Well he lunged at us anyways and Ziva decided to meet him in an aggressive manner and Dante went to join her! I ended up placing both of them on their sides in a puppy “time out” until the lab left and they were once again calm. Usually Dante does fine, he remains in our “heel” position and lets me handle the situation. Ziva on the other hand takes it very personally so it’s the current most recent challenge we’re working on.

    I would love to have more chances to challenge my pups – their is a busy bike path about 20 min from where we live that offers lots of chances for them to learn. I just need to get it fit back into my schedule. 🙂

    1. That’s awesome that you live somewhere close to a lot of activity so you can have a lot of practice. Ziva will learn quickly with that even if you only do it once a week 🙂 It’s tough when the others decide to join in! We’ve been working on individual leash time and then putting it all together to make the walk smoother and easier.
      When we see other people or dogs coming on an off leash outing, we do our best to move aside and be polite and I usually call the dogs back to me and wait for the others to pass or leash up and walk past. I never know if the people are afraid of dogs or would appreciate being greeted. And usually if the people have dogs, they quickly get theirs under control or keep them close and pass by-I figure it’s just more civil that way so no dogs or people have to worry.

  4. At our old house we did. We had a “city” address, and there is a leash law there, even on private property. Some people down the road would frequently sit out front with their dog, who was not leashed, and not other dog friendly. It ended messily one day because Faolan is a frustrated greeter, and Bruce is reactive to everything. The dog went after Faolan, even though Les attempted to step between, and poor Faolan ended up being swung around by his collar by Les. I was about 20 feet behind them with Neeko and Bruce, and Bruce was coming unglued. I lost my lady card that afternoon with the language I used while these people just stared at the whole thing unfolding. Unfortunately, this was just a couple of weeks after we adopted Faolan, so it put what little progress we had made at the time at a stand still.

    1. That’s just rude… It’s one thing if they kept their off leash dog next to them and it didn’t bother passerbys. We’re very sorry to hear that, and I probably would have lost my manners too at that point. You don’t have to deal with that anymore do you?

  5. When I was a small child, two dogs charged after me. I panicked and ran for the car, but when I couldn’t unlatch the gate in time I found myself pinned in by these beast breathing down my back as I stood frozen in fear. Needless to say, I am scared of big dogs to this day. I love dogs, but if I do not know them then I will stay far, far away from them.

    1. Yikes! How did you manage to get out of that predicament? I was told by my family that I was mauled by some Rotties when I was younger, but I don’t remember it. And thankfully it hasn’t seemed to affect my perception of bigger dogs-actually, my favorite breed is a Great Dane and I do love the bigger dogs! Though the medium size dogs are a wonderful size. I totally understand about staying away from other dogs you don’t know.

    2. Sorry you’re scared of big dogs! They are my favorite, its the little ones that I feel like have worse manners. I’ve only ever been bit and threatened to be bit by tiny dogs, my aunt had a doxie that hated me..she’d sneak up and try to bite my feet whenever we visited. I try not to hold all tiny dogs responsible, it’d be great if you could conquer your fear with some really nice gentle giants like danes or mastiffs. 🙂

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