What Do You Do if an Off-leash Dog Approaches You While You Are Walking a Dog?


Walking your dog is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you encounter an off-leash dog. As a professional breeder for pomsky, I know that it’s important to be prepared for this situation. In this article, we will discuss what you should do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking your dog.

Why Do Dogs Go Off-Leash?

Before we dive into what to do when encountering an off-leash dog, let’s first understand why dogs go off-leash. There are several reasons why a dog might go off-leash:

  • The owner may believe their dog is friendly and won’t harm anyone
  • The owner may think their dog needs more exercise than they can provide on a leash
  • The owner may not know the law or simply choose not to follow it

Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember that not every dog is friendly and that all dogs should be kept on a leash in public places.

Assess the Situation

When an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking your dog, the first thing you need to do is assess the situation. Is the other dog aggressive? Is your own dog aggressive? Do either of the dogs have any obvious injuries or health issues?

If the other dog appears to be aggressive or is behaving erratically, then it’s best to avoid confrontation and try to move away slowly. If your own dog is aggressive or easily agitated by other dogs, then it’s important to keep them under control and remove them from the situation as quickly as possible.

Stay Calm and Confident

Dogs can sense fear and anxiety, so it’s important to stay calm and confident when encountering an off-leash dog. Stand tall and avoid making direct eye contact with the other dog, which can be seen as a threat. Instead, speak in a calm, firm voice and use body language to assert your dominance.

Use Deterrents

If the off-leash dog continues to approach you despite your attempts to move away or assert your dominance, then it may be necessary to use deterrents. Some common deterrents include:

  • A loud, firm “NO!”
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • A whistle or air horn
  • Bear spray (only as a last resort)

It’s important to note that using physical force against another dog is not recommended and could result in serious injury or legal consequences.

Protect Yourself and Your Dog

If the other dog becomes aggressive or attacks either you or your own dog, then it’s important to protect yourself and your pet. Use any available objects as a shield between you and the other dog, such as an umbrella or walking stick. If the situation becomes too dangerous, then call for help or seek shelter in a nearby building or car.

Report the Incident

After encountering an off-leash dog, it’s important to report the incident to local animal control authorities. This helps ensure that repeat offenders are held accountable for their actions and helps prevent future incidents from occurring.


Encountering an off-leash dog while walking your own pet can be a scary experience, but by staying calm, confident, and prepared, you can minimize the risk of harm to yourself and your dog. Remember to always assess the situation, stay in control, use deterrents if necessary, protect yourself and your pet, and report any incidents to local authorities. As a professional breeder for pomsky, I know that keeping your pets safe should always be a top priority.

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