The Time I Kicked a pet dog to save another pet dog
have you ever had to deal with an off-leash pet dog (or a pet dog on a Flexi leash) charging you? Vad gjorde du?
This week I shared a local letter to the editor about a pet dog on a Flexi leash attacking and biting a runner (thanks Mike, for the link). I am a pet dog lover, but I am also a runner and I said I would’ve kicked the pet dog had it attempted to bite me. While I love animals, I will defend myself, my family and my family pets as necessary, just as I would expect any individual else to do.
If I am attacked by a person, I am going to respond with self defense. no one would question this. Why would it be any different if the attacker is a dog?
This made me think of a time when I actually did kick a dog. in that case, it was to secure the pet dog I was walking.
Kicking a pet dog for self defense
While using force is unnecessary a lot of of the time, there are situations when it is the best – or maybe the only – option.
In this case, I was walking one of my client’s dogs, a 100-pound pet dog who is a model loose-leash walker unless another pet dog charges his face. He can become reactive if a pet dog charges him.
When I’m walking a pet dog through my pet dog walking business I treat that pet dog as though he is my own. It is my responsibility to keep him safe. As we were out on this particular walk, a toy breed was barking at us from its yard. It was tethered and showing extreme excitement and frustration as it lunged several times.
“My” pet dog and I calmly walked away, showing no reaction, which is normally the best response. My pet dog was showing superior obedience.
This tiny pet dog managed to pull its leash loose, and proceeded to charge my pet dog and I.
What to do when a pet dog charges you?
In these situations, it is crucial to remain calm but also to react quickly. My first priority is always to remain in control of the pet dog I am walking. In this case, my pet dog was perfect. I kept him at my side and he was responding well to the situation. I made a point to keep his leash loose but short, and he didn’t seem to feel threatened by this tiny dog.
I then turned to address the approaching dog, calling out “NO!” while pointing at it with direct eye contact and stepping towards it. This is often my first reaction when taking care of an off-leash charging dog. When I use the ideal energy, it typically stops the pet dog in its tracks for at least a second or two.
This is enough time to defuse the intensity of the situation and to allow myself and both dogs to “re-group.” I also step my body between the two dogs to break off any eye contact between them.
In this case, the pet dog did not stop, and it attempted to get at my dog’s face. Remember, my pet dog can be reactive and he is 100 pounds. I am certain he will attack another pet dog if pressed. So, I did what I thought was the best option for the situation. I kicked the small pet dog directly in the chest, once again yelling “No!”
This time the pet dog toppled backwards and then stood there, absolutely defused. It shook itself off, then turned and ran home.
I did not want to hurt this dog, and I didn’t. but a lot more importantly, I did not want my pet dog to attack or kill the dog. I was protecting both dogs, and myself. Although provoked, I didn’t want my pet dog to be faced with any type of hazardous pet dog labels for biting, injuring or killing another dog. I also did not want the other pet dog to get hurt.
The irresponsible pet dog owners are rare
Although off-leash dogs charge me fairly often, a lot of of the time they are friendly, just as the dogs I walk are normally friendly.
As usual, it is the responsibility of each pet dog owner to keep his or her own pet dog under control, whether the pet dog is on a leash or not. It is unfortunate we even have to have discussions about what seems like common sense. But, as with anything else, there is always a small group of people who make life tough for everyone else.
Have you ever been threatened by an off-leash dog?
For a lot more on this topic, see my posts:
What to do when an off-leash pet dog charges me?
What to do if your pet dog runs away
How to get your pet dog to behave off leash