Have you ever been out walking with your dog when you spot one or more other dogs, off-leash and with or without an owner, coming towards you? Here’s a tip for handling that situation. Of course, if your dog is perfectly socialized, there probably won’t be any issue. Or if you know those dogs and everybody is friends. But what if your dog doesn’t like other dogs in his face, like our LarryDog, or is afraid of them?
I read a blog post titled It Works! How to Stop an Approaching Dog in an Emergency, by Patricia McConnell. Her blog is one of my very favorites, and I like her books and DVDs a lot too. Anyway, in that article she takes an idea from another dog trainer, Trish King. It’s called the “emergency sit stay.” You have already trained your dog in calmer times to do a sit-stay behind you. So you do that. Then from the ever-ready bag or pocket of treats that you carry, you grab a handful and throw them toward the approaching dog or dogs. They stop to eat the goodies, and you and your dog get away. McConnell does warn that this won’t stop a really aggressive dog but it works in a lot of situations. (Might your dog want to eat the treats? Well, you wisely saved some and you give them to your dog as a result for slinking away! — That’s my contribution to this tip!)
Here’s a one-minute video made by McConnell which shows the part where treats are thrown and the dogs go to eat them: