The following post was originally published by Karen on KP’s Dog Blog, October 22, 2007.
If you ever find yourself in the path of a large hostile dog, conventional wisdom says that you should “make like a tree” (stand still and avoid eye contact), and if that doesn’t work, you should “make like a rock” (curl up on the ground, face down, with your arms covering your neck).
However, if you have your dog with you, that’s not going to work because your dog will likely be the target. I’ve found myself in this tricky situation several times lately, and I’d like to share the two methods that I used to save my dogs from being mauled.
The first one was to throw a handful of treats straight at the dog as a decoy and then slowly back away. I always take treats with me to help with training my dogs, but this is another good reason to keep treats handy when out walking. If that doesn’t work or you forgot your treats, try to “make like a wolf” and scare the dog away: You just puff yourself up, looking as imposing as possible, with a really mean look on your face, and you emit the most primal, deepest guttural sound in the most threatening voice that you can muster (for some reason, this comes easy to me!).
Don’t worry about what the neighbors will think—your furry friend’s life could depend on it! I can’t guarantee that these will always work, but they worked like a charm for me, and they’ll give you a fighting chance if you don’t have any other options.