Unfortunately, not everyone whom walks their dog in public places takes the time and commitment to participate in dog training. Case in point, one day I was walking a small little dog at the local park when two young girls, barely old enough to drive a car and weighing less than 100 pounds each, were being dragged by their large muscled dog right toward me and my little companion. It was a scene from a cartoon if you envision the girls being dragged on their heels with smoke coming out from under their feet. They were physically unable to retain the leash and therefore, had to let it go. I adverted an unfortunate incident by picking up the little dog and holding him in my arms. Fortunately, their dog wasn’t aggressive toward humans.
In another situation, I was walking a large size dog at a local park when I saw an athletic and therefore, strong-looking woman being dragged by her aggressive large size dog around a bush toward us. I quickly walked my dog further away to create distance while observing the woman almost falling to the ground. She was finally able to control her dog after having been dragged 30 yards. If her dog had escaped from her, I would not have had a good way to keep her dog away from us other than trying to kick and yell at it to go away which could result in personal injury to myself.
Therefore, I now carry Spray Shield (sold by PetSmart as Direct Stop), an animal deterrent spray, with me on walks. The cylinder canister fits nicely in a pocket or in the palm of your hand. The spray quickly disperses from the can by the push of a button, much like Cap-Stun or Mace. However, because the ingredient is citronella, it is not painful nor harmful to animals or humans. Premier, the distributor of Spray Shield, states the potent smell of the releasing citronella causes the mild to medium aggressive animal to become confused as to what was just sprayed at them. I don’t know if this is true but because it is sprayed from the bottle very quickly it will scare most on-coming animals and discourages them from continuing their pursuit.
I have had to use it on one occasion and can attest that it worked very successfully. The attacking dog stopped immediately in its tracks and ceased any further forward movement toward me and my dog. PetSmart sells it for only $10.99 and it reportedly contains 12 short bursts which should be sufficient to keep a mild to medium aggressive dog at bay.
If the unfortunate incident happens and you need to use the spray on an aggressive loose dog, you will be able to explain to its owner that you simply used a non harmful spray to keep their dog at bay. And, you might also suggest that they contact a professional dog trainer for help in training their dog. Don’t wait till a situation happens, carry Spray Shield/Direct Stop with you on your next dog walk. You’ll feel more prepared to take action in case the unfortunate situation happens to you.