There are plenty of instructions on what to do if approached by a dog, for example this one : http://www.wikihow.com/Handle-a-Dog-Attack . I don't see anything new there, have been using similar approach, despite never reading any instructions or guides on how to handle dog attacks.

But how does this change if I have my dog with me? And he is the target of the other dog?

I have an English springer spaniel and when we walk, sometimes we come across unleashed dogs who approach and start fighting, and don't follow their owner's commands. German shepherd, staffordshire terrier and boxer, those are the breeds.

I can tell my dog to stand still, I can put the leash on him. But trying to not let a fight happen can be difficult at times. And breaking one up as well.

Shouting angrily in a deep voice works most of the time. But sometimes dogs just ignore me, and try to ran past me to attack my dog.

Another question, related to first one, what should I do if some dog is biting mine, and not letting go? I have not had this happen to me, but a neighbor had his collie badly hurt by a boxer. He was unable to get him off until boxer's owner came.

There is plenty of information on these questions on the internet, but it is hard for me to understand the quality of information in this case. And I don't want to do something stupid if the described situation happens. I hope that here I will get answers from knowledgeable people, typical to StackExchange communities.

Thank you!

  • Only ever happened to me once where a boxer got hold of my dog Fox and wouldn't let go, so I did the same thing I would do if someone grabbed my child and didn't let go, smacked him in the face. Not a fan of violence to animals, but when its between the safety and health of my dog or theirs. I understand it can be daunting handling a vicious dog, but as its teeth were preoccupied in Fox it was the only choice. Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


Your dog is being attacked, the other dog is being vicious, and you need to get him off as soon as possible. What can you do?

When dogs act like this, their focus is very singular: they see nothing but their target. What you need to do is re-direct their focus long enough for you to escape the situation.

My dog has been in fights with other dogs often, (his nature is very pushy, but he isn't dominant enough to back it up) and often ends up at the mercy of the other dogs. All I have been able to do to get them off my dog is to bring their attention away from my dog, onto me. This unfortunately often involves violence, as in the heat of the moment, there is little else you can do.

The response required to distract the attacker also depends on the ferocity of the dog, sometimes you may just be able to kick the other dog away, and pull yours to safety, but other times, I have personally been required to physically overpower the other dog, and have ended up taking some damage myself.

If anyone has any better solutions, please let me know too!

  • Redirecting the attention makes a lot of sense... have you ever tried having a squirt-bottle of water around?
    – Layna
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 6:21
  • @Layna unfortunately that's not really enough in some situations. It depends on the dog, and the ferocity of the attack. If it's a Chihuahua nipping at your heels, that might work, but if it's a bull mastiff that's out to get you, that's a whole other story.
    – Ben
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 6:26
  • Pity. Most dogs seem to be surprisingly impressed with that little trick... but of course, a dog focused and in the middle of a fight is a whole other beat than a dog in any other state.
    – Layna
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 6:28

I highly suggest never going on neighborhood walks with a vulnerable dog without a fanny pack or bag stocked with aerosol pet corrective spray (which is just air but I used this when my dog was bitten and sprayed it into the aggressing dog’s nostrils and it let go), mace, and even a taser. Go prepared.

  • 1
    i am not sure spraying or tasering other peoples dogs will lower the aggression level,your answer might be in conflict with our code of conduct pets.stackexchange.com/conduct Commented Feb 24, 2023 at 6:38

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