(Closed) My small dog was attacked by a big dog – tips on how to protect in the future?

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
638 posts
Busy bee

What about pepper spray? although you might get some on your own dog…

Post # 3
1444 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

bluephoenix:  I’m sorry that you’re going through this! Unfortunately I don’t think I have any ideas like what you’re looking for, and actually it might not be a good idea, as if you harm another dog you might be liable. Maybe something noise-related like a dog whistle, air horn, spray bottle, or can full of coins? But especially the last two don’t seem practical.

honestly, if I were you I would just keep calling in any bad owners (and unfortunately maybe the dog that attacked yours will be put to sleep, poor thing, but it’s untrained, not being restrained, aggressive, and dangerous), and find other ways to exercise and/or bathroom my dogs.

A while ago a neighbor’s off leash and clearly not well trained German shepherd attacked my 13-pound dog, luckily it didn’t break the skin. I called it in so the owner could be educated about leash laws and there hasn’t been an issue since.

Post # 5
5954 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

bluephoenix:  I used to carry pepper spray for just this reason. I never had to use it though thank goodness. Though yes, some people worry it will get on your own dog. I have a friend that carries a golf club now! Maybe it should be something smaller? I’m picturing a police baton. And if your dog gets bit, but doesn’t appear hurt, it may not be the case. My dog looked fine, too, but developed swelling later, had to have surgery and a drainage tube put in. Good luck to you, it’s very scary!

Post # 6
9097 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

This recently happened to our neighbor. His 35 pound dog was attacked by an off-leash pit bull and a husky in his own garage. Thankfully he got away with nothing but scratches.

He’s taken to carrying a knife, and I agree with him. I don’t want to injure a dog that is attacking my dog, I want to stop it entirely, and I will consider getting a knife myself.

An air horn might frighten the dog (And more likely your dog) and make situations worse. I have never actually heard of citronella spray working outside of calming your dog inside the home, and I think pepper spray is a bad idea.

Another one of my neighbors was attacked by a dog when she was about six years old (She’s probably around 70-ish now) and has an enormous scar on her leg, and she carries a big ass stick with her when she goes walking.


If it were me, I’d consider a taser or a knife.

Post # 7
774 posts
Busy bee

They make a pepper spray specifically for dogs, a dog repellent spray I think. Darling Husband carries it for work since he has to go on a lot of people’s properties, and never knows whether their dogs are locked up. Look into and def carry that. It shouldn’t kill the other animal.

Post # 8
1980 posts
Buzzing bee

My small pup is recovering from a dog bite as well – but from a friend’s dog, unfortunately. Thankfully she just has a headwound and seems to not be traumatized or wary of other dogs, but we are taking reintroductions slowly.

I would agree that maybe something like citronella spray could work. In most cases, it seems that a loud noise (clapping, a horn) can startle the dogs enough to break up.

Best of luck to you and your pup.

Post # 9
1995 posts
Buzzing bee

Halt! Dog spray off amazon gets good reviews. I have a can just in case. It’s non lethal obviously and won’t cause permanent damage. It’s pepper spray for a dog, so go for the eyes and mouth. I have a small dog as well. There are more aggressive dogs in my neighborhood so I always try to be alert when I walk my baby. 

so sorry this happened to you and your dog!

heres some info I found googling:


Post # 10
3729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

bluephoenix:  How does your dog react? When your dog sees a big dog, does it start yapping or barking or is it minding its own business? Is there a place to walk your dog where there aren’t off-leash dogs?

I have a large, slightly aggressive dog (that is always leashed). She ignores little dogs unless they run at her or bark at her. If they show signs of aggression, she will ignore for about a minute and then she will snap at them. She won’t hurt them, but if a dog lunges at her, she will “defend” herself the same way that she does with a larger dog. Because she is on leash, I pull her back and wait for the other owner to get their dog under control. My dog is clearly a different situation, but I have never seen or heard of an unprovoked dog attack. I have seen some severe overreactions, but never a complete, out-of-the blue attack.

Why I mention this is that dogs rarely attack unprovoked. There is normally some trigger. If there didn’t appear to be one, I really recommend not walking your dog in that area. Go to a neighborhood where dogs must be leashed. Pepper spray and other “defense” mechanisms would probably send my dog into full on attack mode (to protect me against you dangerous human). 

Post # 11
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - country club in Michigan

Um, CALL THE POLICE. I saw this happen outside the dog park about a year ago. The police arrived, ticketed the owner of the aggressive dog for walking their dog off leash (which is illegal where I live), and because of the ticket, the dog’s owners had to cover the injured dogs medical bills. The police told the owner of the aggressive dog if they didn’t, the injured dog owner might sue them, which could also lead to their dog being taken away if animal control found the dog to be aggressive. 


At least in our area, the police respond immediately to report of aggressive dogs. You dont need to wait a few days for animal control to finally show up. 

Post # 12
480 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

i dont think carrying a knife would do anything to prevent or protect your dog if there was an attack. i think that would be putting yourself at risk more than anything. i carry pepper spray with me, and although i look silly, my dog is about 8 pounds and she wears a harness, so whenever i see an off leash dog coming our way i just pick her right up. you never can tell if a dog is friendly or not. 

Post # 13
9580 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I’m really sorry that happened to you and your pup.  I hope he feels better really soon! People who leave their dogs off leash (outside of an off-leash park) really upset me.  I get that people think their dogs are perfect and totally under control, but unfortunately people are overconfident and wrong way too often.  

My big dog got attacked by our neighbors small dog in my front yard.  My dog is a 50 lb pittie, and the attacker was an 18 lb maltese poodle… I was totally convinced my dog was gonna kill him, because she had him entirely in her jaws at one point, but she just slobbered on him while he bit up her face and neck.  There was blood everywhere, but it turns out it was 100% my dog’s.  I still feel really guilty for running over to their house after the fact and making sure their dog was OK after we pulled them apart (totally assumed the blood was his) only to find out he didn’t have a single bruise or cut, and going back to my confused pup who was bloody all over. 🙁 

I was really worried for a while that they would say it was my dog’s fault (they weren’t there when it happened, they came out of the house after the fight started), but it turns out their dog has attacked many other dogs before and since then… On the plus side, I think they’ve finally accepted their dog shouldn’t be off leash.


Post # 14
1576 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Well first, make sure that your dog is learning good social skills. Some small dogs can be super aggressive and provoking. We say it’s “cute” because their barks are so small and high pitched, but there’s nothing cute about that body language to another dog.

Then, I’d also recommend pepper spray. I know some people would say it’s too cruel, but I think it’ll help you to have piece of mind. 

Post # 15
585 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I’m surprised there are so many  off-leash dogs in your area. Does your area have leash laws? Do you live in the US? I live in a larger US city, and this is a huge no-no. Once my dog escaped the fence and ran around the neighborhood (without my knowledge) for about 10 minutes before coming home on his own. I never knew he was out until animal control came to my house and gave me a citation. I didn’t argue with it because, even though my dog was in the back yard, the gate was open so it was probably true. If I were you, I would speak to the local city officials about enforcing leash laws. If what you’re saying is true, this is putting a lot of dogs at risk and is probably an ongoing issue.

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