So, you’re living overseas and you’ve encountered a stray dog while taking your own dog for a walk. And you’re wondering: “How do I stop the other dog from biting my dog?”
Yes– it is your responsibility to keep other dogs away from your dog. And it’s especially unfair to ask your dog to stay in a submissive position (not to mention dangerous) if a strange dog approaches her.
It’s your job to keep the other dog, away.
When I lived in Costa Rica I had similar problems. I used a stun gun (note: Not a taser!) and it was usually just the crackling sound it makes that was enough to keep the other dogs, away. But eventually it became such a nuisance that I only worked my dog in enclosed areas– like football fields, school yards and our condo complex.
But that was Costa Rica, where “callejeros” (street dogs) were found on almost every corner.
You cannot set your dog up for failure by putting her in a position like the down-say around stray dogs and have unrealistic expectations.
If I took you to a foreign country where you did not speak the language– and I said, “Trust me… Now, sit here and don’t move,” and then I disappeared. And a strange man walked up to you and started touching and grabbing you… how would it affect your trust in me? Would you sit and take it? Or would you get up and try to come find me? Or run away? Or fight back? What would you do, the next time I asked you to sit and wait for me?
There’s no merit to letting your dog “work it out” with a stray dog, on their own. It’s easier to prevent a dog bite than to stop dogs from biting once it happens.
Do whatever you have to do to keep stray dogs away from your dog. Carry a big walking stick, a stun gun… a .38 … whatever you need to do. We’re not talking about Poodles on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, remember. We’re talking about dangerous dogs that may bite.
Stray dogs can have rabies or other diseases. They could be dangerous and aggressive. It only takes one stray dog biting your dog in the eye and your dog will be blind for life. Even if no physical damage is done, your dog getting biten by a strange dog can make your dog “dog aggressive” for the rest of her life.
Just don’t put your dog in that environment, if possible. Like I said… work her in an enclosed area, and modify your expectations. Probably a lot of other people in the culture of your host country have a more cavalier attitude toward dog ownership, but I’ll bet it you pay attention a lot of those dogs are not in very good health and physical condition, either.
It’s unfortunate. It’s a pain in the neck. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, as the expression goes.