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Off leash dogs, not under owner control. Aaaargh

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Taking a walk w/Gibbs in a somewhat secluded area. He's on leash. From a ways away I see a large mastiff mix, (not sure but that's my best guess,) not on leash. With his owner at least 15 ft behind him. He starts bounding towards me and Gibbs.

Gibbs is a) not fond of big, exuberant dogs getting close to him, b) Gibbs has cruciate ligament injuries, c) I can pull 2 border collie sized dogs apart when they're fighting. Serious doubts about being able to do that anything like that w/80 or 90 lbs of dog, and  d) the human is yelling at him to stop, come, here, over and over. Dog does not even seem to hear her. 

My solution is to stand between myself and Gibbs, (who is happy enough with that), put my arms up so I look bigger, and yell in my deepest, loudest voice, NO. The dog stops, looking a bit puzzled. He starts to take another step and I yell NO again. He stops.

Then, thank goodness, the big dog spots a squirrel and becomes totally fixated on it, ignoring me and my dog. Owner is still a good 30 feet away. She starts to apologize and say 'he just wants to play' and I say, "My dog doesn't like other dogs"  Her dog is still absorbed in the squirrel.

We make our way to the car, hoping that the squirrel keeps the large dog occupied until I get Gibbs loaded up.  Phew.

What else could I have done? My roommate suggested mace or something similar, but I'm afraid of blow back into my face and my dog's. I thought of carrying an umbrella with me and opening it, then whirling it around.

This doesn't  happen very often, probably not even 2x/yr. Can't remember the last time there was a dog I was afraid of.

All ideas are welcome.

Ruth & Gibbs

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My suggestion would be  a sturdy walking stick.  But if the worst happens, the terriermanblog had some good pointers on how to handle a dog fight. Had to implement that information once, and it works.  Here is the link https://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2011/08/knowing-what-not-to-do-in-dog-fight.html

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Yep, read that one a couple times, will review. Thanks for the reminder. In this type of situation, though, with a clueless owner and an 80 lb dog as the opponent, I don't know that picking up my dog by the hind legs would help.

I have separated 2 border collies going at it by myself and that wasn't very pretty, but I stopped the ruckus and no damage was done. Different kettle of fish from the dilemma I faced today.

Will get a walking stick, that is very doable. I actually have a couple canes that will serve until I get a stick, at least as long as I am tall.

Thanks, Smalahundur,

Ruth & Gibbs

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This:   https://www.ebay.com/i/123648036765?chn=ps

You can spend more money on one, but there's no need if you will only use it a few times. This compacts into a little carrying holster that you can simply slip onto your belt. I have used this kind of thing for years, and never once have I had to do anything other than snap it out and raise it into the air. Two large pit bull type dogs attacked Jester one time and had him down on the ground and the second I snapped that baton out they ran. I highly recommend it.

If you would rather use a cane or walking stick, I suggest you have something that will make a sharp sudden noise that will catch the other dog's attention the way the loud snap of the baton does. If the other dog isn't looking at you, the raised cane will not have any effect. A cap pistol would work. They make tiny ones that would actually fit onto your keyring. If I lived somewhere that banned the tactical baton and/or I preferred to use a walking stick, that is what I would do.     Cap gun key ring

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