Emergency Situations




Sometimes you’ll find yourself in challenging situations with your dog. Perhaps someone wants to meet your dog and is insisting on coming closer or maybe they let their “friendly” dog come running over. Having strategies in place to cope in emergency situations can really help you remain calm and support your dog.

The first is to tell people what you need. It may seem obvious to you, but not everyone understands that some dogs need more space than others.

Use a hand signal to back up your words – holding your palm out in front of you is a universal prompt to stop and can be seen from a distance. Be clear, concise and polite in what you need and most people will respond positively if they are able to.

If they ignore you or they can’t control their dog, your second strategy is to get away. This may involve crossing the road, turning around or taking a different route. Make use of skills like Let’s Go and the Pattern Games to move your dog quickly in an emergency.

When dealing with an incoming dog you may also need to buy yourself some time so that you can get to safety. One strategy is to use a Treat Shower. Simply take a handful of treats and throw them into the path of the approaching dog. Most dogs will stop and investigate, giving you and your dog time to move away. Make sure your dog knows that you have even better treats for them so that they don’t try to go after the treats you are throwing.

Finally remember you can use barriers in the environment such as fences, cars and roads to create safety for your dog.

A pop up umbrella can create an instant portable barrier where other options are limited. If another dog is persistent in trying to reach you, simply pop up the umbrella in front of your dog. This blocks the view of the approaching dog and might confuse them enough to stop them coming closer without causing harm.

You will need to teach your own dog that the pop up umbrella is not scary before you are able to do this. Introduce it slowly during calm, fun activities like Free Work where they can explore at their own pace. You’ll want to practice opening it at a distance first so they get used to it popping up without concern before bringing it closer.

You can’t always predict what other people will do but you can make sure that you and your dog are prepared for all situations!

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