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3 Nonverbal Ways to Let a Dog-Walking Stranger Know to Stay Away

Walk, Don't Talk: Follow My Lead to Keep Other Dogs at Bay

If you've ever dealt with a pup with leash aggression, I know this issue tugs at you. Even the most wiggly, happily wagging tail dog can turn into a whole different animal when approached by another pet on leash. While it's easy to say — directed at the dog, but loud enough for the other person to hear — "No, we can't say 'hi' right now" — there are a few nonverbal signals you can give, or read, when it comes to an on the street meet 'n greet:

  • Shorten a leash. The quickest way to let a stranger know to keep her dog away is if you quickly shorten the leash, either a retractable, or grabbing the standard lead in a spot closer to the dog's collar with the opposite hand (as seen here). Likewise, you can simply scoop up a small pooch. Both signals let others know that you would prefer to keep your pet closer to you.
  • Change hands. If you're walking with a dog closest to other pedestrians, simply position the dog on the opposite side of the approaching dog so it's harder for the pup to see and attempt to tug towards the other dog, putting more distance between them.
  • Cross the street. Another option is to cross the street entirely, or walk and stop in between parked cars until the person passes by, eliminating any contact whatsoever.
Source: Thinkstock
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