It’s the scenario you fear the most: you’re out on a walk with your dog on the lead when an off-leash dog approaches. Do you know what to do to prevent a confrontation?
The best way to avoid this is to be vigilant when you see other canines, particularly when they are off the lead. Train your dog so that it understands basic commands and will stay close to you when you tell it to, you will need to train for these incidents such as emergency U turns and Management, by being proactive and not walking your dog where these incidents are known to happen. Understanding that aversive recommendations can effect the oncoming dog emotionally and can make them worse.
An encounter with an off-leash dog can come about in a variety of ways: A dog dashes out of an open front door or escapes from an otherwise-secure yard, for example. But trouble can also start when an off-leash dog darts away from a dog owner to greet another dog and the off-leash dog may not always act as friendly as his owner expects saying 'oh he's alright, my dog is friendly' so if an altercation starts, the owner is frequently too far away from his fast-moving pet to intervene
And it's not necessarily the off-leash dog who is the aggressor in this situation; the on-leash dog may react defensively, or even aggressively, even if the off-leash dog is friendly. Leash laws are in place to protect dogs and people, and off-leash freedom should be exercised only with reliable dogs in designated and protected areas.
If you see an off-leash dog approaching in a determined manner, stay calm and attempt to move your dog away. Hold a handful of treats in front of your dog’s nose; use the treats to keep his attention focused on you, rather than on the other dog. In this situation, you may be rewarding your dog every couple of steps. Move away from the other dog as quickly as possible, . If the other dog follows you, or if there is not enough time to react and move away, control your dog’s movements and get ready to respond to the other dog. Keep your dog as still as possible directing him into a stationary, calm position, like a sit or down stay at your side or just behind you ("get behind" is a useful trick to teach). Practice stay training to prepare your dog for situations like this and reward him intermittently for staying.
The next step is to throw high value food giving a cue such as 'sit' which is likely to distract the off leash dog long enough to get away, if possible, make your escape with your pet while the other dog is focused on the treats. It’s about being proactive in preventing dog attacks so, cross the street, step behind a parked car, bush or find any other method of creating distance such as a barrier or behind a fence.