Of all the challenges faced by dog owners on a daily basis, the most worrying of all is an attack by another dog.

A trauma of this kind can change the temperament of your dog forever and present great danger for you.

Learning canine body language is your first line of defence.

A dog approaching with his tail held high and ears pricked is not on a mission of mercy.

He’s primed for action and you must be prepared.

Get your dog on a lead where you have more control of the situation.

I always carry a spare lead and if I don’t like the look of the approaching dog I swing the lead around like a propeller, creating a barrier between my dogs and the approaching dog.

That’s usually enough to send the aggressor away.

If that fails to work I have an aerosol can in my training bag.

It has nothing in it but compressed air but any kind of non-harmful aerosol will do as it’s the hissing noise that drives dogs away.

Spraying it at the nose of the offending dog usually does the trick.

Under no circumstances should you scream or run away that will make you perfect prey.

It adds excitement to the chase.

Try and back into a wall, fence, tree or anything that prevents the attacking dog from getting behind you.

If the dog is persistent take off an item of clothing (jumper or jacket) and encourage him to accept this as his target.

This can buy you a few precious moments to find safety.

If you encounter a threatening dog remember the rules: No touch, no talk, no eye contact.

Should your dog get hurt on your watch your leadership credentials will take a massive nose dive so keep your dog under close supervision at all times.

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