This male Lab was extremely aggressive. Elsa got away with her interaction because she was a young female. Other dogs were not so lucky when they approached him. The owner had him at a public beach off leash. He did not play well with others and should not have been off leash. If no one was at the beach he could have gotten away with it as the dog was completely focused on his balls unless another dog entered his circle.
We were enjoying ourselves at the park. Luke and Elsa had met up with a friend and were romping around when a car pulled up. As the car pulled to the curb I got the "heads up" that I never want to hear. "That's the guy with the aggressive dog;" my friend said. The dog is so aggressive that if the dog bites another dog he will be euthanized. But the kicker is that he lets the dog off leash; that's right, off leash. As we head to the car quickly I am ranting. My head is spinning with thoughts of allowing a known biter off leash "really?" The whole scenario played out in my head as I picked up my pace to get to the car. Thinking about the dog charging us and going after Luke, I opened the pocket in my bag that holds my pepper spray. I was not going to allow some stupid guy with an aggressive dog to injure one of my guys. Once we reached the safety of my xterra we chatted and the owner of the aggressive dog waited. He finally left seeing that we weren't leaving right away.
Another day, another walk and Elsa and I were coming around a corner at the park. We were just about to head past the children's play area when I spotted a Weimaraner. The owner panicked and screamed for his dog making a dash to grab her. I stopped in my tracks seeing that it was not an okay situation. My job is to protect my dogs and I take this job seriously. Once he had her hooked up he moved far off the path as we walked by very cautiously. The dog lunged out going crazy at Elsa. Really? He'd had this dog off leash in a public park. I truly don't get it.
IT IS NOT OKAY TO HAVE AGGRESSIVE DOGS OFF LEASH.
Yet another time as Elsa and I were out at the park a woman entered with her very large black dog. She let it off leash right away and I got an uneasy feeling. I called across the park to her "your dog friendly?" She looked to locate where the call had come from and panicked when she saw us. She scrambled to get her dog and hook her up. She had obviously not seen us but still let this dog off leash. It makes me crazy. My own dogs are extremely friendly but I am still very cautious about when and where they are let off leash. AGGRESSIVE DOGS SHOULD NEVER BE OFF LEASH. Not in public.
There is a time and place when aggressive dogs should be off leash and that is ONLY when they are in a 100% securely fenced area like a backyard. That or when and if they are being rehabilitated by a trained professional but still in a 100% secure area.
If you even think for a moment that your dog may attack another; KEEP YOUR LEASH ON. I hear stories all the time of dogs attacking other dogs or people because they were out for an off leash run. There are no acceptable explanations for allowing an aggressive dog off leash. If you have an aggressive dog, it is your job to keep that dog safely contained. It is your job to make sure that your dog does not hurt anyone; not another dog or person.
In life there are consequences. Attacking another dog or person is just cause for a loss of freedom. It is sad that we have to be so aware; due to those who are careless and stupid. I for one am always aware of my surroundings; always watching other dog's body posture. Having had several of my dogs attacked on a street walk and ended walking in the street for us. We only walk in parks, beaches and fields where I can see well ahead of us.
There is NEVER a justified reason to allow an aggressive dog off leash. NEVER.