What are your experiences getting charged by dogs? What's your absolute worst experience? How did you handle it? I walk Beast (my dog) every single night, so we've encountered many, many dogs. I try to avoid them if I can, but sometimes I don't see them soon enough or there's just no other direction to go. The most frequent are the angry little ankle biters, but those guys are easy to ignore and walk away from. There's also the dogs that are allowed to roam off leash because the owners insist they're friendly when their body language usually says something completely different. I usually tell these owners to get their dog before I pepper spray it or before I let mine after it. Of course, neither of those would happen unless their dog attacked mine, but I'm aware of better methods than pepper spray to break up a fight. Then there are the scariest ones, which are the big ones with no owner in sight. It's rare that we get charged by a happy, wiggly, friendly little monster. The only times we've ever gotten attacked by wiggles and kisses is by pit bulls, which is why what happened tonight was so startling. We walked up a street we've walked every night for the last 8 1/2 months, and I saw a little jack russell head poke out of a front porch across the street. Little dog, who cares. I live in a historic town that was recently sold to a new lumber company after the original one went out of business, and they've been kicking out the renters, fixing up the houses, and selling them. A lot of the people moving in have dogs. This street had been emptied and was in the process of being redone, so I figured these people had recently moved in and I would have to make a note to watch out for the new angry little dog on this street (I have to avoid another street because of a dog that's jumped out of a window after us 3 times). The jack russell took off after us and I was surprised to see that it was huge. I don't know if it was massively fat or massively pregnant because it became the least of my concern when a cane corso and a pit bull ran out of the house and charged us. Pit bulls are usually the friendly ones, but this un-neutered male was certainly not. The rule I give myself when I'm suddenly in a bad situation is that I get half a second to go "oh s***," then I need to get it together and figure it out. Since so many dogs have run at us, I've kind of developed a system to quickly read the situation so I know whether to ignore it, sweet talk it and toss it treats to get away, talk calmly so it'll lose interest, or show it that I mean business. These dogs both had their tails docked too short to tell anything from that, and ears cropped short so all I could tell is that the ears were angled forward. They were growling, very tense, noses wrinkled, absolutely zero friendly dog signs of any kind. Their aggression wasn't directed towards me, just Beast. When the dogs aren't a huge threat Beast stays next to me for the encounter. This time he tried to block me. We were stuck against a fence, blocked in by all 3. I always carry pepper spray but I didn't want to make them angrier. When they started to close in really tight and the corso went for Beast's side, I gave my firmest and loudest "No," while kneeing the corso firmly and effectively keeping its teeth off my dog. Probably not the best choice, but no one is going to hurt my baby boy. That could have made the situation worse, but thankfully it didn't. I hate hurting dogs. I hate it. But Beast comes first, and the dog didn't even flinch, it just paused, shook itself, and moved away a little bit. My knee still hurts. The corso's left back half was torn up pretty bad, so I'm not quite sure what's going on there. Maybe it was a female mated to the male pit and he's super aggressive while mating. Maybe the owners (like many people around here) beat their dogs. I don't know. The pit bull and my dog were locked in a staring contest and posturing to the best of their abilities (the pit was absolutely massive, and my dog is only 40 lbs but he thinks he's a mastiff). The pit was still growling, and when it took a step forward I again put myself between him and my dog, telling him firmly to "Go" while stepping forward, forcing him to back up unless he wanted to be stepped on or felt like attacking me to get to my dog. I know Beast well, and if another dog tries to dominate him he's more than ready to fight. Thankfully, the pit turned away and headed back across the street. I was so angry. The door to the house they came out of was open. There were a truck and a car in the front. People were home and didn't come get their dogs. Even when we made it up the street the dogs were still in the front yard. I've heard of many situations where owners can't control their dogs, so when it goes after something they don't do anything because they can't get it back. Why do you even have dogs then? What if I had had a timid, tiny little dog that would be an easy chew toy? What if instead of me, it was one of the families that walk the dogs together with the kids and the babies (thankfully none were out tonight)? What if someone couldn't read the situation at all (not that I had the best reaction in the world. I would prefer to do it differently, but I hope there's never an encounter to require it) and thought running would be a good idea?