What would you do to protect your Airedale Terrier?

I try to take my two Airedale terriers out on a hike, park, walk in town and around town, at least six days a week.

California Mountain Airedales - Protect your Airedale Terrier

Keeping in mind the Boy Scout’s saying of being prepared, and having had a few close calls and one actual attack on my prior Airedale Terrier, I try to be prepared to protect my dogs should the unexpected occur.

On yesterday’s hike with Annie and Teddy as we were going up the Cowles Mountain trail, a guy was coming down with his large dog off leash. As he got to about 10 feet from us he grabbed his dogs collar and hung on to it as we passed each other. Then, when he was a little farther down the trail I looked back and saw he released his dog again, as they were continuing down the trail.

Protect your Airedale Terrier

Oorang Airedale Terrier
San Diego Airedale Terriers – Annie & Teddy

I’m not amazed by this anymore, even though there are signs at the trailhead telling you to keep your dogs on leash because this mountain is within the city boundaries, all dogs must remain on the leash. These trail head signs also state that you be protecting your dog from poison ivy and poison oak as well as rattlesnakes. But, there always seems to be a few people who feel that their dog is okay off leash and they could care less about the law.

So, since I’ve been going up this trail for about 15 years, it’s unfortunate, but, at least a couple times a week I run into people with their dogs off leash. I’m just mentioning this incident as an aside, because just about five minutes later, there was a lady coming down the trail with a Pitbull on a leash. She was coming down the trail on the left side, and I was going up with Annie and Teddy on the right side of the trail.

dog walk safety
What would you do to protect your Airedale Terrier – from a dog like this?

As we approached, she said to me “it would be better if you walk by with your dogs first”. As soon as she said this, she proceeded to sit down on the trail and put both hands on her dog’s leash. As we were passing by at the closest point, her Pitbull started growling, barking and straining at the leash to get to Teddy and Annie. Then, what I’ve never seen before was the Pitbull started gnashing its teeth together, as it strained so hard to get at Teddy and Annie, that I thought it might pull its owner across the trail.

Teddy usually walks by other dogs without a problem, if those dogs don’t growl or bark at Teddy. If they do, Teddy will bark back. So, needless to say, hikers behind us and in front of us all stopped because of the racket and unusual sight of a lady sitting down in the dirt on the trail and straining so hard to control her dog that you would think she was in a major-league tug-of-war competition.

Cowles Mountain summit
Cowles Mountain summit

As some of my readers might know from my prior posts, I do carry an electric stun device for situations such as this. This device is right in my front pocket, and I can tell you, I was thinking about it as we were trying to get by. What was unusual about this situation yesterday, was the pure intensity and viciousness this Pitbull demonstrated in trying to get to Annie and Teddy.

As we got farther up the trail and the separation between the dogs increased, our hike continued, and the owner of the Pitbull got up and proceeded down the trail. As we continued up the trail, I was thinking that even though my stun device puts out a lot of voltage and a scary crackling noise when triggered, I was wondering if it would actually be able to stop such a single-minded, vicious Pitbull like this one?

Oorang Airedales
Oorang Airedales

The other question I was thinking about, was that the lady who owned the Pitbull by her statement and her actions of sitting down on the trail and putting both hands on the leash as we approached obviously knew that her dog would act like this, so, why was she walking it on a popular trail?

My next thought was, should I have some type of backup protection (no you cannot get a concealed carry permit in San Diego) to protect my Airedales in situations such as this, that end in an attack. I’m positive it would only take a couple of seconds for my dogs to be maimed or killed by such a vicious animal! If that Pitbull managed to reach my dogs and this stun device did not work on it, what could I do with in a couple of seconds to end the attack?

Airedale Terriers Airedale Terrier Grooming

I’m sure some here in Southern California would say I just shouldn’t walk my dogs on public trails. Personally, I think this is a ridiculous, because there have been several attacks by Pitbulls on other dogs and even on people on the sidewalks of San Diego. The ultimate outcome of this type of thinking would end with a law requiring all pet owners to keep their pets confined to your home or backyard.

Also, I’m sure others who have not seen the power and viciousness of these pit bulls would say just call 911. But that would only result in having the police help remove my dog’s dead bodies from the trail.

What about disregarding the concealed carry law, and have a 38 caliber on an ankle holster? Unfortunately, I believe even in a situation like this, if an attack occurred, I would surely be arrested.

California Airedale Terriers
Annie & Oakley – California Airedale Terriers

Another idea, which I believe it is legal in San Diego, would be to carry a hunting knife. The big question here, would be how many would have the presence of mind to use the knife (bat or gun) within the first few seconds of an attack? Again, No doubt, here in Southern California, if you did take such protective action within the first few seconds of an attack, and injure or kill the attacking dog, you’re probably going to end up in jail.

larger Airedale Terrier
Cowles Mountain summit w/ Annie

So, what would you do if you are Airedale was attacked by a Pitbull? Keep in mind you just have a couple of seconds to react! I really hope no one says just stand by and try to pull the dogs apart. Because if that’s the way you feel, you obviously have never seen how vicious these pit bulls can be. If this is your thinking, I would suggest you keep your Airedale exclusively in your home or your fenced in property. Also, if you’re reading this on Facebook, please unfriend me!

Now, I’ve thought about these questions overnight and I’ve come up with a couple of answers, but I’d really like to hear what other people would do in a situation like this.

If you like to view Airedale Terrier videos, here is a link to our Youtube Airedale Terrier channel.

President Roosevelt claimed that “An Airedale can do anything any other dog can do and then lick the other dog, if he has to.”



Protect your Airedale Terrier

3 Replies to “What would you do to protect your Airedale Terrier?”

  1. Dear Bob, I only know what my Airedale, Cheyenne, did to a 175 pound St.Bernard. Cheyenne was 110 pounds. While waking him in 5 ft of snow in a dip between houses a St.Bernard was on a chain in his yard above. The Barnard broke his chain & came at Cheyenne full force snapping his jaws. Cheyenne met him at the corner of the yard. Both dogs were standing on hind legs, in each other face snapping jaws & clawing feet. In two seconds Cheyenne flipped him on his back, pinning him down with his jaws over his throat. The Bernard peed himself. I said ” Cheyenne! Let him go!” Cheyenne very slowly took one foot off a shoulder, then the other while keeping his jaws over the throat. He flexed his jaws a few times over the throat. Then backed down the hill to me. Cheyenne was on a 12 ft lead. I had no time ta act. This is how all my airedales have been. Take care. Oh yeah Did you get your boy from Dusty’s Airedales??

  2. Thanks for the story. Yes, Airedales can take care of themselves, but, I’d rather avoid any injury & so, dog walk w/a very small (but, powerful) stun device. No, Teddy came from a private breeder in the Mid-west.

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