Whether you’re a canine lover or heartless, dogs can be a scary aspect of traveling. Some countries–like the United States–have laws about leash use, but even those that have them often don’t enforce them. Many dogs living in such countries are used to being around a lot of people and shouldn’t pose a threat, but some may. In the event a pooch in your path raises its hackles, consider one preventative approach and one aggressive approach.

Preventative: carry something big. This isn’t ideal for travel until you consider that even your backpack or water bottle could serve. I’ve scared 100 lbs.+ dogs away by suddenly opening a $5 umbrella in their direction.

Aggressive: stoop to the ground and pretend you’re picking something up. If this dog looks well groomed, this may not be effective, but if the dog has spent any time on the streets, it will probably associate the stoop and scoop stance with an upcoming hurled rock.

Stay safe, get your vaccines, and wander the doggone world worry-free.


– Miriam Sweeney