Does Pepper Spray Work on Dogs?

Dog attacks can be a real problem, especially if you are a runner and enjoy going out for a jog early in the morning or late at night.

The number of people who have complained about being forced to give up jogging because they encountered too many stray dogs is staggering.

Many dog owners can be irresponsible and do not follow leash laws. There are also many places where such laws do not exist and stray dogs are abundantly found.

Does pepper spray work on dogs?

We’ve received many questions asking, “Does pepper sprays work on dogs?” The answer to that question is yes pepper spray can be an effective means to disable a dog.does-pepper-spray-work-on-dogs

However, it most likely won’t work if the dog has been trained to be resistant to oleoresin capsicum, the main ingredient in pepper spray. You can check out the effects pepper spray had on a police trained K-9 here.

Since dogs have highly sensitive noses, if you can get a full spray into a dog’s face, you can make it retreat. It takes hours to get over the effect of pepper spray for dogs and this will give you plenty of time to get home to safety.

What should I do when a dog starts chasing me?

Pepper spray should be used as a last resort only. Most dogs will stop pursuing you if you slow down. Others can be scared away with a loud and strict voice or by showing authority.


Attack dogs however will not respond to such tactics and by showing aggression or throwing things at them will only enrage them.

Pit Bulls in particular can be very vicious and if you are chased by one or for that matter any violent dog, your best bet is to climb to a high rise location such as a tree. Immediately call the police as the dog might endanger someone else.

Use a pepper spray for dogs if you cannot run or hide, and make sure that the wind is blowing away from you, because you don’t want to accidentally get any pepper spray in your face.

Top 3 Pepper Spray for Dogs

There are special pepper sprays that are available which are specifically designed to be used on dogs. Professionals who walk around a lot generally encounter stray dogs on a daily basis and prefer to keep a pepper spray for dogs with them.

Although any pepper spray should work here is a list of our top 3 pepper spray picks specially formulated for dogs.

1. Sabre Red Protector Dog Pepper Spray

Sabre Red is one of the leading brands that manufacture pepper spray products. This particular model is specifically designed for use on all types of aggressive dogs yet is a humane deterrent that only induces temporary pain.

The Sabre Red dog attack deterrent carries a rating of 1 % Major Capsaicinoids which is the maximum strength approved by the Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA). The stream delivery pattern means there is low risk of wind blow-back. Added features include an integrated safety lock to prevent accidental discharge and a belt clip so you can carry it with you while jogging or going for a walk.

 2. Guard dog security pepper spray

The guard dog security pepper spray acts as a convenient protection against dogs and human assailants. With its 18% OC percentage it carries the ability to put a punch into each and every shot.

You can get the guard dog security pepper spray in the keychain size or a full size 3 ounce canister.

3. Pet safe animal deterrent

Although this animal deterrent is not made from oleoresin capsicum, it’s special formula is able to effectively control aggression in dogs. Instead of OC it uses a special citronella formula that delivers a powerful scent and acts as a spray shield to prevent any further aggression out of the dog.

One of the great upsides to this spray is it will not hurt the eyes and is safe yet effective at the same time. It works great for both inter-dog and dog to human contact and is small enough to carry in your  pocket.

This citronella based spray manufactured by pet safe is capable of spraying of up to 12 feet and is formulated to force the dog to retreat without harming or making the dog more aggressive. The downside is it can only be shipped to certain states.

Quick note: Citronella based spray are most effectively used on small-medium sized dogs. If you’re looking for protection against larger attack dogs such as a German Shepard or Pit-bull your best bet would be to stick to a good sized can of an effective pepper spray.

Are there any alternatives to pepper spray?

Loud noise is also a great deterrent for an attacking dog. You can use the following products to protect yourself from stray dogs:

  • Air horns: An air horn is a simple device that releases a very loud and shrill noise when you use it. It uses pressurized air to create a sound that will make any stray dog stop in its attack and flee.

  • Pet Parade Dog repeller: This product has proven itself to be very useful at times. It emits a shrill ultrasonic noise which we humans cannot hear. It is very shrill-sounding for dogs and most dogs will avoid coming close to you when you have this device turned on.

Sound based dog repellents may not work on trained attack dogs though. They are given special training to ignore any distracting noises.

If you ever find yourself in the middle of a dog attack you’ll want to use any object in your near surrounding to protect yourself. You can also climb to a higher rise such as a tree in order to put distance between the dog and you.

The most important thing is to report to the police if a trained dog attacks you or someone you know. By reporting careless dog owners and helping stray dogs get captured, you will make the streets and parks safer for everyone.



  1. Mark says

    I carry mace in my fanny pack when I go for walks. And my “walking stick” is actually a fiberglass shovel handle that I rigged as a pretty brutal ass whooping stick. Only had one encounter with a dog. Having that shovel handle made me feel safe and the dog retreated after I took a few swings at him (never hit him).

  2. Ignorance says

    As you so ignorantly stated that “Especially Pit Bulls are violent”….. The writer of this article, page or whatever it is, is a total moron.

    • Me says

      Yeah, by the context of the information being presented, it seems to mean to say that pit-bulls are particularly difficult to deter from whatever they’re doing, not that they’re particularly aggressive.

      And in reality, they are hard to deter. If you’ve ever seen a pit bull, especially one not strictly controlled by it’s owners, you can see that they are indeed difficult to deter from whatever it is they want to do, whether it be sniffing another dog’s butt, running around in the house, jumping a fence, or simply jumping around in excitement due to someone showing up.

      Pit Bulls almost seem to get so focused on what it is that they want to do that they seem to not even hear you at times. More than even rottweilers. That’s why it’s important that if you ever own a dog like that, that you consistently insist that it must do as you say, and that you are the leader in the relationship, not him/her . . . as if it’s strength and size wasn’t enough to demonstrate the reality of that need already . . . however again, most people seem to lack certain kinds of common sense.

  3. Once Bitten says

    Ignorance, the direct quote was “Pit Bulls in particular are very vicious ” and this is true of the ones that attack. I have been bitten by a dog while walking in my neighborhood and I have no patience for people who don’t control their animals. Any dog with teeth will bite and don’t tell me otherwise! I don’t want to hear how friendly your dog is – keep it under control and away from me, period.

    • says

      Yes any dog has the potential to be overtly aggressive, especially toward humans. Aggression in certain breeds such Pitbulls and Rottweilers can simply stem from genetic predispositions but a lot of the time at least in cases where I’ve come across violent dogs the aggression is due to frustration and fear. Aggressive dogs can actually perceive you as the threat even though you may be the vulnerable one in the situation, or become frustrated with a particular situation and decide to lash out.

  4. Ben says

    I’ve heard that Raid wasp spray is good to use on threatening people because it can shoot 30 feet away and is a real nasty agent to get sprayed with! But I would make absolutely sure the person is an imminent threat to you and that you can prove it (or at least convince police/court). Otherwise you might be getting the hell sued outta ya! It wouldnt be a good feeling being sued by your attacker but it has surely happened before

  5. Abhay Kulkarni says

    Three Rottweilers have moved in recently in our locality along with owners. Often their door is left open and the dogs have attacked almost all the dogs in the area including my GSD. My GSD only got a small wound while my GSD and me defended ourselves till the owners arrived. Though I felt that their intentions were only to establish their territory and had no intention to kill my GSD, it was scary. Would pepper spray help in such situation? If yes, which is the best one that would deter the Rottweilers while not harming them seriously? If not what other measures can be adopted?

    • says

      Hi Abhay, pepper spray would be an effective means to protect yourself and your German Shepard. In terms of which one is the best choice, take a look at our above recommendations. Other products such as horns, citronella sprays, and shrill sounding repellers are also all good options to deter aggressive dogs.

  6. Romy says

    This is a very interesting article. Me and my three labradors were attacked today by two German Mastiffs, one of my dogs has a wound and I was knocked over by it and hurt my back. Eventually the owner came and we managed to save our dogs. I do not want this dangerous situation to happen again, so y policeman BF said he is now going to take the police spray he takes to work on dog walks. All I know is it makes people cry and cough for a while…this wont kill another dog will it? I want to defend myself but I don’t want to kill a dog unless it is an absolute necessity. Thanks for your time.

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