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What's a good way to avoid having to use my pepper spray on an attacking dog? Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog (but have your dog pepper spray in your hand). Do not run when confronted with a threatening dog. Running only stimulates the dog to increase its aggression. Hold your ground and demonstrate moderate dominance by telling the dog firmly to go home. This usually works wonders. Firmly saying "no" and "sit" may also work. You might try: "Go away," "Go home" or "Nice dog".