Ok, I used to have a 70lb pitbull who would pull a lot and would have seemed scary to anyone seeing him when he was on one of his panics, I now have a 50lb pit who has a problem with other dogs ever since double hip surgery left him feeling very vulnerable. I'm only 120lb.

There have been many situations where these dogs have lunged (usually at ducks or other prey type animals in the park) and not once have I been unable to control these dogs, I have even controlled them both together. I can see why you may think that this woman is unable to control the dog, but it is far more doable than people unfamiliar with dogs like this may think.

The fact that she doesn't want you talking to her, crosses the road, and shortens the leash when walking with the dog tells me that she is very aware of the dogs behaviour and is in control of the situation. It takes time for dogs like this to be re trained, and interaction with other people when put walking may not be helpful at this stage in the rehabilitation. One of the biggest obsticals when dealing with dogs like this is controlling other people and their animals (other people's off leash dogs are a huge issue for instance, as are parents who allow their children to approach any dog without asking).

If it were me I would try and approach this woman when she isn't stressed and out with the dog (because I would bet that she is far more stressed and concerned for everyone's safety than you are) and ask her how she would like you and any children to be around the dog to maintain everyone's safety and help in the dogs rehabilitation.

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