In my youth, I delivered the Coeur d’Alene Press in a rural area. Back in the ’50s, there were no leash laws in Idaho, and many dogs were on the loose along my paper route. When they threatened me, I reached down and pretended to pick up a rock. I can’t recall ever having to throw one—the dogs would just run away.
Later in life, my job took me to Tampa, Florida. My wife and I, along with our faithful Lab, Tonga, would take walks in our neighborhood. One morning, a very aggressive dog started bothering us. I tried my old pretending trick, but the dog did not move. I realized it was not afraid because there are no rocks in Florida, just sand!