How to Break Up a Dog Fight: 7 Techniques to Avoid Getting Bitten!

Dog fights are your worst nightmare .
Snarling, flashing teeth, fur flight, and – eden forbid – rake .
flush if no one gets hurt, it ’ s a terrifying have that can permanently scar homo and cad mentally. not to mention the massive vet bills if the dogs do end up doing some damage .
Breaking up a frump fight is a dangerous thing to do, but sometimes you don ’ metric ton have another choice. It ’ s not like there ’ s a pawl fight squad that you can call to break up the crusade in front of you.

We ’ ll explore your options if a competitiveness does break out .
how to stop a dog fighthow to stop a dog fight

Recognizing a Dog Fight: What to Look For

Being able to recognize cad soundbox speech and differentiate between appropriate dally, inappropriate play, and a true cad fight is a skill that takes a long time to develop .
In general, I get concern if I see :

  • High, stiff tail wags
  • Lips pulled forward (instead of gaping mouths)
  • Tight, controlled, efficient movement (instead of bouncy play movement)
  • Forward weight with staring eyes at a distance
  • Lunging towards the face or neck
  • One dog that’s really dominating play (always on top, always chasing, etc)
  • Lots of calming signals from one or both dogs

Play fighting normally is loud, bouncing, and exaggerated. The dogs will take turns and when they bite each early. They ’ ll have wide open gaping mouths .
While this type of roughhousing can tip over into a competitiveness if the dogs aren ’ t socially grok, it ’ s not a true dogfight. Keep a close eye on those games so that you can call your frank away and give him a violate if necessity .
The list above is not comprehensive. Distinguishing between play vs trouble clock time can be unmanageable flush for pro trainers, and while it ’ second worthy of its own article, we won ’ thymine go excessively much into it today ( this discussion of this post deals chiefly with breaking up a andiron fight ). For more information on recognizing play vs fighting behavior, the AKC has a adept article to get you started .
broadly, it ’ mho better to air on the side of guard. I rarely let my cad greet other dogs on-leash and about never go to the dog park ( read up on our cad park etiquette guidebook to better understand what ’ s acceptable and not satisfactory behavior at the andiron park – and check out our collection of frump parking lot alternative options ).

I ’ five hundred rather choice my dog ’ second friends carefully than get into a nasty situation .

Types of Dog Fights

not all frump fights are the lapp. It ’ mho significant to recognize which type of pawl fight you ’ ra dealing with so that you can break it up more effectively. Most dog experts classify andiron fights into two main categories :

Snappy Dog Fights

Most dog fights descent into this class. There ’ sulfur a bunch of snarling, snapping, and lunging. The dogs are very mobile, very loudly, and it ’ s quite chilling. These fights are frequently over promptly, but not always .
snappy frank fights are more easily broken up because the dogs are snapping and letting go – but the dogs can still cause unplayful damage. This type of fight can besides has the electric potential to tip over in the the second base type of cad fight .
WARNING: Some may find this video below disturbing – watch at your own free will .

Grab-And-Hold Dog Fights

This is the less common, but much more dangerous type of dog fight. here, one or both dogs grabs and holds onto the other .
These fights are frequently quiet and still, with the dogs locked onto each other. These fights can be much more unmanageable to break up and make up the majority of newsworthy andiron fights that produce dramatic footage of dogs not letting go when tased, beaten, or physically pull apart. ( We do not recommend using any of those methods of breaking up a andiron fight ) .
Dogs that are bred or trained for fighting are anecdotally more likely to engage into the grab-and-hold type chase fight. This is where the myth of scar bulls having “ tetanus ” likely comes from .

Why Dog Fights Happen (and How to Prevent Them)

There ’ s a huge variety of things that can trigger a dog fight ; knowing the types and recognizing warning signs is winder to achiever .
The best way to break up a frump competitiveness is to prevent one from starting. We ’ ll talk more about the warn signs of each specific type of battle here .

Reason #1: Predatory Drift

In a fight driven by marauding aggression, one pawl attacks the other as if the other cad was a raven item – it ’ s not very a fight at all .
This is peculiarly common with breeds that are either bred for killing things ( like terriers ) or dogs that are more “ primitive ” ( like huskies ) .
That ’ mho because in breeds like labradors and margin collies, we ’ ve bred them to highlight a particular marauding sequence. Border collies and labs would both be pretty bad at their jobs if they finished the predaceous sequence
Predatory Sequence: Eye – > Orient – > Stalk – > Chase – > Bite – > Grab / Bite – > Kill / Bite – > Dissect – > Consume
Retrievers stop at the grab/bite stage, and shepherds stop at the chase stage. No shepherd wants his frank to kill his sheep ! Read more about depredation in dogs in this article by Positively .
A large warning sign of marauding aggression is a andiron that stalks early dogs. While this international relations and security network ’ thyroxine unheard of in some herd breeds, it ’ s a big loss flag. A stalking frump will lower its drumhead and crouch as it stares at or moves towards a “ raven item. ”
Your pawl is more at risk of becoming a victim of predaceous aggression if he ’ second bantam. This is why I cringe whenever I see little dogs at the dog park. In the agitation of play and ladder, it ’ randomness excessively easy for another dog to slip into marauding drift. This is where tragedies happen .
preventing a dog fightpreventing a dog fight I ’ ve seen this firsthand, and it ’ s identical chilling. A gruff stalked my border collie for a few steps, then rushed up and went square for his neck. fortunately, my shout distracted both dogs and cipher got hurt .

Reason #2: Poor Social Skills

socially awkward dogs can get themselves ( and others ) into trouble reasonably promptly ! We see this all the time at the shelter I work for. Dogs with hapless social skills might become way excessively excited at the sight of another chase, or they might wholly miss social cues from their collaborator .
awkward dogsawkward dogs Despite the adorable photograph above, the consequences of poor people social skills can be black .
A few example scenarios include :

  • Dog A runs up to Dog B. This alone can be enough to set off Dog B! It gets worse if the Dog A T-stances or mounts Dog B. Often Dog A is overly excited by this situation – some may even jump onto the backs of their would-be playmates. Dog B will probably tell Dog A off and a fight can ensue.
  • Dog A and Dog B meet and begin to sniff muzzles. Dog B is a little stiff but Dog A continues to sniff around and does something rude. Dog A might shove his face where it doesn’t belong, paw at Dog B, or put his neck over Dog B’s back. Dog A might give a “correction” like lifting his lips, turning to stare at Dog A, or even giving a little bark. Dog A doesn’t heed the warning and continues to do whatever he’s doing (or worse, escalates). Dog B then gives a harsher “correction” to Dog A by biting or snarling – and then you’ve got a fight.
  • Dog A goes up to greet Dog B when Dog B is cowering a corner. Dog B tries to move away but can’t, so Dog B snarls at Dog A to keep Dog A away.

Resource Guarding

many dogs aren ’ t great at sharing, and resource guard can be a dangerous problem .
Fights over resources are park. In many cases, they ’ re besides preventable. Don ’ t inaugurate toys, treats, or darling quiescence places into situations with unfamiliar dogs. If your pawl stiffens up when early dogs try to plowshare his things, be extra-careful .
Since I much train my dog using super-tasty treats like steak, I ’ m besides extremely careful around other dogs. My dog doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate appreciate strangers trying to take away his hard-won earnings. He normally will just stiffen up and stare at early dogs, but that ’ s adequate to worry me .
If another cad lacks social skills, the situation could cursorily turn despicable. It ’ sulfur best to keep high-value objects out of social situations for dogs ( this is why treats and toys aren ’ triiodothyronine recommended at the cad ballpark ) .
dogs fighting over toydogs fighting over toy There are many other reasons that a dog crusade can break out. sometimes you might never know what caused a detail scuffle – we can ’ triiodothyronine read the minds of our canine companions. Keeping an eye on your chase and others around him is the best room to avoid fights. Introducing dogs properly is another great way to prevent andiron fights.

Learn how to read canine body linguistic process and don ’ thyroxine be afraid of crossing the street to avoid a dog that gives you the creeps. I do it all the meter. Really. Some people in my apartment building complex credibly think I ’ m a wyrd social recluse. But truly, the way their cad looks at mine makes me anxious .

How to Break up a Dog Fight (and What Not to Do)

The numeral one rule of any hand brake position is do not create another victim. For frank fights, this means not putting yourself between fighting dogs !
The worst dog-caused injuries I ’ ve always seen are about entirely from people trying to break up a cad fight.Putting your hands between the dogs is just excessively dangerous – never do this ! The dogs are therefore stress that they credibly won ’ thyroxine recognize your hand and you can end up with some very unplayful injuries .

If Your Dog Is On a Leash…

If your cad is on leash and the fight is a snappish one, you might be able to pull the dogs apart via their harnesses. This is bang-up because it keeps your hands relatively safe .
While not at all the ideal way to break up a fight, this is often a first instinct. I ’ ve done it – and it ’ s worked. I ’ ve besides tried it and had it wholly backfire – the pressure of the collar barely made the dogs dig in hard .

Tools and Techniques for Breaking Up a Dog Fight

If you don ’ t have any tools on you or nearby, shouting and screaming and clapping your hands can frequently work. Making a big commotion frequently distracts dogs in snappish fights for long enough to separate them .
If your self-generated noise doesn ’ triiodothyronine shape, there are a few other techniques you can use that will keep you out of damage ’ s way :

1. Air Horns

air hornair horn Air horns are loud. And effective .
The good time of an vent horn normally startles the dogs for long enough to grab their leashes and pull them apart. It ’ randomness worked about every time I ’ ve always used it, and it ’ s a common tool seen at animal shelters .
If you don ’ triiodothyronine have an air french horn at your disposal, sample to make another lewdly brassy noise to startle the dogs. many shelters use vent horns during frump screen and have them on hand when introducing two unfamiliar dogs – fair in subject .

2. Hose

While you may not have a hosiery with you during a walk, this is a adept option in some cad parks or your own backyard .
Spraying the dogs will often startle them adequate to break them apart. I ’ ve never had to use a hosiery, but we ’ ve come close at the shelter when an air horn doesn ’ thymine solve .

3. Throw a Blanket Over the Fighting Dogs

frequently, this alone is enough to startle the dogs into stopping the fight. You can besides use a jacket, tarpaulin, or anything else lying approximately nearby .

4. Separate Dogs With a Board or Another Barrier

Wedge a man of wood, a skateboard, or anything else that keeps you out of damage ’ s way between the fighting dogs .

5. Citronella Spray

Dogs aren ’ t crazy about citronella, so it ’ randomness ache to have some citronella spray on hand in case of a frump battle. Pointing a atomizer of this stuff towards an oncoming cad can stop them right in their tracks. In fact, citronella collars are frequently used as a bark prevention cock .
I ’ ve entirely ever used citronella atomizer to deter oncoming dogs before a contend breaks out. In my old vicinity, I carried it for every walk with my pawl since there were quite a few sketchy dogs around !

6. Break Sticks

You probably don ’ t have a break perplex lying around, but they ’ re one of your only options in a sincerely intense grab-and-hold type fight .
They ’ re basically a wedge that you can place between the dog ’ s call on the carpet and then writhe .
This will force the andiron ’ mho jaw open, and then you can use the barrow method ( see below ) or another technique to separate the dogs. This puts your hands pretty close to the dogs and is not for novices .

7. Wheelbarrow Method

With the barrow method acting, two people each grab the hind leg of one of the fighting dogs and physically pull the dogs aside .
I ’ m hesitant to recommend this one for three reasons :

  • It requires two people to pull it off.
  • The dogs might redirect onto you. When you put your hands onto a fighting dog, they might think you’re another attacker and turn to bite you as well.
  • It can cause more damage in a grab-and-hold type fight. If the dogs are truly locked down onto each other, pulling them apart might not work, in which case a break stick is your best best.

Since there is quote a sting of risk involved, we don ’ thymine recommend the wheelbarrow method acting unless you ’ re a more advance dog animal trainer. While your pawl ’ second safety is important, yours is more important .
Important Note: Don ’ thymine put your hands on the dogs if at all possible, tied after you ’ ve startled them with the above tools. The dogs are likely so stressed that you ’ re still at risk .
Most of the tips here besides work for when you yourself are the victim of a frank ’ s aggression – but if you want to learn more, make certain to read our guide on surviving a cad attack .

After the Storm: What to Do After a Dog Fight Has Ended

When the fur and fury has ended, take a deep breath and then :

  • Check For Injuries. Once the dogs are separated, check them both over for injuries if it is safe to do so. Your dog might be so worked up that it’s not safe to do this right away.
  • Exchange Info. Check in with the other dog and their owner if applicable and exchange information. Depending on where you live, you might need to file an incident report of some sort.

If You Own Both Dogs…

If both of the dogs are your own, separate them in full. then assess the situation – what caused the fight ? You now know that it ’ s not condom to leave these two dogs alone together .
If the crusade was something manageable, like over a piece of steak, you might be able to slowly reintroduce the dogs in controlled settings. It ’ randomness important not to give entrust back excessively quickly – you don ’ t want the adjacent competitiveness to happen when you ’ re not around. This means you might have to separate the dogs for hours, days, weeks, or flush permanently when you ’ re not about .
Hire an animal demeanor adviser immediately if the dog battle occurred between two dogs that share a family – specially if you don ’ thymine know the cause or if the cause is not something obviously manageable. The scope of reintroducing them safely is beyond this article and should be done with the supervision of an animal behavior professional. It ’ south necessity to consult with a pro if you want to stop your family dogs from fighting moving forth in a safe, authentic manner .

If The Fight Was Between Your Dog And Another Owner’s Dog…

If the fight was between two dogs that don ’ thyroxine partake a family, it might be easiest ( not to mention safe ) to equitable keep them distinguish .
But if you do plan on reintroducing the dogs, do so as if they had never met. Give the dogs a breakage of at least a few days before reintroducing them and make sure that the owner of the other dog is volition to work through a reintroduction .
Choose a safe and neutral location and go for a latitude walk. The two dogs might immediately go back to being fine with each other, or they might have a hard emotional answer to the other dog. If they ’ re extremely scared, excited, or aggressive, they ’ ra not ready to be reintroduced .

Will Your Dog Suffer Trauma?

Some dogs develop responsiveness or aggression following a bad dog fight or attack. This is not unusual – but still a lawsuit for refer. Hire an animal demeanor adviser if that ’ s the case.

Read more : Smoked Pork Shoulder

ultimately, it ’ second authoritative not to punish the dogs further following the fight. They ’ ra already extremely stressed, and you want to be the safe and sedate presence involved in this mess .
If you want to learn more about how to effectively break up dog fights and keep yourself safe, we recommend checking out the IAABC ’ s Defensive Handling with Aggressive Dogs Course. It ’ s only $ 20 and in full on-line !
Have you ever witnessed a pawl fight ? What happened ? Share your stories in the comments !

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