How to Break up Dog Fights (Without Hurting Yourself)?


If you spot two dogs in a fight, what would you do?

There are times when you have to sort a spat between your dog and its other doggie mates. If your dog likes to go to the park, socialize and play with other dogs, there are chances that you need to break a spat at some point in time. There may be low-level altercations with no biting in a brawl that can be solved with some intervention.

So, what do you need to do? The first thing that you need to realize is that the very first fight between unknown dogs or even the housemates starts with drools and spit. When these fights involve bites, the dogs generally bite and release. Hence in most cases, the owners do not have to worry about prying open jaws or getting the dogs to release.

1. None of our dogs are in chains.
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3. We drive, fly, or bring by train 200-250 dogs each year from over 30 cities across India
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Save yourself first, then comes the dog

Let’s start with you first! The primary concern in breaking up a dog fight is to get the dogs apart and do so without getting bitten by them. One way to avoid grabbing their neck or head. It is frequently observed that humans are bitten by dogs when they try to get in between a dog fight or try to catch them from the waist. In the heat of the moment, the dogs redirect their aggression towards individuals that are trying to pull them away. 

You could grab one of them from behind and pull them apart. While in some cases, because of the position of the individual and the dog or because the dog might be moving too quickly, one of the dogs needs to be shoved away by placing your foot on one of their rib cages and then pushing them. It is better than bending and pushing the dog away with bare hands. It allows you to use your hand to grab the other dog if there is no one else to help. 

Another popular way to separate two dogs in a fight is by spraying water on them, or placing a board or any other object between them or banging objects and creating a distraction.

A first-hand experience by a dog trainer

A dog trainer, Mellisa Morris, confirmed that her mom’s shepherd dog, Ruby, attacked a visiting lab. When a family member grabbed Ruby with bare hands from the front, it was not effective. However, when a simple newspaper hit her, she moved back.

In another incident, Mellisa recalls when a bulldog attacked a chow walking by. He would not let the dog go; yelling, kicking, and turning the hose on, nothing worked. But when they opened the car doors and called out that we are leaving, he immediately gave up. The two very different situations highlight creative ways to win over the dog. Spraying detergent like pepper or Citronella also works in some cases. However, one needs to remember to avoid activities that will lead to aggression or an unintentional bite. 

Once the dogs are apart, try and observe what the dog wants to do. Keep fighting, or do they calm down. If the dogs want to continue fighting, then a certain amount of modification in the behaviour is required for the future.

Identify the reason behind the fight

A significant reason for aggressive behaviour in the dog is because they have a history of being involved in small disputes. The minor quarrels soon develop into dangerous fights. Most of the rows can be prevented by noticing the behaviour of the dog around his fellow doggies, and calling them apart before there is trouble. One only needs to realize the signals on time and understand the dog’s anxiety.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

1. What’s the best way to break up a dog fight?

The best and safe ways to break up a dog fight include not interfering with them without any help. Create a small distraction, call out to them, or if you’re brave, try and hold them off from behind. Be careful not to get bitten by either dog during this process. 

2. Can you use a Taser to break up a dog fight?

In serious cases of dogfighting, it is advisable to use a taser to break up the fight only if one of the dogs is very large and aggressive. It is effective for aggressive dogs and also prevents you from getting injured by the fight. However, make sure to use it only if you are trained to use it and have the necessary legal permission in your country to use it plus use it in moderation and get your dog checked by a vet post the incident. 

3. What should you not do after a dog fight?

You should never punish your dog after he has been in a fight. This might make him retaliate and you would jeopardize your relationship with him. Also, try and avoid taking your dog to the same spot where he engaged in a dog quarrel. There might be a reason as to why he became aggressive in that environment the last time. 

4. How do I get my dogs to stop fighting?

Well, there is no best way when it comes to keeping two fighting dogs apart, however, there are some simple tricks that can help you calm your dog and avoid a street dog fight. Take them to familiar locations with friendly neighborhood dogs. Take great care of them to suppress their aggressive nature. Use distractions, loud noise or water to break a fight instead of jumping in to save your dog.  

For more legal, medical and general advice on dogs, visit VOSD.

Source: How To Break Up A Dog Fight Without Getting Bitten