Dogs are great pets, but they are also animals. This is why sometimes they fall back to their instincts. Depending on how aggressive your pet is, breaking up a dog fight may become a frequent occurrence.
Dog fights can be a big danger to you and your pet. They can quickly become injured or worse. Additionally, you will also be at risk. This is why breaking up a dog fight quickly and safely is an important skill for a dog owner to have. You never know when you might need it.
The first thing you have to remember is that getting into the middle of a dog fight is a very risky act. You should only try to interfere if you have a lot of experience with one of the dogs in question and are familiar with their aggressive nature. Breaking up a dog fight will require you to try and deescalate the situation. The first response most dog owners make is usually the wrong one. Here are some useful tips to ensure that you and your dog don’t end up injured.
Do Not Go For the Collar
First, when breaking up a dog fight, don’t go for the collar. A lot of people react by grabbing their dog’s collar. That only places your hand in reach of the dogs in the fight. When dogs are fighting, they don’t care about a lot of things. Putting your hand into the mix is a big problem. You can be potentially bitten by one or both of the dogs. The worst that can happen is that you get happened. Keep any extremity away from the mouths of the dogs since this is their main weapon in a fight.
Do Not Kick The Other Dog
When you’re breaking up a dog fight, the idea is not to get in the middle of it. This is exactly what happens when you try to kick the other dog. This is a double mistake. This is because it places your leg within easy reach of the dogs’ mouths. You may think your kicking leg is too fast to be bit, but dogs have impressive reflexes.
Additionally, joining the conflict is like adding gasoline to the fire. Kicking the other dog is an aggressive act and the dogs will react to more aggression with even more aggression. If the other dog gets kicked, it won’t stop the attack but just intensify it.
Do Not Use Mace or Pepper Spray
Using pepper spray or mace may seem like a good idea when breaking up a dog fight. However, these should never be used. Both of these work by inflaming the mucous membrane. The result is itching, burning, and swelling in the eyes, ears, and throat. They are designed to put down grown men. However, dogs are not grown men and the dosage can be fatal. You’re here to stop the fight and to ensure that there are no further injuries.
Your dog can be seriously injured if you throw in a pepper spray into the mix. Remember that it is also a spray – this means that you don’t control which of the dogs will get hit. The result is that your dog is equally at risk from you. Just don’t even attempt to use these to stop a dog fight.
Do Not Pull On The Leash
With all of the warnings about breaking up a dog fight safely, you would think the leash would be a safe bet. It keeps you at the distance and serves to restrain a dog. However, the problem is that it only holds back one of the participants. The other dog in the fight is still active and he is still dangerous. Pulling on the leash restricts your dog’s movements, stopping them from attacking – but also from dodging.
A mistimed pull can distract your dog and allow its attacker to get a bad bite in. The goal when breaking up a dog fight is to see both participants safe and sound and leash pulling won’t be able to help with that.
Use The Wheelbarrow Method
The best approach for breaking up a dog fight is the wheelbarrow method. It is best done with two people, however, you can still do it alone. When you are alone, choose to handle the aggressor dog. It started the fight and the defender is just reacting. Neutralizing the aggressor lowers the aggression factor and can end the fight easily.
The wheelbarrow method is exactly what it sounds like. You go for the hind legs of the dog and raise it up like a wheelbarrow. Note that you should only do this if you can grab the hind feet safely. Once you grab them, raise them up so that the dog loses its balance. This will cause them to lose their footing and stops further attacks. This will end the fight quickly.
Skill Is Still Required
However, the best advice to take when breaking up a dog fight is to only attempt it if you are skilled. An angry dog is a force of nature, no matter how small. Stepping into a fight between two dogs is not going to go well for amateurs.
If you have no experience in handling aggressive dogs, your best bet is to just watch in the sidelines and not intervene. It sounds heartless, but you can injure more than help if you intervene without any skills at all.
Finally, there are no good and bad sides in a dog fight. Dogs fight because of instinct – they’re just being true to themselves. This means that you shouldn’t try to injure the other dog. Would you hit a person for breathing? No and that’s the same principle here.
You should do your best though to reduce the chances of a dog fight by being aware of other dogs and your own dog to ensure that they are calm and relaxed. If they ever get growly or aggressive take this as a warning sign and get out of there. The best way to stop a fight is for it to never happen at all.