The other day, my two females got into the biggest fight I’ve ever seen. And, I’ll admit, I did everything wrong to break it up. Any dog owner, with two dogs of the same sex, knows their dogs will fight. If it hasn’t happened yet, wait, it will. Even my little Chihuahua’s used to get into it; Eventually leading to finding a new home for one of them. Once your dogs start fighting, how do you break up a dog fight safely?
This is the question of the day. Breaking up a dog fight can go in several directions. More often than not, the directions they go is dangerous when people intervene. But here’s the thing, if your dog is being injured by another, how can you not stop it? Or try to stop it?
No matter what, in any dog fight, there are some basic things to remember to not do.
The First of Things Not to do in Order to Break up a Dog Fight Safely.
First things first, whatever you do, don’t yell. Of course, while my dogs were fighting, what was I doing? I was yelling. Terrible idea. Yelling at dogs while they’re in the midst of fighting only raises their energy levels. And, I know this. But, I couldn’t help it. It seemed like they were trying to kill each other and I was trying everything in my power to stop it.
Had I maintained some level of calmness, their fight most likely would have ended pretty quickly. Dogs only fight to get what the other has or to establish dominance. It’s pretty basic when they decide to grapple with each other. Best thing I could have done was stay calm. Alas, I wasn’t calm because I was alone and normally, when they fight, my husband’s here with me to break it up. This time, he wasn’t.
Second Thing Not to do to Break up a Dog Fight Safely.
Second thing on my list of what not to do, is to hit the dogs to break them up. Yup, I did this too. In fact, I grabbed all kinds of things to get them to stop. My husband, upon coming home that day from work noticed a bunch of food in the living room. Ramen, a triscuit box, another pack of Ramen.
He asked me after I was calm, “Babe, why is there food all over the living room?” Well, I used what I had in my arsenal. I was, before the fight broke out, in the process of reorganizing my pantry! I had just gotten home from shopping.
Now, I know better than to put my hands in the way of dogs fighting. We’ll get to that here in a minute. So, I tried using a box, plastic from the ramen. Everything. I was basically trying to make noise to get them apart. Well, it simply just fueled the fire.
Don’t do what I did!
Third Item on the List of what Not to do!
This is very, very important. Not as important as the next item, but pretty important. Do not pull dogs apart. See, when I was trying to pull them apart, their jaws locked up on the other dog. In fact, they bit down harder. So, don’t do this. I know, I know, I’m telling you everything I did wrong. But that’s the point of this article, right!
So, when dogs are biting down, you definitely don’t try to pull them apart. I have been successful in the past, but only when there’s two people involved. We pick the dogs up by their back legs like a wheel barrow and walk them backwards. This isn’t really pulling them, it’s distracting them because now they can’t use their back legs. Remember this tip because we’ll get to it soon. Distracting the dogs is important to breaking up the fight.
I have seen in some videos of people really pulling on dogs. In the end, this causes the bite to be more of a vice, and you can’t get their jaws to loosen. It’s like playing tug of war with a dog. They bite down harder and use their legs to get momentum.
Last Thing on the List of What Not to do – The Most Important!
The last item on the list of things not to do during a dog fight. Do not, under any circumstances, put yourself in between the dogs. During a dog fight, they’re not thinking clearly. Dogs go into instinct mode when they’re fighting. They don’t mean to hurt anyone, I can attest to this. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t stop the bite once it starts.
I’ve seen a lot of people get between a dog fight. A finger, or hand will get bitten badly. Enough to warrant a trip to the ER right away.
Now, when my dogs were fighting, my hand didn’t get between them. Somehow though, my hand got bit. I don’t know how, or what happened, but it’s sore. I swear, I didn’t put my hand in there, but it just shows that dogs will bite anything that gets in the way when they’re fighting. I was lucky, and the bite was very small and barely there. One of them must’ve shown some kind of restraint, because the entire thumb is bruised. I can tell a mouth went over it somehow, but the bite was small.
Now the Part You’ve all been Waiting For – How To Break Up A Dog Fight Safely.
I mentioned above that you have to distract the dogs to break up the fight. When dogs are fighting, they’re only thinking of one thing, be the top dog. The dominant dog. Now, I’ll admit, I went over some theories in my last article. And, I still think the blanket idea would work if all else fails. However, I have broken up dog fights before by basically choking them out. The important thing to have on hand, is the right kind of collar. I will say, that Pet Smart only had the clip kind of collars. This doesn’t work when you’re lifting a 70 lb dog up by their collar. That stupid little clasp will break.
You must have a collar that is strong enough to hold your dog. For Muse and Atlas, that means a very durable, buckle style, collar. I don’t care if it’s leather, nylon or any other material. But, the buckle style is what will keep the collar together during this time of splitting them up.
When the dogs are fighting, you pick them each up by their collar. Now, the collar needs to be under their chin. So that you have full control and you’re choking them out. After they need air, they release their bite. Once released, you can walk them wherever you need to to split them up. Watch the video, it just might save your dogs!