Pet Parents 101: Safe Ways to Break Up a Dog Fight

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how to break up a dog fight two dogs fighting

If you’ve ever seen a dog fight, you know how scary it can be. It’s not all that uncommon for these fights to break out at a dog park. Sometimes, you can read Fido’s body language, control them, and break up a fight before it even starts. But other times, it’s not as easy.

It’s crucial for dog owners to know how to stop a dog fight from getting nasty. A little roughhousing is a-okay, but a full-blown conflict is not. Your pup could end up with puncture wounds and other serious injuries. Keep reading to learn how to stop these nasty fights and watch over your pup’s animal welfare.

Dog Fighting Facts: Most Common Causes of Dog Fights

A dog fight doesn’t start from thin air. There are always indicators that something bad is about to happen. A lot of dog fights may even break out while two doggos are playing together. So what gives? Why do dogs start these fights?

The most common cause is a territorial dispute. Pets feel ownership over certain things: the backyard they play in, their favorite toy, and even their food bowl. When another pup crosses these imaginary property boundaries, Fido could get aggressive.

Another common cause is a lack of socialization. Dogs that don’t grow up around other animals and humans can develop a less-than-pretty personality. They don’t know how to play nice with others, which can escalate into a dog fight.

On top of that, not all dog owners are responsible pet parents. Some get a kick out of seeing dog fights and may train their pup to start conflicts. They may even give their furry companion illegal drugs to promote muscle growth and aggression.

Another cause is overstimulation. Some doggos get so hyped up at times that they redirect that energy to fighting other dogs. You can solve this with the help of a dog trainer, so don’t despair if Fido does this.

safe ways to break up a dog fight

There Are Unsafe and Safe Ways to Break Up a Dog Fight

You don’t want to throw yourself between fighting dogs without a plan. Even if they don’t mean to hurt you, you may end up being bitten (or with broken bones!) by accident.

There are always safe ways and dangerous ways of stopping a dog fight. Before you intervene, make sure you know what you’re doing. You have to project an image of confidence and being “leader of the pack”!

What NOT to Do with Fighting Dogs

First, don’t just step in between fighting dogs. Their teeth are bared and adrenaline is rushing through their bodies. It’ll be easy for one of them to bite you, even if they don’t mean to. Unless you want some ugly puncture wounds and serious injuries, back off.

Secondly, don’t roughly grab your dog’s collar if their body is tense and ears are flat and pointing back. It could warrant an aggressive response out of them, even if they’ve never been mean to you. If they’re on a harness with a leash attached, you can pull it. But don’t get too close to the scuffle.

Also, don’t yell your dog’s name repeatedly. It will only hype them up more and won’t even be effective. Keep your cool (as best as you can) and try some safe dogfighting-stopping strategies.

dog fights over ball in the park

What Are Some Safe Ways to Break Up a Dog Fight?

You know to keep your cool when a dog fight breaks out. But what should you do next?

Create a Distraction

Take your dog’s attention off the brawl and draw it to yourself. Making lots of noise should be your go-to move in this situation. Stomping your feet, sounding air horns, and hitting metal garbage cans together goes a long way.

If all else fails and the fight gets really bad, pepper spray will do. This is especially true if you’re facing a particularly mean and strong dog aggressor. Another thing you can do is grab a bucket of water and throw it on them.

Put a Barrier Between the Dogs

Create some distance between Fido and the other dog. Don’t use your body. Put a sheet of plywood or a garbage can lid as a makeshift wall between the two dogs. Alternatively, you could throw a sheet or blanket over the two dogs. Usually, when they can’t see each other, they’ll stop fighting.

Know the Signs Before the Brawl Begins

Read Fido’s and the other dog’s body language. If they tense up and growl, it’s time to de-escalate the situation. Pull your dog by their leash and redirect their attention somewhere else. You could also grab them by their hind legs and drag them away from the other mean, bad dog. It’s the surest way of preventing injuries, such as a bite.

When to Step In

Many dog fights reach a point at which one dog will latch onto the other with its teeth, locking their jaw on that dog’s throat. When that happens the dogs often stop running and there is a sort of stalemate. If the dogs aren’t moving too much, CALMLY step in and try to grab hold of the collar of the dog doing the biting. Then SLOWY start twisting the collar to carefully cut off that dog’s air supply. You don’t want to suffocate or hurt the dog, just limit their air supply to the point that the dog needs to gasp for air, and in doing so, lets go of the dog they’re biting.

Every Dog Owner Should Know How to Break Up a Dog Fight!

Dog owners are the first line of defense for their furry friends’ health. Knowing how to break up a dog fight is a must for all pet lovers who are around these creatures often. You never know when one might start and need your attention. You could save a dog’s life by knowing how to intervene.

fluffy white dog fighting with dogs in the park

Pay Attention: In Most Cases, Animals Fighting Can Be Avoided!

The best way to stop a dog fight is to prevent one in the first place. Socialize your dog from a young age to avoid conflicts. Expose them to other people, dogs, and animals. It’ll make them more balanced and have a happier life because they’re confident and not easily threatened or scared!

Before going to a dog park, check online reviews of the place. Unfortunately, some dog parks are popular among people who participate in underground dog fights. If those canine fighters are there, there’s a good chance your puppy could get in serious trouble.

If you see any signs of illegal dog fights in your area, contact law enforcement and the Humane Society. They’ll know how to break up these awful rings putting animal safety in jeopardy. Setting up these fights is a felony in many states and animal control needs to come and collect the animals as soon as possible!

Common Questions on a Dog Fight

Should I yell my dog’s name during a dog fight?

Why do dog fights start?

How to separate two large fighting dogs?

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