How to Stop a Dog Fight

In the U.S. alone, an estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur each year and nearly 800,000 of those dog bites require medical attention. Commonly these bites occur as a result of trying to break up a dogfight without the proper tools and techniques. When one or more dogs are fighting, their pack mentality kicks in and they are unable to distinguish you from the other dog(s). It is important to know the proper way to break up a dogfight so that if the undesirable does occur, you can confidently handle the situation without putting yourself at risk.

What to Do When There is a Dog Fight

A lot of times you can startle the dogs and separate them without having to get too physical. Loud noises such as clapping or stomping can be very effective. If there is a hose nearby you can also try spraying the dogs. Once they are separated, it can be helpful to use some sort of barrier to keep them from seeing one another until they have calmed down. If you are out at a dog park or in a public setting where you don’t have access to these things there are a couple items that can come in handy.

Tools to Startle Dogs Out of a Dog Fight

  • Air Horn (Not typically carried on person, but for dogs with aggressive behavior it may be worth having on hand.)
  • Citronella Spray
  • Water Hose (Not always near by, but if it is a hose is a great and safe option.)

If none of the above are effective, this is when it is important to know how to physically separate the dogs and avoid becoming the victim of a dog bite.

Breaking up a Dog Fight with 2 People

  1. You and another person approach each dog from the rear at the same time.
  2. You both grab a dog by the legs right below the hips and quickly walk them backwards.
  3. After a couple steps back you want to start walking backwards in a circle as soon as you can. This will keep the dog moving on their front legs so they are unable to turn and try to bite you. It also gets the dog to come out of attack mode and calm down.
  4. Once they are calm you want them to be faced away from the other dog. Now you can better restrain them and take them by the collar or leash and lead them away.

Breaking up a Dog Fight with 1 Person

If you do not have another person helping you, you will need to use a police leash to properly break up a dogfight.

  1. You will first take the leash and place it under the dog right in front of the hind legs where the hips are and clip it together. You want to do this action as quickly and calmly as possible.
  2. Then using the leash you will take the dog backwards to the nearest pole or tree and attach the other end to the tree to restrain the dog.
  3. At that point you can approach the other dog from the rear and wheelbarrow him backwards and in circles just as you would in the above instructions.

What Not to Do When There is a Dog Fight

  • Do NOT try to grab the dog by the collar
  • Do NOT try to physically come between the dogs
  • Do NOT pick your dog up

Thinking of Adopting a Dog? Remember:

Owning a dog is a big responsibility and should not be taken lightly. You have to consider your lifestyle and whether you’re able to meet the needs of the dog. With certain breeds it is very important to be well informed because not properly handling your animal can lead to destructive behavior and aggression towards other dogs.
People get bitten everyday from trying to break up a dogfight. These bites can cause considerable damage and require restitution through the legal system. Therefore, it is wise to know how to properly train your dog, take preventative measures, and know what to do if a dog fight does occur.

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