How to Stop Dogs During a Fight
Breaking up a dog fight can be dangerous. Yelling only makes it worse, and grabbing the dogs collars (as recommended by some dog trainers and other web sites) will often get you bitten. There are things you can do, however:
- Ring the doorbell: When dogs start to fight, they become focused. (This is why so many people get bitten by their own dogs when they are fighting. The dogs are so focused that they do not notice their owner´s hand.) Sometimes all you need to do to stop a fight is break that focus. Ringing a doorbell is a lot more effective than talking since the dogs often turn their heads to see who is at the door.
- Throw a blanket over the attacker: This works well at the beginning of a fight, so if you have a blanket available use it immediately. This method is most effective when it is combined with being sprayed down. The dogs will sometimes back away from the wet blanket, ending the fight. If you do not use it right away, however, do not even bother.
- Spray them down with a hose: This is not always an option, but if the dogs get in a fight out in your yard this is one method that might work for you. This is more likely to work early in a fight, so grab a hose as soon as it happens.
- Use pepper spray: Many dog owners do not want to have this around as it can be considered cruel. What is really cruel is allowing a strong dog to rip open the face and tear out the eye of a weaker dog. To use pepper spray, you have to spray it on the attacking dog without getting bitten. (Some brands are milder than others, and this is the one I use to prevent loose dogs from attacking my dogs when walking them on the beach.) If both dogs are fighting, you do have to spray both. This is usually effective, but since dogs get so worked up it is possible that it will not work.
- Read also: How to stop a dog’s aggressive behaviour
- Throw a leash on one dog so that you can lift him and remove him from the fight: Try the pepper spray first, but if it does not work you can try to use a leash to separate the dogs. The main problem with this technique is that the dogs will often keep fighting and pull against you, so if you really have to work at it the dog might get choked out and pass out from lack of oxygen. This happens a lot more than you might think.
- Grab both dogs by their back legs and pull them apart: This method requires two people since if you pull off one dog, the other can take advantage and attack even more savagely. It can also be very dangerous, as dogs will get caught up in the “heat of the moment” and bite the owner even without being aware of it. To decrease the chance of this happening, it is a good idea to spin the dog around as soon as they are separated so that he or she is off balance. Your dog will be too busy shifting around and will not have time to bite you.
- Pry the dogs apart: This should be the last thing you try. You have to use a large stick to pry most dogs apart, and it can be dangerous, both for the dogs and for the owner; angry dogs do not want to be messed with and it can even be worse than pulling them apart.
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