Dog fights: what to do

Dog fights: what to do

One question we’re sometimes asked is “How do you deal with a dog fight?”.  Fights are extremely rare as all the dogs we walk are well socialised and managed, however, should you find yourself in this situation, it is important to know what to do. Dog fights can be a distressing and dangerous situation for both the dogs involved and the people witnessing it. While it’s always best to prevent fights from occurring in the first place through responsible ownership and proper socialisation, it’s essential to know how to intervene safely if you find yourself faced with a dog fight. In this blog post, we will provide you with practical tips on how to stop a dog fight while minimising the risk of injury to yourself and the animals involved.

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• Stay Calm and Assess the Situation: The first step when encountering a dog fight is to remain calm. Panicking or acting impulsively can escalate the aggression and make the situation worse. Take a moment to assess the severity of the fight and determine if immediate action is necessary. Most dog fights are loud and intense but often end quickly without serious harm.

• Never Use Your Hands or Body: Under no circumstances should you attempt to break up a dog fight with your hands or body. Dogs caught in the heat of the moment may redirect their aggression towards anyone who intervenes, including their owner. Instead, follow these non-physical techniques:

• Make a Loud Noise: One effective method is to make a sudden loud noise to startle the dogs and distract them from fighting. You can clap your hands, use a whistle, or bang on a nearby object. The noise may momentarily disrupt their focus and give you an opportunity to intervene.

• Use Distractions: If there’s a hose or bucket of water nearby, consider pouring water over the dogs. Most dogs dislike being soaked and may separate due to the sudden change in sensation. Alternatively, you can throw a blanket, towel, or a large object like a chair between the dogs to create a physical barrier.

• Practice Visual Separation: If the dogs are wearing collars, you can try grabbing the back of their collars and pulling them backwards simultaneously. This technique should be used as a last resort, as it carries a higher risk of accidentally being bitten. If possible, loop a lead around each dog’s waist or use a long lead to create distance between them.

• Seek Assistance: If you’re unable to stop the fight on your own, or if the dogs are too large or aggressive for you to handle, don’t hesitate to call for help. Enlist the aid of another person to assist in the separation process.

• Provide Post-Fight Care: Once the dogs have been safely separated, it’s essential to assess their condition for any injuries. Contact a vet to schedule a check-up, even if the wounds appear minor. Physical injuries are not always immediately apparent, and prompt medical attention is crucial to prevent infection or complications.

Conclusion: Remember, prevention is always better than intervention when it comes to dog fights. Responsible ownership, socialisation, and proper training are key to minimising the risk of canine conflict. However, in the event of a dog fight, staying calm, using distractions, and seeking help when necessary are vital steps in safely resolving the situation. By following these guidelines, you can help protect the well-being of the dogs involved and yourself