A dog fight looks rather frightening. And it’s hard to remain calm and think clearly in such situations. However, chances are very low that dogs will stop fighting.
If you don’t intervene, it can lead to severe injuries and even death. But you shouldn’t jump into the fight either, because your safety is a priority. Knowing what to do with fighting dogs, you will be able to take more thoughtful and precise actions in the situation.
Arguing VS Fighting
Usually, if two dogs are well-socialized, they can argue but not begin a fight. You should understand that animals naturally are not eager to fight – only if this didn’t become a behavioral pattern. They will try to avoid the actual action exhibiting specific body language.
So if you see dogs growling and snapping teeth at each other, even if the snapping seems to be quite physical, they’re just arguing so far.
If they begin fighting, they go for vital areas like the neck or stomach. And it’s hard to stop them at that moment because they’re ruled by instincts now.
But most of the time, domestic dogs don’t go beyond arguing. And because it looks so terrifying to us, we think they’re fighting. It’s quite easy to stop them at this stage.
Why Do Dogs Begin a Fight?
Most of the reasons are related to possessions. For example, the dog has entered another dog’s territory. Or someone took someone’s toy or food. Also, dogs can protect their owners.
Another possible situation – a play turns into a fight. When dogs become overexcited playing with each other, they stop controlling themselves, and even a minor thing might make them snap. Usually, it happens if more than two dogs are playing.
Also, there is such a thing as a redirected aggression. It might happen to dogs that live together. They might be friendly and coexist peacefully. But someday one of them becomes frustrated with something and attack the closest target – its fellow doggo.
Sometimes they just can’t get along.
How to Break up a Dog Fight?
Remember never to try to pull dogs apart manually. You risk getting severe injuries. And don’t grab your dog by a tracking GPS collar or a harness, or even buy large dog kennel to lock your dog for a time.
In a kennel, your dog can run and play outside. It can lead to the dog redirecting its aggression to you. Or it might take the pulling as some support from your side and get even more aggressive.
Remember to stay calm
First of all, dogs can feel you, and they will get even more heated if you are emotional. Also, screaming will not help you here. Inhale deeply, calm down, and ask others to calm down as well.
Remove everyone besides the dogs’ owners away. Other people will only make things worse.
Spray dogs with water
Spraying animals from a garden hose with water, primarily if you aim for the eyes and nose of the more aggressive dog, you can quite effectively break up a fight. If water doesn’t help, citronella or vinegar can be a solution. Don’t use pepper spray as it can make dogs more aggressive.
Make a loud and sudden noise
A car horn or another high pitched and artificial sound can distract dogs and break up a fight. Shouting will have the opposite effect.
After the fight, don’t swear at your dog or punish it. Calmly take it home, or to the separate room. Check it for injuries, and if there are any, take the dog to the vet even if the injury doesn’t seem that serious.
Some damages appear insignificant on the outside but can become fatal with time. Then analyze what lead to the fight and try to prevent the same situation in the future.