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How to Safely Break Up a Dog Fight

How to Safely Break Up a Dog Fight

There’s almost nothing scarier than seeing a big dog racing towards you, ready to start a fight with your mild-mannered best friend. It’s frightening enough with two owners trying to separate their dogs from the brawl, but what if you’re all alone? Sure, most of us hope we never have to get in the middle of a dog fight, but responsible pet owners should at least know how to break up one the safe way. We’ll show you what to do.

First, DON’T Do This:

It’s human nature to instinctively reach for your dog’s collar in an attempt to pull him away from the quarrel. Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous move for you. Your chances of being bit by either dog are very high since reaching for a collar places you so close to both dogs’ faces. Whether they perceive you as a threat or a random limb to bite, neither dog will know the difference when they’re in fight mode, or when they’re scared. Using your body to separate the two dogs is an option, but beware that you may suffer collateral bites to your legs, groin, or buttocks by getting in the middle. The trick is working from a different angle.

Work from Behind to Free Your Pup

Sometimes dog fights only last a few seconds—or long enough for both dogs to get a few quick play bites in. You’ll need to intervene if play fighting progresses more aggressively. Try to distract the dogs before getting physical; use your cell phone to make noise, yell, blow a whistle, etc. Once they’re separated, each dog will have a chance to cool down. If your dog gets into a tussle at the dog park, you and the other dog’s owner need to work together. You’ll each grab your dog’s back paws and lift their back legs up in a wheelbarrow position so their front paws remain on the ground. Keeping them in this position should disable them from fighting (and probably confuse/distract them). Gently tug the dogs away from each other and turn them so they don’t make eye contact and start fighting again. If you’re all alone when your dog gets attacked by another dog, carefully maneuver around the other dog, pick up his hind legs via wheelbarrow method, and tug his body back in an arc motion away from your dog. This will prevent getting bites on your arms if he reaches around to get you. Take your dog’s leash, wrap it around the waist of the other dog just in front of his back legs, and tie him up to a nearby tree, electrical pole, parking meter, etc. Gradually ease your dog away using the wheelbarrow method and keep both dogs away from each other until help arrives. A dog fight is scary, but not knowing what to do in the heat of the moment is even scarier. While we hope you never have to use these tips, we’re happy you know them now!
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