Preventing a Dog Fight
Knowing how to prevent a dog fight is just as good of knowledge as for how to break up one. An important thing to be aware of is the common triggers of a dog fight. Food and toys are the most common triggers, as dogs can become possessive of these items and then show aggression to guard them. So one way to avoid dogs fights is to feed them separately (whether it be in opposite ends of the room or in different rooms) and to pick up their bowls immediately after they’re finished eating. Never attempt to remove a toy or food from a dogs mouth with your hands, always distract them with another toy or treat to avoid getting bitten.
Dogs will usually give off a few warning signals before a full-blown fight erupts. Here are some signs that a dog might become aggressive:
If you notice any of these signs, separate the dogs as soon as possible. Try to keep them out of each other’s line of sight, and in separate rooms if possible.
Breaking Up a Dog Fight
If the situation escalated and the dogs are now fighting, try to break them up in the safest way possible. It’s important to avoid actions that could redirect their aggression towards you. Start by trying to distract the dogs. Throwing water on them or making a loud noise (with an air horn, yelling, or by banging on metal objects together) is the most effective method if you’re alone. You can also place a barrier between them if available. A garbage can lid, a piece of wood or chair works fine. If there’s another person present, then each person should grab the hind legs of the fighting dogs, lift them, and walk backwards to pull the dogs apart. This makes it difficult for them to continue to fight each other and also difficult for them to attack you.
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