Let’s get ready to rumble: How to break up a dog fight

It’s every dog owner’s worst nightmare; you’re walking your pet in the park, when another dog appears. One makes a move to investigate the other, when all of a sudden it goes horribly wrong and they get into a fight.

dogfightIt’s human nature to panic initially, but if you act without thinking, you are liable to end up seriously hurt yourself, even by your own pooch. Here are a few tips on breaking up a dog fight:

  • Make sure that you and anyone with you, such as your children, are safe. As precious as your pet dog is to you, your own wellbeing is paramount.
  • Whatever you do, do not step between the two animals. As submissive as your pet may be to you, in such a heightened state, he is just as likely to bite you as another dog.
  • Do not grab your pet by his dog collar. The majority of bites happen when a collar is grasped, and if he twists his head or spins away quickly, you could easily break your wrist or a finger.
  • Use whatever is to hand to split them up; this may be a sheet of cardboard or something similar. Be prepared to use it to separate the dog from you.
  • One of the most effective ways to break up a fight is by tossing a bucket of water over the dogs. However, it’s unlikely that you would have one to hand.
  • If you absolutely have to get your hands dirty, grab your dog by the base of his tail or hind legs, and lift him into a ‘wheelbarrow’ position. Being careful not to hurt or injure him, manoeuvre him away from the other dog; when handled like this, he will find it impossible to fight, and will have no choice but to go where you lead him.

As is the case with anything unpleasant, prevention is better than cure. Watch your pet very closely when out walking him, and if a situation arises where you think that he, or another dog, is likely to get aggressive, simply walk away from it. Even the best behaved of dogs can give in to the temptation to get into mischief, so make sure that he’s always on a dog leash; if he has a history of aggressive behaviour, it’s worth considering a dog muzzle or another similar restraint.