Dog fights already kind of terrify me, but after reading a lot about poorly trained dogs with irresponsible owners on the trail, I decided to learn more about what to do if my pup has to encounter some of those dogs.
In some cases, a dog fight can break out, and I want to know what to do. All dog owners should really know how to break up dog fights in the worst situations, on or off trail. Because you never know when it will happen, and the other people around might not be ready to jump into action!
What NOT to do!
- Don't scream and panic. If you're freaking out, you won't be able to do anything about them freaking out.
- Don't reach for the collars or face areas of the dogs. Even if your dog isn't one to bite, you don't know the other dog in a lot of cases, and your dog is agitated, too, so you may get injured in the process.
- If one dog is being attacked by a more aggressive dog, don't act on the one being attacked. If you do, you've only immobilized the victim and put yourself in harms way if you picked up that dog.
- Don't run away!!! Seriously. Help your dog man.
- Don't start a human fight. A dog fight is enough.
- Don't pull a dog being bit away from another dog. This will only cause the flesh to tear even worse. Instead, act on the dog that is biting to get it to release.
What TO do!
- Before the fight truly breaks out (if there are warning signs) use your voice and body language to get control of your dog, and get away from the other dog. This may be difficult on a trail, but make a noise as a distraction if necessary and lightly jog away with your dog.
- Spray water on the dogs if they seem to be ready to fight or just starting. This usually works to get them confused and separated.
- Grab the aggressor dog's tail and pull: this will usually make them let go of their bite. Pull by the tail so you don't get near their mouth. Hold on until he calmed down or the owner takes control (if it's not your dog).
- If the tail doesn't work, safely flip the dog onto his back. Do this by placing one hand on the left side of his back, and pulling his right, back leg towards the left and towards you. Once flipped, grab both legs to control him.
Do you have any other advice for dealing with dog fights?