Breaking Up a Dog Fight

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by dovelove, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. dovelove

    dovelove Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 dogs, a 5 year old female black lab/border collie mix, and a 5 year old female chow/german shepherd mix. I took the chow/GSD in about 2 years ago because my mom was moving out from California to a retirement home near me, where they did not allow dogs. (The good thing tho, is that she is close by, and visits with her old dog frequently.) Anyway, normally, the dogs are very good together. They really interact well, and play together nicely. About 3 times in the 2 years I have had them they have gotten in a dog fight. The first time to break them up, I threw newspapers and books at them, it worked after about 2 minutes, and both dogs had a few cuts on their faces, nothing serious. I did the same for the other fights to break them up. All of the fights were because of food. Now they are fed far apart from one another, and they are always monitored while they are eating.

    In case this happens again, I want to be ready. What is the correct way to break up a dog fight? I heard that throwing water on them helps, but any other suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Alie
     
  2. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    Hi Dovelove,
    You are doing already the most important thing that you can in stopping any fighting before it happens.
    You sound like you have some good size dogs and there is risk that they can hurt each other and you or anyone else that gets in the middle of the fight.
    If everything goes wrong and the dogs do start to fight try to remain calm (sounds like you are) and quickly get a leash. Tie one dog off to something that will not move. Then you can try the water, when they let go from the water grab the dog that is not tied up with the leash and remove them.
    You might want to try to make them view you as being more in charge. If they know that they are going to get holy hell from the big boss (you) for being really bad and fighting for the #2 spot, they might just not do it. Them being two females doesn't help at all.
    The main key you already know --- stop the fight before it happens.
    I have never seen your dogs in a fight so I don't know exactly what they do.
    Do they bite and hold on so that you can't get them apart? Or, do they snap and bite non-stop?
     

  3. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    Never tried it myself and it would take two people but I've heard you can loop a leash around their bellies just in front of their back legs and pull them apart, Safer than getting anywhere near the business end of fighting dogs. I suppose if you were alone you could try this on the dog that was the aggressor.
    Good luck!
    Steph
     
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alie,
    Some years ago I used to keep up to 15 dogs - gun dogs, stock dogs and pig dogs. For the most part they all got on pretty well together except for an Australian Cattle dog that wanted to be top dog and would pick on the gun dogs - and English Setter and American Springer Spanial. He was the hardest little dog I've ever come across. Water didn't work, screwing his collar until it choked him didn't work and in desperation I hit him across the head with a fence batten. The batten broke in half and he still had the Setter by the throat. I finally grabbed him by one back leg and pulled backwards - he let go. Accidental on my part but I was later told by a dog trainer that this is one of the best ways to break up a dog fight. By removing one leg from the ground, the dog loses traction and feels vulnerable as a result. I've used the method several times since and it has worked every time.

    As has been mentioned, you appear to be taking a common sense approach to it and remaining calm as well and that's a good start. Whatever you do, keep away from the business end of the fight.

    Nice to know that your mother can still have time with her dog too. :)

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  5. Oceanrose

    Oceanrose Driftin' Away

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    NEVER EVER EVER GET NEAR OR IN BETWEEN THE DOGS WHEN THEY'RE FIGHTING!!!

    Leashing a dog isn't going to be possible. Instead grab a broom, or mop, or something that won't cause damage but is long enough to work (empty 2 liter bottles work great) Hit the dogs on the heads hard enough to break it up, and yell ENOUGH! This is the only safe way I've ever found to break up a true dog fight. Often mine is an empty plastic bucket.

    Do try to break them off before they're starting, but if they start, make sure you never get between or near them. Sorry, been bitten twice breaking up dog fights and once you get bitten that way, you'll be much more cautious in the future.

    Heather
     
  6. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    depends on the dogs .some yelling quit and/or throwing coldwater on them will work well .never get near the bussiness end !! my mom got bit after a fight by my bee trying to get even with her attacker! best way is to grab a rear leg and yell ,watching that they do not inadvertantly get you!! some breeds even a 2x4 over the head wont work. best offence is defence ,watch for aggresion and remove dogs to neutral teritory. training also helps and never feed two dogs together ,even the best of friends will squabble over food!
     
  7. dovelove

    dovelove Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the great advice! :) It's nice to know that I will be prepared next time this happens, and hopefully it won't!

    BTW- Both of my dogs know when they have been bad, I do the dreaded "finger shaking" by their faces, and they both seem to feel really bad afterwards! They go around the house very quietly, like "I'm so sorry I've been bad, please forgive me, I promise I'll be good!" :haha:

    Thanks again for the advice, I'm so glad that HT finally put up a Canine Forum!

    Alie
     
  8. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    The best thing is to prevent the fight if possible. There is another way to prevent the fights. If your dogs are similar in size it may prevent future fights if you do not try to stop the fight. Most dogs about the same in size and weight will do very little harm to each other. It is amazing how little damage is done and really how short a time a fight usually lasts. It may seem a lifetime but is usually only a few short minutes. There may be a few cuts and scrapes but more damage is usually done by someone trying to break up a fight. Most dogs of the breeds you have are not known for their fighting abilities and most fights are over dominance. When they decide which dog is the top dog there will not be any more fights. Most pet dogs are not in any condition for any lengthly fights and will soon become tired and will be more than willing to stop fighting.
    I know this will bother some people but it is usually the most humany and best method of preventing dog fights. All dogs are pack animals and there has to be a top dog, the sooner they find out the dominance issue the better they will get along.
    One warning, do not try this on any of the bull breeds or some terriers. It may not work but with the breeds you have it should prevent future fights.
     
  9. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    :confused: It is absolutely possible. If you have two dogs that want to fight and you are the only person there that can stop it then you need to be prepared to do something or you don't really care about your dogs getting hurt.
    If you don't tie at least one dog off with a leash what is going to happen when one dog lets go of their bite and the other one is still free? The other dog will charge in and lock on again. :bash:
    Do everything you can to prevent any type of dog on dog aggression. If you make a mistake and everything goes wrong you need to do everything you can to stop the fight as fast as you can. To do otherwise in my opinion is just wrong. If that means that you need to get near their heads to quickly latch a leash and tie a dog off to something so that when you use the water trick or leg trick you can pull one dog away without the other one running in to re-engage -- then you need to do it.
    What are we? We are the keepers of our animals. Lets hope we are also not all cowards. Your dogs love you --- or they should. They might chomp you by mistake but they don't want to hurt you. Have some guts and USE YOUR HEAD. There are ways you can do both and save your beloved dogs any injury.
    Again, do everything you can to stop trouble, but if everything is wrong you need to do what is right for them --- they protect us when everything goes wrong -- we need to do the same for them. :soap:
     
  10. Willowynd

    Willowynd Well-Known Member

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    I have 11 collies and occasionally my males will get into a squabble. I yell "Off"!in a firm tone, pull one off balance by a back leg if they are standing, then quickly grab a bucket and swing it between them---if one gets bonked, so be it---not going to cause injury with it. I do find the only things that causes fights here is either food (good idea to sepearte dogs when you feed them), girls in season or dogs who are maturing and challenging the others for rank. The feeding one is easy to fix. When girls are in season, there are some boys I can't put together (the top dogs). When pups are reaching maturity, you need to help integrate them into thier status by feeding top dogs first, petting top dogs first, etc. I will say it can be worked out though. I had 2 males that hated each other, they would fence fight if they were next to each other, if they were crated in sight of each other at feeding time they would bark and snarl from across the room. I made it known I am boss and I want peace. The older one (even though the younger was my favorite) got fed first, spoken to first, etc and I would reprimand both if they even looked cross- eyed at each other. They got thier CGC's side by side. Doing thier down stays close enough they were touching. Watch the dogs closely and correct at the first sign of misbehavior. 9 times out of 10, that's enough to prevent it. If the first warning doesn't work. Down stays for both. If it happens again shortly after, separate them - preferably both in crates or separate rooms---neither getting your attention. If you watch, most of the times it is the low ranking dog "newbie, younger" challenging with a stare or showing interest in something that belongs to the other one.
     
  11. magwa

    magwa Silkie chicken enthusiast

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    Ive heard of spraying a hose between them. :rolleyes:
     
  12. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    I think two people have mentioned the same thing I read in a dog training book: to break up a fight, grab the back leg/s of the more aggressive dog and raise the legs off the ground.

    Suddenly the dog is off balance and vulnerable, and he must attend to that problem before he can continue the fight. From there you can leash him and separate the dogs.
     
  13. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Don't know if it's already mentioned, but try carrying some pepper like cayenne pepper fine ground. If a dog fight ensues throw some in the air near the proximity of their noses. That'll start some sneezing and they should stop long enough that maybe you can get them physically under control and parted.
     
  14. Farmgirl2005

    Farmgirl2005 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the first person who replied... i didnt read the rest.. but i have also had problems like this.. i have a whoopping 14 dogs...and not becuase i bought them all but because my neighbors new i couldnt turn a puppy and i mean puppy away... anyway... i have had fights here and i do whatever is possible.. i through water... i through books make loud noises.. do whatever works to get them apart.. and it depends on each dog.. i use what they are afraid of if handy to drive them away from the other animal.. so but in my opion you have done what is necessaryto protect your animals..and im glad you didnt get rid of one.. that may solve your problem but its not always a good decision...
    oh and one more thing.. NEVER EVER use YOURSELF to BREAK THEM APART
    Yours Turly Lyn