For future reference, here are some tips to break up a dog fight. Never yell at the dogs..this will only make them fight harder. Stay calm..you have a minute to grab a leash and/or break stick. If you are by yourself, tie one dog off to something..tree, door, furniture..anything to keep them in one spot. Next, leash up the other dog and either use a break stick to pry them off, or carefully choke them out by twisting thier collar until they release. Immediately pull that dog away so the other can't bite it and put it in a crate or separate area. Never pull tails, use water, hit or slap or yell at fighting dogs...this only encourages them to fight harder.
If you have at least two people, use the same above mentioned methods, but instead of tying a dog off, have the other person hold onto that dog. Do not be afraid of the dogs..get in there and get them apart.....a bulldog is actually an easier dog to work with in this type of situation, because a good one will not re direct and bite you..as labs, shepards and other breeds tend to do.
In light of some recent posts about people's dogs fighting, i felt this post may be helpful. I have American Bulldogs..another bull breed notorious for dog aggression. I have had to break up more than a few squabbles. Knowing how to break up a fight can save your dogs' lives.
i have also heard people recommend grabbing the dog(s) by their hind legs and pulling them apart that way. if you are outside then a hose works as well. the main objective is not to get yourself seriously hurt in the process.
for the few fights we have had in this house when salty first arrived .... yelling has worked wonderfully. though it wasn't a high pitched oh my god what do i do yell ...... it was a loud booming authorative KNOCK IT OFF yell. i didn't have to get hands on in any of them ... only after the fact to remove and discipline salty.
All I normally do is yell 'STOP IT' or HEY!! Really loud and they generally stop. There is one that it doesn't work with and I will be honest that I kicked her fairly hard in the butt several times because she WAS GOING to seriously hurt or kill the other dog. I know it was because she was coming in to season, but by the time I did get them separated it was a trip to the vet for stiches.
I am not recommending that any one else do it, but I don't regret it and I would do it again if I had to. I am not going to get bit. I have heard of people losing fingers or seriously injuring hands, but I am not going to sit there and watch my dogs kill each other either.
If a dog on the street is attacking my dog I will lift my dog up (65 pounds or not) and start kicking the other dog away if I have to, but we are in the country and I don't see that happening any time soon.
i heard alot of screaming one day. ran out to see a neighbors dobe attacking another neighbors chihuahua. they were panicking, and jumping around screaming , but not doing anything. the chi was sreaming too. it sounded horrible. no hose in sight so i dropped to my knees and bit the dobes stub tail hard enough that he let go of the chi long enough for the owner to grab it. i would never suggest doing that, but everyone was freaking and it was the only thing i could think of to do. i realized afterward that the dog could have easily turned on me. but i never even thought about it at the time. only in getting him to let loose. luckily the chi only had to get some stitches. it could have ended alot worse. as not even two months later, the same dog ended up killing another neighbors scottish terrier. i think when an actual fight breaks out, people tend to waste time when they panic. knowing what to do ahead of time and acting quickly can prevent serious injury or death. glad to know that there are better ways to break up a fight, than putting your face to a dogs rear end !!
Thanks for all of the good tips. Hope I won't have to use them.
In an agility class a pit/rott mix came running up on my young English Setter. You know agility is off leash primarily. My dog was on leash because we were in line waiting our turn. I grabbed my dogs collar with one or two fingers to control him and tried to kick the other dog away (I have health insurance my dog doesn't). He kept coming so I grabbed his harness to hold him back. Luckily I was able to hold him off until the owner finally came. Everyone else was just looking dumbfounded absolutely no help at all. The dogs never did contact each other however I broke my finger! (got twisted in my own dog's collar) The dog was kicked out of agility even though she was a board member because everyone in the class refused to come back if she returned.
In spite of it having worked for some of you, yelling is the worst way to stop a dog fight. Any excitement at all adds fuel to the fire and a yell is like a war cry-it encourages the dog to fight harder. I had a dominance issue with two adult female dogs and it made our lives very difficult for a while. As the op stated, keeping at least one dog in place is one of the best things to do. It leaves you free to remove the other dog. I've been in situations where it wasn't possible to tie off one dog so I did the only thing I could think of - dragged both dogs (they weren't letting go but for a second at a time for a better hold) up the front step, one fully into the house and gradually was able to shut the door enough that as they readjusted their bites I took the slack up with the door and their grip got less firm until I had the door shut between them. In a fight where you cannot do either of the above a small board comes in mighty handy to put between them but you have to keep moving it between the dogs until they snap out of fight mode and begin to pay attention to you. I've had to hoist my dog in the air to keep it from being attacked - no easy task with a 50+ lb. dog while kicking out with one leg. The only other method I've had to use is when you are sure the dogs are not going to let go and if you are either very brave or so concerned about your own dog that you don't have time to be worried about being scared. This will NOT work on breeds that are insensitive to pain or lock up their jaws and is not something for anyone inexperienced with dogs to try. Quickly grab both dogs above the muzzle, fold their upper lips under their top teeth and squeeze like if you were administering a pill but much firmer. Do not let go of their top jaws and lips until someone can assist you by pulling one dog away but the dogs will let go of each other. If you can keep your grip you have their heads and you have control of the dogs. They will be reluctant to bite their own lips because it really hurts.
I think it depends on the breed of dogs as far as what methods work better than others. With most bull and molosser breeds, water, hitting, pulling, yelling, etc. will make them fight harder and do not work...you have to physically get in and break them apart. Other breeds who tend to be nippy and bite and rebite, etc..water and other methods mentioned may work just fine. Many breeds tend to be all bark and no bite (LOL!..pun intented) whereas the bull and molossers have a background to bite and hold or catch and hold, etc...
I just wanted to share some of the safer sure fire methods for people who may not know. After seeing a few posts on other boards about dog fights and people panicking..I felt I should start putting this out there...there really sin't a whole lot of info available to people.
There's some great info in this post. A Pitty fight can be a very scary thing to have happen. Know your breed of dog and know how to handle a fight. Especially in a multi Pitty house hold.It could save your dogs life.
***Edited By: rednosered on 7/30/2006 10:45:39 PM*** Reason: the e
LIke I have said so many times, I am far from being an expert on anything. But, from experience yelling makes it worse, and if they are really going at it they don't even hear you, let alone listen. When Max jumped Tina, I may have did the wrong thing, but, it stopped it and I didn't get bit. I pulled straight up on his collar and he released her. I watch for signs now and when he goes over and kinda side bumps her or stares, I step in right then and don't let it go any futher. I think now since he is older he just wants to show his little authority. She has also learned to just stay out of his way.
I have had a few dog aggressive females and the fights are really scary...the last big one was a wake up call for me..I have 2 daughters ages 10 1/2 and 15...and what if they had went to put them out and they fought..I had an 80 pound female litterally over my head with one hand...and my girl jumped up and bit her in the thigh and draged both of us down her run...I had her release after i put my foot by her mouth...and she didnt want to bite me..so she let go...i had tried other things plastic snow shovel...nothing worked...I tried the "wait and see" deal at the very begining..never will i let that happen...i ended up getting bite...one girl didnt know who she was biting..so i dont blame her..but i made up my mind right then and there about dogs and fighting..with unaltered dogs the aggression can be great..so..i will have to just keep them seperated at the first sign of aggression...I have told my girls at the first sign of a fight..never try to break it up...now..i will and i expect my husband too also..but kids..no...i dont want them bite. but mainly...its all about seperation...kind of sad...but safe for all concerned...
We have had them on occasion, the little ones are easy. I reach in and pick up the one on top. We have had a couple major scuffles between a couple mixes (large dogs) we have. The hose never worked. Always have to leash and seperate.
I am going to continue to yell, because I have stopped probably 50 fights over last 10 years by yelling, and headed off probably many more than that.
I don't yell that often. About only for that or if they do something REALLY bad--like trying to eat the kitties, or running towards the road, and fighting. I work with horses so I know how to be loud and authoritative--I think they all can hear me (maybe not the two that yelling doesn't work with). Plus, they know if they are still fighting by the time I reach them, the one on top's butt is mine.
You know I am not going to suggest that for other people's dogs, because I am not an expert. That is just how my house is run, the young ones are probably trained to stop when I start yelling, I have at least 3 generations of dogs. I am sure the youger ones are like 'Oh SH@#$T!' when I start running towards them yelling.
***Edited By: alicat1 on 7/31/2006 7:09:35 AM*** Reason: ad
My mom and I have put a large rubbermaid container over top of our two yorkie bitches when they would fight, and then hit the box with a wooden spoon. Don't know why but when you took the box off of them, they would not fight again for awhile. The vet said that we "probably scared the s@#* out of them". I could see how it would scare two 5lb dogs though.