How To Separate Fighting Dogs (Without Injuring Yourself)

Posted on: 10 September 2014

If you have dogs, you'll occasionally run into a dog fight. Dogs fight for a variety of reasons--and not all dog fights are about injuring the other dogs. In the wild, dogs will often fight simply to establish pack order. To some extent, dog fighting is natural, but that doesn't make it any less terrifying. If you want to make sure that you're prepared to separate a dog fight, you may want to follow these tips. 

Do Not Panic--Remain Completely Calm

Many dog owners make dog fights worse by getting excited. Screaming, jumping up and down or otherwise becoming frantic will actually make the dogs more aggressive because they sense that something is wrong.

If your dog is fighting with another owner's dog, remind the other dog's owner to remain calm as well. Speak in a low, authoritative and commanding tone to the dogs--not a high-pitched or worried tone.

Spray Dogs With Hose Or Citronella

Your goal should not be to forcibly separate the dogs but rather to distract and surprise them. Spraying the dogs with a hose or a citronella-based liquid (which you should keep on you for this exact situation) is the best option.

Since most dogs fight, not because of actual aggression, but because of either fear or pack behavior, and if you spray them they will usually be too distracted to continue fighting. At this time, you can secure your dog.

Do Not Grab At Or Restrain Only Your Dog

Dogs are built to defend themselves. If you grab your dog while the other owner lets their dog go, you could seriously injure your dog by restraining it; the other dog will see this as weakness and will strike when your dog is vulnerable. Your dog will also panic and may hurt you.

Likewise, do not hold your dog tightly on a leash while another dog attacks it; it cannot get away. If you have a small dog, do not pick it up unless you can pick it up completely clear of the other dog. Picking up your dog will excite other dogs in the area.

Separate Both Dogs At The Same Time

Direct the other owner to grab their dog firmly by the base of their neck or by their collar and do the same, pulling the dogs apart at the same time. Do not grab either dog by the mouth or jaw; the base of the neck is the only safe place. 

Take your dog to the emergency vet, such as Denville Animal Hospital, immediately after a dog fight. Many dogs will not show when they are injured and they could have internal injuries or injuries in their fur that you cannot see. As long as you remain calm and react quickly, you should be able to protect your dog from the worst of a dog fight. Most dog fights are not serious, but it can be impossible to determine when dogs are fighting out of dominance or aggression.


Keeping Your Pets Healthy

After I started staying home full time instead of working, I realized that my pets weren't as healthy as I thought they were. They basically laid around the house all day, and I started growing increasingly concerned about their well-being. I wanted to know more about their health, so I visited a veterinarian in my area. He gave me a few really good tips on reducing their caloric intake and encouraging exercise. Now, I can say that my dogs are truly healthy and energetic. This blog is all about keeping your pets healthy so that you can continue to enjoy their company.