In my last post where I discussed what to do when an off-leash dog comes barreling at you and your on-leash dog, I teased you with the question “What do you do if your worst thought comes to be reality: a dog fight.”
Fights can be scary, human or otherwise. However, much of the time, there is more bluster and posturing than anything else. Even those will often end before you have a chance to take action. They can be over a toy, a bowl, or just a dog drawing boundaries. (If only humans had a good way to do this without offense.)
Dogs don’t go around looking for fights. All that body language that we talk about ad nauseam in classes and on YouTube is actually a thing! It’s the way they talk to one another to avoid conflict. Most conflicts have been negotiated one way or the other while the dogs are still many feet apart, before we even thought they noticed one another.
However, when the right set of communication happens, or if one dog is saying one thing and the other just doesn’t have the social graces to listen to the other dog (we know people like that, right?), that is when they will bolster themselves up to fight status.
So, how do we get them apart when they aren’t doing it themselves?
First, here are some “Don’ts”:
Now for the “Do’s”:
Dogfights are dangerous and getting involved can be as well. Use caution. Even your own dog can redirect a bite on to you in the heat of the moment.
The best tactic is to prevent dogfights by learning about dog body language and be aware when you are out in public with your dog (not on your cell phone).
Have you ever had to break-up a dogfight? What did you do?