After the internet uproar of the unfair sentence on Dutch the Dog's case, I think it's just right that I make a post/ semi-rant on what to do during a heated dog fight.
Why? That's because most people, no matter how reputable or genuinely good they are, DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN DOGS FIGHT. And in the end, they become victims of their own ignorance.
Things to Remember
1. Intact dogs are prone to fighting with each other than spayed/neutered ones.
|These two dogs are intact. Buchi's constantly challenging Whitey when it comes to dominance.|
2. Correction on bad behavior and constant reinforcement is important for your dog to have a structured life.
3. A well-exercised dog is a tired dog and a tired dog is a happy dog. You get it, right?
4. Just because someone is a great person, it doesn't mean he/she is a great dog owner.
5. It's our responsibility, as dog owners, to know our dog's temperament and behavior.
6. Non-dog owners should also know how to identify signs of a dominant, nervous or aggressive dog.
What to Expect While Stopping Two Dogs Fight
1. Battle Scars. It's not just them, but also YOU. If you intend to stop a dog fight with your bare hands, then you might as well prepare yourself for bite marks and probably worse.
By choosing to go bare hands, people should know that this is like going in a war zone without any form of protection (not even a pair of combat boots).
2. Trauma and Possible Re-Occurence. There's a fat chance that dogs who've fought before will fight each other again.
|Glad I didn't have to deal with Whitey's bite. I got Shih Tzu teeth scrapes from Buchi though.|
3. More Battle Scars. The two dogs may have stopped biting each other, but this doesn't mean you're safe. Get a muzzle or restrain each dog as soon as possible!
Tips on Abating Dog Fights or What to Do When Dogs Fight
1. NO HITTING. When dogs fight, it's in their instincts not to let go EVER.This means, it won't matter if you hit them with your hands or a stick, it probably won't work.
2. HOSE IT. If dogs fight and you have a water source available near you (preferably a hose), get a bucket full of water and throw it at them or HOSE THEM DOWN.
Note: Some dogs won't respond to hosing the second time around.
3. IT'S NOT OVER YET. So you've hosed them down and managed to break the heated fight. Make sure you restrain one or the other first to control the situation.
If you need to lock each one in a room in the mean time, do so.
If you need to muzzle both of them, do so.
If you need to tie each of them to a tree so you can catch your breath, do so.
|These two aren't fighting. They're actually wrestling each other. Buchi is on an extended leash because this was back when he peed everywhere.|
Note: If you're capable of carrying the big dog (versus a small dog), carry the bigger dog. I say this because when Buchi and Whitey fought, Whitey was dead serious about doing some serious Shih Tzu damage. I carried Whitey so Buchi can't reach him rather than have White jump all over me while he attempts to prey on Buchi.
4. MUZZLE BEFORE TREATMENT. Make sure you calm yourself first. Then, find a way to muzzle the dog before you start treating their wounds. After a heated dog fight, some dogs can still remain aggressive so be careful!
Note: I'm sure some will object with number 4 because there's tendency for dogs to associate tools with current emotions. Meaning dogs might associate the muzzle with aggression so I am open to better ideas, please feel free to comment.